Abby West, Audible Editor

AUDIBLE EDITOR

Abby West

Abby is a true pop culture junkie, whose decades as a journalist have given her a love of stories that explore and celebrate underrepresented communities and memoirs that go way beyond surface deep (TBH: notables who can do their words justice are the holy grail), with a healthy dose of out-there fantasy and sci-fi. And the fact that her listening library grows daily simply fills her with delight.

I loved getting to know debut authors Tommy Orange, Stephen Markley, & Zoje Stage at BookExpo 2018.

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Abby's Recent Reviews

    • I Can't Date Jesus

    • Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I've Put My Faith in Beyoncé
    • By: Michael Arceneaux
    • Narrated by: Michael Arceneaux
    • Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 290
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 269
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 272

    A timely collection of alternately hysterical and soul‑searching essays about what it is like to grow up as a creative, sensitive black man in a world that constantly tries to deride and diminish your humanity....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Everyone should read this

    • By Trey Strange on 08-08-18
    • Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I've Put My Faith in Beyoncé
    • By: Michael Arceneaux
    • Narrated by: Michael Arceneaux
    • Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
    • Release date: 07-24-18
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 290 ratings
    • I’ve been following Arceneaux on social media for a while now, cracking up at his witty nicknames and verbal backflips, and find it immensely gratifying to see him flesh out his funny and uniquely descriptive voice in his memoir, I Can’t Date Jesus. He shares what it was like to grow up black and gay as a Catholic whose first reference point for being gay was the death of an uncle from AIDS. It took a long dark road for him to embrace his life and sexuality, but Arceneaux manages to keep it real and heavy (with Houston references, including lots of love for his hometown’s Queen Bey), but not so emotionally heavy that you can’t thoroughly enjoy the ride.
    • Sex and the City and Us

    • By: Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
    • Narrated by: Joy Osmanski, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
    • Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 85
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 77
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 76

    By the best-selling author of Seinfeldia, a fascinating retrospective of the iconic and award-winning television series Sex and the City, to coincide with the show’s 20th anniversary....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Clinical

    • By Armando on 06-07-18
    • By: Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
    • Narrated by: Joy Osmanski, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
    • Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
    • Release date: 06-05-18
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 85 ratings
    • I abso-freaking-lutely love it
    • Sex and the City fans know the importance of the line referenced above, the same way I knew that this book would be diligently reported and thoughtfully written because I worked with the fantastic Jennifer Keishin Armstrong at Entertainment Weekly for years. What I didn’t know was how much she’d reignite my affection for the groundbreaking show—the women, the themes, the fashion, the city we all love. Or how Joy Osmanski’s narration would strike the right tone and give voice to each player in this delightful behind-the-scenes look at the beautiful mix of hard work, talent, and luck that made the show a hit.
    • Barracoon

    • The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"
    • By: Zora Neale Hurston
    • Narrated by: Robin Miles
    • Length: 3 hrs and 50 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,168
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,062
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,054

    A major literary event: a never-before-published work from the author of the American classic Their Eyes Were Watching God that brilliantly illuminates the horror and injustices of slavery as it tells the true story of one of the last known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A "must hear"

    • By D. Welch on 05-09-18
    • The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"
    • By: Zora Neale Hurston
    • Narrated by: Robin Miles
    • Length: 3 hrs and 50 mins
    • Release date: 05-08-18
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 1,168 ratings
    • An unexpected voice from the past
    • I was so excited to learn of this never-before-published work from Zora Neale Hurston, the author of Their Eyes Were Watching God—one of my all-time favorite books—which comes more than 50 years after her death. Underscoring the importance of this literary event, Barracoon is the story of one of the last-known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade, in his own words and own vernacular. From his capture in a raid in Africa to his time as a slave and then as a free man, Hurston’s interviews with Cudjo Lewis in the early 1900s give a unique look at an American history we thought we knew so well.
    • The Female Persuasion

    • A Novel
    • By: Meg Wolitzer
    • Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman
    • Length: 14 hrs and 49 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 963
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 894
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 893

    Greer Kadetsky is a shy college freshman when she meets the woman she hopes will change her life. Faith Frank, dazzlingly persuasive and elegant at sixty-three, has been a central pillar of the women's movement for decades, a figure who inspires others to influence the world. Upon hearing Faith speak for the first time, Greer feels her inner world light up....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Excellent story and reading of it

    • By jill on 04-23-18
    • A Novel
    • By: Meg Wolitzer
    • Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman
    • Length: 14 hrs and 49 mins
    • Release date: 04-03-18
    • 4 out of 5 stars 963 ratings
    • Growing pains
    • On the surface, The Female Persuasion could not have been better timed to hit the zeitgeist: it takes on the role of feminism in the age of #MeToo, but it also expertly grapples with things that are timeless, such as the complicated nature of coming of age and finding one’s voice, maintaining friendships and loves, and determining when/if to take your idols off their pedestals.

