YA Friday: The Hazel Wood, Children of Blood and Bone, and Sky in the Deep

Do you love YA audiobooks? What about fantasy YA audiobooks? How about fantasy YA audiobooks about strong, powerful young women who are committed to fighting for the people they love?

If you’re still reading, then stick around for our roundup of three exciting new YA fantasy titles!

The Hazel Wood

To satisfy your fairy tale cravings, listen to The Hazel Wood, a new audiobook by debut author Melissa Albert. Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother seem to be cursed with bad luck, but when Alice’s grandmother, the famous author of twisted, cult-classic fairy tales, passes away on her estate—known as The Hazel Wood—everything goes from bad to really bad.

Next thing she knows, Alice’s mother is kidnapped by someone from Hinterland—the world of her grandmother’s fairy tales. Her mother disappears without a trace, but she does leave a warning: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood”. Will mother heed her mother’s warning and risk losing her forever? Or will she choose to enter Hinterland and risk losing her own life?

Narrator Rebecca Soler expertly captures Alice’s angst and desperation, and is sure to have you on the edge of your seat until the very last line. Listen to Soler as she records The Hazel Wood in the studio.

Children of Blood and Bone

Bahni Turpin in the studio while reading Children of Blood and Bone.

Entering the world of spells and magic, listen to Children of Blood and Bone from smash debut author Tomi Adeyemi, an audiobook set in the once magical land of Orïsha. Long ago everyone in Orïsha was a maji, human born with magical powers, but over time their population slowly began to decline. Magic disappeared forever the day that the monarchy declared war, and for years they’ve made sure that the descendants of maji have stayed below them.

Zélie Adebola is the daughter of one of the most powerful Reapers in maji history, and she will stop at nothing when the chance to restore magic presents itself. Though the road to bringing back magic is a long and dangerous one, the biggest obstacle Zélie faces is herself and the struggle to control her magic.

Bahni Turpin’s performance is authentic and compelling. You’ll will appreciate her carefully crafted narration and the ways in which she breathes life into Adeyemi’s diverse cast of characters.

Sky in the Deep

Publishing on April 24, 2018 is Sky in the Deep, an upcoming audiobook by Adrienne Young, set in the ancient world of the Vikings. Eelyn and her Aska clansmen were raised to be warriors with a purpose: to fight their rivals, the Riki clan, and fight to survive. Eelyn has never lost her focus on the battlefield – until one day, when she sees a ghost from her family’s past fighting on the battlefield, and she is shaken and captured.

In order to return home to her family, Eelyn must partner with some unlikely characters to unite the clans, or they all face the risk of death. Though torn for her love and loyalty to her clan, Eelyn must redefine what it means to be a warrior if she wants to save herself and those she loves.

Khristine Hvam narrates the epic and gripping audiobook, and her reading will put you through an emotional rollercoaster. Her voice keeps up with all the fast-paced action, while still retaining a  grace to match some of the more delicate tones. Hear a sneak peek for yourself!

Thriller Thursday: Alice Feeny’s Sometimes I Lie

Before listening to the new hit release Sometimes I Lie, there are three things you should know about protagonist Amber Reynolds:

  1. She’s in a coma.
  2. Her husband doesn’t love her anymore.
  3. And sometimes, she lies.

Comped to thriller faves Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, Sometimes I Lie by debut author Alice Feeney grabs you from the opening line and takes the trope of the unreliable narrator and spins it on its head. We first meet Amber Reynolds when she is paralyzed and comatose in a hospital – she can hear everything going on around her, but she cannot move or speak. She can’t remember why she’s in the hospital or how she got there, but she does have a sneaking suspicion that her husband had something to do with it.

Amber’s narrative is split between three time periods – her paralyzed present, just before her accident, and a series of diary entries from her childhood twenty years ago – and the listener must fill in the blanks between the three to get to the bottom of her story. Can Amber’s memory be trusted after such a traumatic accident? Can she trust the people claiming to take care of her in recovery? And can something really be a lie if you believe it is the truth?

