Since this is the start of Audiobook Week I’m just going to highlight the audiobooks I received this week. Look for lots of audiobook chatter, reviews and recs throughout the week!
Audiobooks for Review:
From Simon & Schuster Audio:
Being Me by Lisa Renee Jones read by Grace Grant - The sequel to If I Were You.
This Girl by Colleen Hoover read by Kirby Heyborne - Slammed from Will’s POV.
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay read by Candace Thaxton and Kirby Heyborne – I’ve read the book but am enjoying revisiting it through audio.
From Penguin Audio:
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani read by Adina Verson - I’ve been hearing a lot about this book so I’m excited to listen to it. It’s about a girl sent to an equestrienne boarding school due to her involvement in a family scandal.
The Submissive by Tara Sue Me read by Angelica Lee – This is another erotic fanfic a la FSoG about the relationship between a wealthy CEO and a librarian.
Loyalty by Ingrid Thoft read by Rebecca Soler – I like Soler as a narrator and that got me interested in this book. It’s about a female PI investigating a body found in Boston Harbor.
Until Fountain Bridge by Samantha Young read by Ruth Hopkins - This is a novella from the On Dublin Street series about Ellie and Adam. I’ve already listened to it and it’s very cute – review to come.
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen read by Allie Gallerani – Love reading/listening to Sarah Dessen’s books in the summer.
Tarnish by Katherine Longshore read by Leslie Bellair – I liked the audiobook of Gilt, so I’m looking forward to reading Longshore’s next book about Anne Boleyn.
Proxy by Alex London read by Andrew Sweeney – This dystopian book sounds so cool- it’s about a rich patron named Knox and his proxy, the orphan Syd. Whenever Knox messes up, Syd is punished.
The Wells Bequest by Polly Shulman read by Johnny Heller – The companion book to The Grimm Legacy. I didn’t even know there was another book in the works! Fun MG series.
A lot of these narrators are new-to-me so I’m excited to discover some new favorites.
Let me know what you’re reading or listening to in the comments. Have a good week!
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature from The Broke and the Bookish. This week we’re counting down our Top Ten Beach Reads. I’d probably waterproof my kindle and bring that to the beach for the most reading options, but it’s fun to narrow it down to ten choices. Some of these are recent favorites and some I hope to read under the sun this summer.
Hit the beach with these books:
1. The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen - Sarah Dessen books and the beach go together like a lock and key (another Dessen book!) All the books take place in the beach town Colby and it’s fun to spot the characters from previous books.
2. Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland – This debut novel is about family, love and friendship and is more of a heavier summer read, but it also has a picturesque setting.
4. Faking It by Cora Carmack – This series is so witty, engaging, and romantic. I think I liked the sequel/companion book Faking It better than the first book Losing It, though both would make excellent beach reading material.
5. A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams – Shake it up with a little historical adult fiction. This book is set in 1931 and 1938 in Seaview, Rhode Island and is about friendships, secrets and love. I’m doing the audio of this one, which I guess might give you a sunburn if you fall asleep while listening in the sand.
6. Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight – This summer’s Gone Girl? If it is I need to set aside the time to read it straight through, since I couldn’t put down Gone Girl. It sounds very twisty turny and mysterious to me.
7. Down London Road by Samantha Young - Like Faking It above, I think I liked this sequel even better than the original (On Dublin Street), but both are fantastic. Well-written romances, great setting and characters, good book boyfriends, and fast reads.
8.The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp – The Spectacular Now movie is coming out in August, and I hope to sneak in the book first. Gosh, there’s so many book adaptations coming out- I hope this one is as good as it looks!
9. Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols – If you’re going through Nashville withdrawal like I am, maybe this country music- themed romance will distract you. Like Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Echols books go with the beach like the moon and the stars.
10. Tidal by Emily Snow – I read this one back when it was first self-published but now it has a shiny new Touchstone paperback release. This New Adult romance is set in Hawaii and Los Angeles and features a romance between a troubled Hollywood actress and her Australian surfing instructor. If that doesn’t scream beach read I don’t know what does.
What books will you be bringing to the beach?
Book Info: YA Contemporary Romance, Audiobook borrowed from the library. Running time: 12 hrs, 46 mins. Read by: Rachel Botchan.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Along for the Ride is my first Sarah Dessen book. After years and years of hearing how amazing Dessen’s books are I finally caved to the pressure and gave her a try. I’ve been following her on twitter for a while and saw she’s a big fan of Friday Night Lights so already I was predisposed to liking her. I grabbed a couple of her audiobooks at the library and settled in to bask in her contemporary greatness. Though the audio narrator and I got off to a rocky start, I was soon immersed in the story and able to gloss over any quirks in the narration. My first Sarah Dessen adventure is a win overall.
Along for the Ride is Sarah Dessen’s ninth book and came out back in 2009. Dessen wrote it during bouts of sleep deprivation after the birth of her newborn baby. Coincidentally the book’s protagonist Auden has insomnia and lives another life at night while her family sleeps unawares. Auden’s parents are divorced and her dad has since remarried and has a newborn daughter. Auden decides to spend her summer before college vacationing at a beach town with her dad’s new family. Auden has always been studious like her parents and this summer she gets the chance to spread her wings a bit. She meets Eli, a boy who also is up late nights, kept up by his guilt over a recent tragedy. They find companionship at night and help each other get over their hurdles.
The Colby beach setting is picturesque and makes for a carefree summer backdrop. And it’s fun to explore the different late night offerings such as the secret coffee shop with the best pie in town located in the back of the Laundromat. But for me what I enjoyed the most are the characters. Just when I thought I had a certain character pegged, they ended up surprising me. From Auden’s academic parents to her stepmother and friends at Clementine’s – they are all authentic and not cookie cutter characters at all. I liked Auden and her transformation throughout the summer as she starts to let people in. When it seems like sometimes there’s not a lot going on plot wise the characters make the story worthwhile, and especially how the characters evolve throughout the book.
I expected that there would be more romance in the book, but although there is a romantic interest it is not too romantic. The story is more about personal growth, and the romantic interest is more along for the ride so to speak. Eli is an interesting, thoughtful character though.
I was pleased to see this is another entry in the new adult category, with Auden about to embark on her college journey, and working in her stepmother’s clothing store. It’s also a nice change of pace to read about workplace dynamics in YA. Auden’s infant stepsister Thisbe also makes herself known in the book, and I wondered if Dessen had similar colic-y issues with her own newborn during the writing of the book.
Rachel Botchan reads the audiobook and I liked her fresh voice and how it matched the characters. What I had a difficult time with is the awkward pauses in the narration throughout the book. Sometimes the phrasing would be a little off or the pauses would distract me from the story. Eventually the pauses stopped bothering me though, maybe because I got more wrapped up in the story. I do think she did a great job though and nailed Auden’s, her mother, and her stepmother’s voices particularly well. I would pick up another audio narrated by Rachel Botchan.
I can see why these books are popular with the rich characterization and setting and the issues Dessen tackles. I’ve since read my second Sarah Dessen novel and will be looking for more. What is your favorite Sarah Dessen book?