Let’s Talk About….Audiobooks + Giveaway!

Posted March 10, 2014 by Nereyda/ 67 Comments

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.

Helpful Tips:
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)
Sebastian York!
-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:

Rebecca Soler

-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 Simses
-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 Galvin
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:

Justine Eyre:
-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:

Kirby Heybourne
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.
cinder scarlet cress
shatter me unravel me ignite me
tangled rule pushing the limits
a Rafflecopter giveaway



Nereyda is a 29 year-old mother of two girls with addiction to Friends, fashion, books, Pinterest, Netflix, the color black and a little bit of everything else.

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67 responses to “Let’s Talk About….Audiobooks + Giveaway!

  1. lols the narrator for the Lux series is actually a very loved narrator. When the audiobook announcement came then everyone was excited about her narrating while I was just hold on! That’s the same woman who reads Fallen series by Lauren Kate and I despise the audio version of Rapture. It’s the only book in the series I haven’t read yet and I don’t think I want to because the series went worse for me as it progressed and the narrator scared me away for real O.o totally agreed on dual narrators when dual POVs. Hahaha the Diverget narrator sounds horny? Haha. Yeah, I have had problems with writing/spelling the names afterwards, but I still like to listen to them:) Such a great discussion Nereyda! and thank you for the awesome giveaway:)
    Siiri recently posted…Review: The Destiny of Violet and LukeMy Profile

    • It’s that Justine Eyre chick that I think sounds horny. Emma Galvin (Divergent) is really good. I’ll have to double check my post to see what I wrote. Anyway, that Justine girl talks like she’s always out of breath and is almost like, panting. I don’t think she should narrate ANY YA books, she’s not a good fit.
      I love when audios have dual POV’s. My favorites are Rule, Four Seconds to Lose and Pushing the Limits.

  2. Let me just start by saying THANK YOU for introducing me to Sebastian York!!! I cant believe how absolutely gorgeous his voice is!
    And I agree with you on Justine Eyre. I loathe her voice! I bought the audio for The Winner’s Curse that’s narrated by her and had to return it back and get a kindle book instead. It’s impossible to listen to her!

    • Yay, another Yorki fan! I’ve only listened to Tangled, Four Seconds to Lose and Twisted Perfection but I plan to listen to all of his soon. Except the Abbi Glines Sea Breeze books he narrates because I can’t picture him in those characters. Plus, I’m not a fan of that series. I hope we get more books narrated by him!

    • Oh and I was going to buy The Winner’s Curse…until I heard the sample. I can’t imagine why they would ever pick her for any YA books! She always sounds like she just got done with a sex marathon…I guess I’ll have to read that book too.

  3. I still want to listen to the Ed Westwick Clockwork Prince. I’m listening to Carnival of Souls right now only because of James Marsters’ narration LOL I actually got rather lost though and had to start it over. Sometimes it is hard to first get into the book and I have to start them over. I like to get audio books with narrators I know but even then a lot of them only narrate a few books. I used to hate male narrators but now I really love this one narrator from Will Grayson, Will Grayson and then he does this other hilarious series I love.
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  4. Aw, this is such a great post! I totally agree, the narrator is HUGELY important. I’m weirdly picky about narrators, which means I reject about 90% of the ones I sample, but I’ve also found narrators I love.

    Audiobooks are great, especially for travel or while you’re doing something else. I love that you included so many samples for people to try, too–thank you!
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Rebel Belle: hummingbird cake recipe + giveawayMy Profile

    • My library has no teen audiobooks (it’s a tiny library) but I do get most of my audiobooks on sale or very cheap if I already have the ebook. I save my credits for the full price books. I think every publisher also has an audio division where they distribute audiobook copies for review.
      I’ve been wanting to try the Parasol series for a while. Will have to check out the audios.
      And yeah, I don’t like Kirby but I think he did an awesome job at the emotional scenes in The Sea of Tranquility.