Beloved thriller narrator Stephanie Racine takes this twisted tale to a new level with her convincing performance that is sure to keep you hooked until the very last second. Racine’s reading oscillates from calm to calamitous and is highly skilled in building suspense and hysteria.

Don’t miss a chance to listen to this thrilling debut! Check out a clip below:

Happy Women’s History Month with Shobha Rao’s Girls Burn Brighter

Happy Women’s History Month! Every day is a celebration of the past, present, and future accomplishments of women everywhere, but especially this month we want to take the time to highlight one of our new titles that we hope will inspire you.

Girls Burn Brighter is a new audiobook by Shobha Rao, set in India and America. It follows Poornima and Savitha’s devastating and heartbreaking story, as they navigate the harsh realities of growing up as underprivileged girls in India.

Poornima’s mother was the only source of kindness and positivity in her life, so when she passes, Poornima is left alone to care for the home and her siblings until the inevitable day that she is married off. Then one day she meets Savitha who is warm, independent, and quite intriguing. Savitha inspires Poornima to think beyond the arranged marriage her father wants for her, and even further beyond her claustrophobic Indian village.

When Savitha is driven away by an unspeakable act of cruelty, Poornima leaves her life behind in order to find her friend in Seattle. She vows to do whatever it takes to find Savitha, even if it means embarking on a dangerous journey across continents.

Soneela Nankani beautifully narrates this heartwarming testament to the power of love and friendship between women. She captures the individual voices of both Savitha and Poornima, and artfully conveys their drive, strength, and resilience. Listen to the clip below and drop a comment to let us know some of your favorite titles that celebrate women!

Continue the celebration with a sweepstakes!

We’re giving away an audiobook by another strong woman, Elizabeth Warren’s THIS FIGHT IS OUR FIGHT. Enter here for your chance to win a signed copy!

 

Audiobook Recommendations for St. Patrick’s day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today we’re sharing excerpts of some of our favorite titles to celebrate the holiday, with audiobooks ranging from Irish authors to stories set in Ireland. Grab a plate of corned beef and cabbage and get listening!

THE NINTH HOUR by Alice McDermott

Alice McDermott is an Irish author who has written Someone, A Bigamist’s Daughter, After This, Child of My Heart, and more. Her new audiobook The Ninth Hour, narrated by Euan Morton (of Hamilton musical fame) follows a young Irish immigrant in Catholic Brooklyn during the early 20th century. It’s a story of love, anger, and the trials of forgiveness, and Morton’s narration captures the difficulty of sacrifice and loss, while also testifying to the power of love and friendship. Listen below! 

AN IRISH COUNTRY PRACTICE by Patrick Taylor

An Irish Country Practice is the twelfth installment in Nothern Ireland native Patrick Taylor’s bestselling Irish Country series, and it picks up with Doctor Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly and his growing practice. All is not sickness and worry, however. There’s plenty of joy and merriment to be found as well, from a visiting circus to racing to sailing . . . and maybe even a happy ending or two. Narrated by John Keating, An Irish Country Practice, is a recipient of AudioFile Magazine’s Earphones Award! We’ve placed an excerpt below! 

EMERALD GREEN by Kerstin Gier

Don’t worry, YA fans, we’ve thought of you! While this audiobook may not have an Irish connection, it’s title is Emerald Green, and what is St. Patrick’s Day without the color green? Emerald Green is the thrilling final audiobook in Kerstin Gier’s romantic time-travel trilogy. Listen to the excerpt below, if you haven’t listened to the first two, we highly recommend you do. We’ll wait. 

Do you have any favorite St. Patrick’s Day themed audiobooks? Let us know in the comments below!

Revisit the beloved characters from John Hart’s The Last Child with his new audiobook The Hush.

