Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Review: Frozen Northern Lights: Journey to the Lights

Welcome back to the world of Frozen!  Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and friends continue their adventures in Frozen Northern Lights: Journey to the Lights! A rock troll, Little Rock, is ready for a new crystal and with the help of his friends he will earn his tracking crystal.

Adolescent Audio Adventures review of Frozen Northern Lights: Journey to the Lights audiobook

I felt that author, Suzanne Francis (Disney Press) captured the character very well. Olaf was so Olaf and everyone else seemed true to their personalities first introduced in the movie. If readers want more Frozen, this is a fine book. I could hear the kid appeal. I was intrigued to see where the story would go as I did enjoy the movie. I doubt that I would listen to this book again. I would recommend this book to Frozen fans or young listeners who are earning badges.

Narrator Andrew Eiden was a fine narrator for Frozen Northern Lights: Journey to the Lights. He had different character voices and youthfulness in his narration. I would listen to him again.

Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, Blackstone Audio!

I received this audiobook for free from Audiobook Jukebox for an honest review.

Audio Book Details...
Frozen Northern Lights: Journey to the Lights by Suzanne Francis
Read by Andrew Eiden
Produced by Blackstone Audio / Disney Press
Number of Discs: MP3 download (20 parts)
Total Time: 2 hours, 23 minutes
Release Date: July 19, 2016
ASIN: B01INXXGJW

Monday, December 26, 2016

Review: Grayling's Song

Grayling's Song is a juvenile fiction novel written by Karen Cushman. She created a medieval world with magic. Grayling sets off on a journey to find magical people who can help her mother (and others along the way) who is turning into a tree. It's a ragtag team that comes together and helps Grayling along the way. It's a fine quest story. The unlikely characters are a good mix of interesting. It reminded me a little bit of Christopher Healy's series, The League of Princes. Grayling is more serious, and Healy is more humorous. I picked up Grayling's Song because of the narrator, Katherine Kellgren, and the fantasy element. If readers appreciate, medieval times, music, or Ms. Kellgren I would recommend this book to them.

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Grayling's Song by Karen Cushman
Katherine Kellgren was an amazing narrator. Grayling sings throughout the story and Kellgren sings to tunes, too. Acapella. I am every so impressed when music is added to an audiobook. I am even more impressed when narrators feel comfortable and confident while singing without a tune in the background. Wow! Beyond the singing, Kellgren offers different voices for each character which sounded very authentic to the type of character Cushman described: crabby weather witch, languid enchantress, a befuddled wizard, and more. I would definitely listen to Kellgren again.

Grayling's Song reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
Grayling's Song by Karen Cushman
Read by Katherine Kellgren
Produced by Recorded Books
Number of Discs: 4
Total Time: 5 hours, 6 minutes
Release Date: June 7, 2016
ISBN: 9781501916922

Monday, November 28, 2016

Quick Review: Princess in Black series

Princess in Black is an easy chapter book series by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale. The illustrations are by LeUyen Pham. There are currently four titles available in the series:

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews Princess in Black series
1 - The Princess in Black
2 - The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party
3 - The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde
4 - The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation

Books 1-3 were in an audiobook collection, while book 4 was a standalone audiobook. Since these books are easy chapter books, the audiobooks were very short - about 20 minutes each. Each book is read by narrator Julia Whelan. I thought I heard Whelan read before, but checking the blog I don't have her documented. Interesting. I liked her voice. She was youthful and gave different characters different voices or characteristics. I thought she maintained her character voices well between all four stories.

The stories are fun and for a young audience. It was a fine read for this youth librarian. They read very quickly. I can see the appeal for girls, guys, and families. The "battle scenes" were similar to retro Batman - *Bam!* and *Pow!* That was fun. I would recommend this to families to read together or readers who want to begin chapter books.

The Princess in Black, Books 1-3 reviewed from a library copy. I received The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation audiobook from Penguin Random House for an honest review. Thank you, Listening Library!

Audio Book Details...
The Princess in Black, Books 1-3 by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
Series: The Princess in Black
Read by Julia Whelan
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 1
Total Time: 55 minutes
Release Date: February 9, 2016
ISBN: 9780735209916 / 9780735209923

Audio Book Details...
The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
Series: Book 04, The Princess in Black
Read by Julia Whelan
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 1
Total Time: 19 minutes
Release Date: November 8, 2016
ISBN: 9780735210141

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Review: A Most Magical Girl

A Most Magical Girl takes place in Victorian England. Proper young lady, Annabel Grey, goes to her great aunt where they share magic with her. It is unbelievable that her mother never mentioned any of this to her. Now she is told that she needs to learn quickly in order to find the Moreover Wand in under London. She needs to fight white magic against the black magic that has arrived in London.