      Young Greer Kadetsky is mired in resentment and seething anger stemming from a forced detour on her college plans, as well as a disturbing sexual assault on campus—though her feelings are masked by her quiet and unassuming nature. She begins to get comfortable with her own sense of ambition thanks to the words and attention of dynamic activist/speaker Faith Frank, who provides her a mission and a path. Besides Fran, Greer must also size up where her longtime love Cory and her best friend Zee fit within the life she envisions.

      Narrator Rebecca Lowman is able to find the emotional connections in the book through the layered dialogue, and then bring those connections out in the characters’ literal voices—a skill that pays off in spades as we go on this journey with Greer and all those in her orbit.
    • Children of Blood and Bone

    • By: Tomi Adeyemi
    • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
    • Length: 17 hrs and 44 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 6,934
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 6,473
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 6,456

    Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Beautifully Written

    • By Samantha on 03-09-18
    • By: Tomi Adeyemi
    • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
    • Series: Legacy of Orïsha, Book 1
    • Length: 17 hrs and 44 mins
    • Release date: 03-06-18
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 6,934 ratings
    • Finding the fire within
    • There’s a specific delicious satisfaction to finding that a much-hyped book is everything it’s touted to be and more. After listening to all 18 hours of Tomi Adeyemi’s incredible debut sci-fi YA novel, I am beyond well satisfied. Building on a uniquely West African mythology, Adeyemi conjures up a vibrant, amazing fantasy world, in which magic once thrived, a segment of the population is grievously oppressed, and a young woman becomes the leader she was meant to be. Feisty teenager Zélie Adebola, who has seen her mother killed and her people crushed under the heel of a villainous king, knows that bringing back magic is the key to freeing them—all but she has no idea she’ll have to be the one to do it or the epic adventure that awaits. Bahni Turpin’s mastery of the accents expertly brings the wide array of characters to life, carrying you with Zélie and her crew across the physical and emotional landscapes that make this book so special.
    • Asymmetry

    • A Novel
    • By: Lisa Halliday
    • Narrated by: Candace Thaxton, Arthur Morey, Fiona Hardingham, and others
    • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 277
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 254
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 251

    A singularly inventive and unforgettable debut novel about love, luck, and the inextricability of life and art, from 2017 Whiting Award winner Lisa Halliday....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Loved it.

    • By Mary on 02-23-18
    • A Novel
    • By: Lisa Halliday
    • Narrated by: Candace Thaxton, Arthur Morey, Fiona Hardingham, Aden Hakim
    • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
    • Release date: 02-06-18
    • 4 out of 5 stars 277 ratings
    • What looms ahead
    • This beautifully crafted look at the simplicity and central themes of life itself focuses on two very different lives, weaving them together in a most interesting way across three distinct segments. Between young aspiring writer Mary Alice’s relationship with older famous writer Ezra Blazer, and economist Amar’s experience as an Iraqi-American man, currently stuck in a Heathrow Airport holding room, it’s full of detail and imagery that carries you along in a very vivid world and narration that is just perfect for shifting viewpoints.
    • The Wife Between Us

    • By: Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen
    • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
    • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 18,816
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 17,239
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 17,191

    Twisted and deliciously chilling, The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage - and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • NOT that confusing! Gone Girl + Last Mrs. Parrish

    • By Jenn on 01-11-18
    • By: Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen
    • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
    • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
    • Release date: 01-09-18
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 18,816 ratings
    • Beyond the veil
    • The twists and turns keep coming in this complex domestic thriller that will have you questioning everything you think you know about the lives of one woman, her Master-of-the-Universe ex-husband, and her replacement (his new fiancée). Julia Whelan deftly handles the narration as it shifts between POVs, intensity, and time frames; her nuanced performance gives the action a heightened sense of pressure as it barrels toward the explosive and satisfying conclusion.
    • Year One

    • Chronicles of The One, Book 1
    • By: Nora Roberts
    • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
    • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 13,300
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 12,076
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 12,044

    It began on New Year's Eve. The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Magical Apocalypse "Lite"

    • By Kitty on 12-07-17
    • Chronicles of The One, Book 1
    • By: Nora Roberts
    • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
    • Series: Chronicles of The One, Book 1
    • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
    • Release date: 12-05-17
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 13,300 ratings
    • A fresh start creating a new beginning
    • Best-selling author Nora Roberts’s new post-apocalyptic dystopian fantasy novel is a departure from the romantic fiction for which she’s known (or the suspense of her alter ego J.D. Robb), but it showcases the masterful storytelling that fans know and love while embracing the kind of world-building called for in this genre. Julia Whelan’s nuanced narration captures Roberts’s wide swath of characters and their authentic relationships. When the earth succumbs to a new plague, otherworldly powers manifest and human traits come in both life-affirming and monstrous ways in the first of a promising series.
    • Bonfire

