Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: Whiteout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon

  • Whiteout
  • by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jacson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon
  • Narrated by Nic Stone, Danielle Shemaiah, Shayna Small, Bahnie Turpin, Alaska Jackson, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Kevin R. Free, James Fouhey, and Korey Jackson
  • Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers, Inc./Quill Tree Books
  • Publication Date: November 8, 2022
  • ISBN: 9780063088177

It’s winter holiday time and science-minded Stevie made a mistake. A huge mistake. She must find a way to apologize to her girlfriend, romance-loving Sola, or lose her forever. An amazing group of friends pitch in and help her attempt the apology of a lifetime, while also navigating their own love stories. The only problem is, Atlanta is experiencing a once-in-a-decade snowstorm.  

The same authors who brought us 2021’s Blackout, are back at it, this time in Atlanta. Twelve young friends work together to help save a relationship at risk. Stevie enlists her friends to help, and all are on board, but when Sola issues a time-sensitive ultimatum, the rush is on. Stevie’s friends adapt, but there’s a bigger problem: Atlanta is experiencing a snowstorm. Flights are delayed or canceled, roads are dangerous, and time is running out. During the course of the book, six couples will face second-chances, friends-to-lovers, and the realization that friendship and love are the most important part of the holiday season. 

Multiple narrators expertly represent the diverse cast of characters, each narrator reading one of the stories. The pacing and intonation of each narrator lifts each couple off the page making their stories come alive. This fun, fast-paced, romance has something for everyone.

For fans of Blackout by the same group of authors. Readers who enjoyed audiobooks like Slay! by Brittney Morris, Ibi Zoboi’s Pride, narrated by Elizabeth Acevdeo, or reruns of the 80s sitcom A Different World will enjoy this story of Black love and friendship.

-Jen Haas

Other Nominated Titles

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January 10, 2023
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February 7, 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.

Genre Spotlight: Horror for Teens

photography of cat at full moon
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Fall is an excellent time to get into some spooky, haunty, ghoulish titles, and there are a variety of new books to tantalize teens. Horror isn’t so much a genre with a specific set of rules, but a mood that comes into a variety of other genres whether it is fantasy, paranormal, mystery, historical, or realistic and can contain elements of slasher, body horror, gothic, dark fantasy, or folk horror just to name a few. There are a variety of short story collections and novels for teens, and some adult crossovers to suggest that will be sure to give teens thrills and chills in whatever their genre inclinations are.

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Pairing Music with YA Lit: “My True Love Gave to Me” Edition (Part 2)

Back in December I posted musical pairings for the first six stories of My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins in which YA authors illustrate how the holidays can be a time of first love, caring, and sometimes even a little magic.  As promised, here are songs paired with the last six stories in the collection.

my true love gave to me

“Krampuslauf” by Holly Black

Summary: At Fairmount’s annual Krampuslauf, an unnamed narrator and her friends, Penny and Wren, decide to confront Roth.  Roth is a “rich kid” who moonlights with Penny even though he already has a girlfriend.  Wren and the main character have had enough of him using their friend.  But when they confront Roth, impulsive Wren ends up inviting him and his preppy friends to a New Year’s Eve party.  And now the girls need to scramble to put one together.

Musical Pairing:  While the main character does find some romance toward the end of the story, more emphasis seems to be on Penny and Roth’s “relationship.”  As such, I chose “Looking Too Closely” by Fink for this short story, because Penny refuses to see Roth’s wrongdoings (The devil’s right there, right there in the details/ And you don’t wanna hurt yourself, hurt yourself/ By looking too closely) and (The truth is like blood underneath your fingernails/ You don’t wanna hurt yourself, hurt yourself/ By looking too closely).  Another great pairing would be “Ghost” by Ella Henderson–especially because Penny can’t see the evidence of Roth’s other, real relationship until it’s right in front of her (I had to go through hell to prove I’m not insane/ Had to meet the devil just to know his name).


“What the Hell Have you Done Sophie Roth?” by Gayle Forman

Summary: Sophie Roth has had many “what have you done?” moments as a freshman at U of B (let’s just say it stands for University of “the middle of nowhere”).  As a city girl she stands out in this tiny college in the middle of the country.  In fact she is half expecting Ned Flanders to show himself. But at a Christmas caroling concert, she meets someone who also stands out–Russell.  Russell shares with her the best pie out of town (apple pie with cheddar cheese) and helps her celebrate something she’s missing this holiday at U of B–Hannakah.

Musical Pairing:  Though I’m tempted to pair “Blue Moon” by the Marcels (or another 50’s song that might be a U of B favorite) with this short story, I’m more inclined to pairing it with The Simpsons theme song because Sophie and Russell get together over a shared Ned Flanders joke.

Continue reading Pairing Music with YA Lit: “My True Love Gave to Me” Edition (Part 2)

Scary Stories to Set the Mood for Halloween

If you are like me, you’ve been ready for Halloween since August 1st. Not everyone is so Halloween-happy. Maybe you haven’t bought out the grocery store’s stock of canned pumpkin or purchased a new shade of orange nail polish, but, like it or not, October is upon us, which means you may have teens swarming your stacks in search of something to creep them out and give them nightmares. In my experience I get more requests for “scary stories” than horror novels.  With that in mind I’m going to highlight some collections of short stories sure to meet various spine-chilling needs as well as give some horror specific readers’ advisory tips.scary stories for halloween


  • “Scary” is subjective. Every reader is going to be comfortable with different levels of the supernatural, violence, gore, etc. A good way to assess what type of horror a reader wants is to ask them what their favorite scary book is. If they are not an avid reader you may need to ask about their favorite scary movie or scary television show. You are probably going to want to recommend a different book to a fan of The Sixth Sense than you would to a fan of Saw.


  • If you are not a horror reader yourself or get scared easily, it’s OK for you to tell teens this. Particularly with younger teens this may help them to be more open about how scary they want their stories to be. If you aren’t a horror reader, however, you will want to familiarize yourself with the popular horror titles in your collection. If you can pick the brain of a fellow staff member or teen volunteer who reads a lot of horror, this is a great start.

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