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews A Most Magic Girl audiobook

I was uncertain about A Most Magical Girl. I have been avoiding narrator Jayne Entwistle for some time. Occasionally her character voices get under my skin and I turn her off. I like a fantasy tale and I haven't heard Entwistle for a while, so I gave this audiobook a listen. The story was strange, but the narration was well done.

The story is a dark, gothic tale of good versus evil and young versus old. (Some moments reminded me of Neil Gaiman stories.) Mr. Angel was the dark magician who called up darklings from the shadows which is a bit unsettling. I preferred to imagine them as little inkblots in motion rather than how they were actually described. Annabel Grey did have a "friend," Kitty, who was along during the whole adventure. Kitty was interesting and wild and magical. Annabel and Kitty's adventure was nearly the entire length of the book. The wrap up at the end seemed rather short in comparison to the lengthy journey. The most interesting part of the book for me was the dark magic machine Mr. Angel created. It was fed by mourning tokens of the Victorian age. That historical addition was short and fascinating.

As I previously stated, Jayne Entwistle is the narrator for A Most Magical Girl. It was a good listen. Her voices were believable for all the characters. Annabel and Kitty were the main characters, but there were elderly ladies and gentlemen, trolls, Mr. Angel, and darklings. The character voices were maintained throughout the whole book. I would give Entwistle another go after hearing A Most Magical Girl.

I received this audiobook from Penguin Random House for an honest review. Thank you, Listening Library!

Audio Book Details...
A Most Magical Girl by Karen Foxlee
Read by Jayne Entwistle
Produced by Listening Library
Number of Discs: 7
Total Time: 8 hours, 13 minutes
Release Date: August 2, 2016
ISBN: 9780147521033 / 9780147521040





Monday, November 7, 2016

Review: The Writings of Paul Frees

Paul Frees is a legendary voice actor. His voice appears in some of my favorite movies. I was interested in what he wrote and I was in for a surprise. It was not what I expected. He wrote during a different era. The following selections are on the audiobook The Writings of Paul Frees:

Adolescent Audio Adventures reviews The Writings of Paul Frees
Monster from Dimension X (script)
Spike Jones letter
The Collector's Item (Bats)
I'm Drowning My Sorrows lyrics
Partners in Crime (TV Series w/ Jeremiah & Jennifer Shade)
Who Knows? (audition script)
Freddy (short story)

Frees wrote some science fiction and science fiction isn't one of my top genres. It was interesting and a bit creepy. The first story made it hard to continue listening to the whole audiobook. The format of a read script didn't put me off, it was the story. The sound creature, or monster, killed people. The Collector's Item was interesting. It sounded like a silly commercial about a mad man with bats in his attic. And the short story, Freddy, was interesting, too. Freddy was a story about a science loving kid.

Paul Frees' son, Fred Frees, narrated the collection. He's dynamic like his father. I wasn't observant enough to notice that Fred read the book until I was writing my review. I was listening for voices that I recognized and was confused. After realizing my mistake, I knew why Fred's voices were a bit different from Paul's voices that I knew growing up.

Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, Blackstone Audio!

Audio Book Details...
The Writings of Paul Frees: Scripts and Songs from the Master of Voice, 2nd Edition by Paul Frees
Read by Fred Frees
Produced by BearManor Media
Number of Discs: MP3 download
Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Release Date: May 31, 2016
ISBN: 9781504743006

Monday, October 24, 2016

Audiobook Bloggers Week 2016 : Thank you!

A belated, but very sincere ...



Thank you for stopping by and reading Adolescent Audio Adventures!
Thank you for joining in the fun and blogging along with me!
Thank you for sharing the love of audiobooks!

I had a wonderful time reading blog posts and sharing my love of listening. I hope you had a great week as well. I am all ready looking forward to next year's Audiobook Bloggers Week. I hope you can join me and other bloggers as we celebrate audiobooks. #AudiobookBloggersWeek



Thursday, October 13, 2016

Audiobook Bloggers Week 2016 : #ThrowbackThursday

Welcome to Audiobook Bloggers Week Thursday! Or should I say Throwback Thursday? It's a fun way to reflect on the past.


For the longest time, my most popular blog post was The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart. I don't know why it was so popular. I thought it was a children's story and I would say it is not. Jim Dale is amazing, but the story is, well, adult. The Strange Case of the Origami Yoda rose to popularity and I think it is because it's a popular series. This week I am surprised and thrilled to share that Audiobook Bloggers Week is Coming is the newest and most popular post! Thank you for joining me on this journey!! I couldn't do it without you!

