Best Books List, Contemporary, Dystopian, Fantasy, YA Fandom, YA/NA

The Best YA Audiobooks

We all love the written word. But sometimes we’ll yearn to have our books read to us, just like they were when we were kids being told bedtime stories. Good thing there are audiobooks! With amazing narrators who bring the words from the page to life, audiobooks add another dimension to the reading experience that we have with our favorite stories. Check out this list to see – and hear! – some of the best audiobooks available to us today!

Elementals Series by Michelle Madow 

Nicole Cassidy is a witch descended from the Greek gods…but she doesn’t know it until she moves to a new town and discovers a dangerous world of magic and monsters that she never knew existed.

When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in 3,000 years, Nicole and four others – including mysterious bad-boy Blake – are gifted with elemental powers. But the comet has another effect – it opens the portal to another dimension that has imprisoned the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes, it’s up to Nicole and the others to follow a cryptic prophecy in time to save the town…and possibly the world.

Narrated by: Caitlyn Kelly

Review: Lots of thrills, tears, frustration, and all kinds of other feelings were felt while reading. The characters are great. The story is attention holding. I loved them over all. Definitely will recommend this to other readers. – CordLess, Audible listener

(Audiobook recommended by Cassandra Morgan)

Defy the Stars by Claudia Grey (recommended by Diana Peterfreund)

She’s a soldier.

Noemi Vidal is 17 years old and sworn to protect her planet, Genesis. She’s willing to risk anything – including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.

He’s a machine.

Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel has advanced programming that’s begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.

Narrated by: Nate Beagle

Review: I love this book. The pacing is fantastic, the worldbuilding fun, and the characters super interesting. The narrator did a great job bringing the whole thing to life. Highly recommend! – mcallisterjd, Audible listener

(Audiobook recommended by Diana Peterfreund)

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Audie Award Finalist, Teens 2014

Set over the course of one school year, in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra

Review: This book is well-written, almost like Rowell popped the top on the teen brain with all the first, raw emotions spilling out into a funny, lugubrious, intense singular story line with the perfect ending. Just bought his newer book, “Fangirl” and am excited to see Rebecca Lowman is narrating as well. She and Sunil Malhotra were fantastic in “Eleanor and Park”. This was an excellent read. – FanB14, Audible listener

Audiobook recommended by March McCarron

Touched by Elise S. Amore 

What are you willing to sacrifice when the only person who can save you is the same one who has to kill you?

Evan is a Soldier of Death and his assignment is to kill Gemma because her time has come.

But what if he falls in love with her?

Can love rebel against fate?

Narrated by: Matt Lanter and Emma Galvin

Review: I love this book, it was so romantic. I really hope they make this book into a movie. Matt Lanter was awesome as the narrator. Cant wait to read the other books. – ruth, Audible listener

(Audiobook recommended by Sophie Davis)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor 

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages – not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers – beautiful, haunted Akiva – fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Narrated by: Khristine Hvam

Review: Khristine Hvam was absolutely wonderful for this story. She clearly felt comfortable voicing each of the characters, easily punching up drama and emotion and love when necessary. What a talent she is! I can’t wait to listen to more from her. – Coffee, Audible user

(Audiobook recommended by Tallulah van der Made)

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo 

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price – and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone.

A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction – if they don’t kill each other first.

Narrated by: Jay SnyderBrandon RubinFred BermanLauren Fortgang,Roger ClarkElizabeth EvansTristan Morris

Review: I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. The narrators did a fantastic job bringing the story and their characters to life. I easily fell into the world and not just the first time, but every time I had to pause and then pick it is back up later. The story is enthralling and absolutely enjoyable for anyone. – Steele Reviews, Audible user

(Audiobook recommended by March McCarron)

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland 

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever.

In this new America, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Education Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead.

But there are also opportunities – and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose.

But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies.

