Over the past year I’ve really got into audiobooks. They are a great way to get through your TBR list and a really nice way to pass time. I never thought I would like them, and didn’t know where to start when I eventually got into them, so I thought I would share some of my favourites.
I started off only listening to contemporaries because I needed a way to get through my contemporary TBR list, which I just wasn’t doing because I had so many fantasy books that I wanted to read more. Since then though, I am listening to a lot more fantasy audiobooks as well. So to start here’s my list of contemporary audiobooks, and later I will a post about my favourite fantasy audiobooks.
An audiobook gives such a different feel to the book than reading the physical copy, and this can either make or break a book. There have been audiobooks that I just didn’t like, sometimes because it was in audio format but also sometimes because I didn’t like the book. So I’m going to do a review of each book separate to the audiobook review, and then you can decide if you want to get the audiobook or the physical copy. I listened to these through audible which has been a great resource, but if your lucky you can sometimes find audiobooks on YouTube for free.
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
The book itself: Many of you have probably heard about this book or even seen the movie. It is about a girl who lives the same day over and over again and with each repetition she gets increasingly more frustrated or learns how to improve it. Perfect for fans of If I Stay by Gayle Forman. This was my first audiobook, and it was such a good place to start! I even got a little bit teary at one point.
The audiobook: Performed by Sarah Drew. Her voice is a little annoying at first but once you get used to it, it really suits the character. She also does slight changes in voice for each of the character which I think really suits them. Lindsay is my personal favourite.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
The book itself: This hard-hitting story is about a girl called Hannah Baker who commits suicide and then sends out tapes to thirteen people because they are the reasons why she did it. This is now a Netflix show, but if you haven’t already watched it, I would recommend reading the book first, or listening to it! I actually wanted to read it before the series came out.
The audiobook: Joel Johnstone narrates Clay’s voice and inner thoughts and Debra Wiseman narrates Hannah’s tapes. This change in voices to match the character really makes the audiobook stand out. Actually, listening to Hannah telling her story really makes you feel like you have received the tapes on your front door. I think this made the experience of the book come alive more than just reading it off the page. It made me feel for Clay more, because when he hears Hannah’s voice for the first time since she committed suicide, you are also hearing her voice. This audiobook is only 6 hours and 24 minutes long which makes it a quick, if slightly morbid, listen. Perfect for a long car ride.
I must mention in this audiobook though, that there was a particular scene that was hard to listen to (if you’ve seen the Netflix show you may know which bit I’m referring to, even though its slightly different in the book) and so I would not recommend this audiobook if you know you don’t like scenes of a darker nature.
To All the Boys I’ve loved before trilogy by Jenny Han
The books themselves: I’ve included the whole trilogy in this one because I listened to them back to back and don’t really know where one book ended and the other began. It follows Lara Jean Song and her two sisters. In the first book, Lara Jean’s secret love letters are released to who they are written to. They were never meant to be sent, and now she has to navigate school knowing that 5 boys have received a love letter from her. The trilogy is heart-warming, funny and even a little emotional at times. It’s a perfect light contemporary to get you out of a reading slump. Or as something slightly cheerier to listen to after Thirteen Reasons Why. I also found out that it will be made into a movie which I’m so excited about because this is one of my favourite trilogies! Honestly, if they ruin this series for me I will be so upset!
The audiobook: All I can say is that the narrator Laura Knight Keating makes a perfect Lara Jean. She uses emotion in her voice so well, you can hear her smiling when Lara Jean is happy. She also does a great voice for Kitty, Lara Jeans younger sister. I believe that this audiobook would also be perfect for any Fans of the series who want a re-read. I found that it is an audiobook that you didn’t have to listen too hard to or concentrate too much unlike some audiobooks (I find some high fantasy books have to be very closely listened to when they are world building and you end up having to reverse it all the time when you missed something.) I found it was a great listen when cleaning or even baking Lara Jean’s perfect chocolate chip cookies!
The Paper Princess trilogy by Erin Watt
The books themselves: I loved this series and was so addicted to it, I would try to squeeze a bit of listening in every day. At times, I even chose listening to my audiobook over reading a physical book which is very odd for me! Again, I listened to this series while travelling and it happily got me though some long coach, train, plane, and boat journey’s. If I’m honest, not much actually happens in these books, but you don’t really realise that when listening to them because it is still fast paced and there’s an odd amount of tension considering not much is happening, but this makes for an addictive read. Then in the last 100 pages (or what I assume was the last 100 pages, because it’s the last hour of the audio) it hits you with an intense cliff hanger which leaves you craving the next one immediately. I already had the next one downloaded, so I don’t really know when one book finished and the next one began. It follows Ella Harper as she finds herself thrust in the care of Callum Royal, and she ends up having to live with his family of 5 very good-looking sons. She learns to live the life of the rich, with a prestigious new school and bitchy students. Obviously, lots of drama and romance ensues.
These books do contain adult content, so they are not for everyone. Listening to steamy scenes whilst in public is literally the most awkward thing ever! Actually, I find listening to it at all a little weird. It’s very different from reading it, because it’s almost like you can’t get away from it and the narrator is putting a lot more emotion into it than you would when reading it.
The audiobook: Angela Goethals did an amazing job on this. It’s exactly how I would imagine Ella Harper to sound and I really liked her different voices for different characters. She put just the right amount of emotion into scenes, so that it was realistic but not over acted.
In the second book, Reed’s voice gets introduced which I loved because it just added another dimension to the story, and he sounded just as hot as I imagined.
That’s it for my favourite contemporary audiobooks! Have you read these? Do you love or hate audiobooks? Tell me your favourites, I’m always looking or recommendations!