  5. I don’t like listening to audiobooks. I feel like the narrators are reading too slow for me and I’m not a fan of the tone that a lot of these narrators used. I listened to that Sebastian York one you posted and don’t kill me, but I’m not a fan.
    I get so easily distracted when people are talking to me (I know, I know. This makes sound awful), so that might be why audiobooks don’t work for me. I tried one that was free on audible once, and man, it was so long.
    I’m going to stick to reading. I do think audiobooks are great for those people who commute a lot and have a lot of household chores!
    Great post, Nereyda!
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    • Hi Nick! So I know what you mean about the narrators talking slowly and how the books just drag… but an awesome feature that I have on my Audible app on my iPhone is you can change the speed. Most books I listen to on 1.5 or even 2. They definitely talk very slowly and pronouce everything perfectly… so being able to speed it up a bit makes it sound more realistic, and definitely more enjoyable for me. Audiobooks aren’t for everyone though, so don’t feel bad if you just can’t seem to connect with them. Nothing like the feel of a real book in your hands! 🙂
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    • I used to be so anti-audiobooks, I could never imagine being able to listen to them. I would space out and get distracted and would think nothing could ever top actually reading the book. The trick is finding the right kind of books though. Oh and almost all the people I know that listen to audiobooks listen to them on 1.5x or 2x speed because the normal narration is too slow for them too. The free audiobooks are usually the not so good ones. I think you might like the Lunar Chronicle audios 🙂

  6. I love that you love audiobooks now!!! Now I have someone to share my obsession with. 🙂 I really like Katie Simses. One of the very first audios I listened to was Matched. I also listened to the entire Shatter Me series on audio because I like her so much. And yes, Sabastian York has a very sexy voice. 🙂

    So I’ve seen on Audible that they say you can return a book if you don’t like it… but how exactly do you do it? I downloaded Ghost Time a few months back, trying to find time to read it… and let’s just say it’s NOT good. I only listened to maybe 20% before deciding to DNF it. How do I go about getting that credit back?

    I love this post. Like totally love it. Audiobooks are my guilty pleasure. And I totally agree… and good/bad narrator can really make or break a book. I love experiencing a really good book with a narrator that I love! It just makes the story THAT MUCH BETTER! 🙂
    Lisa (Lost in Literature) recently posted…Book Blitz: Falling From the Sky by Nikki GodwinMy Profile

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    • When you go to your Library in Audible, it says something like ‘didn’t like a book? return it here’ then it gives you the option to return it from your dashboard. If you purchased it a while ago, you might have to email audible. Just say the book isn’t working out for you and want to return it and they give your your credit back or your money (if you didn’t use a credit). It’s very quick and painless.

      I need to read the last book in the Matched series but they don’t have it on audio yet (I think). And I love that we can recommend audiobooks to each other!

  7. Maria Malaveci

    Only have ever listened to audio once, and I wasn’t happy with it, but willing to give it another shot.

  8. erinf1

    I haven’t ever really listened to an audiobook. I’m not opposed to them, but never really tried one. Thanks for the great list and giveaway!

  9. I’ve been considering Audiobooks ever since you started ‘reading’ loads of them, but I was really unsure whether or not I’d be able to get them onto my Ipod Classic or not, because that’s how I listen to most things. I’m still going to find out if I can, but if I can, I’m biting the bullet and taking hold, because you’ve sold it Nereyda!
    I’m going to jump on this bandwagon ASAP!
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    • Hmmmn, I’m not sure if you can get them on an ipod classic. But I do know that if you buy them from audible you can listen to them on your computer. You can also transfer the files to your itunes which should go into your ipod (I think). You can always call or email audible to ask.
      Hope you like them!

  10. I haven’t listened to an audiobook before, but after reading your post I kind of want to start one! I definitely like the idea of being able to return books on Audible if I don’t like them, and the two free credits I get at first. I’m mostly scared that I’m going to zone out while I’m listening to it or I’ll feel like the person is talking to slowly because I read really fast so whenever I listen to someone reading to me I’m all like, “JUST HURRY THE HELL UP AND GET TO THE POINT” in my head and out of frustration I’ll stop.

    I actually am in love with that Unravel Me Soundcloud excerpt, and I’m really glad the strikethroughs were pulled off well! I agree, I feel like it really depends on the kind of narrator you have for your book, and if you don’t like it the narrator you kind of won’t like the book by default. Fantastic post, Nereyda! <33
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    • Yup, no questions asked! The free trial is awesome too. And, you can also check out audiobooks from your local library (CD’s) or digital audiobooks from your local online library if you don’t want to do the membership thing.
      A lot of people speed up the narration speed to 1.5X or even 2x speed and like that better.
      The Shatter Me and Lunar Chronicles are definitely my favorite audiobooks. They just bring the books to a whole new level of wow!