And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

Narrated by: Bahni Turpin

Review: Justina Ireland’s “Dread Nation: Rise Up” (2018) passed my highest test for a book since November 2016: it ripped me away from my daily Audible New York Times – Washington Post – Wall Street Journal habit and into another time and place, both resonant and alien, and unfailingly fascinating. – Cynthia, Audible user

(Audiobook recommended by Stephanie Scott)

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater 

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them – not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all – family money, good looks, devoted friends – but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Narrated by: Will Patton

Review: Each of the characters in this novel are both utterly deep and (despite the supernatural themes and plot) utterly real. For fans of Stiefvater’s other works, this is expected. The bonus of this novel is that we get so many characters and yet can feel invested in all of them. Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronin, & Noah (the most central characters) were especially wonderful because they were neither wholly good nor wholly bad. Each had his/her own idiosyncrasies and failings as well as moments of heroism and compassion. I fell in love with all five! – C. ALLINGER, Audible user

Audiobook recommended by Stephanie Scott

Red Winter Trilogy by Annette Marie – read by Emily Woo Zeller (Recommended by Lela Grace)

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now, with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra – who are barely even talking to each other – are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Narrated by: Olivia Taylor DudleyLincoln HoppeJohnathan McClain

Review: It was a unique and wonderful space opera and I loved every minute of this listen. It’s one of the most original books out there today. I bought the print version as well for all the diagrams and pictures that can’t be experienced through audio. This is the rare book that both print and audio come together so perfectly. – Katherine, Audible user

Audiobook recommended by Claire Rootjes

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of 10,000 planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune – and remarkable power – to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved – that of the late 20th century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt – among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life – and love – in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

Narrated by: Wil Wheaton

Review: The narration by Wil Wheaton (who has his own cameo appearance in the story) was a fantastic fit for the story; I doubt anyone else could have done half the job he did with this book. Amanda, Audible user

Audiobook recommended by Tracy Brenton

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved – five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

Narrated by: Laura Knight Keating

Review: Narrator Laura Knight Keating is a good fit for this audiobook, and brings out the humor in the story. She sounds age appropriate and differentiates all the characters. Her pacing is good and overall I think she did a solid job overall and I’d listen to her again in the sequel. The audiobook is a Whispersync for Kindle title and it’s quite affordable if you own the kindle edition. The Reading Date, Audible user

(Audiobook recommended by Lena Mae Hill)

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity is a compelling, emotionally rich story with universal themes of friendship and loyalty, heroism and bravery. Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France. She is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in Verity’s own words, as she writes her account for her captors.

Narrated by: Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell

Review: The two main characters, these best friends have such a special bond in a time in our history in a part of the world where atrocities were taking place daily. In spite of (or perhaps because of ?) these women were especially kind and brave and full of honor and grace. Imagine if we all could aspire to be such caring special human beings in the face of such horror. Bravo Ms. Wein. And equally special, the narrators brought these amazing characters to life just perfectly. This is a wonderful special book. A must listen. –  Suzn F, Audible user

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. The Leviathan is a living airship, the most formidable airbeast in the skies of Europe.

Aleksandar Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battle-torn Stormwalker and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, a girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She’s a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With the Great War brewing, Alek’s and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected way – taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever.

Narrated by: Alan Cumming

Review: I really loved hearing Alan Cumming’s deliberate and enchanting character voices. Daryn’s personality came across so crisply, even while switching between “he/she” references as a girl airman. And Dr. Barlow – what fun! For those who’ve enjoyed other books by Westerfeld – you won’t be disappointed. For anyone who enjoys a good steampunk and/or alternate history genre – I’d highly recommend this as well. Heck, if you have even a squig of interest in concepts pertaining to biomechanics or fabricated animals – read up!  –  Carly, Audible user

(Audiobook recommended by Ingrid Seymour)

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

A young bisexual British lord embarks on an unforgettable Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend/secret crush. An 18th-century romantic adventure for the modern age written by This Monstrous Thing author Mackenzi Lee – Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets the 1700s.

Henry “Monty” Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

So Monty vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Narrated by: Christian Coulson

Review: Christian Coulson does such a fantastic job performing this book that I cannot express how glad I am that I decided to listen to it rather than read my physical copy. Not only is it an amazingly well written story, full of excitement and heartache and love, but Coulson brings Monty and all the other characters to life in a way that my own mental adaptation could not. It’s an absolute must listen and a definite read. –  SarahBelle, Audible user

(Audiobook recommended by Kelley York)

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

When 16-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length…everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Narrated by: Jennifer Ehle

Review: Jennifer Ehle has been one of my favorite actresses since her turn as Miss Elizabeth Bennett in the BBC version of Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. As the sole narrator of the audio version of Clockwork Angel, Ehle puts her acting chops to work by playing all parts to great effect! Her wry sense of humor shines through while playing Will and she conveys a true sense of innocence and strength while portraying Tessa. I would highly recommend the audio version and it is one of my favorite audio adaptations of all time. –  Amazon Customer

(Audiobook recommended by Mary Layne Bynum)

Ender’s Game Alive: Full Cast Version 

Ender’s Game Alive puts you into Battle School with young Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, as he trains to become the general who will lead Earth against the Formics, the alien “buggers”. Removed from his family at the age of six, Ender must prove his strength and his leadership, even as he fights his own doubts. The stakes are nothing less than the fate of humankind.

