Audio Review: Between Shades of Gray

Author: Ruta Sepetys
Narrator: Emily Klein
Genre: Historical Fiction
Producer: Penguin Audio
Story Rating:
Audio Rating:

Story Review: Click here for book review!

Audio Review: I adored this book. Which is probably why I disliked the audiobook so very much. The narrator was far too wimpy for me. One of the best things about Between Shades of Gray is that Lina is so strong. This narrator felt like a scared little girl. Not a scared little girl with a whole lot of fight left in her.

Also, the narrator was SOOOOOO SLOOOOW. This took the power from the whole book, not just from Lina. Seriously. I went on a car-ride that was two hours long and when I went to see how far I had gotten in the book it was only about 40 pages. Blah! It felt like it took forever to listen to, while when I was actually reading the pages flew by.

So, for all I know I wouldn't feel this way if I had listened before I read. But I would STRONGLY recommend that everyone READ this book, not listen to it. Because it is amazing.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Audio Review: The Bartimaeus Trilogy

Author: Jonathan Stroud
Narrator: Simon Jones
Genre: Fantasy
Producer: Listening Library
Books in Series: Listened to the trilogy as well as the companion novel
Story Rating:
Audio Rating:

Story Review: This series is FABULOUS! Bartimaeus is an awesome narrator. I love listening to his snide comments, and how he really is "evil" but he still has a big heart. Each book in this series flows seamlessly, despite the fact that quite a bit of time separates each book. One of my favorite things about these books, is that you are given characters that you love to hate, and that you hate to love. Your character-judging skills really have to come into play.

I also love that it's our world, just a little twisted. We get to see what the world would be like if there were magic and demons as viable and common sources of power in our world (unlike Harry Potter where magic is in our world, but hidden).

But mostly, what gives this series major points it its characters. Brace yourselves, though, the ending of this series is a DOOZY!

Audio Review: Simon Jones has one of those British accents that sounds like melting chocolate. I could fall into his voice and just float there. Sometimes I would find myself actually repeating his words out loud just because I loved how he said them. He's also a master at covering a range of emotions. He has Bartimaeus' sarcastic attitude down to a T, but he also conveys a scared little boy and a stubborn girl just as accurately! He's one of those narrators that I actually looked up after I finished listening to this series, just so I could see if he had narrated anything else I might like to listen to!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Audio Review: The Caster Chronicles

Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Narrator: Kevin T. Collins
Genre: Paranormal
Producer: Hachette Audio
Books in Series: Listened to books 1 and 2
Story Rating:
Audio Rating:

Story Review: Review of 2nd book here (Spoilers!). I never reviewed the first book. But I'll just simply say that I liked it. :)

Audio Review: I thought these audiobooks were great! The narrator was easy to listen to, and was really good at creating unique character voices. I also thought that the soundeffects that were in the book were inserted very tastefully (the sound of the incubus ripping through space was so cool!). The only part I wasn't a huge fan of was whenever the song "sixteen/seventeen moons" would play. I thought it sounded corny, and not at all like a real song. Unfortunately, this song plays quite frequently and it always drew me out of the story. BUT, it didn't take long for me to get back in with that awesome narrator.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

1,000th Post

This is my 1,000th post. I wanted it to be awesome. I wanted it to be memorable, but not corny; give all my readers a million dollars, but not go into debt; funny, but not insincere, etc. etc.

I don't know how to do any of that.

So for my 1,000th post, I'm just going to say: thank you. Thank you to everyone who has been with Squeaky Books for the last five years. Thank you to those of you who only recently discovered it. Thank you to those of you who only came by once and never came back again. Thank you to my friends that I have made on the internet, and thank you to those friends who turned into friends in the "real" world.

Thank you to the publishers. Where would the authors be without you? Thank you to the authors. Where would the readers be without you? I know where I would be, and it isn't good.

