Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan [Audiobook]

Dash is perusing the bookshelves of one of his favorite bookstores when he finds a notebook. Inside, the notebook contains a set of instructions. As he follows the instructions, he begins to wonder about the girl who wrote them. He decides to join her in this game of dares. As the notebook travels between Dash and Lily, they both become more and more curious about the person on the other side of the pen. Is it friendship? Is it love? Or are they just two people who only get along when they’re writing to each other?

I thought the narrators for this book were AWESOME. I’d 7741325seriously listen to any other books that they’ve read and I wouldn’t even care what they were. Their voices were PERFECT for the characters. Dash was interesting and serious while Lily was sassy and fun. I think having the different narrators and having the book written by two authors really made each character’s voice stand out during their chapters. It was great. I liked that Dash was sarcastic. He had this really dry sense of humor that cracked me up. Lily was awesome too! I don’t know if it was the reader, but she sounded really confident in herself and I liked that. It’s not often where you get a lead female protagonist who just feels confident, you know? A lot of times they’re second guessing themselves and obsessing over their crush. Lily was very refreshing.

I’ll admit, there were some things that I had a hard time suspending my belief over. Like, how in the world to Dash and Lily have so many connections? Every time they pass the notebook back and forth I’m just like, “No way. How do they know someone who can do this for them?” That was really the only negative about this book though (that and a little too much language for my taste). As I said earlier, the two main characters were great and the secondary ones were awesome too. I loved Lily’s family. I thought they were so fun and friendly and obviously in love with Lily.

Overall, it was so much fun to listen to. I’m not sure how it reads, but if you can get the voices right in your head, I’m sure it’s great. Also, it was kind of fun reading about Christmas during a summer road trip!

Overall Rating: 4
Violence: Mild
Language: Moderate. Some strong language (mostly confined to Dash’s chapters with one exception).
Sexual Content: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes [Audiobook]

Cassie’s mom was murdered. Ever since then, she’s been living with her Dad’s family and trying to fit in. When she receives an opportunity to work for the CIA as a profiler, she leaps at the chance. Almost as soon as she begins her work for the CIA, a serial killer in the DC area starts killing women that either look like Cassie’s mother or were in the same line of work as a psychic or medium. Cassie demands to be put on the case, but the CIA says it’s too dangerous.

This was the first audiobook that I listened to on our massive Disneyland road trip. The narrator was okay. Sometimes her voice was a little annoying, but overall it wasn’t so bad. The characters were all very interesting to me. All five had an interesting skill-set and distinct personalities. What I didn’t like was the forced love triangle between Michael, Dean, and Cassie. I liked Michael and Dean as characters, but I didn’t particularly like them as people and I ESPECIALLY didn’t like either of them as love interests. I feel that this book could have been greatly improved without the romance element. The romance made Cassie seem a lot weaker than I think she actually was. She’s working on some tough stuff as a profiler but there were still times when she just seemed like a wuss.

My other issue was that it’s never explained to us how “naturals” come to be. Cassie’s skill is explained and Dean’s is too somewhat, but how did Michael get so good at reading emotions? How did Leah get so good at lying and discerning the truth? How did Sloan get so good with statistics and remembering facts? What makes some people naturals and not others? And why do naturals peak during the teen years? These are questions that would seem important, but were never answered.

I felt that the plot was pretty suspenseful. It kept me wondering nearly the whole time. I started to figure things out in the last few chapters, but I still hadn’t put it all together when the reveal came. I don’t read a ton of mystery books, but I feel like a good mystery book has clues scattered throughout that the reader can put together as the characters are solving it. I wish this book had a little more of that, but that’s my only complaint in the plot area.

Overall, the book was pretty good. I just discovered that there are actually two additional books after this first one: Killer Instinct and All In which comes out November 3rd. At this point, I’m not sure if I’ll read the other two. I think I would if someone just gave them to me, but it’s not a priority of mine at the moment.

Overall Rating: 3
Violence: Heavy. A lot of gore, but not explicit descriptions.
Language: None
Sexual Content: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: None

HELP WANTED: Audiobooks

Hello readers! I’m going to be taking a long road trip fairly soon and I get carsick if I try to read in the car (this is something that has caused me much sadness throughout my life). So I’ve decided to give audiobooks a try instead. I can’t remember the last time I listened to a book on tape, so I need YOUR help picking out what audiobook(s) to bring with me.

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time you can probably tell that I read a lot of YA–mostly romancey or fantasy stuff–but I am open to reading other books. What are some audiobook titles that a first timer like me should pick up? Note: I leave next week so think about titles that won’t have holds at the library.