If you’ve stopped by my blog recently you might notice all the audiobook reviews. In fact, 15 of my last 20 reviews have been for audiobooks. And I’ve ‘read’ 38 books so far this year, 18 of them have been audiobooks. I know some people might say or argue that listening to audiobooks isn’t really reading, and well, I used to be one of those people. My sister used to listen to a lot of audiobooks and I used to always playfully make fun of her that it didn’t count as reading because she was only hearing the story. It wasn’t until I started listening to audiobooks myself that I actually got it. Yeah, I may not be technically reading the story, but I feel it and I experience it the same way (maybe even better) than if I were actually reading it! I’m not an audiobook pro but I do hope more people give them a chance so I put together everything I know about audiobooks. Enjoy!
The only reason I ever heard an audiobook in the first place was when I was stalking Ed Westwick (as I usually do) and found out he had narrated Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. Ed Westwick has such a sexy ass voice and is the only guy with a British accent that I like AND I had been wanting to get started on the TID series. Audible gives you 2 credits during your free trial so I got books 1 & 2 in this series. Unfortunately, my relationship with audiobooks didn’t start out on a good note. It took me like 3 weeks to get through each book and I would easily get distracted and forget to pay attention to the story. While I loooooooved the way Ed narrated the book (he was amazing!), I wasn’t wowed by the books. I decided to go back and listen to a few of my favorite book on audio and that is when I fell in love with audiobooks.
If you are new to audiobooks, I recommend you either start with some of your favorite books or your favorite genre. For me, this is contemporary. Once I listened to enough of my favorite audiobooks, I was able to get the hang of it quickly and I can now listen to any book in any genre. Even fantasy and dystopia, which aren’t my favorite genres. For some reason, while I don’t like reading these types of books, I much prefer listening to them.
The #1 most important thing about audiobooks is to make sure you like the narrator. You’ll be spending an average of 8-12 hours with them so make sure they are good! Listen to the samples a few times and even look for an extended sample on Soundcloud (most publishers have longer clips of their audiobooks). If you do happen to get a book with a narrator you can’t stand, no worries because Audible lets you return the book. No questions asked! Even if you heard the book. I’ve only had to do this a few times, mostly because I couldn’t handle the narrators accent.
My audiobook pet peeves:
-A big pet peeve of mine is when narrators sound older than the character they’re supposed to be portraying. I can’t stand when YA books have narrators that sound like they are in their 30’s or 40’s. I just can’t do it!
-It drives me crazy when a narrator says a character’s name wrong. You would think someone would catch this but no. The narrator for the Lux series by JLA pronounces Daemon’s name as Demon. Demon as in creature from hell. She does this for all the books too! Another book I read pronounced the character’s name Dina (Dee-nah) and Di-nuh. Drove me nuts!
-If a book has a dual male and females POV, there should be two narrators. End of story! If I really like the book, I can ignore it. But it can become weird and confusing to hear the guy’s POV scenes being read by a girl.
-I don’t like accents in general, but when a narrator does a bad job at accents, especially the southern accents, I can’t listen to the book. The Vincent Boys books by Abbi Glines had really bad narrators that over exaggerated the southern accents. The Mara Dyer books by Michelle Hodkins has a character with a Bristish accent. Isuaually hate these but this girl nailed the accent so it didn’t even bother me.
My favorite narrators:
(linked to audible)
-Good lord this guy’s voice is too damn sexy! This guy can make you blush even if he were reciting from a damn phone book! Take a listen below:
-This girl is such a gifted and talented narrator, I am in love with her! She narrates The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer and does such an AMAZING job! So so good! The way she does all the voices and brings the characters to life makes it so much damn fun to listen to these books. Take a listen to a non-spoiler sample of Scarlet below:
-Kate narrates the Shatter Me books by Tahereh Mafi and wow does she nail it! I wasn’t sure how they would portray the strikeouts that are in the books and I loved the way they pulled it off. Kate brings Juliet’s, Warner, Adam and Kenji’s characters to life and I liked the audiobooks more than the books. Kate Simses also narrates the Matches series by Ally Condie. Listen to a sample of Unravel Me below:
Emma narrates the Divergent books by Veronica Roth and soooo many other popular YA and NA books. She’s a really fantastic narrator and I loved the way she narrated the Divergent books. I have so many books narrated by her in my wish list that I have to listen to soon. Listen to a sample of Divergent below:
Narrators I don’t like:
-Holy shit this girl is such a popular narrator (she has 222 results on Audible)! Too bad I can’t stand her. She always sounds horny! Like she’s always panting or is out of breath or something. It makes me uncomfortable to listen to her books. It would be okay (I guess) if they were for erotica books, but she narrates a lot of YA books. This is also the girl that calls Daemon Demon. I get so sad when I see a book I want to listen to…and it’s narrated by her. Listen to her moan-y and breath-y narration below:
Another very popular narrator that I don’t care for. Sorry Kirbs! I mostly can’t stand his exaggerated accent, like he over emphasizes everything. Like he’s always speaking in italics, if that makes sense. He does a lot of YA and NA books. One book that I did like the Kirbs in was The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay. But, it is pretty much impossible to NOT love that book. I also think he sounds too old for most of the character’s he plays:
Audiobook Pros and Cons
-It can be tricky to get characters names right, especially if they are spelled differently. A quick google search solves this problem.
-You can add bookmarks and even add notes to your bookmarks, but it is a little bit hard to copy quotes from an audiobook. I usually find them on Goodreads though and if you don’t use quotes in your reviews then this shouldn’t be a biggie.
-Audiobooks are perfect to listen to when doing chores or even driving. Audiobooks have made chores like cooking and cleaning and washing so much more enjoyable. I just plug in my headphones and get lost in my book. I used to work almost an hour away so this was a perfect option to listen to in the car.
-Do you have your favorite books that you wish you could reread but can’t because your TBR pile is threatening to bury you? Well then listening to the audiobook version of your favorites is a great solution. You get to re-experience your favorite book again without it cutting into your ‘reading’ time.
-Have a book in your TBR that’s been sitting there for a year or more? Get it on audio and cross that sucker off your list! I’ve listened to so many books that have been sitting on my TBR shelves for years and most of them I end up really loving.
-If the book has the right narrator, it can bring the book, the story and the characters to a whole new level.
-Didn’t like an audiobook? If you didn’t like the story OR the narrator, you can return it no questions asked.
-If you have the ebook already, you can purchase most audiobooks really cheap with their whispersync deal. You can use this program to go back and forth between reading the book and listening to it. You can read it and the next time you open the audiobook, it will start off to the last part you left off in the kindle version. And vice versa.
-Audible is owned by Amazon so you can expect their great customer service.
-I know there are a lot of audiobook buying programs, but I use Audible and I love it! They randomly send me $10 credits and do ‘flash sales’ when your browsing on the site every once in a while. Like a ‘pick one of the following books for only $4.95!’ And their BOGO deals are really awesome too.
-Not sure about audiobooks? You can try out a free trial and get two credits (1 credit = 1 book, you get one credit per month). If you don’t like it, you can cancel your membership so you have nothing to lose.
-Publishers send out audiobook copies for review too!
I’m giving away one of my favorite audiobooks to one winner. Winner must have Audible account or must be able to create one. (You can make one without having to enroll in any type of monthly membership) Open Internationally.
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