For What It's Worth

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Tell Me Something tuesday



Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging.

I missed last weeks post but since this weeks question ties in with last weeks – I figured I would post them together.

Questions:

May 28th: Who are some of your favorite authors?
June 4th: Who are some of your favorite audiobook narrators?

I have several favorite authors that I’ve stuck with and posted about over the years, so I’m going to feature a new to me author that has absolutely floored me with her talent – both in writing and narrating.

Elizabeth Acevedo




I’ve only read The Poet X & With the Fire on High so far but both were on audio and narrated by the author.

I don’t think her books should be read any other way if you’re able to get them on audio. I often struggle with audiobooks but Acevedo’s are sheer perfection. Her voice lulls you in then punches you in the gut. You feel the words.

I think she taps into a readership and style that’s often neglected in YA. I love me a cute YA romance or an issue driven novel but Acevedo’s coming of age stories are grounded in the everyday struggles of teenage girls and a society that often boxes them in, judges them differently – all told through the lens of her own latinx roots.

Her stories are rich in culture, never shy away from real life issues (religion, teen pregnancy, homosexuality) and don’t ignore how money (or the lack thereof, shapes those issues and choices.

She does all this without drowning her characters in unnecessary melodrama to up the stakes or introducing a last minute over-the-top rom-com moment to make things work out.

Yes, there are boys who are only out for one thing, or parents/adults that get it wrong – but she also provides nuance. Characters that show that boys can be patient and caring, or learn from their mistakes – parents that are willing to get help or finally step up.

There are no big moment, flowery endings but her stories are more believable for it. Each girl Xiomara in The Poet X – with her abusive mother, and  Emoni – a teen mom whose cooking transports people to long lost memories - in With the Fire on High struggle but get stronger on each passing page as they learn to dream, ask for what they want and learn to trust in those who are willing to lend a helping hand. There’s sacrifice and heard work...and reward.

I guess I would call these books quieter types of stories but there’s nothing quiet about Acevedo’s writing. It’s powerful, brutally honest and ultimately hopeful. 

I’m inspired by her characters so I can imagine how teens, especially teens that don’t often see themselves reflected in YA, would be love this author. I've given both her books 5 stars - and if you know me - that's a big deal.

Who are you r favorite authors and audiobook narrators? I'm really interested in the narrator rec's. I'm too damn picky lol

25 comments:

  1. I had read both Acevedo's books, though I wish I had listened to them. I had checked out some of her spoken word clips, and I can only imagine how amazing her narration was, and how she could really bring Xiomara to life.

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    1. Both were fantastic in audio. The Poet X because that defiance and anger hits you like a punch and in With the Fire on high - Emoni's hopes and dreams make you want to wrap her up in a hug. And the recipes - when she talks about them it's so beautiful.

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  2. I will definitely add these to my list. Author narrations are hit or miss. I have listened to some that are really great and others are terrible. These books sound genuine and real, that’s what attracts me!

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    1. She *is* those characters and it makes the reading experience so immersive instead of distracting.

      I hear she's narrated other authors books as well so I need to find out which ones while I wait for her next release.

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  3. I am still heartbroken that you do not adore Vikas! *heartbroken* ;)

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    1. I just think he was the wrong voice for the character - not necessarily that I don't like HIM.

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  4. This is definitely an author I need to try!

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    1. Even if you don't like audiobooks, like me) she's amazing!

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  5. I have a hard time with audio so my ears always perk up (wow, that's a bad pun) when I see that someone is a really good narrator, since I would like to audio more.

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    1. I'm getting better - but still struggle. I realized that I can only listen to very specific types of stories and narrators.

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  6. I’ve heard phenomenal things about Acevedo. And it sound s like if/when I give her books a try I need to go the audio route.

    Alexandra Harris is one of my favorites. She narrates The Others series by Anne Bishop and I absolutely tie my enjoyment of the series to her narration. Michael Crouch is another. He did Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda and The Serpent King. He totally brought Simon to life.

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    1. I will give him a try. I seem to struggle more with male narrators but also don't like when female narrators are too perky lol I struggle lol

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  7. Oh that's really cool that she narrates her own books and does both writing and narrating so well!

    Funny you should ask for narrator recs because I have recently found what is now my favorite narrator, although idk what books he's done that you might enjoy (I listened to Beauty and His Beast by Bey Deckard). The narrator is Michael Ferraiuolo. He does great narrating, but I also just really like his voice, is that weird? Lol.

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    1. That's not weird at all! That's how I feel about Acevedo's voice. I just like it. She could narrate anything - the telephone book (do they still make those?? lol) and I would listen.

      I will check out Ferraioulo.

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  8. It sounds like these books are worth a read/listen!
    I'm always nervous when I find out an author is narrating their own work but I'm glad that she has a talent for it... Others do not, lol.

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  9. Love this. I really want to read The Poet X; it's been on my wish list for awhile now. I'm glad you like the audios so much.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  10. Woah! That's an amazing glowing review. You're the second blogger to recommend this author to me this week alone, so I will absolutely have to add her to my TBR shelf. And I haven't heard audio books, because I work from home and I don't know when to listen to them. Each Friday I'm in the car for roughly 1.5 hours so that might be a good time to start! Thanks again :)

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    1. The Poet X would be great. It's just over 3 hours long and I can almost guarantee that you'll like it!

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  11. Its really important that there are YA books that teens can relate with. So I am happy that was a winner for that age group.

    Some of my favorite narrators would have to be Xe Sands, Juanita Parker, Rebecca Cook, and Brad Wills!!

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    1. I think these were wonderful for any age. She's just a brilliant storyteller.

      Thanks for the narrator suggestions!

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  12. Favourite authors...Richard Laymon, Hunter Shea, Matthew Reilly, Patricia Briggs, Kevin Hearne, Philippa Gregory, Emily Purdy, Jean Plaidy, Greig Beck, Darrell Maloney, Franklin Horton, Nicholas Sansbury Smith, Michael Stephen Fuchs...

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  13. I'm listening to With the Fire on High, right now! 😍😍😍 I also listened to The Poet X author narrated audio. We need to start an Elizabeth Acevedo fanclub! πŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ

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    1. Do you love it???!!! Her voice is sooooo good.

      She also narrated Pride by Ibi Zoboi. I read it but I might listen just to hear Acevedo's voice.

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  14. I read the Poet X as a paperback but everyone mentions how perfect the audiobook is! So I am planning an audiobook reread of the book soon. And I can't wait to read her latest novel as well :)

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