Ender’s Game Alive is performed by Kirby Heyborne, Stefan Rudnicki, Theodore Bikel, Scott Brick, Samantha Eggar, Harlan Ellison, Susan Hanfield, Roxanne Hernandez, Janis Ian, Rex Linn, Richard McGonagle, Jim Meskimen, Emily Rankin, John Rubinstein, Christian Rummel, and a full cast.

Review: The voice acting is top notch. Stefen Rudnicki does an amazing job, as always. Kirby Heyborne does a really good job as Ender. He reminds me of a soft spoken Johnny Yong Bosch, if you’re familiar with his work. I haven’t been able to find a cast list for the book, but I’ve recognized a couple of pretty famous voices, including Martin Sheen, which is pretty cool. Some actors are better than others, but nobody does a poor job. –   Ryan, Audible user

(Audiobook recommended by Mary Layne Bynum)

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him – something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

Narrated by: Nick Podehl

Review:  had already read this book and loved it. I was looking forward to the audio version but was afraid it could not recreate the “noise” as written in the novel. Nick Podehl exceeded all expectations. He particularly nailed the voice of Todd’s dog, Manchee, giving me moments of both wild laughter and heartbreaking tears. Bravo! –  C.Cole-Johnson, Audible user

(Audiobook recommended by March McCarron)

An Ember In the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

Laia is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim they will help to save her brother from execution.

Elias is the academy’s finest soldier – and secretly its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’ paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

Narrated by: Fiona Hardingham and Steve West

Review: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. With most audio books I listen to, I find I usually have to slog through the first quarter of the book before I really get hooked. I was hooked from the opening lines of this book all the way through to the end, with hardly a dull moment. – Amazon Customer

(Audiobook recommended by Amy Jayne)

The Raging Ones by Krista and Becca Richie

In a freezing world, where everyone knows the day they will die, three teens break all odds.

Franny Bluecastle, a tough city teen, dreams of dying in opulence, to see wealth she’s never known. Like the entire world, she believes it’s impossible to dodge a deathday.

Until the day she does.

Court Icecastle knows wealth. He also knows pain. Spending five years in Vorkter Prison, a fortress of ice and suffering, he dreams of life beyond the people that haunt him and the world that imprisoned him.

Mykal Kickfall fights for those he loves. The rugged Hinterlander shares a frustrating yet unbreakable connection with Court – which only grows more lawless and chaotic as their senses and emotions connect with Franny.

With the threat of people learning they’ve dodged their deathdays, they must flee their planet to survive. But to do so, all three will have to hide their shared bond as they vie for a highly sought after spot in the newest mission to space – against thousands of people far smarter, who’ll live longer, and never fear death the way that they do.

Narrated by: Emily Lawrence, Graham Halstead, and Tristan Morris

Review: Krista and Becca hit this out of the park or this world. The Raging Ones is such a creative and inventive world. I have been left gripping the edge of my seat for book 2. – S. Anne Frail, Audible user

(Audiobook recommended by Trace Brenton)

Unhinged (The Splintered Series) by A.G. Howard

Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole. She was crowned Queen of the Red Court and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the boy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly appealing Morpheus. Now all she has to do is graduate high school.

That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up at school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland – where she (partly) belongs.

Could she leave Jeb and her parents behind again, for the sake of a man she knows has manipulated her before? Will her mother and Jeb trust her to do what’s right? Listeners will swoon over the satisfying return to Howard’s bold, sensual reimagining of Carroll’s classic.

Narrated by: Rebecca Gibel

Review: I am so in love with this series. The addition of having her mom becoming more in the series was a delight and I highly enjoyed that. Rebecca does an amazing job with being a narrator for the book. This book keeps you on the edge of your seat. Can’t wait until the next one. – Mandy Buffington, Audible user

(Audiobook recommended by Mary Layne Bynum)

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo 

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers – especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, whom her family can never know about.

