When the weekly AudioSYNC pairings were decided many months ago, no one knew we’d be shouting about systemic racial inequalities during a pandemic, yet these stories to read with your ears really hit home right now.
Remember to download either or both by using the links with each title before late night Wednesday 10 June 2020.
The Sora app is your key for listening to these free audiobooks on your phone or tablet as long as you keep them on your Sora shelf – more details here.
A northeast hurricane traps a devout Hasidic Jewish girl Devorah and a nerdy West Indian guy Jaxon in an elevator for a long time – long enough for the teens to get to know each other, to really really like each other…
When the elevator doors finally open, what now?
How are you educating yourself in response to current events? **kmm
They’ve endured a year without Jim, their graduation without his snarky brilliance, their pre-college summer without the play he was writing, a season and another without their spark, without Beatrice’s boyfriend.
Her friends keep calling, but Beatrice stays in her parents’ Rhode Island house, until the anniversary of Jim’s death finally pulls her to the seaside mansion where they spent so many weekends with their friends away from the private school where he was found dead.
When a stranger at the door tells the group that time has stuck in a loop for them until they agree on a difficult, terrifying, terrible choice, Beatrice knows they must go back to the scene of Jim’s death and puzzle out how (and why) he really died.
Not a mere nightmare they can wake up from – if they don’t make a unanimous decision, they’ll all be trapped in the Neverworld Wake forever!
A psychological thriller and YA debut by the author of Special Topics in Calamity Physics.
What mystery would invisible-you go back to solve?
Book info: Neverworld Wake / Marisha Pessl. Delacorte Press, 2018. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
New school year, new students, old faces… cloned teens in their first public appearance!
Darkwood Academy’s generations-strong tradition of academic excellence gets a huge shock as Emma’s junior year begins, worse for her as Levi is the clone of her best friend Eli who committed suicide during the summer.
But why did someone invest a true fortune to get these six from the “misguided lab technician” who cloned them from the umbilical cord blood of Emma’s classmates, then give them the best-possible homeschooling on his island-nation estate until just this moment to reveal them to the world?
The near-future of Darkwood’s cloned teens may be nearer than we think.
Book info: The Similars / Rebecca Hanover. Sourcebooks Fire, 2019. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk:
Every day at Darkwood reminds Emma of her best friend’s recent suicide – because his clone is one of the new students at their exclusive school. Sixteen years after being illegally cloned, the other “Similars” are in classes with their genetic twins, competing for grades, honors, and status.
While some families embrace the chance to welcome another member into their family, virulent anti-clone rhetoric invades classes and club meetings, especially after Emma’s roommate (an Original) is brutally attacked.
Who is the mysterious man who acquired and raised the Similars in secrecy till now? Why were the clones allowed to apply to the same exclusive school as their Originals? How can Emma endure seeing Levi when Eli is gone forever?
As some Similars edge out their Originals in academic rank and status, Darkwood Academy is on edge. What Emma learns from Levi may push them over the brink!
A blind runner,
a set of rules for all occasions,
any room for forgiveness?
Lost her mom and her sight at age 7, lost her trust in love in 8th grade, lost her dad last year – Parker has hardened her heart against more pain, but avoiding Scott is no longer an option when their high schools merge.
Jog over to your local library or independent bookstore to meet Parker and see if her blind spot about Scott is bigger than her capacity to forgive. Not If I See You First just came out in paperback last week.
The author, Eric Lindstrom, curated the contents of the November 2016 package for NOVLbox book service, so enter their contest here and you might be one of ten lucky winners.
What’s your blind spot?
Book info: Not If I See You First / Eric Lindstrom. Poppy, hardcover 2015, paperback 2016. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Merger of the New England town’s high schools places Scott back in Parker’s path, but she wants to ignore the guy who violated her trust during 8th grade, pretend that her aunt and family didn’t have to move into her house to help the blind teen cope after her father’s recent death, and brush off the track coach’s request that she train with a guide-runner for the Paralympics.
Too-honest Parker wears unique blindfolds as a fashion statement, she and best-friend-forever Sarah listen to others’ problems, and at least they didn’t have to move when the schools merged.
But can she cope with having Scott in her trig class, nightly dreams about her late father, and figuring out how this dating stuff goes with Jason?
Orphan makes good,
loved by town,
hunted by desperate evil!
With super-human strength, unbelievable speed, and the ability to find anything or anyone, Huck is a quiet, unassuming man who is loved and shielded by his small town – until a new neighbor alerts the media!
Now sought out by those missing loved ones and pets, he’s also on the radar of an evil Russian scientist… who’s been searching for his ability a very, very long time.
My book talk: His superpower is being able to find anything or anyone, but Huck stays humble and helpful, doing a good deed every day in his small seaside town.
When a newcomer blows the protective anonymity that his neighbors have built around the young man since he was found at the orphanage as a baby, the gas station attendant is inundated with requests to find missing persons (and dogs).
