Do Narrators Make or Break the Audiobook?

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I don’t know about you guys, but for me, the narrator is one of the most important factors in the quality and enjoyment of an audiobook. If the narrator is boring or hard to understand, I find myself daydreaming and not listening to the book and having to go back over and over and over again; usually, I end up not finishing/deleting said book.

Some audiobooks I have loved are pretty much any Debbie Macomber book – her narrators are absolutely phenomenal. They truly know how to portray different roles in a story and have wonderful inflection and tone that make it easy and interesting to listen to. Some of my favorites by Macomber that I’ve listened to on Audible are An Engagement in Seattle, A Walk Along the Beach, Cottage By the Sea, and the entire Rose Harbor series. I’ve read the hard copies of some as well, but the audiobooks just make you feel like you’re right there with the characters, experiencing everything with them.

Other audiobooks I have enjoyed are the books in the Sweet Magnolias series by Sherryl Woods. If any of you have seen the Sweet Magnolias series on Netflix, you should definitely read or listen to the book series. It’s spot on with the show and it’s just an amazing story of growth, change, love, and more. Check out the first book Stealing Home and let me know what you think!

Now, some audiobooks I did not enjoy and just couldn’t finish due to the narration are Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell and My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni. I found both narrators to be extremely hard to listen to as they kind of droned on and had no intention or enthusiasm to what they were reading. UGH. I ended up reading Then She Was Gone the paperback and it was amazing. Seriously, the narrators make a whole world of difference.

Does anyone agree with me?! Disagree?? Share your opinions and some of your favorite audiobooks!

BOOK REVIEW: This Will Be Funny Someday by Katie Henry

Never have I ever read a Katie Henry book until This Will Be Funny Someday after it came up while browsing on my Kindle Paperwhite. The reviews said it was “laugh-out-loud funny” and I knew I just had to give it a shot. WELL… let me tell you… this book was absolutely hilarious. I think part of me found it even more funny because I relate to the main character/narrator more than anyone could possibly understand! Let’s get started on what I thought…

Isabel Vance (or Izzy V to the comedy club world) is not your typical 16 year old girl. Born and raised in Chicago with her hot-shot attorney mother, hard-working father, and older twin siblings Charlotte and Peter, Isabel feels isolated from people, including her family. She’s not too social, other than around her boyfriend, Alex, who is extremely controlling and specifically chooses her friends. She’s been made to feel like her voice can’t be heard, so why try speaking? Everyone talks over her – her parents, her siblings, classmates, even Alex sometimes.

Until one day, when plans with her ever-busy mother fall through and she had already told Alex she couldn’t get together, Isabel is hiding from him when she sees him out on the street so he doesn’t catch her in a lie. She runs to hide in a small building, which we soon find out is a comedy club. Next thing you know, Isabel is on the stage.

After, she meets some friends, local college students – Mo, Jonah, and Will. They hit up local comedy clubs in their free time and perform stand-up. After seeing Isabel “perform” that day, they invite her to tag along sometime on their next comedy excursion (assuming she’s also a fellow college student, and not a 16 tear old high school junior).

Long story short, so as to not ruin the whole story, we see “Izzy V” transform through this book. She learns how toxic her relationship is with Alex, recreates an old friendship she had with her classmate Naomi, and also has relationships blossom with both her sister Charlotte and her mother. Eventually, after many nights out together, helping Izzy prepare for stand-up gigs, and performances in different clubs, the truth comes out about Isabel’s real age and real life. Will Izzy and Mo remain as tight knit as they were?

GO READ IT! This book made me LOL on multiple occasions. I read 20 pages one day and a few days later read the other 380. SO so awesome.

Follow Isabel Vance, the shy, quiet, isolated teen on her journey to becoming Izzy, the bold, confident, outspoken woman she always should have been.

Has anyone else read this one?! What’d you think??

Weekend’s just about over. Keep reading!!

BOOK REVIEW: Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman

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Hello, readers!

I’m sure many of you have read this book, as it was one of the top books of 2020 on many different lists. That happens to be why I read it – many raving reviews, top rated, etc. Well… here is my review of Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman.

On Goodreads, I gave it 4 out of 5 stars, which overall, is a pretty good rating. I thought long and hard before I rated and reviewed this book because I wasn’t sure what to think or say. It took me over 100 pages to finally be drawn into the story; over 210 pages to finally say “OH! WOW!” and want to binge read the rest.

This story follows the life and thoughts of a young woman, Eleanor Oliphant. She lived a traumatic childhood and is learning how to finally navigate society and have a social life as an adult after isolating herself for many years. While the writing style of the book makes it entertaining as you follow Eleanor through drunken stupor and fantasy-like thoughts, I felt as though throughout the whole novel I was left wondering why she was this way. She has weekly Wednesday phone calls with her Mummy readers are led to believe is in prison, which we (SPOILER) later learn, towards the end of the book, are not real and have been a figment of her imagination this whole time.

Most of this story revolves around Eleanor’s secret fantasy of meeting and falling in love with local “rockstar” Johnnie Lomand – as readers learn as the story goes on, Eleanor truly has no idea how real life works and how the social world works, and come to find out, Eleanor learns too, the very hard way. She turns to alcohol as her coping mechanism on many occasions and you read through many pages of wondering how this could possibly end if this is how bad she truly is.. Lying nude, alone, on the floor of her apartment looking for at least one bottle of vodka that isn’t empty. WOOF!

I think my favorite character I met and followed in this story is Raymond, Eleanor’s coworker and eventual “pal.” Raymond helps Eleanor adjust to social life and the real world, without even knowing Eleanor is afraid of the world or why she is the way she is. We are also introduced to Sammy, the elderly man Raymond and Eleanor find lying in the street with his groceries. He’s not a long-lived character in the story, but he brings a lot of joy and love by welcoming Raymond and Eleanor into his life and family, and Eleanor grows a fondness to him as well.

Let’s just say, I felt like this book was all over the place, much like this review. I’m spitting out my thoughts because I felt like the book spit out pieces of the true story, while we tiptoed around it with Eleanor. The whole time I’m thinking, “Just get to the point already! Why is she like this? What happened to her? Why does she have a scar on her face she keeps mentioning? Hellooooo??” BUT by the end, everything finally came together and I thought, “Ok, that all makes sense, but there was really no reason for it all to be drawn out that long for that point.”

It’s a great story, written in a very odd manner, in my opinion. You might find you think differently! (Also, maybe I should’ve given it 3 out of 5 stars based on my actual review…?? I’m still confused on my own level of love for this book.)

Happy Thursday!

Keep calm and read on! The weekend is almost here 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: The Best of Friends by Lucinda Berry

*SPOILER ALERT – THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.

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The Best of Friends – by Lucinda Berry is one of THE BEST books I have read in a long time. I had never read anything by Lucinda Berry before, but this was amazing and I will definitely be checking out more of her books.

Again, THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS.

This story revolves around three best friends – Dani, Kendra, and Lindsey – and their families. Each woman is experiencing something different in their marriages, and each one is a secret. These secrets eventually come out after one night, when their three teenage sons – Caleb, Sawyer, and Jacob, respectively, are hanging out together at Dani’s house when they get their hands on a gun.

The story takes you through the parents’ woes of trying to piece together what happened that dreaded evening and who shot who. The gun belonged to Bryan and Dani, the parents of Caleb, who swear their son would never shoot or use their gun irresponsibly or recklessly.

BIGGEST SPOILER – The boys were very drunk and high when it occurred. Caleb (Dani’s son) shot Sawyer (Kendra’s son) in the abdomen, killing him. Jacob (Lindsey’s son) took the gun and shot himself in the head, which ultimately made him braindead and killed him by the end of the book.

Throughout trying to figure out how this all happened, Dani experiences domestic violence in her home and finally calls it quits and tells once her husband Bryan physically hurts their daughter, Luna. Lindsey experiences her “perfect husband” emotionally cheating online with a woman he’s never met when they have two children at home and one in the hospital in a coma. Kendra ends up having to admit to her husband after many years that she has been giving her son Reese prescription Adderall for his ADHD even though Paul forbade it due to being against medicating children. This infuriates him as they find out their son Reese has been selling Adderall and possibly taking it on top of the secret dose his mother has been giving him all these years.

Also – who would’ve thought that two of the boys were gay and in love with each other?

A lot of reviewers say the parents seem super clueless in this book, but I find it to be pretty accurate with today’s times! There are plenty of kids that lie to their parents about where they are and what they’re doing and plenty of parents that are unaware. I thought it was perfect. I was on my toes the entire book WITH these characters trying to get down to the bottom of what happened that evening their lives changed forever.

There are so many more spoilers I could give – such as why the other children of the women (Reese and Luna) feel involved in the incident with the boys or what happens to Dani in her escape from Bryan and Lindsey in her battle of learning to let go of both her son and her husband. BUT I am SO not doing that because I want you to READ IT! I read it on my Kindle Paperwhite and I loved every second of it. I could not put it down.

I can’t wait to read more by Lucinda Berry and share my thoughts with you!

Three Bookish Things Tag!

I haven’t posted in a couple days – I had a funeral to attend, then I had food poisoning, and I’m having complications from surgery so I have to go back into the operating room on Tuesday. (Bleh, please send healing vibes)

I wanted to post today, but really have no energy for thinking up an entire post and typing it out… SO…

I saw this post on Kris’ Boston Book Blogger site and it looked super fun and I figured I can do that today!

SO here it goes…

THREE READ ONCE AND LOVED AUTHORS
  • Dorothy Garlock
  • Kristin Hannah
  • Jennifer Weiner
THREE TITLES I’VE WATCHED BUT HAVEN’T READ
THREE CHARACTERS YOU LOVE
  • Olivia Marsten (Take Me Home)
  • Oskar Schell (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
  • Blue (Blue)

 

THREE SERIES’ BINGED
THREE UNPOPULAR BOOKISH OPINIONS
  • I’m not a fan of book series, like I just mentioned
  • I actually hate when books become movies, especially if I have already read it.
  • I am not a Kindle fan. At all. I’ve had a NOOK for 8 years. Not sorry!

THREE CURRENT FAVOURITE BOOK COVERS
  • Plan out my blog posts rather than trying to attempt at random
  • Don’t bite off more than I can chew
  • Meet some fellow bloggers/gain more followers!

 

I am not tagging anyone because I have a feeling most of the people I would tag have already done this book tag! Feel free to take it, just mention me so I can see! 🙂

Happy Friday! TGIF!

xo – liv

What is “anxiety”

Ever experienced a time where there was just so much on your mind you couldn’t even stay asleep through the night? The constant worry is just there in the back (front and sides) of your mind and it can actually alter the way our body functions.

“Anxiety” and “depressed” are such  lay-terms in this day in age. Everyone will say, “I’m having some anxiety over this…” or “I’m just so depressed over this…”

It’s one thing to be anxious or sad or down in the dumps, but that doesn’t mean you have anxiety or depression.

Anxiety and Depression are medical terms used to diagnose patients with mental illness.

I, unfortunately, happen to suffer from both. I have days where I just do NOT want to get out of bed. My mind says “get up, don’t be lazy, just shake it off,” but the rest of me says, “forget about it – nothing great will happen today.” That’s the depression talking.

I overthink everything. I constantly think I’m doing something wrong or that someone is out to get me or that someone is mad at me for something I may have done, even though I didn’t do anything at all.

I have times where I just feel like my mind has so many thoughts at one time I just don’t know how I’ll ever stop and come to some peace. One thought turns into another two thoughts and those two thoughts branch out into just a forest full of thoughts and, usually, worries or fears. Then once you have that forest, you try to find your way out of the forest of thoughts and worries and fears and just as you start to make some progress…

a forest fire.

THAT, folks, is anxiety. I hope that someday people will stop using these terms [depression, anxiety] as lay terms and realize that there really are some people suffering out there.

 

With mental illness comes coping mechanisms. Most people see a psychiatrist to talk about their feelings and find some sort of medium in their struggles. Many may also take prescription anti-depressants or anti-anxieties. But aside from those, there is also the aspect of self-help which I am a BIG advocate of.

When you’re all alone and you’re having these feelings of doubt and despair, are you going to sit there and wallow? You might. But eventually you’re going to have to pick yourself up and conquer the inner demon that’s eating you.

I’m a big fan of books. Especially self-help books. One book that truly inspired me and kept me on track to getting my degree and just keep persevering is You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. Sincero is a phenomenal author who writes with true integrity and a splash of humor and she has that ability to really grasp the reader. I’d consider this book a good one for those of you who really need the help, but have no motivation to get it. She will inspire you! To do GREAT things! And will really explain to you why we should all understand that we are worth something. We are all here for a reason.

If you’re feeling down and you’re sitting around watching Netflix and eating you’re feelings, go buy that book! Then take it to a park and read it in the fresh air!

 

Seriously, I did it.

 

Twice.

 

🙂