We probably all have heard of the Try A Chapter Challenge or Tag before but in case you didn’t, it’s basically that you pick a couple of books (usually 5) and you read the first chapter and see what you think and whether you would like to continue it. I have decided to do a little twist on this tag by listening to audiobooks! I’ve recently gotten really into audiobooks and I have quite a list of books that I’ve been thinking about reading but am unsure of. So that’s why I’ve decided to listen to some audiobooks and see what I think!
The books I’ve picked are:
Release by Patrick Ness
The first chapter of this book is 21 minutes and to be quite honest, I have no idea what’s going on. The main character (I don’t know his name) is buying a rose for his boyfriend and there’s a car ride, I think. And they talk about some party he and his friends are going to and there’s also a girl that died. Somewhere at the end of the chapter it suddenly switched perspectives to a girl, I think the dead one, who is not as dead as a dead girl should be because she’s up and talking about a dress. It sounded a bit gibberish-y to me.
My verdict: I’m not continuing. I’m not intrigued enough to keep going and frankly if I have no idea what’s going on in the first chapter already, I’ll probably only get more confused. The narration by Michael Crouch was okay, but – I also noticed this when I was listening to Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda (also narrated by him) – I don’t like how he does the narration of female characters.
American Panda by Gloria Chao
The first chapter of American Panda is 26 minutes, which was very long so I listened to it on 1,2x speed. It was… enjoyable. The first chapter is about a girl called Mae(?) who is meeting her mother at a Taiwanese restaurant and they talk about… things. Her mother is very traditional and wants Mae to marry a Taiwanese boy who is also a doctor and she’s trying to set her up. We also hear about how her brother was disowned and how she has a crush on a Japanese boy (forgot his name). At one point the boy comes up to Mae and they talk.
The verdict: I might continue. I haven’t really made up my mind yet but the story sounds like fun and I really liked the representation of Taiwanese culture even though I don’t really know much about it. It wasn’t really funny like people told me it was, but that might change. Going through this made me realize that I have zero opinions on narration for the most part, I really don’t care about it that much unless the narrator has an annoying voice haha.
Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine
I listened to the first and second chapter since the first was an epilogue and they were 5 and 6 minutes respectively. So what happened in the first two chapters… I have no idea. It started out from the perspective of a living space ship??? And that was VERY distracting to me and also somehow VERY unsettling. I just got so distracted I barely noticed what was going on in the second chapter. I think there was some kind of interview and there was a guy called Washington and it was about some space trip. That’s all I got.
The verdict: uhm, I don’t think so to be honest. Something about the perspective of the living space ship was very weird to me and I can’t put myself to read more of it. I might just not like Rachel Cain’s work, since I once tried reading Ink and Bone and didn’t like it. Also, it turns out I do have opinions on narrators and this one was kinda odd, idk, not my taste.