Solo by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess; narrated by Kwame Alexander with Randy Preston What it's about: In engaging free verse and his own song lyrics, 17-year-old songwriter Blade Morrison relates the challenges he faces as the son of a drug-addicted rock musician. (Teen Fiction.)
Narration: In this AudioFile Earphones Award-winning recording, the author's own voice convincingly portrays the character he created.
Landscape with Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson; narrated by M.T. AndersonWhat it's about: After the alien vuuv invasion destroyed earth's economy, chronically ill teenager Adam dreams of buying advanced medicine for his illness, which is available only to the ultra-rich. However, his scheme to earn cash from the vuuvs may not survive after he and his girlfriend break up. (Teen Science Fiction.)
Narration: Author M.T. Anderson sardonically renders this sophisticated social satire in a future-earth setting.
Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family and an Inexplicable Crime by Ben Blum; narrated by Johnathan McClainWhat it's about: In this sobering account, author Ben Blum tries to find out why his straight-arrow Army Ranger cousin Alex Blum became involved in a crime pulled off by some of his buddies. What happened to induce Alex to go along with this scheme? Ranger Games raises questions about the effects of military training on young men's moral compass. (Nonfiction.)
Narration: Johnathan McClain's resonant, laconic voice brings the scenes to life.
The Seagull by Ann Cleeves; narrated by Janine BirkettWhat it's about: In this 8th book in the series, D.I. Vera Stanhope visits an old adversary in prison and promises to look into a cold case. Much to her surprise, the case has connections with her late father. (Mystery.)
Why you might like it: Vera Stanhope's quirky character remains intact, even as the past haunts her with dark memories.
Narration: This is narrator Janine Birkett's 3rd Vera Stanhope production, and her clear, well-modulated voice will please Vera's fans.
Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert; narrated by Alisha WainwrightWhat it's about: On summer break in Los Angeles after a year at boarding school, Suzette is glad to reunite with her multiracial family. However, her brother Lionel, who has bipolar disorder, burdens her with an uneasy secret, and Suzette is confused by her attraction to two different people. (Teen Fiction.)
Narration: Alisha Wainwright evocatively portrays this emotionally complex, character-driven story about love and loyalty.
The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare; narrated by Mary Jane WellsWhat it's about: Beauty meets Beast in this 1st in the Girl Meets Duke series: seamstress Emma Gladstone requests payment from the Duke of Ashbury for his ex-fiancée's wedding dress, but receives a marriage proposal instead. Can the Duke, who needs an heir, satisfy Emma's desire for a more romantic union? (Regency Historical Romance.)
Narration: Mary Jane Wells' engaging narration hits the right tone for the novel's witty banter, comedic situations, and emotional intensity.
Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle by Kief Hillsbery; narrated by James Cameron StewartWhat it is: In Empire Made, author Kief Hillsbery relates his travels following in the footsteps of a distant English uncle, who'd worked as an East India Company clerk in the 1840s and then "gone native." Going back and forth in time, Hillsbery also recounts his relative's experiences, including slices of Victorian-era gay life. (Nonfiction.)
Narration: James Cameron Stewart's British accent is especially well suited to rendering this narrative.
Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land; narrated by Imogen ChurchWhat it's about: At 15, Annie turned her mother in for serious crimes. Now she's living under an assumed name in a psychologist's home, preparing for her mother's trial, but her foster sister resents her and she's being bullied at school. Can she escape the influence of her mother's toxic personality? (Psychological Suspense.)
Why you might like it: This gripping debut is a tense, disturbing read.
Narration: Imogen Church presents a believable Annie while distinguishing clearly among the voices of various characters.
Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker; narrated by Therese Plummer and Julia WhelanWhat it's about: Sisters Cassandra and Emma disappeared together; three years later Cass reappeared alone with a complicated explanation. Now FBI forensic psychiatrist Abby Winter is sure that Cass isn't telling her everything. What really happened, and could their mother have played a role? (Psychological Suspense.)
Why you might like it: Unreliable witnesses, a dysfunctional family, and a convoluted plot will keep your attention.
Narration: Therese Plummer and Julia Whelan provide an intense narrative performance that powerfully supports the plot.
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward; narrated by Kelvin Harrison Jr., Rutina Wesley, and Chris ChalkWhat it is: The award-winning Sing, Unburied, Sing relates a powerful story of how the past affects the present and of deeply entrenched racism. Featuring 13-year-old biracial Jojo and his black, drug-addicted mother, the novel delivers deeply affecting characters, a strong sense of place (rural Mississippi), and a touch of magical realism. (Fiction.)
Narration: Kelvin Harrison Jr., Rutina Wesley, and Chris Chalk display their talents as they voice three distinct characters in a masterly rendition of this complex and affecting novel.
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