Audiobook Mini-Reviews

Clap When You Land

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Narrators: Elizabeth Acevedo & Melania-Luisa Marte

Publication Date: 05 May 202

Genre: YA Contemporary

Length: 5 hours 32 minutes

Synopsis:

n a novel-in-verse that brims with grief and love, National Book Award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.

And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

My Thoughts:

Elizabeth Acevedo delivers another masterpiece of a story, which is also in verse. The stories of Camino and Yahaira and how they intersected were heartbreaking yet hopeful. Both girls shared the same father, but neither knew of the other until the tragic passing of their father.

As with Acevedo’s previous books, the emotions of both Camino and Yahaira are palpable from the words. There’s so much pain, confusion, and anger between the two of them as they process how their father could have betrayed them in such a manner. Additionally, we get to see the beautiful and rich culture of the Dominican Republic and how that culture has also blended into American culture in New York City.

What amazes me most about Acevedo’s books is the authenticity of her writing, which is highlighted in Clap When You Land from the descriptions of both girls to their home lives to the issues that are raised in the Afro-Latinx community. Absolute perfection. Oh, and one last shout out that was so unexpected BUT I loved was the queer story line! Y’all, go get this book!

Rating: 5/5 stars!

The Roxy Letters

Author: Mary Pauline Lowry

Narrator: Jayme Mattler

Publication Date: 07 April 2020

Genre: Adult Fiction – Romantic Comedy

Length Time: 9 hours 39 minutes

Synopsis:

Meet Roxy. She’s a sometimes vegan, always broke artist with a heart the size of Texas and an ex living in her spare bedroom. Her life is messy, but with the help of a few good friends and by the grace of the goddess Venus she’ll discover that good sex, true love, and her life’s purpose are all closer than she realizes.

Bridget Jones penned a diary; Roxy writes letters. Specifically: she writes letters to her hapless, rent-avoidant ex-boyfriend—and current roommate—Everett. This charming and funny twenty-something is under-employed (and under-romanced), and she’s decidedly fed up with the indignities she endures as a deli maid at Whole Foods (the original), and the dismaying speed at which her beloved Austin is becoming corporatized. When a new Lululemon pops up at the intersection of Sixth and Lamar where the old Waterloo Video used to be, Roxy can stay silent no longer.

As her letters to Everett become less about overdue rent and more about the state of her life, Roxy realizes she’s ready to be the heroine of her own story. She decides to team up with her two best friends to save Austin—and rescue Roxy’s love life—in whatever way they can. But can this spunky, unforgettable millennial keep Austin weird, avoid arrest, and find romance—and even creative inspiration—in the process?

My Thoughts:

This is the type of book that you read when you want to distract yourself from the craziness in the rest of the world as well as tell yourself that living really isn’t all that bad because Roxy is a hot mess. She’s a 28 year old vegan, dog-lover, and struggling artist who works at the local Whole Foods as a deli worker. When she needs extra cash for rent, she rents out her spare bedroom to her ex-boyfriend Everett and starts a series of letters to him, which is this book.

As long as you don’t take most of this book seriously, it is a lot of fun and reminds us to rely on friends and loved ones especially during the worst of times. Yes, Roxy is immature at times considering she’s 28 years old and makes some really questionable decisions. But when life isn’t going how you planned it, you might as well have a few laughs along the way, which she definitely does.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Audio and Libro.FM for providing an ALC for review. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars.

Stalking Jack the Ripper

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Narrator: Nicola Barber

Publication Date: 20 September 2016

Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Mystery

Length: 9 hours 26 minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

MY THOUGHTS:

I always make the assumption with YA that the author is going to stray away from the gruesome and gory details, which is illogical on my part. Kerri Maniscalco delivers a compelling and fascinating story where we return to gruesome tirade of Jack the Ripper, and she doesn’t spare us any of the gory details! This book was so much darker than I was anticipated and I loved it.

Audrey Rose is an incredible MC. She’s wicked intelligent, independent, snarky, and refuses to back away from passion of forensic medicine simply because she’s a girl. Additionally, she doesn’t allow gender roles define her, which I loved. If she wants to wear a dress, she will. If she wants to be knee deep in entrails, she will. Loved her.

I’ll be honest, I’m still not sold on Thomas because he’s such an arrogant piece of work. What I will say though is his character definitely reminds me of the traditional male subject matter expert that society gets behind, so it’s not like he’s inaccurate by any means. I’m hoping he will grow on my later, but for now, meh.

Can’t wait for the next book!

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Sadie

Author: Courtney Summers

Narrators: Full Cast

Publication Date: 04 September 2018

Genre: YA Mystery

Length Time: 7 hours 57 minutes

SYNOPSIS:

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

MY THOUGHTS:

My thoughts are literally this: holy hell, why did I take so long to be introduced to this amazing story?! Everything about this story is phenomenal. I LOVED the alternative format with the podcast reports throughout. This is one of those times that my thoughts are going to be super vague because I really think you need to go into this one blind and just experience the entire thing. It’s worth it.

Rating: 5/5 stars!

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