A couple of months ago, I wrote a discussion about audiobooks in which I shared some tips on how to enjoy them, as well as a few recommendations. I was glad to see that many of you found what I said useful and that you liked the recommendations I shared. 😄 As I’ve listened to numerous audiobooks recently, I made the decision to do a follow up post, now concentrating on recommending the high quality audiobooks I adored.
For some, especially for those who are just discovering audiobooks, length can be a pretty big factor in deciding what to pick up. I relate to this, so my list goes from the shortest to the longest audiobooks. Originally, I wanted to describe why I love each audiobook, but my reason always came down to how great the narrator is so, uh, I had to rethink that.
LONG WAY DOWN BY JASON REYNOLDS
narrated by Jason Reynolds
length: 1 hour and 43 minutes
summary: Will is devastated to learn that his older brother, Shawn, has been shot. When he finds a gun in Shawn’s room, he knows what he have to do: avenge his brother; after all, revenge is part of the three rules he’s been taught. But revenge can go wrong. In the course of this tiny novel, Will meets with multiple people who, by making him look at the bigger picture, will allow him a chance to rethink what he plans to do.
TECHNICALLY, YOU STARTED IT BY LANA WOOD JOHNSON
narrated by Katie Koster, Christian Barillas, and others
length: 5 hours and 9 minutes
summary: As weird as that sounds, there are two boys named Martin Nathaniel Munroe II at Haley’s school. When Haley gets a text from one of them, she assumes it’s the one she doesn’t hate… only it isn’t. Haley and Martin can look forward to a terribly awkward meeting, unless he works up the courage to tell Haley who he really is. Technically, You Started it is a proper weird book – it’s told fully in text messages, but still, it works and the audiobook narrators contribute to it working.
THE A.I. WHO LOVED ME BY ALYSSA COLE
narrated by Regina Hall, Feodor Chin, and others
length: 5 hours and 18 minutes
summary: The A.I. Who Loved Me is a wonderful combination of sci-fi, mystery, and romance. It is the first audiobook I loved, and I do believe that it’s the perfect way to start your audiobook journey. Not only does it have a full cast of fantastic narrators, but it also has some sound design, which can be helpful for first-time audiobook listeners.
YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN BY LEAH JOHNSON
narrated by Alaska Jackson
length: 7 hours and 18 minutes
summary: When Liz doesn’t get the financial she was counting on for her university studies, it seems like everything’s lost. That is, until she hears about that the prom king and prom queen will be given a scholarship. Usually, she wouldn’t even consider trying to win the title of prom queen, but desperate times call for desperate measures. With the help of her closest friends, Liz is ready to shine and win that crown.
FELIX EVER AFTER BY KACEN CALLENDER
narrated by Logan Rozos
length: 8 hours and 24 minutes
summary: Felix is participating in a summer program at the prestigious art school he goes to when an unknown person starts harassing him, both on- and off-line. On his quest for revenge, Felix learns more about his identity and finds love in unexpected places. Felix Ever After is one of the best books I’ve read this year – probably, ever – and I’ll never stop pushing it at you all, so! Pick it up!
SICK KIDS IN LOVE BY HANNAH MOSKOVITZ
narrated by Amy Melissa Bentley
length: 9 hours and 11 minutes
summary: Isabel has a rule: no dating. She has rheumatoid arthritis and she believes that it’s better/easier for everyone involved if she stays single. Enter Sasha, another sick teen, who just clicks with Isabel – they understand each other and he is unapologetically into her. But is Isabel ready to break her rule? I’ll admit that when it comes to voicing other characters the narrator isn’t outstanding, but she is solidly good and I had an easy time paying attention to this audiobook.
CATCH AND KILL BY RONAN FARROW
narrated by Ronan Farrow
length: 10 hours and 43 minutes
summary: Catch and Kill is a nonfiction book about sexual assault in Hollywood, and about how far certain people – and organizations / companies – went to protect the truth. Farrow is a pretty good narrator, however, be mindful of the fact that there’s a lot of information in this novel, so it may not be a good choice if you aren’t yet used to audiobooks.
THE HANDMAID’S TALE BY MARGARET ATWOOD
narrated by Elisabeth Moss
length: 11 hours and 22 minutes
summary: The Handmaid’s Tale tells the story of an oppressive society where women have few choices. Offred, the protagonist, lost everything when the current leadership came into power, and she is now kept for nothing more than to birth children for the Commander. Elisabeth Moss’ narration added a lot to this novel, so if you’re thinking of reading this, the audiobook is a good way to go.
LOVELESS BY ALICE OSEMAN*
narrated by Elisabeth Hopper
length: 12 hours and 27 minutes
summary: Georgia has never had a crush on anyone, nor did she ever feel attracted to anyone. She never questioned this or herself.. at least until someone made fun of her at a party. This prompts her to start down on a path to self-discovery and self-love that will teach her that romantic relationships are not the be-all and end-all of life, and that platonic love is even more important than she believed.
*Note: I wrote this post before criticism of Loveless was raised, and I only remembered I included Loveless in here after I started to answer the comments. This is what happens if you have one brain cell yet you schedule posts weeks or even months ahead, smh. For anyone interested in the book, I recommend checking out Maëlys’ review, who pointed out problematic and questionable elements in the novel.
BOYFRIEND MATERIAL BY ALEXIS HALL
narrated by Joe Jameson
length: 13 hours and 11 minutes
summary: Luc, son of two singers, is just famous enough for the media to publish particularly scandalous details of his life. When Luc finds himself in hot water with his boss, he knows he needs to clean up his public image. His method? Finding a reliable and trust-worthy fake boyfriend who’ll paint Luc in a good light.
Do you listen to audiobooks? Why/Why not? Have you ever felt like your reading experience was made better by a particularly good narrator? If so, with what books? Have you read any of my picks?