Audiobook review blitz – Patron Saints of Nothing, Furiously Happy, & Tarnished Are the Stars

Time for another set of mini-reviews for my most recent audiobook listens! I’ve decided I really like this format for audiobook reviews–it is way easier to write and doesn’t require me to flip back through the story as much. Hopefully you like it, too! Today, we have a nice mix of titles, I think, so let’s get started.

Patron Saints of Nothing

Author: Randy Ribay
Genre: YA Contemporary
My rating: 4/5
Plot (in 10 words or fewer): Cousin, dead. Duterte’s drug war. Fly home to Philippines. Investigate.
Narrator: quite good, especially at his Filipino accent, but sounded a little too old for a high school student, and all his characters with accents sounded pretty similar
Best parts:
– #OwnVoices writing
– Aside from Josh Chan on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, I literally can’t think of another Filipino character in pop culture or literature?? So this is super important.
– Very emotional story and writing
– Genuine narrative voice that really feels like a teenager–not too mature, but not too childish either
– Calls attention to a very real global problem and the nuances of the political climate surrounding it
– Casual queer side characters 😊
– Mentions and shows the harm of microaggressions
Worst parts:
– Some of the “mystery” of how and why his cousin died was a little too convenient, each step leading to the next
– Dude, stop flirting with a girl who you KNOW has a boyfriend
– Doesn’t follow through on or resolve most of the cultural identity issues the main character experiences, especially how they relate to home life in America
Trigger/content warnings: death of family member, police violence, drugs, addiction, sex trafficking

Furiously Happy

Author: Jenny Lawson
Genre: Nonfiction, essays, humor
My rating: 4/5 stars
Plot (in 10 words or fewer): Mental illness sucks. Let’s be happy to spite the universe.
Narrator: the author herself, so you actually hear her voice and the sarcasm is delivered exactly how she intended. Perfect and hilarious.
Best parts:
– SO FUNNY. I literally laughed out loud multiple times.
– Relatable feelings, even in larger-than-life situations
– Break. The. Stigma. On. Mental. Illness.
– Actually had some serious stories interwoven for balance
Worst parts:
– Sometimes more cringe than laugh, or felt like she was trying too hard
Trigger/content warnings: depression, anxiety, self-injury, suicide, taxidermied animals

Tarnished Are the Stars

Author: Rosiee Thor
Genre: YA science fiction, LGBTQ+
My rating: 3/5 stars
Plot (in 10 words or fewer): Space ace and lesbians. Mechanical hearts. Spies, surgeons, corrupt rulers.
Narrator: absolutely awful. Her American accent for Anna was bad and sounded like she just had a cold all the time. Nathaniel just sounded like a wimpy, hesitant child. Rosie sounded like she was high, and the queen sounded like a cartoon character. And the sarcasm didn’t come across well.
Best parts:
– Great concept, including problems with government banning things they’re afraid of (in this case, tech)
– Queer rep is on-point, including the significance of having a label for yourself
– A LITERAL ACE IN SPACE. That concept of the “space ace” is kind of a meme, but this one made it work
– Character development and relationships were written so well
– Cool worldbuilding
– Honestly just a really fun story?
Worst parts:
– See all previous notes on the narrator (I really think this would have been a 4-star read or higher if I had read instead of listened)
– Some parts felt a little heavy-handed
– The ending was at once too drawn out and way too abrupt?
– A couple plot holes
– I was looking forward to this so much, and I feel betrayed that it didn’t live up to my goals.
Trigger/content warnings: death of a child, child abuse (by a parent, both emotional and physical), ableism

Have you guys read any of these? Planning on checking any of them out soon? Let me know! (My next audiobook, which I just started, is Daisy Jones and the Six, and I’m already super into it, so hang in there–I’ll get that one in my next cluster of audiobook mini-reviews!)

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