Teenage fiction has a huge contemporary market, and many young people these days also spend a lot of time plugged into their MP3 players. Publishers have capitalised on this by releasing audiobook versions of many excellent teen fiction books; however, as with all broad markets, they have also released some of the worse. So what are the best teenage reads currently available on audiobook?
Sir Terry Pratchett’s “Nation”, read by Stephen Briggs, is a sound choice. This book has been converted into a West End play, has won critical acclaim in both its hardback and paperback formats, and deals with issues such as bereavement, growth, science and society in a sensitive and uplifting way.
“Sisters Red” by Jackson Pierce is one of the fairytale retellings that are currently popular in the wake of the popular films “Snow White and the Huntsman” and “Mirror Mirror”. Telling the tale of Red Riding Hood as a sibling relationship story, it handles strong teenage fears of changing family relationships and external influences masterfully.
The Knife of Never Letting Go
“The Knife of Never Letting Go” is Patrick Ness’s opening to the “Chaos Walking” Trilogy, a powerful futuristic dystopian mythos very much in the popular vein. Featuring talking animals who are not so cute as you might imagine, and a world where all thoughts are known so that secrets are impossible, this audiobook examines the nature of privacy and truth is an original and exciting manner.
The Hunger Games
Another popular dystopia available in audiobook form is the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. The movie of the first book in the trilogy has been extremely successful, but, as usual, Hollywood sensibilities have removed several of the more subtle nuances in the book from the filmed version. The unabridged audio version retains these elements, and of course, the whole trilogy is available without having to wait for the release of further films. If you are an action type, why not
Harry Potter series
If you have plenty of time to spare, J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is available as audiobooks, read by Stephen Fry. While the earlier books in the series are often considered to be children’s books, the darkening themes and complex relationships that unfold as Harry grows through the series mean that the later books are certainly more suitable for teenagers. Be warned though: the unabridged versions of the longer novels last for well over 20 hours apiece.
Georgia Nicolson novels
For those who prefer more “slice of life” fiction, Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicolson novels are humorous sideways glances at modern teenage life. Featuring titles such as “…and that’s when it fell off in my hands”, the books are narrated as if by Rennison’s clumsy but endearing heroine, who is forthright about her dreams, desires and disappointments as she traverses her teenage years.
Of course, choosing reading material is very much a subjective thing, and these recommendations may not represent everyone’s favourite genres. However, they are all quality reads, and good starting places for teens who are new to audiobooks, or who are looking to expand their collections. If you aren’t quite sure where to start with audiobooks, perhaps try visiting audiogo.com to find a great range of audiobook titles.