Hello friends! Today, I (Vera) am here with another addition to my audiobook recommendation series, as I haven’t brought you new recommendations in quite some time. I adore audiobooks as they allow me to keep reading even when I don’t feel like sitting down to physically read a book. They make it possible to do something else – e.g. walk, play games on my phone, or bake – while reading, so being able to listen to audiobooks has been a life-changer for me.
If you want to know more about why I love audiobooks and how I recommend getting started with them if you’re new to them click here. If you want to read the previous installments to this recommendation series, you should click here, here, and here. And now, let us jump into the post!
The Mistletoe Motive by Chloe Liese
narrated by Erin Mallon, Jacob Morgan
length: 5.5 hours
summary: Every year, I try to read at least a couple of Christmas novels during the holiday season; one of these books in 2021 was The Mistletoe Motive. This novel – novella, really – follows Jonathan and Gabriella, co-workers in an independent bookstore, who decide to hold a competition of who can sell the most books when they realize the dire financial situation the bookshop is in. The romance utilizes both the sunshine x grumpy and the enemies to lovers trope, so I couldn’t have enjoyed it more.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
narrated by Julia Whelan
length: 11 hours 5 minutes
summary: I was worried about this book after being utterly disappointed by Daisy Jones and the Six, but it ended up being a really positive surprise. Malibu Rising follows the Riva siblings, the children of famed musician, Mick Riva. About half the novel takes place in the past, as we follow the siblings as children and their mother. The other half takes place in the present where we follow the now adult siblings, during the evening of the oldest daughter, Nina’s, annual party. I adored the way the siblings were written – they are all flawed people, battling different things, which is exactly what made them so realistic and likable.
The One by John Marrs
narrated by Sophie Aldred, Clare Corbett, Simon Bubb, Jot Davies, Vicky Hall
length: 11 hours 2 minutes
summary: The One has been on my to-read list for quite some time before I got to it, but man, I’m so happy I finally picked it up last year! The novel takes place in a world where a scientist discovered the part of the DNA that shows if two people were meant for each other, i.e. are soulmates. We follow five characters, each of them narrated by a different narrator, as they go through distinctly different experiences with their soulmates. From start to finish, The One kept me invested, so much so that it was one of my favorite books of 2021.
A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson
narrated by Abby Craden
length: 5 hours 8 minutes
summary: A Dowry of Blood is one of the most special books I read in 2021, and I honestly cannot recommend it enough. It tells the story of Constanta, a young woman who is turned into a vampire by a charming older man. At first, their relationship is exhilarating and exciting, but as time goes by, Constanta starts to see the toxic, controlling traits of her husband. If you like lyrical writing and historical fantasy novels, A Dowry of Blood is for you.
It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey
narrated by Charlotte North
length: 10 hours 48 minutes
summary: I know Tessa Bailey’s books aren’t for everyone and I definitely have my own issues with her writing, re: her heavily gendered terms, but I loved It Happened One Summer despite all that. This romance novel follows Piper, a socialite who is forced to move to a small town after she gets into a scandal. The book was inspired by Schitt’s Creek, in particular by Alexis’ character, so it’s definitely very entertaining and light. Having said that, my favorite part was actually how emotionally invested I was in the characters and their life.
XOXO by Axie Oh
narrated by Greta Jung
length: 9 hours 13 minutes
summary: I heard so many fantastic things about XOXO that I decided to pick it up, even though I don’t listen to a ton of K-Pop. The story follows Jenny, who spends a really fun, adventurous evening with a guy she has just met. Despite exchanging numbers, he never replies to her texts, leaving Jenny confused and sure that they won’t talk to each other again. That is, until they end up going to the same school and Jenny learns that he is a K-Pop star, who was unable to respond to her texts due to the strict rules he has to follow. The best part of XOXO is that not only is it a fantastic YA romance novel, but it also does a great job of exploring Jenny’s relationship with her family and her friends.
Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia, Anna-Marie McLemore
narrated by Kyla Garcia, Almarie Guerra
length: 9 hours 32 minutes
summary: Miss Meteor follows Lita, a girl who decides that she wants to compete in the local beauty pageant as she’s fed up of not seeing anyone who looks like her winning. She enlists Chicky, her ex-best friend to help her prepare for the pageant, making them question why their friendship ended in the first place. I loved the way the authors mixed the contemporary genre with magical realism and I really enjoyed reading this novel.
Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales
narrated by Barrie Kreinik
length: 8 hours 58 minutes
summary: Perfect on Paper was one of my most awaited 2021 releases and it did not disappoint! The novel follows Darcy, who gives anonymous relationship advice to her peers in her high school. It all goes well, until someone finds out about her secret identity and blackmails her into helping him win back his ex-girlfriend. As Darcy sets herself on this task, she and Brougham get to know each other better and better, and they slowly realize that they may be developing feelings for each other.
An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro
narrated by David Case
length: 6 hours 24 minutes
summary: I’ve only read three novels by Kazuo Ishiruo so far, The Artist of the Floating World being my latest by him, but I’d already call him one of my favorite authors. The story follows Masuji Ono, an elderly Japanese man who is grappling with the rapidly changing world while also reminiscing about his past. This is a short, quiet novel, but one that will give you with a lot of food for thought, in my opinion.
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert
narrated by Ione Butler
length: 10 hours 51 minutes
summary: Even though Act Your Age, Eve Brown is technically the third novel in The Brown Sisters series, I really wanted to include it on this list because (1) it can be read as a standalone, (2) it’s my favorite from the series, and (3) it’s a bloody fantastic audiobook. The story follows Eve, who is known for excitedly jumping into a project.. just to then abandon it. Eve’s family has had enough and they decide to send her out on her own, to find what she wants to do with herself, leading Eve to crush into the life of Jacob, a grumpy B&B owner. This book is laugh out loud funny, but also incredibly emotional at parts, and it’s easily one of my favorites from last year.
Do you enjoy audiobooks? Do you have any favorite audiobooks or audiobook narrators? Have you read any of the titles I mentioned?