Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I’ve Decided Not to Listen to Audio Books…

…Well, audio books for YA, anyway. I’m about to make a generalization, so bear with me. I listen to a lot of audio books, because it allows me to “read” while working. Usually, your boss frowns upon you reading at your desk when you’re not on break, but as they allow radios in the office, they don’t care what I listen to as long as it doesn’t interfere with my work.

My usually audio books consist of my guilty pleasures, regency romance or some chick-lit. But every so often, I get a YA book in audio form.

The problem I’ve found with most of these audio books—well, at least more times than not—is that the voice is terrible. With the exception of a few, most YA audio books I have read have narrators that make the mc’s sound like babies, or at least far too young for the teens they are supposed to be voicing.

I’ve been listening to The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. Her characters are spunky and witty with a touch of sarcasm. The narrator makes the mc sound like she’s on the verge of laughing at any moment, so the sarcastic lines don’t have the same conviction. She’s bubbly when she should be displaying dry humor, and the character doesn’t sound as spunky as the words make her. Fortunately, I actually LISTEN to the words and have managed to tune out the most annoying parts of the narrator.

I know I take this chance when listening to a book over reading it, but I find that I have more problems with narrators when it’s a YA novel. It was only when I started listening to this last novel that I realized this was the reason I read most of my YA and listen to Adult fiction. Not to mention, I think I pay much more attention to YA novels than I do to adult ones. Most of my adult novels have been recommended to me and I don’t even really know what they’re about before I pop in the disc. With YA, I’ve read the summary, looked up the author (if I haven’t read or heard of them before) and I check out who represents them.

So now, this is my decision—I’m sure you were all waiting on the edge of your seats—I won’t listen to anymore YA audio books. There, I said it. I’m not going to say I’ll never do it again, because I never say never-lol.

How do you guys feel about audio books? Is there a certain genre you are willing to forgo the page and grab the CD? Or does it even matter to you? If you do listen to audio books like me, do you find a difference between YA and adult? My inquiring mind wants to know.


Tere Kirkland said...

Never listened to one before. I'm a heathen, I know. ;)

Part of the experience for me is the voice in my head, telling the story, so I can see how annoying that reader seemed to you.

elfarmy17 said...

I know what you mean, but the audiobooks for Going Bovine and Beauty Queens (both by Libba Bray) are AWESOME. The Beauty Queens one is narrated by Ms. Bray herself, so...

I'm getting all excited just thinking about how awesome it was. Haha.

Karen Denise said...

No, you're no heathen, Tere, but I'd recommend listening to at least one audio book. If you read any J.D. Robb, I like the woman who narrates her novels. Or Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I can't recommed any YA books unfortunately.
You're right, voice is so important to me as well, even more so with YA which is probably why I'm less forgiving of the narrators with YA audio books.

Elfarmy, I may have to check those out on your word. I might not be so ready to give up on YA audio books just yet.

Lola X said...

I quite like audio books. Its fantastic on a long walk around town and that way I can pretend I'm good at multi tasking! Haha!

Such a great post! Love visiting your blog!

Lola x