2016 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults

Each year, YALSA's Amazing Audiobooks committee selects and annotates an annual list of notable audio recordings significant to young adults from those released in the past two years.

simon vs the homo sapiens agenda

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, read by Michael Crouch
Sixteen-year-old, not-so-openly-gay Simon Spier is blackmailed into playing wingman for his classmate or else his sexual identity--and that of his pen pal--will be revealed.

the witch hunter

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker, read by Nicola Barber
Set in an alternative 16th-century England, Elizabeth Grey is the only girl in the king's elite group of witch hunters. When she's framed for being a witch herself, Elizabeth finds freedom at the hands of the world's most wanted wizard and her loyalties are tested.

lair of dreams

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray, read by January LaVoy
After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O'Neill has outed herself as a Diviner and has become a media darling. In the meantime, a mysterious sleeping sickness has hit New York City, and the Diviners must band together to find the cause and the cure.

guy in real life

Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff, read by Macleod Andrews & Arielle DeLisle
The lives of two Minnesota teenagers are intertwined through the world of role-playing games.

golden son

Golden Son by Pierce Brown, read by Tim Gerard Reynolds
As Reds, Darrow and his kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds. In the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life, Darrow becomes a Gold to destroy their privileged realm from within. On a path fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must strive not for violent revolt but hopeful rebirth, and choose to follow Eo's principles of love and justice to free his people. He must live for more.

waistcoats & weaponry

Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger, read by Moira Quick
In her alternate England of 1851, while taking her friend Sidheag by train to her werewolf pack in Scotland, sixteen-year-old Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to dissolve all of London into chaos and must decide where her loyalties lie once and for all.


Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure by Cecil Castellucci & Jason Fry, read by January LaVoy


Trollhunters by Guillermo del Toro & Daniel Kraus, read by Kirby Heyborne
Everything changes for San Bernardino teenage suburbanite Jim Sturges when a 45-year old mystery resurfaces, threatening the lives of everyone in his seemingly sleepy town. Soon Jim has to team up with a band of unlikely (and some un-human) heroes to battle the monsters he never knew existed.

the graveyard book

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, read by Neil Gaiman, et al.
An orphaned boy is raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard.

half wild

Half Wild by Sally Green, read by Carl Prekopp
In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, seventeen-year-old Nathan has come into his own unique magical Gift, but he is on the run with the Hunters close behind, and they will stop at nothing until they have captured Nathan and destroyed his father.


Unbroken: An Olympian’s Journey from Airman Castaway to Captive by Laura Hillenbrand, read by Edward Herrmann
A captivating young adult edition of the award-winning #1 New York Times best-seller documents the inspirational true story of how Louis Zamperini, a juvenile delinquent-turned-Olympic athlete and World War II pilot, crashed into the ocean and survived for weeks on a life raft only to become a prisoner of war. Includes more than 100 photographs and an exclusive interview with Louis Zamperini.


Illuminae: The Illuminae Files 1 by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, read by Olivia Taylor Dudley, Lincoln Hoppe & Jonathan McClain
The planet Kerenza is attacked, and Kady and Ezra find themselves on a space fleet fleeing the enemy, while their ship's artificial intelligence system and a deadly plague may be the end of them all.

the dead house

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich, read by Charlotte Parry & Christian Coulson
Told through journal entries, a psychotherapist's notes, court records, and more, relates the tale of Carly, a teen who was institutionalized after her parents' death but released to Elmbrige High School, where she is believed to have a second personality or soul named Kaitlyn, and/or be possessed by a demon.

what if

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe, read by Wil Wheaton
Millions of people visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. His stick-figure drawings about science, technology, language, and love have a large and passionate following. Fans of xkcd ask Munroe a lot of strange questions. What if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent the speed of light? How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? If there was a robot apocalypse, how long would humanity last? In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations, and consults with nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, complemented by signature xkcd comics. They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind, or at least a really big explosion. The book features new and never-before-answered questions, along with updated and expanded versions of the most popular answers from the xkcd website.

the rest of us just live here

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness, read by James Fouhey
The best friend of a kid with superhuman qualities endeavors to have a life of his own that is both normal and extraordinary in the face of constant world-shaking challenges, threats against his school, and an elusive pretty girl.

all the bright places

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, read by Kirby Heyborne & Ariadne Meyers
Told in alternating voices, when Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school--both teetering on the edge--it's the beginning of an unlikely relationship, a journey to discover the "natural wonders" of the state of Indiana, and two teens' desperate desire to heal and save one another.

gabi, a girl in pieces

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero, read by Kyla Garcia
Sixteen-year-old Gabi Hernandez chronicles her senior year in high school as she copes with her friend Cindy's pregnancy, friend Sebastian's coming out, her father's meth habit, her own cravings for food and cute boys, and especially, the poetry that helps forge her identity.

all american boys

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely, read by Keith Nobbs & Guy Lockard
When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend. Told through Rashad and Quinn's alternating viewpoints.

library of souls

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs, read by Kirby Heyborne
Time is running out for the Peculiar Children. With a dangerous madman on the loose and their beloved Miss Peregrine still in danger, Jacob Portman and Emma Bloom are forced to stage the most daring of rescue missions. They'll travel through a war-torn landscape, meet new allies, and face greater dangers than ever. Will Jacob come into his own as the hero his fellow Peculiars know him to be?

crown of three

Crown of Three by J.D. Rinehart, read by Kirby Heyborne
Toronia, a kingdom composed of three realms, is wracked with civil war. King Brutan rules with an iron fist. The kingdom's only hope comes in the form of Brutan's illegitimate triplets, prophesied to kill the king and rule together in peace. Separated at birth and scattered throughout the realms, the triplets face a desperate fight to secure their destiny.

carry on

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, read by Euan Morton
During his last year at Watford School of Magicks, Simon Snow, the Chosen One, faces a magic-eating monster wearing his face, a break-up, and a missing nemesis.

denton little's deathdate

Denton Little’s Deathdate by Lance Rubin, read by Lance Rubin
In a world where everyone knows the day they will die, a teenage boy is determined to outlive his upcoming expiration date.


Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan, read by Mark Bramhall, David De Vries, Macleod Andrews & Rebecca Soler
Lost in the Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and finds himself entwined in a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica--and decades later three children, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California find themselves caught up in the same thread of destiny in the darkest days of the twentieth century, struggling to keep their families intact, and tied together by the music of the same harmonica.

100 sideways miles

100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith, read by Kirby Heyborne
Finn Easton, sixteen and epileptic, struggles to feel like more than just a character in his father's cult-classic novels with the help of his best friend, Cade Hernandez, and first love, Julia, until Julia moves away.

lockwood & co the hollow boy

The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud, read by Emily Bevan
Anthony, George, and Lucy investigate new hauntings, track down assassins, and a new assistant joins Lockwood & Co.

an ember in the ashes

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, read by Fiona Hardingham & Steve West
Laia is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire's greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

slasher girls & monster girls

Slasher Girls & Monster Boys stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke, read by Macleod Andrews, et al.
Inspired by classic tales and films, a collection of fourteen short stories ranging from bloody horror, to psychological thrillers, to supernatural creatures, to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, by acclaimed YA authors of every genre.