Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults 2018 Top Ten
Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash, read by Ensemble Cast. Dreamscape Media, 2017. 2 hours, 1 minute; 2 discs. 978-1-5200-7223-4. In this graphic novel memoir, fifteen year old Maggie, returns to go to summer camp. After falling in love with her counselor, Erin, Maggie struggles to fit within the lines defined by camp and the people associated with it. This is an audio voiced by a full cast that includes background noise, which makes the listen a fully immersive experience.
Scythe by Neal Shusterman, read by Greg Tremblay. Audible Studios, 2017. 11 hours, 9 discs. 978-1-5436-4362-6. Citra and Rowan reluctantly compete to become a scythe, or professional grim reaper. The one who wins must kill the other. Greg Tremblay’s superbly nuanced reading imbues the concept of death with an unexpected sense of grace.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee, read by Christian Coulson. HarperAudio, 2017. 10 hours, 47 minutes; digital. 978-0-0627-4311-4. During a Grand Tour of Europe that goes horribly awry, Henry “Monty” Montague must reconcile his roguish habits with his growing love for childhood-friend Percy. Coulson perfectly characterizes Monty’s vices and virtues in this romantic, swashbuckling, 18th-century adventure.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, read by Bahni Turpin. HarperAudio, 2017. 11 hours, 45 minutes; 11 discs. 978-0-0626-7708-2. Racial tensions build after Starr Carter witnesses her childhood friend, Khalil, killed by a police officer. Turpin’s performance of this gripping story is unadulterated perfection.
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, read by Robbie Daymond. Listening Library, 2017; 11 hours, 53 minutes; 10 discs. 978-1-5247-3455-8. It’s Sal’s senior year, and he is struggling with his future, his family, and his best friend. Daymond’s narration amplifies all of Sal’s emotions and feelings, taking the reader on an emotional listening journey.
The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein, read by Maggie Service. Bolinda Audio, 2017. 7 hours, 55 minutes; 7 discs. 978-1-4894-0368-1. When teenager Julie Beaufort-Stuart, the unforgettable heroine from Wein’s Code Name Verity, loses her grandfather and must help pack up her family’s ancestral estate, she is entangled in the mysterious disappearance of a London professor and her family’s collection of Scottish river pearls. Julie’s vivacity, love, and quest for justice is brought to life through Service’s captivating narration.
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, read by Dominic Hoffman, Raymond Lee, and Bahni Turpin. Listening Library, 2016. 8 hours, 4 minutes; 7 discs. 978-1-5247-2138-1. Fact loving girl meets poetry-writing dreamer in this anything but typical love story. Dominic Hoffman, Raymond Lee, and Bahni Turpin’s unique voices prevent the shifting perspectives from becoming confusing and add even more layers to the already rich story.
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery, as told to Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley, read by Damaras Obi. Listening Library, 2017. 1 hour, 1 minute; 1 disc. 978-1-5247-7909-2. Lowery’s compelling memoir recalls her teenage activism in the 1960s. Obi reads with a conviction and urgency that brings the civil rights movement to life and underscores its relevance today.