Audiobook Review: The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Title: The Sun Is Also a Star
Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Delacorte Press/Listening Library
Publication date: November 1, 2016
Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
Source: Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads):  Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

 

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

 

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

 

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I enjoyed the narrators, although it took a little while to get used to them. I liked the story, so giving this 4.5 out of 5 stars.

 

So this book is pretty much told over the course of one single day. I don’t want to say it featured insta-love, but given that fact, it kind of does. But honestly, the progression of Natasha and Daniel’s connection felt natural. The universe parts were a little off-putting to listen to, but it was nice seeing background, thoughts, histories, etc. for some secondary characters.

 

The ending was kind of disappointing, but then the epilogue made me happier. It was kind of open ended, but given what had already happened, I’d like to think these two individuals finally got their happy ending after all. I liked the mixed race aspect of it, and the touching upon the subject when they were out in public together.

 

Overall, I enjoyed this one. I’d highly recommend it. I just wished I’d loved it a little more to give it that final .5 stars. I think all the different characters maybe overwhelmed me a little too much while listening, and I wanted more focus on the two teens. I can’t wait for Nicola’s next book! You can check out my review of her debut book here.

 

Audiobook Review: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Title: Graffiti Moon
Author: Cath Crowley
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date: August 1, 2010
Length: 6 hrs and 5 mins
Source: Purchased
Summary (via Goodreads): Senior year is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight, she’s going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. He’s out there somewhere—spraying color, spraying birds and blue sky on the night—and Lucy knows a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for. Really fall for. Instead, Lucy’s stuck at a party with Ed, the guy she’s managed to avoid since the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells her he knows where to find Shadow, they’re suddenly on an all-night search around the city. And what Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes.

 

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I’ve heard amazing things about this book, so I gave it a go during #ContemporaryAThon. I’m so glad I did. At the beginning I wasn’t too sure, but I ended up really enjoying this one. I’m giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

 

The narrators were good, although I didn’t like one as much as the others (Poet). I enjoyed the different POVs on this one, although some of the book was just repeating the same things from the next person’s perspective. Regardless, I still liked it a lot.

 

There’s not a ton of it out in the world, but graffiti artists in books are becoming more common lately. I think this is the third, or fourth, book I’ve read in a few years about them. I definitely can’t wait to try out this author’s other books, especially Words in Deep Blue. I’ve heard amazing things about that book as well!

 

I pretty much liked all the characters who we focused on throughout the book. They all felt real to me…like I could be friends with them. There’s not a ton of romance in this one, but it’s a great read nevertheless. And it’s not long, so you could easily finish it in a day if you wanted to/had the time.

 

Audiobook Review: This is War by Kennedy Fox

Title: This is War
Author: Kennedy Fox
Series: Checkmate Duet #1
Publisher: Audible Audio
Publication date: October 3, 2016
Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
Source: Purchased
Summary (via Goodreads): Coming from a new duo of bestselling authors, The Checkmate Duet

 

*An enemies to lovers romance*

 

Travis King is the worst kind of asshole.
He taunts me for being a good girl and mocks my high standards.
He’s cruel, crass, and has enough confidence to last two lifetimes.
And I hate him.

 

It wouldn’t matter so much if he were avoidable.

 

But considering he’s my older brother’s best friend and roommate, I see him more than I’d ever want to.

 

His sculpted abs and gorgeous eyes are a waste on such an egotistical man, which makes me hate him even more.

 

Even though I’ve had a crush on him since I was ten, the feelings weren’t mutual and he’s always made that very clear.

 

He’s always loved getting under my skin and one night against my better judgment, I let him in my bed.

 

I’ve succumbed to his manwhore ways, but that doesn’t change a thing.

 

Because the King is about to get played at his own game—and lose.

 

Checkmate.

 

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This was pretty good. Travis was kind of a dick for like at least half the book, and made me a little uncomfortable with his words and actions. But nevertheless, I enjoyed the audiobook for the most part, so it’s getting 4 stars. I can’t give it 5, because of the issues with Travis.

 

The narrator was good, and I found myself smiling and laughing quite a bit while listening. Forewarning: this is kind of a scandalous book. And by kind of, I mean it is! It’s definitely for a mature audience. I enjoyed Viola for the most part, and even Travis eventually. My mind was super undecided about him for a while though. But I definitely think it helped that it was dual POV; that way we got to see inside his head, to see what he was thinking/feeling. Otherwise I might have straight up hated him for like 60%+ of the book. Sorry, not sorry.

