Posted in Audiobook Of The Month

Audiobook Of The Month | Eve Of Man

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It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of both Tom and Giovanna Fletcher’s books. However, when I saw the announcement that they had written a YA book titled Eve Of Man, I was very sceptical. As they are established in their respective age ranges – Tom being a children’s author and Giovanna being an adult romance author – it felt like a strange merge and almost an invasion for them to step into the world of young adult.

Pitched as an “unconventional love story”, Eve of Man takes place in a world where no girls have been born for fifty years. The human race is facing extinction… until Eve. She is Earth’s last hope. Told through two perspectives, readers learn about Eve’s life inside the dome and Bram; one of the many people watching over her.

At the time of writing this post, I am 52% into the audiobook and it’s safe to say that I am really struggling not to give up on it. The story is narrated by two people: Charlotte Ritchie for Eve’s chapters and Josh Dylan for Bram’s. My big issue is that the latter is incredibly boring. While the writing itself shows the passion Bram has, the dramatization makes it seem like the character is just bored and doesn’t really care about Eve. There’s not real vocal changes to represent the characters to I have to rewind a lot to understand which character is saying the dialogue. Eve is much preferable and has that typical style to it that will be recognisable to fans of Giovanna’s books and, because the dramatization is infinitely better, I’m enjoying her chapters a lot more.

The writing itself is really clunky, especially in Bram’s chapters and overall there’s so much telling rather than showing. In these kinds of futuristic stories, I like being given a few breadcrumbs then just thrown in with the character. Whereas in Eve of Man  I’m taken out of the moment a lot as a scene takes place and it suddenly halted for a few minutes of info-dumping.

I plan on going into more concise detail in my full review but I will briefly mention the issues raised about gender stereotypes in this book. To me, it’s understandable that the story has gone down such a confined route, and that there’s a lack of mention for sexualities, but  it seems odd not to bring mention to infertile women in the quest to birth a girl.

Have you read Eve of Man?

What did you think?

Posted in Audiobook Of The Month

Audiobook The Month | Almost Love

As you can tell by the title of this post, it’s that undetermined point in the month when I talk about what audiobook I’ve decided to listen to for this short period of time. We’ve established that I’m terrible at introductions, so let’s get straight into it.

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Almost Love is Louise O’Neill’s first adult book and follows a woman called Sarah who starts to relive a past relationship after bumping into her ex for the first time since their “break up.” Some of the many themes we’ve come to know (and be terrified) of Louise O’Neill for are present this story: consensual and not-consensual sex, power imbalances and obsession. The book flits between the past and present with the former focusing on Sarah’s relationship with Matthew and how she let him use her for sex, constantly checked messages etc and was forced to keep their partnership private for reasons she didn’t really understand, other than that Matthew had told her to. The present focuses on her latest relationship and shows how Sarah hasn’t really evolved: it’s acknowledged in the narrative that she often pretends she’s going to pay even though she knows the men in her life always will and she’s quite abrasive with her current boyfriend.

The audiobook is narrated by Aoife McMahon and there’s just something truly captivating about the way she’s telling the story. Almost Love is a slow story and I think I’d have been easily bored if I was physically reading it, but her narration just has me flying through the chapters.

At the time of writing this, I am 52% into the book and nothing major has really happened but I’m waiting for that typical “Louise O’Neill moment” when impending doom sets free.

Posted in Audiobook Of The Month, Non-Fiction, Uncategorized

Audiobook Of The Month | When They Call You A Terrorist

If you’re wondering “but wait, Charlotte, you’ve already posted your audiobook of the month!” Then you are absolutely right. It turns out that I should stop pushing myself to try other genres out when I know I don’t like them. So I refunded The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet and set about finding a new book to replace it. I listen to a weekly book podcast called Mostly Lit and the guest on one of their episodes was Patrisse Khan-Cullors who is the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement. She talked in great detail about a lot of things in the episode and mentioned her book, When They Call You A Terrorist and read a passage from it.

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I’ve come to learn that the best way to consume non-fiction is by listening to the audiobook because the reader is able to hear the story, and when it comes to listening to something as personal as someone’s life, it can make all of the difference.

As you can tell from the title, When They Call You A Terrorist documents the lives of Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele and the movement in which the individuals would go on to be labelled “terrorists.”

I am 11% into the audiobook, down to the fact I’ve exchanged my credit so late in the month. But it is only short so it’s likely I’ll get it finished before my credit renews.

The most terrifying thing about this book so far is that Patrisse reels off names and places so easily: names like Trayvon Martin and Ferguson. But each of those names and places she refers to further illustrate the points she makes of systematic racism, is not just a name/place or a statistic. Every single one of them refers to a person who lost their life, and a community that was left reeling, and yet those left behind are made to feel like they are the ones in the wrong.

It’s hard-hitting, emotional, but I feel one of the most important books I will read this year.

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Posted in Audiobook Of The Month

Audiobook Of The Month | The Belles

It’s hard to believe that we’re in March with all the snowfall England seems to be getting lately, but it’s time to delve into a new audiobook. This month was a bit of a struggle as nothing really seemed to be grabbing me. I’d heard a lot about The Belles but was on the fence because it sounded like something I would love though mixed reviews had pushed it further down my TBR… until I saw FantasticBooksAndWhereToFindThem’s review which finally swayed me to give it a go.

