The True Confessions Of Charlotte Doyle Avi Audiobook Review

There are a lot of books that I think I’ve read but don’t remember or that seem to be a part of my generation’s collective childhood but not mine. I kind of remember starting The True Confessions Of Charlotte Doyle by Avi, but I don’t remember ever finishing it. When it came time to make my Project Fill In The Gaps listCharlotte Doyle came to mind because I had remembered the cover, it seems like everyone has read it and that on the surface I figured it was about the adventures of a girl on a ship, sort of like this other audiobook I reviewed.

The True Confessions Of Charlotte Doyle Avi Book Cover

The True Confessions Of Charlotte Doyle

Y’all, this shit is cray is all I’m gonna say. Actually, I do have more to say on the premise and plot of The True Confessions Of Charlotte Doyle. K, so Charlotte Doyle is a 13 year old girl who takes a ship voyage in 1832 from England where she attends school to America BY HERSELF with no chaperone or escort. Yeah, I know totes suspension of disbelief, because she is rich so one would expect a servant or something. Anyways, while on board, Charlotte is found guilty of MURDER, also no spoiler, it’s in all the official summaries and so the book deals with the whole situation and Charlotte’s ch-ch-changes. Oh yes! And mutiny!

I actually really liked the plot and character development in The True Confessions Of Charlotte Doyle by Avi. Obviously it’s not exactly realistic because I am pretty sure privileged rich girls did not travel alone on a ship full of mens and no women at the age of 13 in 1832. I’m also sure that no one in real life would ever believe she killed a grown man without the use of a gun or poison. So, when you read this book, just strap in and enjoy the adventure turn your brain OFF. Where this book shines is in how much change and growth Charlotte undergoes, not puberty. She’s quite prissy when we meet her, but then she becomes a hard working bad ass with moral fiber. BOOM. I love that noise, moral fiber and such.

However, if you are going to read Avi’s classic, do not do the audio. Seriously, this listening experience was the opposite of fun for me, I was expecting Katherine Kellgren calibre but was totally let down. The narrator, Alexandra O’Karma breathes pretty heavily. There are LONG pauses. Plus, the voice hardly feels appropriate to the story. The audio could definitely use a new narrator and a face lift, perhaps to appeal to a broader audience. The bright spot? It is only 6 hours and 27 minutes unabridged. OH and the version I listened to was produced by Recorded Books.

Disclosure: Purchased copy with my cashmoney on Audible! Make it rain dollars on books! WHOOO!

FYI, I totally read this as part of my own personal Fill In The Gaps reading project.

Other reviews of The True Confessions Of Charlotte Doyle by Avi:

Views From The Reader Side – “I really became enraptured

The Blog Of Jess Haines – “This award-winning novel is made of so much WIN

Reading Is My Super Power – “a fast-paced, Gothic-tinged action story

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. When I read the title, I didn’t know which book this was. Then I scrolled down and saw the cover. It’s ridiculously familiar to me! I’m with you: either I read it and forgot or had it but never read it. The plot doesn’t ring any bells so probably the latter. Thanx for the review! 😉

  2. I LOVED this book when I read in as a kid… it was one of my favorites for a while. The only thing I can really remember about it was there was a character named Zachariah, which my sisters and I thought was a hilarious name and we chanted it a lot. I’m sure I loved the story about a kickass girl with murder and intrigue, though. I wonder if I’d still enjoy it as much, though.

  3. My god. This book was the “in” thing in our elementary school. I should really take it out of the library again. Did you ever read any other Avi books? I think there was a title called “Something Upstairs” that was pretty popular? I could never get it out of our school library!

  4. So, when you read this book, just strap in and enjoy the adventure turn your brain OFF. –> People should do this with MANY books. It would totally enhance their reading experience in various ways! Also there would be less getting-bent-out-of-shape. I am not one for that. I vote YES for strapping in and enjoying the adventure and turning the brain OFF.

    I should note that I have NOT read this book but I enjoyed this review. And the reference to Bowie because I have been a fan forever.

  5. I’ve never read this book – but it does sound like a lot of fun, despite definitely being unrealistic. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This was my favourite book in grade 7!! I loved it to bits, it was so exciting and Charlotte was such a great heroine. And yeah, I would’ve been 13, so I didn’t spend much time thinking about how implausible it all was! Not after reading all the Narnia books. 😉

  7. Like you, I’m pretty positive I read this when I was a kidlet, but I have straight up no memory of it.

    I am laughing so hard at your suspension of disbelief issues. There is absolutely no way that they would let a wealthy 13 year old girl travel alone on a ship full of menfolk in that time period. That shit would still be at least sketch in like the 1950s, so yeah not buying it. Her reputation would be forever tarnished. 13 seems like a baby to me, but it was like marrying age then, so just no.

    Hmm, I’m really curious about the mutiny part, because I felt like that happened but know nothing about why.

    Ugh, I’ve listened to a number of bad audiobooks. I hate when they don’t match the voice up with the story. I listen to one for Bel Ami that had similar problems. It was about this handsome young man, but they chose this man so old he sounded like he was going to keel over and die any moment to narrate it. Also, like O’Karma, he was a heavy breather and they didn’t edit that shit out. That’s seriously sloppy. Okay, so I just looked that one up and it was ALSO produced by Recorded Books. This explains some things. Apparently, they are a bit lazy about editing over there. For shame!

    Long ass comment is long. Also, I have this on my shelves, so I should really reread, and then probably donate or sell.

  8. This post brings back so much nostalgia for me. I absolutely adored The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle when I was little. I may have disregarded the issues you brought up – how she’s young and traveling alone and all. But I remember loving Charlotte’s character so much.

Leave a Comment


CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: