I have tried audiobooks before now, but I found that I couldn’t get through one that wasn’t a book I had read a million times before, i.e. Harry Potter. I could zone out when someone was reading Harry Potter to me and it didn’t matter because I know all of those books so well. (See my post on rereading books). I wasn’t holding out much hope for audiobooks when one of my friends gave me a list of eight audiobooks on her iPod for my trip out to Big Bend National Park. She gave me Matched by Ally Condie, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, Scarlet by Melissa Myer, The Selection by Kiera Cass, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Shatter Me by Tehereh Mafi, and Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. I started with Shatter Me for the trip. I HATED it. I didn’t like the narrator. I didn’t like the world. I didn’t like the main character, whose name I can’t remember. Mafi uses a strikeout throughout the novel that I think would have been effective in print, but listening to it was annoying and distracting. It definitely left a negative impression on me.
Even with that bad experience, I decided to audiobooks another try. I had heard so many good things about Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (for a review please go here.) and I couldn’t find a copy to read, so I finally decided to listen to it instead. I was doing deliveries at work and needed something to listen to while I sat in traffic. It was brilliant. I loved the narrator. She did the voices so impressively well that I don’t know if I want to read the sequel or listen to it. (This is a serious question for me because audiobooks are expensive to buy.) While I know I still would have enjoyed Shadow and Bone immensely, I don’t know if I would have enjoyed it as much as I did listening to it. The Darking’s voice was so sultry and sexy. I couldn’t have ever come up with that voice on my own.
What I discovered while listening to Shadow and Bone is that sometimes it’s nice to be apart of how someone else perceives the novel. Usually reading is just between reader and author. The contract between author and reader is unique. Both the author and reader being an integral part to the process of reading. Listening to an audiobook brings someone else into this contract. The narrator brings his or her own ideas about the book and shares it with the listener. In a way, listening to the audiobook allows me to do less work while reading. Someone else has already transformed the world. I can just relax and enjoy.
Even though I loved listening to Shadow and Bone, I was still hesitant of audiobooks when I started listening to The Raven Boys. I wasn’t yet the audiobook advocate that I am now. I loved the narrators voice in Shadow and Bone. Her voice was beautiful and captivating. The narrator of The Raven Boys is a man. (For a review go here.) I wasn’t sure how I felt about his voice at the beginning, but it ended up being just as enthralling. After listening to The Raven Boys, I was fully converted into an audiobooks lover. I have now finished The Selection (review coming soon), am in the middle of Seraphina and can’t wait to be able to start the rest of the audiobooks my friend gave me. I highly encourage everyone to give audiobooks a try. Even if you don’t like the first one you pick up, try again. I’ve come to the conclusion that people who don’t like audiobooks are like reluctant readers; they just haven’t found the right one.