Thank you to Twitter. You always are sure that I never have too much spare time. Thank you to audiobooks, without whom I would go insane. No thanks to Facebook, who blocked me as a spammer after just one day of liking my friends' pages.

Thank you to people who read. After going to college I have found that you are in the minority. And thank you to people who read YA with pride. Thank you to people who can disagree respectfully. Thank you to people who can agree enthusiastically. Thank you to people who share their books, I want to be as generous as you someday.

And thank you to dogs. Just 'cause I like them.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Audio Review: The Abhorsen Trilogy

Author: Garth Nix
Narrator: Tim Curry
Genre: Supernatural
Producer: Listening Library
Books in Series: Listened to entire trilogy
Story Rating:
Audio Rating:

Story Review: This series is so amazing. I have loved it since I discovered it over ten years ago. It is the epitome of speculative fiction. It has a kick-butt female hero (and more than one!) it has the awesome animal helpers, and the DEAD. Who knew necromancy could be so awesome?! If you haven't read these books, you must. They are so wonderful. They are creepy, but still relatively clean. I will admit that I wish we got to continue on with Sabriel a bit more than we do, but I love Lirael too, so I can't really complain.

So awesome.

Audio Review: TIM CURRY! Yes, the Tim Curry. He has the PERFECT voice for this series. It's gravelly, which makes the dead spirits jump off the page (or iPod in this case), but he also does a pretty good job at voicing the female characters. And his Mogget voice is superb. Seriously, Tim Curry may be my favorite audiobook narrator after Jim Dale. I love him that much.

Here. Don't believe me? Click here to listen to an excerpt. I really think you'll fall in love with his voice. He's easy to understand, but still has plenty of character. And that gravelly voice... *shudders* I just love it.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Free Audiobooks!

For the next couple months, Sync is giving away two FREE audiobooks every week! Isn't that AWESOME?! There's one recent YA release, and one classic release. This week is Irises and Sense and Sensibility. But coming up there's The Amulet of Samarkand (I love this one!), Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Call of the Wild, and tons more! To see the full schedule, click here! And click the link below to be taken to their current downloads page!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Audio Review: The Declaration

Author: Gemma Malley
Narrator: Charlotte Parry
Genre: Dystopia
Producer: Recorded Books
Story Rating:
Audio Rating:

Story Review: See full review here.

Audio Review: I've never listened to so poorly a recorded audiobook. It was amazing how bad it was. First of all, the narrator herself wasn't very good. But above and beyond that, the editing was terrible. I could frequently hear the narrator pause to swallow a drink. And there were times that were clearly edited because all of a sudden her voice would change pitch. You know, like a GPS navigator where the words don't sound like they actually belong in a sentence? It was like that.

So steer clear of this one my friends.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Audio Reivew: Liesl & Po

Author: Lauren Oliver
Narrator: Jim Dale
Genre: Supernatural/Middle Grade
Producer: HarperCollins Audio
Story Rating:
Audio Rating:

Story Review: To be completely honest, I was not a fan of this story. Then again, when am I ever a fan of middle grade? In this specific case, I was bothered by a number of things:

1) Everything was just too coincidental. The characters all just stumbled into their good/bad luck. I didn't feel like anyone had any drive or purpose, and it made it very hard to connect to the characters.

2) Oliver was trying too hard to be "deep." Nearly every time wind was mentioned, it smelled of "promise," "hope," or "things to come." Now... unless promise smells like ragweed, and the things to come are waffle carts, I have no idea what any of these things smell like. I was insulted that the author didn't think I was smart enough to know that things were going to get more hopeful or exciting. I'm reading the book! I'm going to figure it out!

3) The world was just plum confusing. What? The sun is missing? Liesl's just okay with being locked in an attic? Are we in the UK? Is this our world or someone elses? I'm just so lost.

And then the whole book wrapped up with a nice little bow. Blech. Is that a MG trait? If so, no wonder I never like them.

