I love audiobooks! I do read a lot of physical books too, but I love how audiobooks allow me to get through more books and make menial tasks more enjoyable while I listen. I wrote a post all about why I listen to audiobooks and what programs I use to listen to them (most of what I use is free!): A Guide to Audiobooks. The post also contains favorite narrators so even if the plot of these books doesn’t appeal to you, you could search by narrator for some new ideas.
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The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, narrated by Rebecca Soler
This is a 4 book series of fairy tale retellings with a science fiction spin. The series starts with Cinder and each book introduces a new fairytale while building on the story from the previous books. The series is very popular, and I definitely recommend the audio version. It felt like a movie happening in my head!
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, narrated by Jorjeana Marie, Will Damron, Cassandra Morris, and Michael Crouch
I really liked that the audiobook had four different narrators for the four different point of views that converge in this story. It tells of a heartbreaking tragedy that actually happened and I’m surprised that it’s so little known and talked about, despite it’s scope. It’s definitely a sad story, but the author does such a good job of telling a painful story without being overly gruesome and still finding little pieces of hope and meaning amongst the suffering.
Echo by Pam Munez Ryan, narrated by Mark Bramhall, David de Vries, Andrews MacLeod, and Rebecca Soler
This book can cross over between Middle Grade and Young Adult and the audiobook version is one of the highest quality productions so I put it on this list as well as my Best Children’s Audiobooks List. There were different narrators for the different point of views, music playing when it happened in the story, and singing. Definitely the most involved audiobook I’ve listened to. And the story is great as well! I loved the historical setting and the beautiful way it was told of having three individual stories about children in different places and the way the same harmonica connected them all.
The Valiant trilogy by Lesley Livingston, narrated by Fiona Hardingham
It was pretty fascinating to learn about the author’s interpretation of the gladiatrices (female gladiators) who were little known people in history. And I loved being able to see the Celtic and Roman cultures and the ways that those cultures clashed and intersected. The accents the narrator used really gave the feel of the different cultures and made it a very entertaining story to listen to.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, narrated by Steve West and Fiona Hardingham
I first read this book several years ago and really enjoyed it, but I had to reread it as an audiobook after discovering that two of my favorite narrators read the book. The story felt more slow paced to me the second time around, but still really enjoyed it.
The third book in the series comes out June 2018 and then there will be a fourth and final book to follow. The fantasy world in this series is modeled after ancient Rome and is pretty brutal. I wouldn’t recommend the series for really sensitive readers, because this was definitely on the more brutal edge of what I’m comfortable with. I’m actually probably not going to continue with the series after book two, but it’s read by my favorite duo of narrators and they did a wonderful job with the reading. Their narration combined with a gripping plot made it very hard to put down.
Leia, Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray, narrated by Saskia Maarleveld (and other Star Wars audiobooks)
There are many Star Wars novels that fill in the gaps between movies/shows or expand on the movies and listening to them as audiobooks is a great option because they are quite the production! On top of well done narrations there are sound effects and the Star Wars theme music. I’ve listened to a couple of them, including this one, and there are many more available. I enjoyed seeing Leia as a teenager as she began to be involved in the Resistance and being able to read more about her adoptive family. There were little tie-ins to all three Star Wars trilogies and some familiar faces made appearances.
The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye, narrated by Steve West
This book was an instance where I probably liked the book way better listening to it as an audiobook than I would have reading it to myself. Steve West’s narration with the different accents really added to the rich setting. There is a sequel The Crown’s Fate as well, but I actually didn’t like it very much. It didn’t feel like there was much direction in the story and characters lost a lot of their appeal.
I will add to this post as I discover more great audiobooks, so check back for more ideas! You can pin the post so it’s easy to find later.
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