    • A Novel
    • By: Krysten Ritter
    • Narrated by: Karissa Vacker
    • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 759
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 712
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 712

    A psychological suspense novel about a woman forced to confront her past in the wake of small-town corruption....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Excellent Mystery

    • By Levi on 11-16-17
    • A Novel
    • By: Krysten Ritter
    • Narrated by: Karissa Vacker
    • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
    • Release date: 11-07-17
    • 4 out of 5 stars 759 ratings
    • Who Says You Can’t Go Home Again?
    • The author is currently well known for the super-strong badass hero she plays in Netflix’s Marvel universe, but the character she’s written here has a strength and spunk that makes her a superhero of another kind. Lawyer Abby Williams’s return to the small town in which she grew up will require her to take on not only the area’s biggest employer in an environmental crimes investigation, but also the traumas of her youth and the personal fallout she’s dealt with for years. The story, full of mind games and suspense, moves along thanks to rich character development as you meet the characters in this sad and suspect town, Karissa Vacker’s effectively moving narration, and the tension that builds to one satisfying resolution.
    • They Both Die at the End

    • By: Adam Silvera
    • Narrated by: Michael Crouch, Robbie Daymond, Bahni Turpin
    • Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,168
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,108
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,099

    On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They're going to die today....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • You try and prep yourself, but it won't help.....

    • By Jeffrey veals on 02-28-18
    • By: Adam Silvera
    • Narrated by: Michael Crouch, Robbie Daymond, Bahni Turpin
    • Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
    • Release date: 09-05-17
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 1,168 ratings
    • Living Life to its Fullest
    • Even though the entire premise of Silvera’s new YA novel is about impending death, this poignant tale of two teen boys knowingly going about their last day alive is all about the promise of life. As the socially-stunted yet giant-hearted Mateo meets and gets to know rough-around-the-edges yet thoughtful Rufus, they explore what it means to be alive and who constitutes family. Michael Crouch, Robbie Daymond, and Bahni Turpin embody these and more characters in nuanced ways that tease out the many emotions of preparing for death (from regret to acceptance and growth) and embracing the most important thing about life: love.
    • We're Going to Need More Wine

    • Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True
    • By: Gabrielle Union
    • Narrated by: Gabrielle Union
    • Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 11,139
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 10,003
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 9,970

    In this moving collection of thought-provoking essays infused with her unique wisdom and deep humor, Union tells personal and true stories about power, color, gender, feminism, and fame....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • 👏🏾👏🏾 thank you. Thank You. THANK YOU!! #BRAVO

    • By Kenneisha Thompson on 11-22-17
    • Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True
    • By: Gabrielle Union
    • Narrated by: Gabrielle Union
    • Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
    • Release date: 10-17-17
    • 5 out of 5 stars 11,139 ratings
    • Savor the Taste
    • In a series of revealing and often funny essays, TV and movie actress Gabrielle Union shares personal stories from her childhood, adolescence, and career, that touch on some weighty themes. Union ties universal issues such as self esteem, colorism, racial disparity in Hollywood, and more with the personal in a way that can be both entertaining and empowering. And hearing her throaty, inviting voice, full of self awareness and good humor, narrating this book will only serve to endear her more to existing fans while gaining her new ones.
    • You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

    • A Memoir
    • By: Sherman Alexie
    • Narrated by: Sherman Alexie
    • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,404
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,297
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,292

    When his mother passed away at the age of 78, Sherman Alexie responded the only way he knew how: He wrote....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • True connection

    • By Tom on 07-20-17
    • A Memoir
    • By: Sherman Alexie
    • Narrated by: Sherman Alexie
    • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
    • Release date: 06-13-17
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 1,404 ratings
    • An Unvarnished Truth Bomb
    • I’ve called Sherman Alexie’s You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me “an unvarnished truth bomb” and while true, that authenticity is only as powerful as it is because of the heart and humor of this story. This trifecta of wonderful storytelling that Alexie created brings an intimacy that forever binds you to him and his family, particularly his mother, as he delves into her power, her life, and her relationship with him. His description of his life both on the reservation and after he left is wholly unique and fascinating, and still serves as a reminder of the universal truth that the ties that bind us all are made up of the people we call family, either by blood or by choice. And that sometimes the messiness of that family story can obscure just how strong the love is.