Audiobook Reviews

THE COCKTAIL WAITRESS

New York Times Book Review – “Amy Rubinate artfully impersonates all the characters in this dark drama, but she reserves her most sultry voice for Joan Medford, one of those black-widow femmes fatales that no James M. Cain novel would be without.”

School Library Journal – “This first-person narrative is a natural for audio, and reader Amy Rubinate has just the right voice for it: young and naive yet sexy and knowing. From the beginning, readers will want to believe everything she says, but there’s something about that voice that makes them wonder if they are being manipulated. Verdict: a clever reading that mystery lovers will enjoy.

WHISTLING PAST THE GRAVEYARD

AudioFile Earphones Award

AudioFile  Listeners will be captivated from the first sentence spoken by 9-year-old Starla Claudelle. It’s true that Amy Rubinate should get the credit for the narration, but it’s so perfect and seamless that the listener is only aware of Starla. In 1963 Mississippi, Starla runs away from her Mamie’s house and gets picked up by Eula, a black woman who has just taken an abandoned white baby from the steps of a church. Rubinate captures every emotion as Starla faces extreme danger, racism, and heartbreak during her travels with Eula. Rubinate is perfect with every voice, telling a story that paints a vivid picture of America’s past, both bad and good.

THE LOST HUSBAND

AudioFile  Narrator Amy Rubinate’s sensitive and grounded narration captures the essence of the story. She masterfully uncovers Libby’s powerful emotions as she discovers her past, grieves over people she has lost, and finds hope and love in her children and the people that now surround her. Rubinate’s smooth voice and flowing pace bring out the differences between Libby’s mother and aunt and offer solid characterizations of Libby’s feisty daughter and the attractive farm manager, who, like others in the town, harbors a secret.

THE BIRDCATCHER

AudioFile  THE BIRDCATCHER is a thriller told from two perspectives, both narrated by Amy Rubinate. She’s a natural fit for Nell, a spirited teen whose chapters are read with brassy confidence. When voicing the “Birdcatcher,” Rubinate’s voice shifts to a timbre that is husky and soft. The effect is disarming, and it makes his disturbing thoughts all the more threatening.

IT HAPPENED AT THE FAIR

AudioFile Magazine  Using her lovely and soothing voice, Amy Rubinate narrates this sweet, romantic glimpse back to a time gone by when life was slower and more formal and romantic relationships developed rather than just happened. Rubinate’s selection of voices for each character is spot-on. She gives a coarse sound to Cullen’s illiterate girl back home, a precise and sweet tone to Della, and a deep, strong, and patient voice to Cullen. Her portrayals of various businessmen of the time are also pitch-perfect.

EARTHSEED

AudioFile Earphones Award

AudioFile – “Twenty-nine years after the original publication in print, Amy Rubinate’s performance of Earthseed justifies the wait… Rubinate imbues each character with a personality that enhances the dynamic and carefully crafted interpersonal conflicts of the characters.”

SHADOWS ON THE MOON

AudioFile – “Rubinate’s inspired portrayal of Suzume captures the many facets of her personality: conflicted but passionate, strong but fragile. As narrator, she gives power to Suzume’s story by portraying her as a flawed, lovely girl”

THE LILY POND

Booklist Top 10 Historical Fiction on Audio

Booklist- “Rubinate’s excellent narration matches the superlative title”

AudioFile – “Narrator Amy Rubinate flawlessly delivers Austrian and Swedish accents and portrays characters of various ages, cultures, and religious backgrounds. Rubinate particularly captures Stephie’s range of feelings as she copes with her worries about her parents.”

School Library Journal – “Amy Rubinate does an excellent job of evoking all of the emotions of a teenager who wants to be accepted by her classmates, fall in love, and do the right thing for her family. She gives each character a unique voice, and seamlessly blends the narration and the dialogue, drawing listeners into the drama and the historical significance of the time. Listeners will eagerly await the next book.”

ROLLER COASTER

AudioFile – “Amy Rubinate takes Roller Coaster to new heights. From the very first moment of waiting in line…to the ride’s bell starting ring to being pulled clickity-clackity up the hill to the glorious moment at the crest, Rubinate IS that rider. Her voice resonates with nervousness but then lets out squeals and giggles as the ride zooms, zips, dips, and dives.”

School Library Journal – “Amy Rubinate’s incredibly expressive reading reflects the hesitation the child feels at the beginning of the ride and then the sound of sheer joy as the roller coaster zooms, zips, and loops the loop! Children will be delighted.”

FRIENDS LIKE US

Publisher’s Weekly – Amy Rubinate’s narration brings Jane to life, capturing her goofy humor, awkwardness, and conflicted feelings. She also deftly voices the book’s other characters; her rendition of Willa’s on-again-off-again boyfriend, Declan, is a standout. Rubinate ably conveys the book’s lovable protagonist and its themes of friendship, love, and confusion.

A FARAWAY ISLAND

Booklist – “Rubinate’s narration of this 2010 Batchelder Award winner successfully conveys the anguish and loneliness of displaced children through Stephie’s first-person point of view. Rubinate’s subtle vocal changes for various children and adults add immediacy to this historical novel, which reminds us of the harsh realities of war and circumstances facing children forced to leave their homes.”

EVERNEATH

AudioFile – “Rubinate evokes Nikki’s despair, her longing to stay with Jack, and her destructive fascination with Cole, the boy who originally lured her to her doom. Rubinate’s charismatic narration delivers the sweeping romance of this taut mythological tale.”

Unwasted Words Blog – “Everneath has everything I look for in an audiobook: great production value, clear well read narration, and a wonderful performance by the narrator. I found the tone and melancholy quality in Amy Rubinate’s narration as haunting and lovely as the words Brodi Ashton provided. Rubinate did a wonderful job on the male voices as well, they were strong and didn’t sound forced.”

LIGHT FROM A DISTANT STAR

AudioFile – “This coming-of-age story of 13-year-old Nellie Peck is deftly read by Amy Rubinate. An observant yet innocent listener and watcher, Nellie is portrayed with a young-sounding voice yet a mature pace and tone. Rubinate also does a wonderful job of making the supporting characters come to life, including the breathy and bubbly Dolly and the gruff but likable Max, two characters whose voices reflect their dual natures.”

TIME BETWEEN US
School Library Journal – “Amy Rubinate’s narration keeps Stone’s story lively and she convincingly conveys Anna’s worry and anger as she uncovers the pros and cons of having a time-traveling boyfriend.”

TELL THE WOLVES I’M HOME
AudioFile – “Rubinate captures June’s hesitation and confusion when she’s contacted by Toby, her uncle’s life partner—a man she hadn’t known existed. Rubinate conveys emotion without overacting and uses light touches to distinguish between characters.”

THE CHILDREN AND THE WOLVES
School Library Journal – “Amy Rubinate convincingly voices Bounce with the right amount of belligerence and cockiness. She also narrates the part of the young kidnap victim, dubbed “The Frog,” using a sweet and lyrical pitch.”

DESERT CROSSING

School Library Journal – “The tone and pace of Amy Rubinate’s narration is wonderful, especially when voicing the range of Lucy’s emotions.”

THE GOLD-THREADED DRESS

School Library Journal – “Amy Rubinate’s narration sensitively and accurately portrays Oy’s feelings of confusion and conflicting loyalties. The unhurried pacing is perfect for these universal stories of acceptance and friendship.”

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