I recently started the audiobook of Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I have wanted to try an audiobook for a while now but never really went for it. What better time to try things than the present time while you're in quarantine? Here are my thoughts and opinions.
I found this audiobook on Scribd. They have lots of audiobooks to choose from. I chose Caraval because first of all I have been wanting to read this book for ages. Secondly I suspected this world was going to be very magical so I thought it would be interesting to listen to someone describing it.
I am very picky when it comes to listening to someones voice. The voice has to be pleasant to listen to. I have this issue with a lot of things. I choose podcasts, YouTube videos, meditation episodes and other things based on the content and voice. I once chose to listen to a podcast but had to stop five minutes in because the woman had such an annoying voice. So I feel like based on the voice of the person narrating the story I can say yes or no to an audiobook.
One thing I wasn't prepared for is the fact that the woman narrating Caraval, Rebecca Soler, uses different voices for different characters. When thinking about it, it's actually very logical and normal to do that. You want to make sure the person who's listening can follow the story and know which character is talking. While you're reading a book, you (un)consciously picture how that character looks and how they sound. So obviously the narrator does the same.
Rebecca Soler has a clear voice which makes it nice to listen to. That's another thing that I like about audiobooks, I learn how to correctly pronounce words. In Caraval there are some Spanish words and names and Soler pronounces these perfectly. I like that it comes out so naturally.
There is something that does bother me and that's the voice of the some of the characters. Now this has nothing to do with how Soler voices them, she did an amazing job. It's just that I pictured the main character Scarlett to have a different kind of tone to her voice. In my head she sounds more sure of herself and more confident. But in the audiobook she is very innocent. Listening to an audiobook or reading to book are two whole different experiences.
Do I prefer listening to an audiobook over reading a book? No definitely not. I like both, but in a different way. It is nice to just relax, close my eyes and enjoy the story. But I don't have the same feeling when reading the book myself. I don't feel nervous when something important is happening. I don't feel my heartbeat fasten when something scary happens. I don't feel connected with the story as much. I like to decide the pace of the book and how the characters sound.
I would recommend trying an audiobook and I will definitely listen to another one in the future. Who knows, maybe I'll get used to it.