Audio Review: Dear Jim Dale, would you like to narrate my life? Seriously people, I adore Jim Dale. Actually, if it had been any other narrator I probably would have given the story even less than 2.5 flowers, but Jim Dale can do no wrong. He took these flat characters, annoying descriptions, and confusing world and turned them into something that I could have listened to for hours. Seriously. It wasn't until after I would push pause that I realized I had no idea what was going on. I wish I had enjoyed the story as much as I enjoyed his reading of the story. But no, it was not to be.

Despite the fact that I love JD, I would skip this audiobook (and book!) and go with the Harry Potter audio instead.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Audio Review: Shadows on the Moon

Author: Zoe Marriott
Narrator: Amy Rubinate
Genre: Fantasy
Producer: Brilliance Audio
Story Rating:
Audio Rating:

Story Review: "One of the most hauntingly beautiful tales I've ever had the honor to read."

Audio Review: When I first started this book I was a little hesitant. I was expecting an Asian-sounding narrator, and when I didn't get it I was... concerned. I shouldn't have been. Rubinate's voice was perfect for this book. There was nothing about it that annoyed me, and she made each of the characters come alive. I didn't think I could love Otienno more than I already did, but Rubinate proved me wrong.

She also did a fabulous job conveying the complexity of Suzume/Rin/Yue character. More than ever I was able to feel her pain, anger, and sorrow. I adored her! Rubinate is also a master at haiku reading (I know I'm not!).

I loved it. It's definitely one that I will listen to again.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Introducing: Enna's Journey To Become Well Read

Many thanks to all of you who have helped me discover some great adult and nonfiction titles for my summer reading project. I had to think for a long while of whether or not I would review these books after I read them. I decided that reviewing is what I do, so I will review them. However, Squeaky Books is just for YA. That's why I'm proud to introduce:
Enna's Journey to Become Well Read
 This is my new blog JUST for adult fiction and nonfiction reviews. If you're interested in those types of books, I hope you will join me there! Squeaky Books will still be my main site (I will probably end up reading A LOT more YA than non-YA), but now I have somewhere to track my progress on my "journey."

And after all, there's no such thing as too many blogs, right?

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Summer Reading!

Alright, I know I've been utterly failing JIAM, but that's because I've been slogging through the last two weeks of spring term. But as of today I am FREE! Free as a bird! And I have BIG summer reading plans. Would you like to know what they are? Okey doke! I'll tell you!

I saw this great way to organize reading goals over at WORD for Teens and knew this was exactly the thing for me. So, without further ado, my monthly summer reading goals:

Read TWO books from a series I have started (but never finished) OR books that I have owned for a while
  • I have so many series that I just never got around to finishing! They're just waiting for me to come and read the last of their stories! I've also got a kaboodle of books that have been sitting on my shelves for ages and I've never gotten to. Gotta get those done!
Read TWO books that are at least 1 year old
  • I usually review really new books, and I'm neglecting the old timers! I'm actually really excited about this category.
  • My review pile is getting out of hand!
Read TWO non-fiction and ONE adult fiction

  • Am I going to review these? Well... I'll announce that soon.
Read ONE book just for giggles
  • It can be in any of these categories.

So that means I need to be reading AT LEAST TEN (10) books per month! I think I can do it. And even though June is almost over, I'm going to start NOW!

Do you have summer reading goals? What do you think of mine?

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Audiobook Giveaway Hop!

Hey there Audiobook fans!  Welcome to the JIAM Giveaway Hop hosted by

To celebrate "June is Audiobook Month" we are joining together with some awesome blogs to bring you this JIAM Giveaway Hop! Each blog will be giving away at least one amazing audiobook, so make sure you check them all out!  This blog hop ends June 15th at midnight.

I'm giving away an audiobook (in CD form) of Glow* by Amy Kathleen Ryan! Unfortunately, due to the fact that I can't mail outside of the US, this giveaway is US only. Enter using the rafflecopter below!
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Here's a list of the blogs participating:

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

*In the spirit of full disclosure, I did not like this audiobook/book. I didn't finish it. But as it was the only audiobook I actually had on hand that I could give away... here we are.