What are your favorite books to hear?

I'm a big fan of fantasy! My go-to books to recommend are ...

Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull (complete series)
Five Kingdoms series by Brandon Mull (The next installment is coming!)
The Unwanteds series by Lisa McMann (complete series, spin off coming)
The Books of Beginning series by John Stephens (complete series)
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (standalone story with 2 amazing narrations)
Savvy series by Ingrid Law (complete series)

I also enjoy stories that share funny moments. Here are couple recommendations for a laugh ...

The Brixton Brothers series by Mac Barnett (3 out of the 4 are audiobooks)
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood (The next installment is coming!)
The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency by Jordan Stratford (Currently two books and I can't wait for the next.)
The Hero's Guide Series by Christopher Healy (complete series)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Audiobook Bloggers Week 2016: #WednesdayWhere

It's the middle of our Audiobooks Bloggers Week 2016! Today we're going to share where we find audiobooks. If you're a book lover, you want to read all the books or listen to all the audios. Maybe you have a special budget or no budget.


Here's my top place for CD audiobooks: my public library.

My library will not have every book ever created, but they have a vast assortment. I can also request books from other libraries in our consortium or request an interlibrary loan which requests books from outside our consortium. It's pretty neat!

My top place for digital audiobooks: my public library.

The library works with Overdrive to offer e-books and e-audiobooks. Again, not every book but a great variety of books to enjoy. Each library and/or consortium will have different books to checkout, but titles are easy to download and listen. These books are also automatically returned when they are due, so my late fees do not increase. Another digital perk is visiting the Overdrive library at any time of the day or night. Overdrive hours are 24/7.

If you're not close to a library or don't have a library card, where can you go for audiobooks?

There are companies who sell audiobooks in store or online. You can buy books individually or sign-up for a subscription. I have not subscribed to a service, but I've purchased a few digital audiobooks when Audible had a sale on youth audiobooks. I also stumbled across a few titles at Half Price Books and area thrift shops. I won a couple audiobooks through giveaways. Every once in a while, audiobook companies offer free audiobooks! During the summer, AudiobookSYNC runs an amazing program for audiobook listeners.



Here are a few companies you can explore and see if they have books you might enjoy...

Audible
Blackstone Audio
Books on Tape
Brilliance Audio
christianaudio.com
Downpour
Dreamscape Media
Full Cast Audio
Hachette Audio
Harper Audio
HighBridge Audio
Listening Library
Live Oak Media
Oasis Audio
Penguin Random House Audio
Recorded Books
Scholastic Audio
Skyboat Media
Simon & Schuster Audio
Tantor Media

This is by no means a complete list of every single audiobook company in the world. I tried to share the companies I know at this time. Happy listening friends!




Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Audiobook Bloggers Week 2016: Travel Tuesday

It's day three of Audiobook Bloggers Week 2016! We're talking travel today. Do you travel with audiobooks? Do you take them on vacation? Do you take them to the gym? Where do you like to listen to audiobooks?


My number one location for audiobooks is listening while traveling in the car. I consider my car rare because I have a six disc CD changer and I love it! I can put a whole book in the player and just keep driving without worrying about changing discs in the middle of my travels. I also have an MP3 player that I load up and use if the story is digital rather than on disc.

I also like to walk and read. Sometimes I can run and read as well, but it needs to be a moving story to keep a good pace. Some of my most memorable stories that I heard while walking/running include Small Steps and Veronica Mars.

Do you walk or run and read? What type of story moves you?

Monday, October 10, 2016

Audiobook Bloggers Week 2016: Motivation Monday

It's day two of Audiobook Bloggers Week 2016! We're discussing motivation this Monday. Life is full of hills and valleys and blogging is no different. I feel like I'm walking out of a valley right now. My current valley is I need to write reviews! I've been listening to audiobooks, but failing to write a review. I like to be thoughtful about books I hear, but with so many stories stacking up I'm going to forget (or have forgotten) my initial feelings, notes, or ideas about the book and the narrator.

Audiobook Bloggers Week Motivation Monday at Adolescent Audio Adventures

I've read about other bloggers having the same valley. They have written about and encouraged others to write quick reviews. Quick reviews are still meaningful, but shorter and to the point. I'm going to try my hand at it and play catch up with my pile of finished books. Instead of paragraphs about the story and the narrator, I'm going to write a couple of sentences and maybe use a questions and answer format.

When you read reviews, do you look for a lengthy review or something short & to the point?
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