Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: My Dear Henry: A Jekyll & Hyde Remix by Kalynn Bayron

  • My Dear Henry: A Jekyll & Hyde Remix
  • by Kalynn Bayron
  • Narrated by Clifford Samuel
  • Publisher: Macmillan | Macmillan Young Listeners
  • Publication Date: March 7, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781250877239

Part of the Remixed Classics series, this latest work from author Kalynn Bayron updates Robert Louis Stephenson’s classic gothic novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for a modern young adult audience. In Bayron’s version, narrator Gabriel Utterson is a young medical student rather than an attorney; however, conflict arises because he is also African American and queer and dealing with the racism and homophobia of late 19th-century London. After he and his best friend, Henry Jekyll, are expelled from the London Medical School amid rumors of their relationship, Henry begins growing increasingly distant from Gabriel about the same time as the mysterious Hyde shows up. Despite Gabriel’s jealousy of Hyde, who seems to live at Henry’s house, he begins to realize something is not quite right and becomes determined to discover what is going on with his friend.

Clifford Samuel does an extraordinary job narrating as his deep voice perfectly suits the dark mood and gothic atmosphere of this story that reveals that monsters aren’t always the ones you think they are, especially in a society where your worth is determined by the color of your skin and whom you choose to love. Fans of The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein and Self-Made Boys, as well as Bayron’s other works are likely to find appeal in this book.

-Jennifer Balke

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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 Age of the Retelling

Aliens. Vampires. Ghosts. Dystopians. These are some huge themes that pop culture has gone through in the past decade. From YA novels, to movies, to television shows there is always a theme that prevails for a period of time. Our current theme? Retellings.

The current line up of new movies are either remakes and reboots of originals or books and comics turned into movies, with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Revenant, and Deadpool leading the way. Current popular TV shows are either retellings or revivals of past shows, with the masses being particularly excited about Fuller House and X-Files.

Retellings abound in YA literature as well, not only in rewriting classics, such as Marta Acosta’s retelling of Jane Eyre entitled Dark Companion, but many retellings of fairy tales. What is it about retellings that catch our attention? Is it the themes that we know and love? Is it the comfort of the familiar, like we are coming home? I am sure the answer is different for everyone, but there is no doubt that retellings are taking the pop culture world by storm.

fairy tale retellings young adult literature

As with many themes, certain books quickly take the spotlight, while some others quietly gain attention. The same goes with retellings. Below are some books that all your friends may have been telling you about, books you haven’t heard of, and new books to keep an eye out for.

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Gothic, Horror, and Mysteries: YA Fiction for Fans of Edgar Allan Poe

It’s the time of year where readers start asking for creepy and the supernatural, and teens flock to stories of gothic horror and murder mysteries. There’s no shortage of young adult fiction in these genres and there’s even quite the list of Poe-inspired works. This is a list to satisfy those with an appetite for the macabre or mysterious!

young adult fiction for fans of edgar allan poe | YALSA's The Hub

Continue reading Gothic, Horror, and Mysteries: YA Fiction for Fans of Edgar Allan Poe