L-L-L-Little Reviews #43: 5 Audiobooks and a Hardback

Posted October 31, 2022 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 6 Comments

It’s been another couple of busy months with school, so I’ve got September overdue reviews and a few from this month as well! Four of these are actually possible nominees for the Gateway Award, the library committee I’m on. And once this post is up, I’m all caught up on reviews!

Eat Your Heart Out by Kelly deVos
L-L-L-Little Reviews #43: 5 Audiobooks and a HardbackEat Your Heart Out by Kelly deVos
Narrator: Kimberley Wetherell, Rachel L. Jacobs, Robbie Daymond, Michael Crouch, Katie Schorr, Caleb Carlson
Published by Listening Library on June 29, 2021
Genres: YA Horror
Length: 9:30
Source: the library
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: four-stars
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*Running Time => 9 hrs. and 30 mins.*
'Shaun of the Dead' meets 'Dumplin' in this bitingly funny YA thriller about a kickass group of teens battling a ravenous group of zombies.
In the next few hours, one of three things will happen:
■1■We'll be rescued (unlikely)
■2■We'll freeze to death (maybe)
■3■We'll be eaten by thin and athletic zombies (odds: excellent)

Vivian Ellenshaw is fat, but she knows she doesn't need to lose weight, so she's none too happy to find herself forced into a weight-loss camp's van with her ex-best friend, Allie, a meathead jock who can barely drive, and the camp owner's snobby son. And when they arrive at Camp Featherlite at the start of the worst blizzard in the history of Flagstaff, Arizona, it's clear that something isn't right.
Vee barely has a chance to meet the other members of her pod, all who seem as unhappy to be at Featherlite as she does, when a camper goes missing down by the lake. Then she spots something horrifying outside in the snow. Something...that isn't human. Plus, the camp's supposed "miracle cure" for obesity just seems fishy, and Vee and her fellow campers know they don't need to be cured. Of anything.
Even worse, it's not long before Camp Featherlite's luxurious bungalows are totally overrun with zombies. What starts out as a mission to unravel the camp's secrets turns into a desperate fight for survival - and not all of the Featherlite campers will make it out alive.
A satirical blend of horror, body positivity, and humor, Kelly deVos's witty, biting novel proves that everyone deserves to feel validated, and taking down the evil enterprise determined to dehumanize you is a good place to start.
©2021 Kelly deVos (P)2021 Listening Library

My Review:

So this was for the Gateway Award. This is one that is a possibility for the 23-24 school year. I do enjoy a good zombie story. This had some good parts, and some kind of long parts, but overall I enjoyed it. The audio was good, there was a different narrator for each character when it was their chapter or viewpoint. I could see this one being one of the final nominees.

Redshirts by John Scalzi
L-L-L-Little Reviews #43: 5 Audiobooks and a HardbackRedshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi
Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Published by Audible Frontiers on June 5, 2012
Genres: Adult Science Fiction
Length: 07:41
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: four-stars
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Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory.
Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations, and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.
Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expendedon avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.

My Review:

Ever since I listened to The Kaiju Preservation Society narrated by Wil Wheaton, I had to listen to all the books by this author that were narrated by him. Not to mention this was one that had been on my TBR as well. While there was some parts at the beginning that were kind of slow and I was a little unsure where they were going, in the end I enjoyed this one and would definitely recommend it!

This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron
L-L-L-Little Reviews #43: 5 Audiobooks and a HardbackThis Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron
Series: This Poison Heart #1
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc on June 29, 2021
Genres: YA Fantasy, YA LGBTQ
Length: 10:17
Source: the library
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: five-stars
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Darkness blooms in bestselling author Kalynn Bayron's new contemporary fantasy about a girl with a unique and deadly power.
Briseis has a gift: she can grow plants from tiny seeds to rich blooms with a single touch.
When Briseis's aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York, Bri and her parents decide to leave Brooklyn behind for the summer. Hopefully there, surrounded by plants and flowers, Bri will finally learn to control her gift. But their new home is sinister in ways they could never have imagined--it comes with a specific set of instructions, an old-school apothecary, and a walled garden filled with the deadliest botanicals in the world that can only be entered by those who share Bri's unique family lineage.
When strangers begin to arrive on their doorstep, asking for tinctures and elixirs, Bri learns she has a surprising talent for creating them. One of the visitors is Marie, a mysterious young woman who Bri befriends, only to find that Marie is keeping dark secrets about the history of the estate and its surrounding community. There is more to Bri's sudden inheritance than she could have imagined, and she is determined to uncover it . . . until a nefarious group comes after her in search of a rare and dangerous immortality elixir. Up against a centuries-old curse and the deadliest plant on earth, Bri must harness her gift to protect herself and her family.
From the bestselling author of Cinderella Is Dead comes another inspiring and deeply compelling story about a young woman with the power to conquer the dark forces descending around her.

My Review:

This was another read/listed for the Gateway committee. This is possibly for next year’s list. I was really really blown away by how much I liked it! Now, personally, plants already creep me out, so this one started out not great because I’d be creeped out being around Breseis. But it was still so intriguing to learn about all the different plants in the story, real and those not probably real. There were a lot of great characters and I was twisted back and forth wondering who could really be trusted and who was really after more than they said. There were a couple things that didn’t make sense, but in the end I really just enjoyed this book so much! Can’t wait to read the sequel as well!

Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin
L-L-L-Little Reviews #43: 5 Audiobooks and a HardbackAin't Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds, Jason Griffin
Published by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books on January 11, 2022
Genres: Poetry, YA Contemporary
Pages: 384
Source: the library
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: three-half-stars
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Prepare yourself for something unlike anything: A smash-up of art and text for teens that viscerally captures what it is to be Black. In America. Right Now. Written by #1 New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Jason Reynolds.
Jason Reynolds and his best bud, Jason Griffin had a mind-meld. And they decided to tackle it, in one fell swoop, in about ten sentences, and 300 pages of art, this piece, this contemplation-manifesto-fierce-vulnerable-gorgeous-terrifying-WhatIsWrongWithHumans-hope-filled-hopeful-searing-Eye-Poppingly-Illustrated-tender-heartbreaking-how-The-HECK-did-They-Come-UP-with-This project about oxygen. And all of the symbolism attached to that word, especially NOW.
And so for anyone who didn’t really know what it means to not be able to breathe, REALLY breathe, for generations, now you know. And those who already do, you’ll be nodding yep yep, that is exactly how it is.

My Review:

This will be really short because this book has hardly any words in it, like maybe a sentence a page. It’s more of a graphic novel with poetry. I read it for the Gateway committee, although I’m not sure that it really qualifies for the award, because I didn’t think we did graphic novels with this specific award. But we’ll see!

Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood
L-L-L-Little Reviews #43: 5 Audiobooks and a HardbackLove on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood
Narrator: Brooke Bloomingdale
Published by Penguin Audio on August 23, 2022
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance, Adult Romantic Comedy
Length: 11:07
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: four-half-stars
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10 hours
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis comes a new STEMinist rom-com in which a scientist is forced to work on a project with her nemesis—with explosive results.
Like an avenging, purple-haired Jedi bringing balance to the mansplained universe, Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project—a literal dream come true after years scraping by on the crumbs of academia—Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.
Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. And sure, he caught her in his powerfully corded arms like a romance novel hero when she accidentally damseled in distress on her first day in the lab. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school—archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.
Now, her equipment is missing, the staff is ignoring her, and Bee finds her floundering career in somewhat of a pickle. Perhaps it’s her occipital cortex playing tricks on her, but Bee could swear she can see Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas…devouring her with those eyes. And the possibilities have all her neurons firing. But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there’s only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do?

My Review:

I loved the first book by this author, and all the novellas, and this one got me too! I got the audiobook because I did love the novellas on audio. Plus I wasn’t sure when I’d fit the actual reading of the book in otherwise and I couldn’t wait any longer! I kept in mind some of the complaints or negatives I’d read in other reviews, but in the end it didn’t matter because I loved it. Even though it had a lot of the misunderstandings that would have been so easily fixed, and getting over irritated with silly things, and the vegan stuff got annoying at times, and blech to those tacos, I still cried and laughed and swooned at so much of this. And the ending was so good! It was sooooo intense and not at all what I was expecting. Loved this one and can’t wait for more from this author!

The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons
L-L-L-Little Reviews #43: 5 Audiobooks and a HardbackThe Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons
Narrator: Jamie K. Brown
Published by Listening Library on June 1, 2021
Genres: YA LGBTQ, YA Sports Romance
Length: 07:00
Source: the library
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: four-stars
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Love, Simon meets Bend It Like Beckham in this feel-good contemporary romance about a trans athlete who must decide between fighting for his right to play and staying stealth.
Fifteen-year-old Spencer Harris is a proud nerd, an awesome big brother and a Messi-in-training. He's also transgender. After transitioning at his old school leads to a year of bullying, Spencer gets a fresh start at Oakley, the most liberal private school in Ohio.
At Oakley, Spencer seems to have it all: more accepting classmates, a decent shot at a starting position on the boy's soccer team, great new friends, and maybe even something more than friendship with one of his teammates. The problem is, no one at Oakley knows Spencer is trans—he's passing.
So when a discriminatory law forces Spencer's coach to bench him after he discovers the 'F' on Spencer's birth certificate, Spencer has to make a choice: cheer his team on from the sidelines or publicly fight for his right to play, even if it means coming out to everyone—including the guy he's falling for.

My Review:

I listened to this for the Gateway Committee I’m on. It was definitely a good story for wanting to read about a trans boy and also other people on the LGBTQ spectrum, if that’s the correct way to say it. I’m sorry if I’m not saying that right. There was a lot of drama, and a lot of romance even. I did like the way each character chose to live their lives. I liked how most of the adults in the story were portrayed. It was an easy to listen/read story. Oh, at the end, though, when he was giving a speech outside in the pouring rain and the school let him keep talking with electrical equipment in a storm? Not safe and I didn’t like it, even if it was supposed to be proving a point.

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6 responses to “L-L-L-Little Reviews #43: 5 Audiobooks and a Hardback

  1. verushka

    This is quite a diverse collection of books, but I think This Poiso HEart is the one that sticks out to me — and that cover!

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