Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish
This Week’s Topic: Top Ten (Audio)books I Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads
Thank you to Tonyalee for giving me the opportunity to share this list on her blog. As someone who loves MG & YA Audiobooks, I have enjoyed following her and have also participated in Middle Grade Madness by linking up.
Do any of these apply to you?
- You have already read Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Twilight, and all those other popular series and need something new to read.
- You haven’t read the popular series and are reluctant to do so because of all the hype.
- You simply love MG and/or YA and want some recommendations.
If so, the following are ten books for the young (at heart) that I feel deserve more love than they have received so far.
Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon
Narrator: Tara Sands / Publisher: Tantor Audio (2015) / Length: 7:38
When Molly shows up on Castle Hangnail’s doorstep to fill the vacancy for a wicked witch, the castle’s minions are understandably dubious. After all, she is 12 years old, barely five feet tall, and quite polite. (The minions are used to tall, demanding evil sorceresses with razor-sharp cheekbones.) But the castle desperately needs a master or else the Board of Magic will decommission it, leaving all the minions without the home they love. So when Molly assures them that she is quite wicked indeed (so wicked! Really wicked!) and begins completing the tasks required by the Board of Magic for approval, everyone feels hopeful. Unfortunately it turns out that Molly has quite a few secrets, including the biggest one of all: that she isn’t who she says she is.
Check it out if you like: MG Contemporary Fantasy / Quirky characters / Lots of humor / Talking animals / Characters who learn to stand up for themselves / No romance
Fairytale Trilogy #3 Atone by Jessica Grey
Narrator: Randi Larson / Published: 2013 / Length: 6:43
Becca Ward knows that magic is real… Two years ago not only had she and her best friend Alex found a real-life Sleeping Beauty in the middle of Los Angeles, they also discovered that they were powerful in their own right. They’ve managed to keep both their fae powers and their friend Lilia’s identity as a medieval princess a secret and live a normal life. Now their normalcy is threatened by the return of their former advisor at the Gem and Mineral Museum—and Becca’s least favorite person, Nicholas Hunt.
…and she’s about to find out that more than one fairy tale is true. Nicholas has been obsessed with proving Lilia’s identity and the existence of magic. While working on an archeology dig he discovered an ancient fae artifact—a mirror that is imbued with a powerful protection spell that twists his obsession, and his body, until he is more beast than man. In order to protect her friends, Becca is forced to help him, and she is surprised to find that in spite of his outward appearance, Nicholas is no longer the beast she remembers. Will she let herself be the beauty that breaks the curse, or will she let her prejudice against him stop her from discovering true love?
I liked the first one enough to read this sequel, but I like this one a lot more.
Check it out if you like: YA Contemporary Fantasy / Fairy-tale Retellings /
Beauty & the Beast / Love that grows through actual interactions (No InstaLove or Love Triangles) / Funny, mildly snarky, Heroines / Strong female friendships / Swoony bits (non-explicit)
The Grimm Legacy (#3): The Poe Estate by Polly Shulman
Narrator: Jorjeana Marie / Publisher: Listening Library (2015) / Length: 6:46
Sukie’s been lonely since the death of her big sister, Kitty – but Kitty’s ghost is still with her. At first that was comforting, but now Kitty’s terrifying anyone who gets too close. Things get even weirder when Sukie moves into her family’s ancestral home, and an older, less familiar ghost challenges her to find a treasure. Her classmate Cole is also experiencing apparitions. Fortunately, an antique broom’s at hand to fly Sukie and Cole to the New-York Circulating Material Repository’s spooky Poe Annex. As they search for clues and untangle ancient secrets, they discover their histories intertwine and are as full of stories of love, revenge, and pirate hijinks as some of the most famous fiction.
I liked the first one (4*), wasn’t very fond of the second, and this is my favorite.
Check it out if you like: MG Contemporary Fantasy / Spooky but not too scary stories / Haunted Houses & Ghosts / Fictional items made real / Strong families / Mysteries & missing treasure
The Gryphon Chronicles #1: The Lost Heir by E.G. Foley
Narrator: Jamie du Pont MacKenzie / Published 2013 / Length: 10:20
Jake is a scrappy orphaned pickpocket living by his wits on the streets of Victorian London. Lately he’s started seeing ghosts, and discovers he can move solid objects with his mind! He has no idea why. Next thing he knows, a Sinister Gentleman and his minions come hunting him. On the run for his life, Jake is plunged headlong into a mysterious world full of magic and deadly peril. A world that holds the secret to who he really is: The long-lost heir of an aristocratic family – with magical powers!
But with treacherous enemies closing in, it will take all of his wily street instincts and the help of his friends – both human and magical – to solve the mystery of what happened to his parents and defeat the foes who never wanted the Lost Heir of Griffon to be found.
Check it out if you like: MG Fantasy / Victorian English settings / Ghosts / Scrappy orphans / Strong friendships / Strong females, whose strength lies in their commitment to their convictions / Mythical creatures
The Keepers #1: The Box and the Dragonfly by Ted Sanders
Narrator: Andrew Eiden / Publisher: HarperAudio (2015) / Length: 13:19
From the moment Horace F. Andrews sees the sign from the bus – a sign with his own name on it – everything changes. The sighting leads him underground, to the House of Answers, a hidden warehouse full of mysterious objects. But there he finds only questions. What is this curious place? Who are the strange, secretive people who entrust him with a rare and immensely powerful gift? And what is he to do with it?