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Set in Orlèans, the Belles are girls who have the power to make others beautiful. Just like in our world, beauty is a massive industry with magazines, photo cards of the belles and exclusive places residents can go to for treatments from their favourite belle. But the position of honour is the Queen’s Favourite which is the job of Camelia’s dreams.

The audiobook is narrated by Rosie Jones who is utterly outstanding. She has this innocence and wonder to her voice that just fills Camelia’s narrative with life. Listening to the story, the reader can really feel how much the protagonist loves this world and how excited she is at her new career prospects.

The writing is beautiful, woven together with a lot food imagery which works wonders for making the world appear sickly sweet. I don’t know if it’s intentional or not but it’s rather clever.

At the time of writing this post, I am 39% in and still the story hasn’t really gotten going so I feel this may be one of those books where everything else outweighs the plot.

Have you read The Belles? If so, what did you think of it?

And, as always, if you have any audiobook recommendations, please let me know!

Posted in Audiobook Of The Month, contemporary, review

Audiobook(s) Of The Month | Ready Player One & Killing Floor

So I finished my previous audiobook with a few days to go before my Audible credit renewed. Therefore, I did what any other sensible person would do in my position… I bought another audiobook. For that reason, I have two to talk about this month. So let’s get into it:

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A man called Halliday has created a virtual reality universe called The Oasis which is so popular world-wide to the point where people spent most of their lives within it; some even get married to other avatars not knowing where they are in the real world, or what they really look like, and others even go to school. At the start of the story, Halliday dies and leaves his vast fortune to whoever can find the hidden easter egg in the game. The reader follows the protagonist, Wade, on his quest to find it.

I’ve been on the fence for a while about delving into this one but quite a few people recommended the audiobook because Will Wheaton is the narrator. I’m going through phases with it because I can’t work out if Wade is coming across obnoxious because of the writing itself or the dramatisation from Wheaton. I’m really enjoying learning how the world is made up and the tresure hunt element is fun but it just has so many periods where the story seems to really lag.

At the time of writing this, I am 67% into the book.

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Then my audible credit renewed, so I decided to give a new genre a try and picked up Killing Floor which is the first book in the Jack Reacher series. My dad is not a big fiction reader but he really enjoys all of Lee Child’s books to the point where when we’ve seen the films, he’s the one sat there saying “that’s not how it happened in the books!” So I figured I’d find out why he likes them so much. Apparently you don’t have to read  them in publication order because each book is a standalone, but I decided it would be best for to start at the beginning.

Jack Reacher is an ex-military officer who rocks up in a new town only to be arrested as a suspect in a homocide case. There’s just one small detail: he only just got in and the crime happened the previous night.

The narrator for this, Jeff Harding, is awful. He’s so robotic in the way he’s telling the story that it’s difficult to listen to but the story is interesting enough for me to keep going. If I do end up liking it overall and want to read his other works, I’ll probably pick up the physical books.

At the time of writing this, I am 8% into this book because I’ve been focusing more of my time on Ready Player One.

So that’s what I’ve been listening to this month! Do you have any audiobooks you think I need to listen to? What are your personal favourites?

For more of my reading adventures follow me on Goodreads

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Posted in Audiobook Of The Month, discussion, review, romance, young adult

Audiobook Of The Month | P.S. I Still Love You

When I was younger, audiobooks were a special treat on long car journeys. I was the one snuggled up in the back seat reading my physical copy of the chosen book along with the narrator blaring through the speakers. Somewhere along the line that changed and audiobooks became a distant memory.

I’ve heard a lot about Audible ever since it launched with people seemingly left and right throwing their affiliate links at anyone who will listen and so I decided to use my free month trial. I did a full video discussing the good and bad things which can be found here.

So, as you can tell from the title of this post, I am launching a new segment here on my blog giving audiobooks the attention they truly deserve. This will be a monthly feature but I cannot confirm exactly what point in the month they will appear as I want to allow enough time for me to settle in with my current listen before giving any sort of opinion. (Please note that it’s also likely that I will post a full review of the book on here anyway.)

Anyway, with that little introduction out of the way, let’s talk about my current read:

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P.S. I Love You is the sequel to To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (full review can be found here) which follows a girl called Lara Jean who writes letters to boys that she loves and then never sends them. It’s sort of a way of saying goodbye. Unfortunately for her, these letters get sent out and one of them lands in the hands of school heartthrob Peter Kavinsky which leads on to them having a fake relationship so he can win back an ex.

In the sequel, P.S. I Love You, Lara Jean has really fallen for Peter and is looking to hopefully turn their fake relationship into a real one. But exes can be vengeful and when worrying videos of Lara start to make the rounds online, she fears it may be better for her to step down.

If you haven’t read this trilogy yet but you’re looking to start, I highly recommend getting the audiobook version narrated by Laura Knight Keating. Admittedly, I picked up this series after hearing the movie announcement news and didn’t think I would fall in love with it as much as I have. Laura Knight Keating is the best narrator I’ve listened to up to this point. There’s just something about the way she delivers Lara Jean’s story that really brings the character and her story to life. I can only describe it as like being given one long warm hug. Her tone and the flow of her words just create this yearning inside of me to know more about what happens to this character.

I’m not too far into the book -10% at the time of writing this post – but already it holds the same charm as the previous; though I have seen a lot of people say this is the weaker of the three books. It’s interesting seeing the dynamic shift in Lara and Peter’s relationship and I can’t wait to see where this leads next.

For more of my reading adventures follow me on Goodreads

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For bookish photographs follow my instagram: @charlottereadsthings