Best New Audiobooks for Young Adult Readers
AudioFile for The Children’s Book Review
This month, we’re sharing five engrossing YA audiobooks that make for excellent summer listening. Teens can get swept up in heartfelt stories of changing families or get sucked into the intense mystery at the heart of a debut that has everyone talking. Listeners looking for a summery YA romance will find a lot to love in the selections below. Read on to discover the five audiobooks that AudioFile Editors chose this month—including two narrated by AudioFile’s Golden Voice narrators.
Teen listeners can also explore AudioFile’s free summer reading program, SYNC. Take a look at the full list of free audiobooks for teens on the AudioFile website, and learn more about how to access the audiobooks from now until August.
Golden Voice narrator Soneela Nankani sparkles in this charming ode to family bonds and the power of the perfect party. When her sister, Vinnie, announces her engagement, Mini wishes their mother were still alive to plan the wedding but takes on the planning mantle. Nankani flawlessly creates authentic accents for a diverse host of friends and family (including one really cute boy) from all over the world. She voices Mini with the endearing wistfulness of a teen who sees Vinnie’s wedding as taking her sister one more step away from their tight family unit. Review »
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With a heartfelt performance, Golden Voice narrator Bahni Turpin puts listeners in the head of Evie, an L.A. high school senior who doesn’t believe in happily ever after. When she starts seeing visions of how and when couples’ relationships will end, Evie’s search for answers leads her to a dance studio where she meets the charming and handsome X. Turpin’s characterizations help to build Evie’s world. Evie’s mother’s Jamaican accent waxes and wanes, depending on her mood; ballroom dance teacher Fifi’s strong Eastern European accent and no-nonsense delivery match her force-of-nature temperament. Evie learns truths about dancing, friendship, family, and love in this lovely and bittersweet coming-of-age novel. Review »
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Story by Angeline Boulley
Read by Isabella Star LaBlanc
Ages 14+ | Macmillan Audio | 14.25 hrs. | Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award
Isabella Star LaBlanc brings an authentic narration to this powerful audiobook set amid state and tribal lands in Michigan. LaBlanc masterfully amplifies Ojibwe teenager Daunis’s apprehension when she becomes involved in helping the FBI investigate a new, deadly street drug that’s tearing apart her community. Boulley’s debut combines romance and action-adventure thrills with multifaceted character development, and LaBlanc rises to the challenge, bringing listeners into the mind of this clever and courageous young woman. This audiobook should not be missed. Review»
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Narrator Bebe Wood channels the spirit of theater-geek adolescence in her skillful performance. A school drama club is staging ONCE UPON A MATTRESS, and in short order, a shared crush tangles up the bond between aspiring thespian Kate and her equally stagestruck BFF, Anderson. Plus, Kate also realizes that there is more to her goofy jock classmate, Noah, than meets the eye. Deftly modulating her tone and speed, Wood draws listeners into the full range of Kate’s emotions: enthusiastic chutzpah, cringey naïveté, Instagram-generation cynicism, and soft, sweet sincerity. Listeners—especially author Albertalli’s many fans—will want to give this audiobook a rousing ovation. Review»
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Story by Meg Rosoff
Read by Ell Potter
Ages 14+ | Brilliance Audio/ Candlewick | 3.75 hrs. | Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award
As a British family of six takes its annual beach holiday, narrator Ell Potter’s delivery is informed by the voice of the unnamed, ungendered young adult narrator. Connection and joy have always been the context of vacations with Cousin Hope, who lives at the shore. But this summer, everything changes. Potter’s narration focuses on the emotional arc, tone, and characterizations of this story. Listeners will enjoy this finely crafted novel in which time and traditions endure amid plot twists and the protagonist’s struggle to find their footing. Review»
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The article Summer Listening: Best Young Adult Audiobooks was curated by AudioFile. AudioFile is an independent source of audiobook reviews and recommendations with a clear focus on the performance and listening experience. AudioFile Earphones Awards are given to exceptional audiobooks. To learn more, visit audiofilemagazine.com, Twitter @AudioFileMag, and Facebook @audiofilemagazine.