With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

Narrated by: Elizabeth Acevedo

Review: I don’t even know how to review this in all honestly. Acevedo, who has earned herself favorite new author status in my eyes, has written ( in verse!!) the moving story of Xiomara. A girl just trying to figure herself out while living with a ultra religious mom, a cinnamon roll brother, and a dad who pretty much stays out of matters at home. Acevedo did a marvelous with the narration. The emotion she put into this made the characters seem so unbelievably real. LISTEN TO IT!! You will not be disappointed. – Kiana, Audible user

(Audiobook recommended by Stephanie Scott)

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess – a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For 10 years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For 10 years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld

Review: Maarleveld does an magnificent job! Her narration drew me in from the start, and I felt she captivated Sebastian’s Ash Princess and her attitude and emotions effectively. – Jay-Tiz, Audible user

(Audiobook recommended by Tiki Kos)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl….

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Narrated by: Rebecca Soler

Review: This is the first time I’ve heard Rebecca Soler. She’s amazing—so many characters; done so well. At the risk of sounding stuffy–this lady has remarkable diction and a beautiful tone. – Kathy, Audible user

(Audiobook recommended by Ali Winters)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Every now and then a book comes along that speaks to your soul. Angie Thomas’ debut novel, The Hate U Give, is one such book. Each editor here has listened, and the feeling afterwards is unanimous – this is one of the best performances we’ve ever encountered. Thomas’ message is both timely and transcendent. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this book is important, necessary, fearless, and, quite simply, stunning.

Narrator Bahni Turpin manages to give voice to such a broad and rich cast of characters, each with their own authentic perspective, demonstrating the power of performance to bring new depth to a complex social issue.

Narrated by: Bahni Turpin

Review: Bahni Turpin does a miraculous job giving these characters the voice they deserve. There is a lot of style behind the dialogue that I could see might be hard to pull off, but she does it with ease and it draws you that much more into the story. – Michael – Audible editor

(Audiobook recommended by Lena Mae Hill)

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around – and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old, he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep 200 years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries – including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times best-selling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

Narrated by: Steve West

Review: I decided to read & listen at the same time for this story. It made it really enjoyable for me and Steve’s voice kept me interested. – Brit, Audible user

(Audiobook recommended by Amanda Steele)

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for 10 years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows – everyone knows – that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia – all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

Narrated by: Julia Emelin

Review: The narration is brilliant. The accent and the narrator’s performance really brings the story alive. It made me feel as though Agnieszka herself was telling her story to me. It must have felt like a bit of a gamble, to use someone with an authentic accent, but it was very effective. – Carmen, Audible user

(Audiobook recommended by Rita Stradling)

The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan

Protecting humans from dangerous magical creatures is all in a day’s work for a faerie training to be a guardian. Seventeen-year-old Violet Fairdale knows this better than anyone – she’s about to become the best guardian the Guild has seen in years. That is until a cute human boy who can somehow see through her faerie glamour follows her into the fae realm. Now she’s broken Guild Law, a crime that could lead to her expulsion.

The last thing Vi wants to do is spend any more time with the boy who got her into this mess, but the Guild requires that she return Nate to his home and make him forget everything he’s discovered of the fae realm. Easy, right? Not when you factor in evil faeries, long-lost family members, and inconvenient feelings of the romantic kind.

Vi is about to find herself tangled up in a dangerous plot – and it’ll take all her training to get out of it alive.

Narrated by: Jorjeana MarieZach Villa

Review: Rachel Morgan is a talented author who I cannot wait to read more from. She neither under or over describes. She gives us enough detail to believe that these places are real to her mind, and help us to see and imagine what she does. Well, I think I did a pretty good job of getting all of my thoughts out. Now I’m off to read book 2. And while I do that, I strongly encourage you all to read this one. – Lily Mordaunt, Audible user

Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer

Life as a ship’s boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of 18th-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas. There’s only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret. This could be the adventure of her life…if only she doesn’t get caught.

Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren

Review: I’ve listened to well over a hundred audio books over the last few years and have noticed that once in awhile, the reader simply manages to become the character. Most of the readers are good, but every so often, reader and character click and something special results. Grover Gardner reading David Rosenfelt’s books, David Aaron Baker reading Dean Koontz’s “Odd Thomas”, Johanna Parker’s perfect embodiment of Sookie Stackhouse in the Charlaine Harris books, and perhaps most of all, Katherine Kellgren as Jacky Faber in L.A. Meyer’s “Bloody Jack.” A perfect fit, a marvelous story, a wonderful performance. The story is excellent, but even if it were not, the performance itself would be worth hearing. This is the first performance by Katherine Kellgren I’ve heard, it will not be the last. Full marks for author and narrator. – Terry, Audible user

(Audiobook recommended by Cacy Duncan)

What are your favorite audiobooks? Let us know in the comments!

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