 

That ending though! I was kind of expecting it, but I was still like what the crap when it happened. Get ready for a cliffhanger, everyone! It definitely made me want to read the second book ASAP. I think I’ll listen to the audiobook again. And to discuss the other characters, I’ll say that I really liked Courtney, and even Drew. They’re secondary characters right now, but I can’t wait to see more from them. Finally, can I just gush about how amazing the cover is? Hello handsome!

 

Audiobook Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

 

An awesome group of girls decided to do a Haunted Halloween Hop. Jessica–thanks for coming up with the idea, and the cute graphic! We’re posting things related to Halloween in some way. See the full list of bloggers after my review. Enjoy!

 

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Publication date: September 27, 2011
Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
Source: Purchased
Summary (via Goodreads): Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

 

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

 

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

 

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages–not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

 

When one of the strangers–beautiful, haunted Akiva–fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

 

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Pretty good overall. It was different than I was expecting in many ways. I did enjoy the storyline, and the narrator, who did some fun voices. I’d recommend the audiobook. I’m giving this 4 out of 5 stars.

 

So I really don’t want to give anything away, but the way this story went back and forth sometimes between present and past was a little off-putting, especially when you’re listening. I think reading a physical copy might have been a better idea for that reason alone, or at least make sure you’re focusing all your attention on the story, and not multitasking. I thought the writing was beautiful though. It’s kind of a dark book, obviously, given the summary.

 

I really liked Karou and Zuzana. I also liked Karou’s makeshift family, who you’ll learn about if you read the book. I’ve never read anything like this before, so major points for uniqueness. I always wanted blue hair like Karou. Maybe I’ll dye it someday…As for Akiva, I’m torn. I adore some aspects, and others not so much. I guess I have to keep reading to see what my final decision is regarding him.

 

The pacing was good, although some parts felt a little long to me (the last quarter of the book mostly). I was entertained while listening though. I’m definitely going to read the rest of the series. I need to know what happens after that ending. It was a cliffhanger, leaving things unresolved. But it just made me more excited to keep reading, to see what happens next. I kept changing my theory of what was happening, but I was correct with one of them.

 

I’d recommend this one for people who don’t mind something that’s a little dark, fantastical, and supernatural.

 

 

Haunted Halloween Hop Schedule:
October 22nd – Paige from Books and Belle
October 23rd – Linda from Linda’s Little Library
October 24th – Danielle from The Introverted Book Nerd
October 25th – Jessica from Reading with Jessica
October 26th – Kris from Boston Book Reader
October 27th – Fernanda from The Wanderlust Reader
October 28th – Diana from The Bookish Sisters
October 29th – Sarah from Book Hooked Nook
October 30th – Nicole from Boundless Bookaholic (Me)
October 31st – Maggie from The Caramel Files

Audiobook Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: May 30, 2017
Length: 10 hrs and 46 mins
Source: Purchased
Summary (via Goodreads): Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

 

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

 

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

 

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

 

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Another great contemporary romance for the books! I’d heard the narrators were good, so I gave the audiobook a try. I did like the narrators for the most part, although the guy doing a female’s voice isn’t the greatest. The story was interesting, and I found myself waiting to see what happened next. I’m giving this one 4.5 stars.

 

I really adored Rishi, except for like one thing he did. It’s pretty early into the book, so if you’ve read it, you’ll probably know what I’m talking about. He was pretty cute, and he was genuinely an overall good guy. He tried to support Dimple, he was actually chasing after her–wanting to woo her–which I liked. Not enough guys chase after girls! He’s definitely an addition to my book boyfriend list. I’d love to have a boyfriend like his thoughtful self.

 

Dimple, Dimple, Dimple…I liked her quite a bit. Some of her logic made me want to shake her, asking her what the heck. But besides that, I felt a kinship with her. She’s strong, opinionated, and smart. Yes to main characters like that! And as for the controversy, if you can call it that, surrounding this book, I think it’s blown out of proportion. And that’s all I’m saying about that.

 

The romance was cute, swoony, and made me smile. I loved some of the secondary characters. Mainly Ashish, although I did like both sets of parents to a certain extent. Celia kind of drive me nuts through at least half the book, along with some of the other coding contestants. It was nice to see a bit of the Indian culture scattered throughout the book, so props for that. Overall, I can’t wait to read more from this author!

 

Audiobook Review: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Title: Glass Sword
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #2
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: February 9, 2016
Length: 14 hrs and 39 mins
Source: Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

 

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

 

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

 

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

 

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

 

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

 

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

 

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Book 2 picked up right where the previous one left off. It was the same narrator, which I really like. I absolutely hate when they change who reads the series. This was pretty interesting, although I found the beginning a little slow again. I’ll give this book 4 stars overall.

