#AA2019 Nominees Round Up, April 4 Edition

The Belles, by Dhonielle Clayton, narrated by Rosie Jones
Audio Published by Blackstone Audio
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
ISBN: 978-1538540589

Dhonielle Clayton’s The Belles starts out with an ever-so-brief history of Bellehood and we are instantly set on Camillia, a brown girl living with her adopted sisters, trained from the very beginning to bring Beauty to a world where people are born ugly and gray. Clayton created a world where Belles are trained for years in order to transform those that could pay, into beautiful creatures. Camillia not only wants to be a Belle; she wants to be the Favorite, chosen by the queen to live in the royal palace and to tend to the royal family and those at Court. However, Favorites must be recognized as the most talented Belle in Orleans. However, things do not go as planned as Camillia and her sisters arrive at court. When her sister Amber is chosen as the Favorite, Camillia’s world seems to teeter.

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#AA2019 Nominees Round Up, March 28 Edition

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert, narrated by Rebecca Soler
Audio Published by Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
ISBN: 978-1427293534 

Alice Crewe and her mother Ella have moved all her life, and Alice has never been sure what exactly her mother is searching for–or running from. All she knows is that no matter what happens, her mother won’t let them return to the Hazel Wood, Alice’s grandmother’s vast estate. Alice has never met her grandmother, the infamous recluse Althea Proserpine, whose one book of fairy tales, Tales from the Hinterland, is an out-of-print cult classic–a classic Alice has never read, having her copy stolen. All she has is the table of contents, which includes “Alice Three Times,” a story she is certain she has a connection to. When Ella disappears, Alice’s classmate Ellery Finch, an Althea Prosperpine fanboy, teams up with Alice to find her, his ability to retell the stories from Althea’s book crucial to their search. Alice soon realizes that the Hinterland is real–and it’s after her.

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#AA2019 Nominees Roundup, March 21 edition

Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga, narrated by Soneela Nankani
Balzer & Bray / HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
ISBN: 978-0062689221

For the past three years, sixteen-year-old Jordanian-American Tal has been writing to indie rock star Julian Oliver, convinced that he is her father.  Tal’s evidence: a take-me-back letter from Julian to Tal’s mom, Lena; the fact that Lena attended college in Julian’s small hometown and facial similarities between Julian and Tal.  

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#AA2019 Nominees Round Up, March 14 edition

The Authentics by Abdi Nazemian, narrated by Kyla Garcia
Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication Date: December 22, 2017
ISBN: 978-1538512227

Daria Esfandyar and her best friends call themselves “the Authentics” because they are all trying to be who they really are inside, whether or not it is considered cool or acceptable.  When a school assignment prompts Daria to take a DNA/ancestry test to surprising results, she suddenly doesn’t feel so true and real. As she investigates her family’s history, Daria also contends with her mother’s planning of a grand Iranian-American sweet sixteen party (which she doesn’t actually want) and new developments among her friends.  Along the way she also falls for a somewhat forbidden boy.

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Amazing Audiobooks 2019 (#AA2019) Nominee Round Up

It’s time for more selected lists nominees! Stay tuned to the Hub as we reveal the nominees for 2019’s Quick Picks, Amazing Audiobooks, Great Graphic Novels for Teens, and Best Fiction for Young Adults!

Today you can see our first two Amazing Audibooks 2019 (#AA2019) nominees.

The Cruel Prince
, by Holly Black, narrated by Caitlin Kelly
Audio Published by Hachette Audio
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
ISBN: 978-1478923732

As children, Jude, her twin sister Taryn, and older sister Vivienne witness a Fairy general named Madoc murder their parents. He then whisks them away to live within the confines of the High Court of Faerie, a realm away from the human world. Desperate in trying to find their own place in their new world filled with deceitful cruel fey creatures; the sisters face hateful stares and injustice within the Faerie realm.

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#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. Continue reading #AA2018: Amazing Audiobooks Nominees, Volume 8

#AA2018: Amazing Audiobooks Nominees, Volume 7

This round of Amazing Audiobooks nominees are great stories told in unusual formats.

