#AA2018: Amazing Audiobooks Nominees, Volume 8

This edition of Amazing Audiobooks nominees features two funny stories!

Kill All Happies by Rachel Cohn, narrated by Lauren Ezzo
Audio Published by Dreamscape Media, LLC
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
ISBN: 9781520072210

Kill All Happies is Cohn’s newest solo title. Cohn is well-known for her collaborative titles with YA author David Levithan, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, the Twelves Days of Dash and Lily and Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List. In Kill All Happies, Victoria “Vic” Navarro or “General Navarro,” as she is called by peers, is determined to give the seniors of Rancho Soldado one last party they won’t forget. Like most of the townspeople of Rancho Soldado, Vic is devastated that the local restaurant Happies has closed and is being sold to developers. Vic gets permission to host the party in the Happies restaurant, with the understanding that the party will in no way overflow into the abandoned Happies theme park behind the restaurant, and that Annette Thrope, a.k.a. “Miss Ann Thrope,” Vic’s arch-nemesis, teacher, and real estate agent for the Happies property, will not find out. Vic is assisted in this endeavor by her two best friends, Genesis “Fletch” Fletcher and Mercedes “Slick” Zavala-Kim.  But Vic also has another goal for the evening, to hook up with her number one crush, Slick’s older brother Jake. At first, the party seems to be going on without a hitch, but soon Happies from all over arrive to celebrate the “last night at Happies.” The night begins to veer off course and Vic has to decide to try and fix the problems the party is causing or give up and join in the fun.

This book is fast paced, especially once the party starts and unpredictable with all of the hijinks that ensue. Lauren Ezzo is what really makes this story enjoyable enthusing all of the sarcasm and biting acerbic wit that these teens express. This wacky hilarious story is not to be taken seriously, but to be savored for its silliness. This story is stuffed with strong language and does contain talk of sexual situations.

This book will appeal mostly to older teens. Fans of this book may also like Cohn’s other work, or other comedic titles such as the Denton Little’s Deathdate and Denton Little’s Still Not Dead by Lance Rubin (who reads the audio himself!).

— Erin Durrett


Benjamin Franklin: You’ve Got Mail by Adam Mansbach and Alan Zweibel, narrated by Nick Podehl, Tom Parks, and Lauren Ezzo
Audiobook published by Brilliance Audio
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-4915-9143-7

 Time travel and America’s founding fathers get an over-the-top, hilarious skewering in this sequel to Benjamin Franklin: Huge Pain in My…

Seventh-grader Ike Saturday time travels in a cardboard box to 1776 hoping to find Benjamin Franklin and save the country that will become America. Ike wants to help right the wrong he and girlfriend Claire Wanzandae inadvertently set in motion while trying to help in the war against the British.

However the road to saving American independence is filled with potholes. Hilarity ensues. Ike comes up with the idea of a medicine show to raise money, with Ben as a doctor hawking a fake cure for coal miners cough. Ben protests: “‘Have you not heard my famous maxim stating that honesty is the best policy?’ he demanded. ‘All Sales Final’ is the best policy,’ I answered. ‘And if you want to have a maxim battle, here’s one for you: There’s a sucker born every minute.'”

Claire suggests to Ike that Ben convince King Louis XVI of France to get on board with the colonies because, according to their history teacher, “the French love [Ben] for some reason, the way German people love David Hasselhoff.” Thus, Ike and Ben book passage for France and on the ship they meet Thomas Jefferson and John Adams performing as clowns and telling very bad jokes. They too are on their way to see the King.

B-Freezy, T-Jeff and Johnny Adrock (the b-boy monikers Ike has given them) agree to collaborate on a proposal to the King. But a meal of bad oysters threatens to doom their epic presentation and it’s up to Ike to save the day and save America.

Nick Podehl performs Ike’s off-the-wall caper with youthful humor and lively snark, sure to appeal to young teens who relish broad comedy and anything gross. Tom Ezzo presents Ben’s journal entries with the pomp and stuffiness befitting an indignant founding father stuck with an exasperating teen from the future. Lauren Ezzo reads Claire’s time-traveling letters to Ike which keep him posted on events back home.

Benjamin Franklin: You’ve Got Mail recalls the audio wackiness of Dr. Cuthbert Soup’s A Whole ‘Nother Story series, another wild and humorous time travel adventure.

—  Beatriz Pascual Wallace