Top 5 – Audiobook Recommendations

Today, I want to start a new segment. My boyfriend and I were discussing Buzzfeed and “Listicles” earlier and I really got nostalgic for the old articles that had lists of things that the author liked / had tried / etc. So, today, I present, Monica’s Top 5. I want to highlight my five favorites in a given category.

Today’s Theme: Audiobooks

Audiobooks can be daunting for some readers / listeners. I’ve heard mixed things. A lot of my bookish friends love them (and swear by them), and, as you may or may not know, I love them. I have had a super long commute before COVID hit in NYC so I used to listen to all kinds of audiobooks during that time. Now, I actually listen to more while working from home because it’s so weird and lonely not talking to anyone for most of the day. Anyway, I love them and want to share some of my favorites.

1. Scythe by Neal Shusterman – this series is amazing. If you like dystopian with a sci-fi feeling but not overwhelmingly sci-fi, definitely check this series out. The narrator really brings this series to life.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: Humanity has conquered all those things and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life – and they are commanded to do so in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe – a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

2. The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen – this series was originally written as an audiobook. You actually can’t get the second book in physical format yet as only the audiobook is available. I loved all the scene change music and drama that is included in this series. It’s phenomenal on audio.

What if you fell in love with the one person you’d sworn to destroy? 

Lara has only one thought for her husband on their wedding day: I will bring your kingdom to its knees. A princess trained from childhood to be a lethal spy, Lara knows that the Bridge Kingdom represents both legendary evil – and legendary promise. The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom controls all trade and travel between lands, allowing its ruler to enrich himself and deprive his enemies, including Lara’s homeland. So when she is sent as a bride under the guise of fulfilling a treaty of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture the defenses of the impenetrable Bridge Kingdom. 

But as she infiltrates her new home – a lush paradise surrounded by tempest seas – and comes to know her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question where the true evil resides. Around her, she sees a kingdom fighting for survival, and in Aren, a man fiercely protective of his people. As her mission drives her to deeper understanding of the fight to possess the bridge, Lara finds the simmering attraction between her and Aren impossible to ignore. Her goal nearly within reach, Lara will have to decide her own fate: Will she be the destroyer of a king or the savior of her people?

3. Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw – I just love her writing style. Also, I think that books told from first person narration lend themselves really well to audiobook formatting. It just sounds so organic to hear a narrator say “I went to the grocery store.” Rather than “She went to the grocery store.” I love the way the narrator’s voice in the audiobook of Winterwood felt like what I imagined the voice for the main character would sound like.

Be careful of the dark, dark wood…. 

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.  

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman – the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago – and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.  

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own – secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.  

4. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – despite the fact that Throne of Glass is my favorite SJM series, I think ACOTAR’s writing style lended itself really nicely to narration in an audiobook. I really liked the narrator and I though she captured Feyre’s voice well as well as having a good range for the other characters.

When 19-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin – one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin – and his world – forever.

5. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin – again, this book was perfection. And reading it again as an audiobook only made me love it more. The narrators were so perfect and they really added to the drama and tension between the characters.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

As a huntsman of the Church, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. But when Lou pulls a wicked stunt, the two are forced into an impossible situation – marriage.

Lou, unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, must make a choice. And love makes fools of us all.

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