Solo by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess, narrated by Kwame Alexander and Randy Preston (original music)
Audio Published by Zondervan
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
ISBN: 9780310761891

Solo tells the story of seventeen year old Blade Morrison. Blade, like his father, is a talented musician; but unlike his father, he’s steadier, sober and less haunted by his mother’s death. Blade has a comfortable yet difficult life. His dad is wealthy, so he never needs to worry about money or how to pay for his future. He has a girlfriend, Chapel, with whom he plans to attend college. Yet Blade is constantly in the public eye, because his father is not only famous, but infamous for the stunts he pulls when he’s under the influence.  Blade, who is more self-possessed that most teenage kids with famous substance abusing fathers and self-involved sisters, is learning truths about himself that are throwing his world into a tailspin. Continue reading #AA2018: Amazing Audiobooks Nominees, Volume 7

#AA2018: Amazing Audiobooks Nominees, Volume 6

Today’s Amazing Audiobooks nominees feature charming and engaging coming of age narratives.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, narrated by Robbie Daymond
Audio published by Clarion Books
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
ISBN: 978-0544586505

Sal is beginning his senior year of high school. He feels he’s always lived a slow, predictable life with his adoptive gay dad, his dad’s family, and his best friend, Sam. The beginning of this school year, however, brings an identity crisis the likes of which Sal has never experienced. His emotions feel out of control, his family life is rapidly changing, and he’s spiraling. His grandmother, the only woman who’s played the motherly role in his life, is dying while his friend Fito’s mother is at risk of murdering Fito because of the drugs that she’s using. The only outlet for all of this stress that satisfies Sal is physical violence, and this makes him afraid of himself.

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#AA2018: Amazing Audiobooks Nominees, Volume 5

This installment of Amazing Audiobook nominees feature stories of real life and the “not so afterlife” and are perfect for fans of hard-hitting realistic YA fiction, and more humorous stories.

The Hate U Give by Angie ThomasThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, narrated by Bahni Turpin
Audio published by: Harper Audio
Publication date: 2/28/17
ISBN: 9780062677082

The Hate U Give, titled after a Tupac Shakur song, reaches deep into an ongoing issue in American culture today; that of police violence against the African American community. Starr Carter is torn between two worlds. In one world, she’s the token black girl, smoothing out her personality and demeanor to fit in with the other students at her suburban prep school. In her other world, Starr faces a glaring reality that only comes from living in a drug- and gang-ridden community. But even with its problems, Garden Heights looks after itself, neighbors helping each other; and Starr’s father’s store provides a staple business in the community. One evening Kenya (Starr’s half-brother’s sister), convinces Starr to join her at a local party. During the party, Starr reunites with an old childhood friend, Khalil. Seeing Khalil brings forward some of the reasons the two grew apart; Starr’s attending a prep school in a different town and the death of their childhood friend, who was killed in a drive by shooting while swimming at the public pool. After witnessing the death of their friend, Starr has never been quite the same. Continue reading #AA2018: Amazing Audiobooks Nominees, Volume 5

#AA2018: Amazing Audiobooks Nominees, Volume 4

This round of Amazing Audiobooks nominees feature historical fiction and true tales of teens making history.

The Pearl Thief

The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein, narrated by Maggie Service
Audio published by Brilliance Audiobook
Publication Date: 7/15/17

ISBN: 978-1484717165

Elizabeth Wein’s latest novel is another humdinger of a historical yarn. This little ditty is just drenched in dulcet dialogue and populated by an irresistible array of memorable characters. Featuring a feisty and charmingly spunky female protagonist with a certain derring-do that takes her to the heart of an engrossing murder mystery. Teenage Julie Beaufort-Stuart returns to her ancestral Scottish home for the summer and is quickly steeped in a conundrum involving pilfered pearls, country travelers, and one boggy corpse.

The Pearl Thief is a well-crafted coming-of-age tale that rings authentic and well-researched. It should appeal to young audiences for its vim, variety of characters, and velocity of narrative. It’s equal parts Harriet the Spy, Sherlock Holmes, and Scooby-Doo. Julie carries the plot effortlessly with her verve and sense of adventure but the accompanying characters also bring much to the story. Julie befriends two traveler siblings and together they tackle the case of the missing heirloom pearls that resulted in a dead body on the family estate. It’s very almost nearly a Nancy Drew Mystery Story. Continue reading #AA2018: Amazing Audiobooks Nominees, Volume 4