Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: Afterglow by Phil Stamper

  • Afterglow
  • by Phil Stamper
  • Narrated by Michael Crouch, Graham Halstead, Shawn J. Kain, Briggon Snow, Matt Ford, and Karissa Vacker
  • Publisher: Listening Library
  • Publication Date: February 7, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780593347720

In the sequel to Golden Boys, four best friends Gabriel, Reese, Sal, and Heath return from a summer apart and navigate their senior year. Throughout the year they band together to navigate life changes, discrimination, and love. While also exploring their own separate, intriguing paths. Gabriel creates his school’s first LGBTQ+ advocacy group and uncovers a mystery; Reese pursues an unlikely direction in fashion design; Sal considers what politics could look like for him, and Heath works out what a future in baseball could mean for his family. This group of friends move from an exploratory summer to a pivotal senior year focused on accomplishing dreams and advocating for themselves.

Skillfully performed by an ensemble cast, multiple narrators bring the main and secondary characters to life. Narration is steady and grounded while still being responsive to the suspenseful, angsty, sweet, and serious elements of the novel. Listeners will connect to the story through the individual narrators intonation and pace. 

Be sure to check out Golden Boys by Phil Stamper, first in the duology to reunite with the group again. Fans of Casey McQuiston, David Levithan, Nina Lacour, and Benjamin Alire Saenz will enjoy this heartfelt and fun production.

-Ileana Pulu

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