Our Last Echoes by Kate Alice Marshall; narrated by Kathleen McInerney, Robbie Daymond and Rob Shapiro
Publication Date: March 16, 2021
Bitter Rock has a long history of disappearances. In 2003, Sophia’s mother vanished and now years later, Sophia returns to discover the truth about what happened to her. Not everything is not as it seems. There is just something a little off, not quite right about Bitter Rock. The horrifying truth will have dire consequences for Sophia and the friends she meets on the island.
This horror novel weaves the supernatural with the psychological and forces the listener to ask, how well do we know our friends, our family? Can we trust what we see with our own eyes? This was deliciously creepy and Marshall did a great job of keeping the pace and the multiple narrators provided depth that provoked fear and sympathy for the characters.
Readers who enjoyed Marshall’s Rules for Vanishing, will be pleasantly surprised to see some minor characters featured more prominently in Our Last Echoes. However, one does not have to read one to enjoy the other. And for more island monsters, try Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand.
Other Nominated Titles
- My Contrary Mary by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows; narrated by Fiona Hardingham (June 22, 2021)
- The Witch King (The Witch King Duology) by H.E. Edgmon; narrated by Dani Martineck (June 1, 2021)
- Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom’s Graphic Memoir by Tyler Feder; narrated by Amanda Dolan (March 30, 2021)
- Pumpkin (Dumplin’) by Julie Murphy; narrated by Chad Burris (May 25, 2021)
- Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar; narrated by Reena Dutt and Shubhangi Karmakar (May 25, 2021)
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.
Image is important when you are a teen, especially in the era of the selfie. Posting photos on social media for all to criticize can have ill effects on a teen’s image.
In recent months, body shaming has been headline news due to comedian Nicole Arbour’s vlog called Dear Fat People. Her “satirical” commentary sparked a nationwide conversation about harmful speech. Celebrities such as Demi Lovato, Kelly Clarkson, and Selena Gomez have spoken out about people who call out their weight in photos. The common denominator is that fat shaming must stop and we must learn to respect everyone regardless of how they look.
Recent YA novels have addressed body image in different ways. Some novels are about bullying, some focus on relationship issues with parents, some feature boys, and some are just stories that feature characters that aren’t thin. Regardless of the issue, readers come in all shapes and sizes and all teens should see themselves in books, which is why the latest installment of Diversity YA features not-so-skinny POVs.
Below are a list of YA novels that feature teens of varied size and circumstance.
- Fat Boy Vs. The Cheerleaders by Geoff Herbach (2015 Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults)
When Gabe finds out that the vending machine money funds the cheer squad instead of the band, he makes it his mission to change it back. Continue reading Diversify YA Life: Not-So-Skinny POVs
One of this year’s hot debuts is Dietland by Sarai Walker. Written for adults, the novel is related by the immensely likable Plum Kettle, an intelligent young woman who responds to “Dear Kitty” emails from adolescent girls in need of guidance. Beyond that, Plum hides. Weighing in at over 300 pounds, Plum attracts all the wrong kinds of attention, and it’s just unbearable. Her plan is gastric bypass surgery, after which she can reclaim her given name, Alicia, and wear all the cute clothes she’s been storing in her closet.
But Plum’s life goes completely off course when she meets a group of woman who battle society’s preoccupation with physical beauty. Plum alternately loves them and hates them, reactions, no doubt, shared by many readers. What seems to be a straightforward story about one overweight woman explodes into a high stakes action adventure featuring a terrorist group known as “Jennifer.” This book packs a lot, but perhaps most poignant are the “Dear Kitty” emails. Teen readers will come to love Plum through her thoughtful and funny responses. Continue reading Crossovers: Weighty Issues