This is Not the Jess Show by Anna Carey; narrated by Suzy Jackson
Publication Date: February 2, 2021
Jess is living in the 90’s and dealing with some complicated issues. She has a major crush on her childhood best friend, unsupportive friends and a younger sister sick with a terminal illness. To make matters more complicated, unexplainable things start happening to Jess. She hears chanting no one else can, a flu knocks out half her classmates, and her best friends keep pressuring her to date the annoying school jock. When her sister ends up in the hospital, it’s the catalyst that Jess needs to slowly unravel a deep secret about the town.
This fun, twisty thriller provides a slow burn build up to the shocking reveal, drawing the listener in and enticing them with clues. The narration by Jackson is spot on. She perfectly portrays Jess’s emotional roller-coaster from everyday girl with a crush, to an angry teenager hellbent on finding the truth.
Another book with a dark secret slowly, yet satisfyingly unveiled is She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard. If you like books set in the 90’s with plenty of nostalgia and coming of age angst, try The Mall by Megan McCafferty.
Other Nominated Titles
- Any Way the Wind Blows: Simon Snow Trilogy, Book 3 by Rainbow Rowell; narrated by Euan Morton (July 6, 2021)
- Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé; narrated by Jeanette Illidge and Tapiwa Mugweni (June 1, 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.