  11. I totally count it as reading. Sure I can do other stuff at the same time but I experience the story just as much as anyone who’s reading it. It also does take concentration like I couldn’t listen to an audiobook and reply to emails etc. I usually do it when I design and do tour schedules lol. I also have the same pet peeves – LOL @ Demon! One of mine is also when they’re very breathy. Like I listened to one and every time there was a word with a P it was like she was spitting it in my face. Yeah, no! I’m listening to the Impossible Knife of Memory and it’s great – they actually brought a male narrator to narrate her father’s very short and few POVs! I also LOVE full-cast audio. I’ve only ever listened to one (Graceling) and it was so cool! Every single character had a narrator! Yay for audiobooks!
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    • Yes, audiobooks totally give you all the feels too!
      Ugh, I don’t understand how that Justine Eyre chick is so popular. She’s always panting. I want to try out Graceling!
      You should check out the Lunar Chronicles audiobooks, I’m in love with this narrator!

  12. I agree with you completely! I used to be pretty against audiobooks, just couldn’t get into them or would fall asleep. Then I found one with a good narrator last year and it changed everything!! Now I’ve listened to so many that I might not have gotten to reading right away! I do love accents in my narrators though.

  13. Brittanie

    I’m actually listening to my first audiobook right now and I love it. I’m half way through with Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs by Molly Harper and I LOVE the narrator! Out of the books above I’d want to listen to Tangled!

  14. Miss. Lucinda Fountain

    I would love “Cress” to read – as the Lunar Chronicles series is AMAZING! 🙂

    Thank you so much for this amazing giveaway. I love audiobooks as it makes a change from reading a physical book or e-book. x

  15. Thanks to you I finally got the hang or listening to audiobook! I owe you! I love the fact that I can still “read” a book when i’m doing something else…like laundry. I hate doing laundry and now its just more enjoyable lol.

    I will definitely check out your fave narrators. I think I’m at the stage now where I want to try the books in my TBR on audio even when I don’t particularly like the narrators but I can see myself getting picky soon. And Sebastian York’s voice is so damn sexy. For some reason I had it in my mind when I was reading Tangled that Drew sounds like Bradley Cooper. I don’t know why, it just did. But mam, Sebastian’s was sexy. Way better sounding than the Bradley Cooper’s voice in my head!
    Amir recently posted…Audiobook Review: Unearthly by Cynthia HandMy Profile

    • I don’t remember if I replied to this comment or not… but anyway, so happy you like audiobooks! They do make chores so much more enjoyable. My boyfriend and kids think I’m crazy cause I’ll randomly laugh or something when I’m listening to them.

      I’ve been using audiobooks as a chance to take books that have been on my TBR forever without it taking off my ‘reading’ time. I’ve found so many good books I’ve been missing out on! Hope you do too.

      And OMG, I would love to have an interview with Sebastian York!

  16. Yoly

    I’ve never really tried an audiobook, but if I had a chance I wouldn’t mind trying out Tangled since it’s narrated by a guy. It would be interesting to see if I enjoy being read to.

  17. I haven’t really read a lot of audiobooks. The one I have, Guilty Pleasures Anita Blake #1, I enjoyed. I then tried another, but the narrator put me to sleep. I’m trying them again now actually and am finding ones I like. I’m currently listening to Divergent and loving it.

  18. Angela C.

    I’ve never listened to an audiobook before. I feel like they’re too long, although I don’t read much faster. 😛 I would love to hear the Lunar Chronicles because I’ve heard that the narrator does a great job with the series 😀

  19. Nikki Ooi

    Haven’t had the chance to yet so I’d love Cinder as it’s the first book in the series! Thanks for this!

  20. Unless you count the books from childhood that teachers play such as Rumplestiltskin, I’ve never had the oppurtunity to hear one. The best part about this giveaway is you have books from series that have been sitting in my tbr list for sometime. Its interesting because I’m always complaining when I have to leave my books to clean or cook or work.

    I make yearly trips to South Carolina to visit my neice, I think I’ll check out some audio books for the long drive.

    Thanks for the giveaway and the audio clips and tips. I’ve always been a bit on the hesitant side when it comes to audio books
    Tiffany Oharriz recently posted…A Review of The Breach Series by K.I. Lynn + #GiveawayMy Profile

  21. Christina T

    Yes and I love them!! It’s because of audiobooks that I have found and fell in loved with some amazing stories and series, that I would have never thought to have read before or just didn’t have the time to pick up. I’m currently listening to Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, read by Rebecca Lowman and I have to say her voice fits the story perfectly. She gives both Cath and Wren individual voices and personalities. The Temeraire series by Naomi Novik, read by Simon Vance has quickly become a favorite my house not just for me but my b/f as well we can’t get enough of this series and have been tearing through it pretty quick. As well as the Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima, read by Carol Monda is usually playing as I work around the house on days off and has me on the edge for whats going to happen next. I highly recommend all of these series!

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