While on these missions (with super-human strength), Huck also finds the brother he never knew! Tom knows their mother’s name and that enough for Huck to be able to find her – if the evil Russian scientist’s bad guys don’t get them all first…
traveling light and often,
avoiding entanglements, until…
Scam artist teen always on the move meets an artistic young man with two personalities and a near-psychic knowledge of what she’s running from – how can Clara resist trying to tap into what Elias “sees”?
But Clara never planned on falling for Elias or struggling to understand his dissociative identity disorder or making a road trip toward answers that could imperil them both.
Completely different worlds from the dystopia that Friesen brought us previously in Aquifer (my notes here), the Salem that calm Elias wanders through in his mind, the minutely ordered existence that angry Elias tries to catalog, and the everyday world that Clara longs to leave behind.
Is there ever just one personality inside you?
My book talk: Dual-personality Elias somehow knows more about her past than Clara wishes to recall, but their journey to verify the answers stretches both young people’s affection and endurance – and Elias’ hold on reality.
Back in time to the Civil War we go, to the New England home of Meg and Jo and Beth and Amy and Marmee, to the war front with their beloved chaplain father – all through the magic of audiobooks.
Click on either or both title links below to download these free complete audiobooks from Thursday through Wednesday (30 July 2015). You then have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device
Only a few weeks left of this great summertime audiobook program. Catch up with information on where to buy the ones you missed here: http://www.audiobooksync.com/ and check out your local library‘s audiobook collection, too!
A husband missing at sea,
a forbidden relationship,
one parent punished, the other unknown…
As an error in judgment leads to years of being outcast, Hester must wear the scarlet A for adultery, yet refuses to unmask the father of her child.
Ask at your local library or independent bookstore for this clear retelling of the Hawthorne classic, whether you’re returning to a favorite tale or reading it for the first time. And if The Scarlet Letter is a school assignment, read the complete original text here for free – getting the story and characters firmly in mind with this manga will make things much easier!
Yes, this book is in true manga format, like Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice, so start at the back (helpful refresher on format-reading there) and dive into this Puritan-era conflict between passion and society’s expectations.
How long can revenge brew without burning the soul?
Book info: Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter / Nathaniel Hawthorne; adapted by Crystal S. Chan, English script by Stacy King; art by SunNeko Lee. Udon Entertainment/Morpheus, 2015. [publisher site] [series Facebook page] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: The red A for adultery blazes upon Hester Prynne’s dark clothes, but another has a burning coal in his chest as the unwed mother bears her shame in the Puritan village alone… for now.
Hester wasn’t in love with the older scholar she married at her parents’ insistence, but after his disappearance at sea, she found happiness with another man. Pregnant and judged as a sinner, she is scorned and shunned, especially when she won’t say who Pearl’s father is.
A learned man arrives in the New England village and begins keeping company with their inspiring young pastor. As Rev. Dimmesdale becomes ill, mysterious Dr. Chillingsworth seeks secrets.
Praised for her needlework through the years, Hester is still shunned.
Growing into a lovely and rambunctious child, Pearl is thought to be evil.
Is there any escape for the repentant?
With SunNeko’s art to enhance the carefully adapted text, this true manga (read from back to front) brings new life to Hawthorne’s classic tale of love, passion, and revenge. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
My Book Talk: Big-nosed barbarians! A ship larger than 7 fishing boats! Is it rescue…or capture? Young Manjiro was not sure what to tell the 4 other Japanese fishermen who had drifted to a rocky island after a storm in 1841, barely surviving.
But the captain of the American whaling ship is kind to them, and Manjiro begins to learn English and help aboard ship. The Japanese are horrified when whales are slaughtered only for their blubber, wasting enough meat to feed many villages. Alas, they will never see their home village again, since the Emperor has decreed that no Japanese that leaves their islands may ever return, just as no foreigners may ever enter that country.
Reaching Hawaii, Captain Whitfield gives the fishermen new clothes and money to help them settle there. He asks Manjiro if he would like to continue whaling and to go to America with him – as his son! Manjiro’s adventurous heart answers yes, and he becomes the first Japanese to visit the United States when their ship reaches New Bedford in 1843. Some folks accept John Mung (as his shipmates call Manjiro), but others do not.
When Captain Whitfield goes to sea again, he leaves John to look over the rest of the family. Working on the Whitfields’ farm, going to school, even riding a horse like a samurai – what other son of a village fisherman ever had such wealth and experiences?
After training as a navigator, John signs on with another whaling ship whose captain goes crazy when month after month passes with no signs of whales for capture. Will the crew of the Franklin survive? Can Manjiro ever return to Japan?
Based on a true story, this exciting book includes illustrations by Manjiro himself, plus glossaries of Japanese words, whaling terms, and sailors’ lingo. Travel the high seas during whaling’s glory days as you learn how a humble fisherboy grows up to have the heart of a true samurai. (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)
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