Recent Reads | Audiobook Mini Reviews

I didn’t actually have a whole lot of mini reviews from March (only 1) and I already have a few for April so far, so I thought I’d just do a little bit of a combo and have a recent reads mini review post. After all that unnecessary rambling is out of the way, here are my thoughts on some books I’ve read recently.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas


Rating:  ★★★☆☆ (3.75 Stars)
Release Date: February 5, 2019

All these folks I’ve never met became gods over my life. Now I gotta take the power back.”

I always love books with a music storyline, and On the Come Up has a HUGE focus on music. We follow aspiring rapper Bri as she finds her voice and power in her words in her pursuit of a rap career. I really loved the themes of the book – identity, family, responsibility and accountability for your words – and I thought once again, Angie Thomas’ writing is accessible without ever sacrificing detail or truth. My biggest struggle in the story was with Bri, but I think that’s kinda the point. She’s headstrong and impulsive and she knows it, and she’s working on it. But I often found myself siding with her Mom or brother and I wanted Bri to pause and think for a minute before jumping into a situation headfirst. I still really loved her though and found such power in her words. There is a bit of a romance in the story, it’s a tiny little side plot, but enjoyable. I definitely think the audiobook was an excellent choice for format, Hearing Bri’s rap spoken aloud was great and Bahni Turpin brought such life, expression, and attitude to Angie’s words.

Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarity


Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5 Stars)
Release Date: January 22, 2019

“Sometimes, there aren’t words and that’s okay.”

If you’ve enjoyed McGarity’s mildy angsty wrong-side-of-the-track romances, you might be surprised at the intense emotional toll Only a Breath Apart will take on you. Following childhood friends who’ve drifted apart and have now come back into each other’s lives, Jesse and Scarlett are each battling some intense demons that threaten their happiness and their futures. There wasn’t really anything that I disliked about the story, but nothing I really loved either. The setting and atmosphere: good, the characters: good, the romance: good, the progression and character journey: good. The story was engaging and executed well, I just didn’t fall head over heels in love. The story didn’t sugar coat anything, and when there’s physical and verbal abuse, the emotional trauma weighs heavy. I liked the messiness of the story. It felt real, even if there was a whisper of magical realism with the Lachlin curse and psychic energy. Overall I thought this was a solid quick read and I’m definitely going to read more from McGarity.

Massive TRIGGER WARNING for verbal and physical spousal abuse and childhood trama

Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson


Rating: ★★★★☆
Release Date: March 12, 2019

“Shame, turned inside out, is rage.”

I feel like I can never find the words to accurately convey my thoughts about memoir or non0fiction books, because who am I to judge someone else’s life and stories. But Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson is as moving and impactful as you hope. The story is filled with fear, anger, frustration, determination, loneliness, and hopefulness. It’s a call to honor all the women in our lives and a rallying cry to stand against rape culture. It was wonderful listening to Laurie’s story in her own words, the audiobook is only like 3.5 hours and I defintely think it’s the way to go for this book. There are definitely momets that are hard to lsiten to, but Shout is such a powerful story, you can’t pass it up.

“too many grown-ups tell kids to follow their dreams
like that’s going to get them somewhere
Auntie Laurie says follow your nightmares instead
cuz when you figure out what’s eating you alive
you can slay it”

Have you read read any of these books? Which do you think you’ll pick up first? Share below!


2 thoughts on “Recent Reads | Audiobook Mini Reviews

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