Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds

  • We Deserve Monuments
  • by Jas Hammonds
  • Narrated by Tamika Katon-Donegal
  • Recorded Books, LLC | Recorded Books, Inc
  • Publication Date: November 29, 2022
  • ISBN: 9781705069530

Seventeen-year-old Avery Anderson planned to spend her senior year with her best friends before following her mother into academia. Her plans derailed when her parents relocated their family from their DC home to Bardell, Georgia to care for her dying grandmother, Mama Letty. As soon as they arrive in Bardell, she encounters systemic racism and homophobia that bi-racial, queer Avery had never experienced in her privileged life in DC. Avery spends her days with Mama Letty, who has grown bitter from age, illness, and the lasting impact of her husband’s unsolved disappearance. As Avery learns more about her family and Bardell, she uncovers a history of racism and secrets about her grandfather’s disappearance that may be more sinister than she could have imagined.

Tamika Katon-Donegal artfully narrates Jas Hammonds’ winner of the John Steptoe Award for New Talent Award. Katon-Donegal breathes life into Avery as she struggles with uncovered secrets. The narration is heartfelt and perfectly expresses Avery’s emotions as she learns her family’s history and develops feelings for a new love interest. Yet, the audiobook’s greatest strength is the atmospheric reading that creates a mood that perfectly expresses the book’s underlying mystery. Fans of Camryn Garrett’s Off the Record, and Jumata Emill’s Black Queen will enjoy this LGBTQ+ slow-burn mystery.

-Rebecca Baldwin

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: February 28, 2023
Release Date: February 7, 2023
Release Date: January 10, 2023
Release Date: January 31, 2023

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.