After making this list, I realized I haven’t read nearly enough audiobooks to have any kind of authority on this, but here we are!
I started listening to audiobooks less than 2 years ago, at about the same time I started my blog. Since then, I’ve learned that some audiobooks are better than others, and that opinion is based on several things. Sometimes books were better on paper, and sometimes an audio cast enhances the story!
So whether you’re new to the audiobook scene and are looking for somewhere to start, or you’re just wondering about my personal faves, here are some of my favorite audiobooks!
My Favorite Audiobooks
Sadie, by Courtney Summers
This audiobook was so thrilling! It’s a suspenseful and emotional book on its own, but the audiobook narrators really captured the essence of the characters and their situations.
There are two narrators: one for Sadie, and one for podcast host West McCray. Because West McCray is communicating to the audience in podcast form, his narrator’s presence does a great job at giving the story that *podcast* feel. (The whole story is not a podcast – it’s just several parts.) Most of the book is told from Sadie’s point of view, and I think her narrator did an excellent job at portraying her character.
Radio Silence, by Alice Oseman
Okay, so maybe books with podcast plots are always great when it comes to the audio version.
Radio Silence is about Frances and her friendship with Aled, the teen creator of a podcast called “Universe City”. Occasionally, the book includes segments of the podcast (which are relevant to the story, of course), and the one narrator really captures the tone of the book quite well.
Aysha Kala is the sole narrator, but they are voices for each characters worked really well for me. If you’ve been wanting to read Radio Silence lately, I highly recommend the audiobook! (I mean, I recommend all of these books if you’re feeling like reading them at any point in time!)
The Chaos Walking series, by Patrick Ness
Sometimes I just cannot read certain books unless they’re in audiobook format, and this happens to be one of those books.
See, in the non-audio version, the main character (Todd Hewitt) has a very clear dialect, and I just can’t stand to read that sort of thing without getting a headache.
Before I started, I had heard many good things about the series, and I wanted to read it, but Todd’s narration really bothered me. But then I tried the audiobook! I believe The Knife of Never Letting Go was my very first audiobook, and I absolutely loved it!
In the first book of the series, there’s one narrator for Todd’s POV, but in the second book there are two POVs and two narrators, and in the third there are three POVs and three narrators. All of the narrators, overall, were very interesting and they really pulled the story together for me. I would not have enjoyed this series as much without their talent!
The physical versions of these books do have some cool visuals, but I didn’t miss them when I listened to the audiobooks.
House of Salt and Sorrows, by Erin A. Craig
This is a more recent book, and it definitely lived up to the hype for me!
I don’t really think there would be much of a difference between the audiobook experience and the physical book experience, but listening to this audiobook was overall a fun and spooky ride.
The narrator was great, and the story itself was fantastic! Her voice fit perfectly with the main character, and I just liked her performance overall. Very good in all aspects.
I highly recommend this audiobook, and the book in general, to everyone. Please go forth and read it, and then tell me your thoughts. 🙂
I Wish You All The Best, by Mason Deaver
This audiobook was cute, but also sad. Just a nice, short audiobook overall.
I think it was 8 hours long, which is perfect for me. It was just enough time to get to know the characters, without the content itself being overly long. (Perhaps I will someday give a real review, but who knows?)
The narrator was great, and… that’s all I have to say. This book was just cute, so take my word for it! I also recommend this if you’ve been thinking about reading this book, but have been wondering what the audiobook is like.
One of Us is Lying, by Karen M. McManus
While this is not, in any way, one of my favorite books, I did give it close to 4 stars. I think most of it was because I really liked the narrator cast. Each of the four main characters had a narrator, and I think they all did a really good job with their characters, especially the narrators for Bronwyn and Nate.
While I did like the mystery of this book, there were a few problems with this book that a lot of people other people have pointed out. (I suggest you read some reviews on Goodreads before picking it up.)
Alternatively, I just started listening to the audiobook of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson, and I’m really liking it so far! It has a full cast of narrators, and the mystery is interesting. I can’t say much yet, since I’ve only listened to 15% of it at this point, but I recommend it if you want a full cast YA mystery but don’t feel like reading One of Us is Lying!
My Least Favorite Audiobooks
“So Xandra,” you say, while I am 10 seconds away from hitting the PUBLISH button on this post. “If all of your favorite audiobooks are mostly based on the narrators, and not the actual book content, then why aren’t all audiobooks your favorite?”
Well, that’s a great question.
While it is true I mostly based my “favorites“ on whether or not I liked the narrator performance, the reason why I was able to pick these as my favorites was because I have also experienced “less than great” narrators in the past.
Don’t get me wrong – these narrators are just doing their jobs, and I know lots of people who love the audiobooks I’m about to list. But the following are my least favorite audiobooks because the narrator (or narrators) did not meet my expectations, with narrating the main POV or with matching the tone of the book.
(I actually liked these books! I rated them all at least 3.5 stars! But I probably would have liked them more if I just read the physical form and narrated everything in my own head.)
The Raven Cycle
I read the first book in this series as a paperback, and I really liked it. However… it also took me two years to pick up the next book, and by then, I had already forgotten a lot of the things I liked about the first book, and I was less motivated to read the series.
Honestly, these audiobooks are the only things keeping me going on this series. While they definitely help me pay attention to the books more than I would on my own (The Raven Cycle is notoriously confusing, by the way), I really don’t like the narrator.
The main characters are teens, but the narrator is clearly a man who is at least 40, and he has a unique voice that just doesn’t match with the way I see any of these characters talking.
(UPDATE: I actually just found out that he’s 65 years old and I… I regret owning access to the internet at this time.)
Red, White & Royal Blue
All I’m allowed to say is that the narrator made Henry sound like an old man. Please put down your pitchforks.
This book has two narrators: one for Day’s POV chapters, and one for June’s. I just didn’t like June’s narrator. She was slightly monotone, and that’s basically my full complaint.
Do you listen to audiobooks? What are your favorite ones? I would love some recommendations!
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Happy reading, everyone! 💫 Have a lovely day!