ABEA Day 5: The Future of Book Blogging

Today's post topic is "Ask the Experts." Where we're supposed to ask our readers our "burning" questions. I only have one that I've been thinking about for a long time:

Do you send your reviews to publishers?
How? How often? Do you just do books that they've sent you, or ones that you've purchased yourself?

Has any good come of it? Do you now have a relationship with that publisher(s)?

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

ABEA Day 4: Beyond the Blog

This post is all supposed to be about how to make blogging beneficial besides just blogging.

... um... I don't do that.

Everything I do on my blog is just for the sake of blogging. I don't make money, in fact I lose quite a bit doing contests. I'm a math major so the writing practice doesn't help me much academically. I do work at a library, but... even that's not very closely related to my blog. My blog does affect a lot about what happens to me IRL, but that's all just more blogging stuff in the real world.

So today's topic is not for me. I did try to add blogads to my blog, but they've been sitting there for a long time and there's been no response. I'm thinking I'll get rid of them because they're ugly.

What about y'all? Do you make money blogging? Has your blog led you to get a job or start a new hobby or something? Clearly I need advice in this area.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

ABEA Day 3: Networking In Real Life

So today we're supposed to talk about local networking in real life. I've always been a big author-stalker (though I kicked it into gear about 6 years ago after meeting Shannon Hale), but when I was blogging I thought I was the only one around who did it. Sure I knew there were other bloggers, I just didn't think there were any around me.

Then one day I got a package from Emily and I noticed that her address was in my same county! Imagine my excitement! I immediately e-mailed her, expecting her to say something along the lines of "I thought I was all alone!" because that's how I had felt. I was more than a little surprised to find out not only was I not the only Utah blogger, there were a BAJILLION of us, and we all got together regularly!

Fast forward to now, and I'm totally engrossed in the real life blogging community, as well as the online one. Emily and I text regularly, five of us had a meeting over dinner to decide what would happen with Utah Book Month, I went to the Hunger Games with a bunch of bloggers, and now I have author-stalking buddies!

Author-stalking is it's own sport by itself in Utah! There are so many fabulous Utah authors: Shannon Hale, Ally Condie, Bree Despain, Brodi Ashton, Brandon Mull, Sara Zarr, and that's just to name a few! I've learned that these ladies (I mostly interact with the lady authors) are SO SWEET! And knowing them has paid off! I got to help with the graphics of Calamity Jack, Ally Condie is always SO SWEET to me, and I was in a critique group with Brodi Ashton. Not to mention the review copies that I get from them (which are not many, but are always AWESOME).
Meeting Elana Johnson, Moira Young, and Michelle Hodkin.
(I'm the one with the book over my face)
And publishers are starting to notice our fair state. Due to some awesome people at our local libraries and bookstores (I'm looking at you CL and TKE), we've had some HUGE names come our way. I've got to meet Scott Westerfeld, Moira Young, Markus Zusak, and more! And coming up I get to meet Eoin Colfer, Lois Lowry, Jonathan Maberry, Veronica Roth, and even more!

All in all, I'm pretty sure I live in the best blogging-state there is. Networking in real life is my FAVORITE part of blogging. Hands down. Does your state have a strong IRL presence? If not, you should try to start one! Utah's IRL fun-times wouldn't have happened without some motivated people getting it started (Thanks Natasha!). Maybe you can be that motivated person for your state!

Happy networking!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

ABEA Day 2: Giveaway

Today is giveaway day! And since the theme is also "Best Books [of 2012]" I thought I'd give away one of my FAVORITE books of all time!

A paperback copy of The Adoration of Jenna Fox! It may not have come out in 2012, but it's certainly still one of the best books EVER! Open to US only, enter the rafflecopter to win!

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All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012
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