Horace quickly discovers that nothing is ordinary anymore. From the sinister man lurking around every corner to the gradual mastery of his newfound abilities to his encounters with Chloe – a girl who has an astonishing talent of her own – Horace follows a path that puts him in the middle of a centuries-old conflict between two factions.
Check it out if you like: MG Contemporary Fantasy / Books that explore rather than ignore family / Male-Female friendships that aren’t romantic / Characters who like science (even when surrounded by Magic) / Longer MG reads
The Map to Everywhere (#1) by Carrie Ryan & John Parke Davis
Narrator: John Glouchevitch / Publisher: Hachette Audio (2014) / Length: 11:11
To Master Thief Fin, an orphan from the murky pirate world of the Khaznot Quay, the Map is the key to finding his mother. To suburban schoolgirl Marrill, it’s her only way home after getting stranded on the Pirate Stream, the magical waterway that connects every world in creation. With the help of a bumbling wizard and his crew, they must scour the many worlds of the Pirate Stream to gather the pieces of the Map to Everywhere–but they aren’t the only ones looking. A sinister figure is hot on their tail, and if they can’t beat his ghostly ship to find the Map, it could mean the destruction of everything they hold dear!
Check it out if you like: MG Contemporary Fantasy / Characters who love adventures / Stories about families & friendships / Verbal puns & word play / Odd names / Pirates (and pirats)
Nurk: The Strange, Surprising Adventures of a (Somewhat) Brave Shrew by Ursula Vernon
Narrator: Bill Knowlton & a Full Cast / Publisher: Full Cast Audio (2009) / Length: 3:06
Nurk is a quiet homebody of a shrew. But when a mysterious plea for help arrives in the mail, he invokes the spirit of his fearless warrior-shrew grandmorther, Surka, and sets off to find the sender. It seems the prince of the dragonflies has been kidnapped, and Nurk is his last hope for rescue.
Such a mission would be daunting for even the biggest, baddest, and bravest of shrews, and Nurk is neither big nor bad, and only a little brave. But he does his very best – and hopes his grandmother would be proud.
Check it out if you like: Grade school fantasy with Animal protagonists / LOL, snort your drink, moments / Simple, but not boring, characters
The Pillars of Reality #1: The Dragons of Dorcastle by Jack Campbell
Narrator: MacLeod Andrews / Publisher: Audible Studios (2014) / Length: 11:27
The Mechanics and the Mages have been bitter rivals, agreeing only on the need to keep the world they rule from changing. But now a Storm approaches, one that could sweep away everything humans have built. Only one person has any chance of uniting enough of Dematr behind her to stop the Storm, but the Great Guilds and many others will stop at nothing to defeat her.
Check it out if you like: Strong females who think / Adorably clueless guys who can hold their own / slow developing love stories (with no love triangles) / “Chosen One” characters with weaknesses, who need & accept help / Science AND Magic / Note: Dragons only come in during a small part at end, but there are a few more in later books
Slow Dance in Purgatory (#1) by Amy Harmon
Narrator: Emily Woo Zeller / Publisher: Tantor Audio (2014) / Length: 7:27
Orphaned from the age of ten, 17-year-old Maggie finally finds a permanent home with her elderly aunt in a small Texas town. Working part-time at the local high school, she becomes enmeshed in a fifty-year-old unsolved mystery where nothing is as it seems. Who is the boy no one else can see? And what do you do when you fall in love with a ghost? This volatile and mismatched romance is doomed from its start, as Maggie struggles to hold on to yet another life destined to be taken from her.
Check it out if you like: Romantic YA Ghost Stories / The 1950’s (the setting is modern, but there are flashbacks) / Dancing / Slowly developing love stories
The Tribe #1: The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina
Narrator: Candice Moll / Publisher: Candlewick on Brilliance Audio (2014) / Length: 8:46
Ashala Wolf has been captured by Chief Administrator Neville Rose. A man who is intent on destroying Ashala’s Tribe — the runaway Illegals hiding in the Firstwood. Injured and vulnerable and with her Sleepwalker ability blocked, Ashala is forced to succumb to the machine that will pull secrets from her mind. And right beside her is Justin Connor, her betrayer, watching her every move. Will the Tribe survive the interrogation of Ashala Wolf?
Note: I find the cover very creepy and not indicative of the content.
Check it out if you like: YA Paranormal Dytopias / Books with social commentary (that doesn’t overwhelm); Dystopias / Unique world building (based on Australian mythology / A touch of romance / Strong females whose strength doesn’t lie in their physical prowess
Tell Me Your Thoughts
- Have you read any of these? What did you think?
- What are some of your favorite underappreciated books?
Yes, I’m “that person,” the one who wears her headphones nearly everywhere. Whenever anyone apologizes to me for a delay, I just say, “That’s ok, I’ve ‘Got My Book.’”
Come join me on an Audiobook journey through the worlds of fantastical fiction, with other book related side trips.