An Incomplete List of My Favorite (and Least Favorite) Audiobooks 🎧 📚

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

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Sadie, by Courtney Summers

Goodreads | My Review

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. 

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Radio Silence, by Alice Oseman

Goodreads | My Review

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!)

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The Chaos Walking series, by Patrick Ness

Goodreads | My Review

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. 

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(I tried finding a better passage but then gave up pretty quickly)  (This is the first page) (Please, I promise you, this is actually a very good series)

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. 

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(This is an example of an image in the book! This part was narrated in the audiobook, but it also looks cool here.)

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House of Salt and Sorrows, by Erin A. Craig

Goodreads | My Review

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. 🙂 

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I Wish You All The Best, by Mason Deaver 

Goodreads | My Review

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. 

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One of Us is Lying, by Karen M. McManus 

Goodreads | My Review

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.)

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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!

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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.)

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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.)

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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. 

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Legend 

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. 

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Do you listen to audiobooks? What are your favorite ones? I would love some recommendations!

Chat with me about it! 


You can also be my friend on Goodreads!

Happy reading, everyone! 💫 Have a lovely day!Starry Sky Books-13

26 thoughts on “An Incomplete List of My Favorite (and Least Favorite) Audiobooks 🎧 📚

  1. I loved the audiobook of Radio Silence as well! One of my favs definitelly! Hmm, I also reccommend The Brilliant Death — the narrator’s voice is just *chief’s kiss* and I haven’t heard TRC audiobooks but Call Down The Hawk sounded really good? Also, The Starless Sea! I recently posted audiobook recs as well so I won’t be listing all of them and you can just check them out if you’re interested!

    I usually quit right away if the audiobook sounds bad for me so I can only complain about like 2 to 10 min of the beginning but I hated Carry On and Simon vs. audiobooks! Sounded like chicken noises to me 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you loved Radio Silence! I would definitely be willing to listen to it again! And thanks for recommending The Brilliant Death – I’ll add it to my TBR 🙂 Oh, I’m glad you liked Call Down the Hawk! It’s honestly just my personal preference to want a different narrator, although I think he does well with Ronan’s voice! I’ll definitely check out your list! 🙂

      Yeah, I usually stop an audiobook if I don’t like the narrator, and I’ll try to which to a physical book or ebook if I really want to read it. I think I tried to reread Carry On as an audiobook and I didn’t like it, so I just stopped altogether 😂

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  2. So many of these are books that I’ve loved but haven’t listened to as audiobooks – clearly I need to revisit some of them! I’m sure the podcast segments of Radio Silence are really cool as an audiobook, and I’m VERY curious how they do the Noise in The Knife of Never Letting Go. Definitely agree that Sadie has the BEST audiobook, though 😀

    Ooh, I actually liked the audiobooks of The Raven Cycle, because I liked how the narrator did all the different accents. But I can definitely understand it sounding strange coming from an older narrator! I’ve heard people either love or hate it, so I think it comes down to personal taste 😉

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    1. Yes, I love listening to some of my favorite books on audiobook for the first time! Sadie was a great audiobook and I can’t imagine reading it any other way, but I’m going to try rereading Radio Silence as the physical book next time!

      The audiobooks for The Raven Cycle aren’t bad, but I think they would be best with a full cast for the different characters! Maybe that’s just what I was expecting. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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  3. Such a cool post! I don’t listen to audiobooks that often (I wish my library had a better and more accessible audiobook system) but when the narrator is great, they can be amazing 🥰 I loved reading Sadie last year and I wish that I could have listened to the audiobook because it sounds so incredible and cool! My least favorite audiobook would probably be Daughter of the Burning City, unfortunately, I just didn’t get along with the narrator at all, somehow it all sounded a bit too dramatic and weirdly inauthentic when it came to the more emotional scenes 😞

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    1. Thank you, Caro! I wouldn’t be able to listen to many audiobooks without my library’s collection, so I understand that! Sadie was a great book in general, but if you ever want to reread it, I suggest trying to get the audiobook! It was very gripping 🙂 And yeah, I get that sometimes narrators can lessen the experience of the book if they’re not right for the characters or the tone 😦

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  4. I’ve recently gotten really into audiobooks, so this was such a great post! I used to listen to books on CD for homeschool, then we shifted to Audible when it came out. I listened to The Hate U Give over Christmas break and loved it! I also want to listen to the Illuminae files, because i’ve heard they’re really good.

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  5. This is a cool list!! I would definitely try giving some a listen! I forgot One of Us Is Lying (and I need to reread) so maybe I’ll try an audio this time! Aww, you thought June’s narrator was monotone? Thinking back, I do rather agree but the book (at least Champion) was so good that I didn’t care 😂

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  6. i listened to sadie on audiobook and also had a physical copy with me and it was really enjoyable! (i’ve always had trouble with audiobooks so if i can i like to have an ebook/physical copy just in case haha.) i liked that sadie’s stutter actually felt authentic too! and i didn’t know that henry’s narrator sounded like an old man, but i did hear some clips on twitter of the way that a narrator pronounced a keyboard smash and it was hilarious!!

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  7. Hahaha, I think you would have authority on your favorite audiobooks even if you only had listened to two 😂.
    A lot of people enjoyed Radio Silence, but something about it just felt off for me. The audiobook sounds like it would had been better for me from the way you described it. That’s so cool that they included parts from the podcast!
    I also tried reading The Knife of Never Letting Go and thought that the narration was hard to read 😕. Listening to the audiobook seems like a great alternative! I’ve heard so many good things about the series, so I’m glad you enjoyed it once you listened to it 🙂.

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  8. Narrators can make or break an audiobook. If I’m not liking or connecting with the narrator, no matter how good the book is I struggle to listen.

    I love having favorite narrators, it’s nice having a familiar voice telling you a story. Wil Wheaton is hands down my favorite and I never hesitate to listen to anything he narrates.

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  9. Audiobook narrators can definitely be hit or miss, but I have a secret way of dealing with the bad ones… I just listen to it really really fast! Don’t like somebody’s voice? On 2.5x speed it won’t matter anymore 😂 (Seriously, my mum thinks I’m crazy when she walks in and I’m just listening to someone talk on fast forward.)

    My worst pet peeve is when an adult male narrator tries to do the voice of a young girl. (*cough* Nevernight *cough*) But I absolutely love full cast narration. The Illumimae Files series were the first audiobooks I listened to, and they will always remain my favourites ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could never listen to audiobooks that fast! 🙈 I usually use 1.5x speed, but sometimes I have to turn it down to 1.25x speed, haha! And yeah, I don’t like when adult male narrators do girl voices – but for some reason I think the adult female narrators usually do well with boys!

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