Bigger Than a Bread Box by Laurel Snyder – Audiobook Review

Bigger Than a Bread Box by Laurel Snyder, narrated by Laurel Snyder
Published in audio by Laurel Snyder; published in print by Yearling, an imprint of Random House

Synopsis:

Rebecca knows that things have been rocky between her mother and father for some time now, but she doesn’t know how bad things really are until her mother packs her up – along with her younger brother – and drives to Rebecca’s grandmother’s house in Atlanta. In a new city and at a new school is not where Rebecca wants to be, but there is something that makes up for the inconvenience, at least a little. Shortly after arriving at her grandmother’s house, Rebecca finds a bread box in the attic. It quickly becomes apparent that there is something magical about the bread box when things Rebecca wishes for begin materializing inside of it. Soon Rebecca will find out, though, whether getting everything you want is really all it is cracked up to be.

Thoughts on the story:

I really enjoyed Bigger Than a Bread Box. Rebecca is a great character, just the right mix of stereotypical preteen and good who just wants to do the right thing. If Snyder had gone too far in either direction Rebecca might have been a bit hard to stand, but as it was, she was very sympathetic. The structure and pacing are just right, as well. The story always moves along when it needs to, and never before, making Bigger Than  a Bread Box a highly satisfying book.

Thoughts on the audio production:

This audio is self-published and read by the author, and it is GREAT! I’m not sure whether Snyder just had a great director (she at least had a very proficient producer) or whether she just has a natural facility for narration, but she voices Rebecca with a confidence that many authors-turned-narrators lack. Her voice is youthful and vibrant, and she knows her book so intimately that she captures Rebecca’s myriad emotions beautifully.

Overall:

I’ve previously always been skeptical of self-published audiobooks, but Snyder proves that it can be done very well – although it likely helps that the book was originally published by Random House’s Yearling imprint. I imagine it would be wonderful in print, but it was delightful in audio.

Buy this book from:
Powells: Print*
Indiebound: Print*
Audible.com

Sound Bytes is a meme that occurs every Friday! I encourage you to review your audiobooks on Fridays and include the link here. If you have reviewed an audiobook earlier in the week, please feel free to link that review as well. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.

Source: Author.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead – Book Review

Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
Published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House

Seventh grade isn’t so easy when you’re a little geeky, have a silent ‘S’ in your name, and you have to move because your dad just lost his job. Georges – named after Georges Seurat – is having a bit of a tough time, really. To make things worse, his nurse mother started taking double shifts after his father lost his job and Georges never sees her as she’s always at the hospital. The one bright spot in Georges life is Safer, a boy his age who lives in Georges’s new building. The two of them met after Georges attends a meeting of the Spy Club, which he sees advertised on a flyer in the laundry room on the day he moves in.

Safer takes pride in teaching Georges the ways of the spy: watching the lobby cam for hours, determining whether someone has left the apartment by putting a gum wrapper in the door. Before long, however, Safer becomes an increasingly demanding spymaster to the point where he is making Georges uncomfortable. How much can – or should – Georges put up with in the name of friendship?

Rebecca Stead won the Newbery Medal for her previous book, When You Reach Me. Liar & Spy has a very different, more realistic feel, but like When You Reach Me it is extremely well-written and absorbing. Georges makes the transition from character in a book to real, somewhat sad seventh grader extremely quickly. Your heart just goes out to him as he’s clearly having a very difficult time both at school and with his family situation.

Liar & Spy is a wonderful, realistic middle grades novel that can also appeal to young adult and adult readers that will keep you wondering just exactly who is the liar, and about what?

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Publisher.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

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Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver – Audiobook Review

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver, narrated by Jim Dale
Published in audio by TK, published in print by HarperCollins

Synopsis:

The death of her beloved father has left Liesl helpless in the clutches of a very evil stepmother. Instead of forcing her to clean house Cinderella-style, though, Liesl’s stepmother keeps her locked in the attic Bertha Rochester-style. Surprising as it may seem, the luckiest day in Liesl’s young life is when a ghost named Po shows up in her attic bedroom. No longer male or female, the prickly Po befriends Liesl, and is able to give her information about her father on the Other Side, information that makes Liesl determined to take action to change her lot in life and her father’s lot in the afterlife.

Thoughts on the story:

Lauren Oliver’s middle grade story Liesl & Po is very cute and sweet. Liesl and Po have an interesting friendship as they attempt to overcome the barrier between the living and the dead. Similarly charming is the ardent schoolboy crush that Will, the alchemist’s apprentice, has on Liesl. It may be slightly creepy that he watches through her window from the street, but before long it becomes clear that his is a noble (or at least shy and embarrassed) love. Perhaps the best thing about Liesl & Po, though, is that it failed to simply go exactly where I thought it would. Oliver kept the story fresh, and moving in new and more complex directions, which was both surprising and refreshing.

Thoughts on the audio production:

Jim Dale’s adult women all sounded very mannish in Liesl & Po, but they were simply supporting characters, so it wasn’t really a problem. Overall his voices were relatively good, and he certainly made for an engaging listening experience.

Overall:

An enjoyable audiobook and a good palate cleanser. Recommended.

Buy this book from:
Powells: Print*
Indiebound: Print*
Audible.com

I’m launching a brand-new meme every Friday! I encourage you to review any audiobooks you review on Fridays and include the link here. If you have reviewed an audiobook earlier in the week, please feel free to link that review as well. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.

Source: Library.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc
Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2012