 

I had to do a re-read of book 1’s summary. Frankly it’s been a while since I listened to that audiobook, and I’d forgotten most of the finer details. Book 2 is a lot more “war” focused than book 1, for obvious reasons. Cal and Mare escaped and have to fight to maintain their freedom. Maven is pretty much constantly chasing them, or in the back of their minds. I’m still not 100% sure of my stance on Maven.

 

There’s some sad parts in this, particularly in the last couple hours of the audiobook. I won’t spoil anything by saying who, but one of my favorite characters dies. I know casualties are to be expected, but noooooo! Not this person. I was heartbroken. Can I also just say that the ending was twisted? As weird as it sounds, I kind of dug it though…it made me want to read book 3 really badly.

 

I’m still wishy-washy about my feelings for Cal. The reader loves him, the reader loves him not. Kilorn drove me nuts several times, and I seriously wanted to smack him at least once. I liked seeing newer characters, particularly the Red-and-Silver army Mare’s determined to recruit, determined to fight Maven with. There were definitely moments I pretty much held my breath (cliché, I know), wondering if everything would turn out okay. No comment on if that’s a yay, or a nay, outcome wise.

 

I can’t say much else without being spoilery, but I liked book 2 and can’t wait to dive into book 3 whenever I’m so inclined.

 

Audiobook Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Series: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date: April 9, 2013
Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
Source: Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

 

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

 

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I listened to this audiobook on a road trip to visit my family. The narrator was fantastic, and instantly drew me into the story. I’d give this audiobook, and story in general, 5 out of 5 stars.

 

The description gave no indication that this was set in the late 80s, so I was a bit surprised by that when I first started listening. But I really did enjoy the story right off the bat. I was trying decide between audiobooks to listen to on my trip, and this one was recommended to me. I’m so glad I listened to it. I thought Aristotle, or Ari as he’s most often known as, was a fascinating main character, and I really love Dante’s character. I’d looked this story up on Goodreads before listening, so I kind of already knew what was going to happen based on the genres it was listed under.

 

I was a bit surprised by how long it took to get to the point I expected the book to go to though. What I wanted to happen didn’t happen until nearly the end. But at least the buildup/anticipation was entertaining enough. There were happy parts, sad parts, kind of crazy intense parts, etc.

 

Ari’s “girl friends” from school were pretty annoying. I just wanted more Dante, and less of them. Towards the end of the audiobook, I cried some, because it got kind of emotional. Ari’s parents were okay,  especially towards the last quarter or so of the book. But I thought Dante’s parents were the ones who shined through; they were the kind of parents most kids probably dream about.

 

Before I listened to the audiobook, I saw that there was going to be a sequel coming out sometime in the future, which makes me super happy. I’m so ready to see what happens next in Ari and Dante’s story. I didn’t get nearly enough of them in those 7+ hours. Obviously, because I was driving, I didn’t keep track of my favorite lines, but there were some really good ones!

 

Final note: A fantastic audiobook, with an equally amazing narrator. I’d highly recommend this book to diversity lovers, to anyone who likes books set in the not too distant past.

 

5 stars

Audiobook Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Title: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication date: April 15, 2014
Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
Source: Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

 

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved – five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

 

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I listened to this audiobook on a road trip to visit my family. I immediately loved it. The narrator was fantastic, the content was amazing, and I couldn’t stop laughing, swooning, and falling in love while I was driving. People probably thought I was crazy, but listening to this audiobook to pass my 8 or so hour car ride (to and from visiting family) was so worth it! Definitely 5 out of 5 stars.

 

Lara Jean was an outstanding main character. I really liked her family as well, especially Kitty. Listening to this story definitely made my drive go faster, and I was upset that I had to wait a couple days to listen to the second half of the book when I left to go home. I just wanted to keep listening to the entire book in one sitting.

 

Peter Kavinsky was a great book boyfriend, even though he had some douche-y moments. Listening to the interactions between Lara Jean and Peter were some of the most entertaining parts of the audiobook. Since I’d been listening to the audiobook while driving, I wasn’t able to keep track of any of my favorite lines. But if an audiobook can make me laugh, swoon, and squeal without caring if anyone sees me, it’s got to be a good!

 

The cliffhanger ending made me want to read book two in the series right away, so I was happy that P.S. I Still Love You was already published.

 

Final note: Amazing audiobook. Such a cute story with great characters and an unique plot that first made me choose the book to listen to in the first place. Whether or not you’ve read this book before, give the audiobook a try!

5 stars