Ten years ago, a series of events changed Johnny Merrimon’s quiet hometown life for good. He has tried his best to stay under the radar since then, but it’s nearly impossible to escape the spotlight when there are books being written about him and fans and groupies dying for a chance to meet him. After moving out to the wilderness past town, Johnny’s last tie to his old life is Jack—a friend from boyhood. They’re forever connected through the things they shared and those they lost.

Jack doesn’t believe Johnny is safe, and senses disquiet and unease in Johnny’s reclusive home. Though he refuses to speak of it Johnny is also aware of the danger that surrounds him; he is conscious of the abilities he possesses, and more importantly, the unspeakable fear that they ignite. Narrator Jeremy Bobb’s dramatic and bone-chilling delivery of the stunning story will stay with you long after you’re done listening. Listen to an excerpt of this unique secret world! 

YA Pick of the Month Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia

Peyton Rios has everything a high school senior could want in Kami Garcia’s Broken Beautiful Hearts. She’s the all-star of her soccer team, has already been recruited to her top-choice college, and has a loving boyfriend. What more could she ask for? All of that changes when Peyton uncovers her boyfriend’s darkest secret; one she never meant to find. Next thing she knows, she’s fallen down a flight of stairs and her knee is shattered. Peyton’s dreams of going pro may vanish before they even started, and suddenly her senior year isn’t looking so bright. Everyone wants to know… did she really fall? Or was she pushed?

When Peyton meets Owen Law during her recovery stay at her uncle’s in Tennessee, she’s instantly smitten. However, dating isn’t her priority, and she suspects Owen is hiding something. Peyton has to decide if love is really worth trouble and drama. Brittany Pressley’s narration beautifully captures the ups and downs of love and heartbreak, and what it’s like to start all over again. 

Thriller Thursday: Ausma Zehanat Khan’s A Dangerous Crossing

In Ausma Zehanat Khan’s A Dangerous Crossing Inspector Esa Khattak and Sergeant Rachel Getty never expected the Syrian refugee crisis to become one of their most personal, pressing cases. That changes when Esa receives a call from one of his closest friends, an utterly distraught Nathan Clare who relays news about his sister, Audrey. She has gone missing from their base at an NGO in Greece while she was working to send Syrian refugees to Canada.

Upon arrival in Greece, Esa and Rachel are shocked not only to witness the effects of the raging war and refugee crisis, but also to learn that in addition to going missing, Audrey has been accused of a double murder: one involving a French Interpol agent and a Syrian refugee. Everything is complicated further when they meet Ali, a volunteer who is in the midst of investigating the disappearance of another girl, and prosecutor Sehr Ghilzai.

From Greece to the Turkish-Syrian border, through Europe and the Netherlands, Esa and Rachel stop at nothing to find Audrey, who they think may have been on her way to making a dangerous discovery regarding the war. Narrator Peter Ganim’s performance is captivating, and will have every listener covered in goosebumps long after the final track. Listen to an audiobook excerpt of the international mystery unfold:

New Release: Brittney Cooper’s Eloquent Rage

Just in time for Black History Month is Brittney Cooper’s memoir, Eloquent Rage. This bold yet hilarious audiobook about feminism and black womanhood is littered with truth bombs that will incite you with rage to make change. Brittney Cooper is a professor at Rutger’s University in Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies, and listening to her narrate reminds you of that one professor who was EVERYONE’S favorite. You know… the one that people highly suggested you take (but not for the easy A) and when you came out of their class, you were energized and ready to take on the sick sad world.

The message of Eloquent Rage is heighted as an audiobook—you can hear key inflections that convey light and serious tones in Cooper’s speech that clue you into how she’s feeling, which helps listeners better understand her experience. But in addition to being articulate, Cooper is also extremely relatable to listeners. It feels like she is having a conversation with you instead of at you, and regardless of your background or upbringing, she is still able to provide insight and challenge ways of thinking about feminism, blackness, and the intersection of the two. Listen to Cooper while she brings character and her wealth of knowledge to her narration by listening to an audiobook excerpt below: