Best young adult audiobooks
If you are looking for great young adult audiobooks, there are tons of young adult novels you can check out. Books in the young adult audience demographic typically cater to an audience of teenagers in high school to adults in their early 20s, however people of older demographics can also enjoy these beloved novels. When it comes to finding great new young adult novels, you can explore some of The New York Times’ bestsellers to discover the best young adult audiobooks.
Let’s look at a few of these bestsellers and learn how you can listen to them as audiobooks!
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The first book of The Hunger Games trilogy was published in 2008, and it became an instant hit among young adults. It was simply titled The Hunger Games, and the book was followed by the second novel Catching Fire in 2009 and the final novel Mockingjay in 2010.
Taking place in a dystopian future where the United States has been divided into 13 districts, readers discover that District 13 was destroyed in a rebellion. As punishment from then on, one boy and one girl from each remaining district are chosen to compete in the series’ namesake—The Hunger Games.
All districts are struck by poverty and hunger, and the winner of the tournament will get a chance to win food for their district. The books follow the protagonist Katniss Everdeen from District 12 and her fight to win the televised tournament.
It is a thrilling adventure that sold over 30 million copies in the U.S., and the series has been adapted to the big screen. Since this bestseller is quite popular, there are a handful of audiobook editions you can find.
One of the best audiobook editions of The Hunger Games is narrated by actress Tatiana Maslany who recently joined MCU as She-Hulk. So if you want to listen to an incredible story written by a bestselling author and narrated by a talented actress, you’re in the right place!
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Released in 2012, Eleanor & Park was the first novel written by author Rainbow Rowell.
The story follows 16-year-old Eleanor and a half-Korean boy named Park. Of course, it isn’t long before Eleanor and Park realize that they have a lot in common. The novel covers a lot of sensitive topics like escapism, child abuse, bullying, problems with body image, and many other serious topics for young adults. The book’s popularity and subsequent awards are certainly in part to how relatable these topics can be, as they can help young adults going through the same things learn important life lessons and take inspiration on how to deal with these topics.
The Eleanor & Park audiobook is narrated by Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra, and it is almost nine hours long to listen to.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
The Poet X is written by Elizabeth Acevedo and was published in 2018. Even though it’s one of the youngest books on the list, it became an instant success.
The Poet X follows the story of a 15-year-old girl named Xiomara, nicknamed Xio or X. While trying to work through the problems, conflicts, and tensions with her family members, Xio decides to write poetry. The book offers an incredible story and poetry, and it can be a real treat for young adults who are into this genre.
The Poet X received numerous awards, and it is undoubtedly worth checking out. When it comes to audiobooks, you will get a chance to get a version narrated by the author herself!
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The next novel on the list is The Hate U Give. It was published in 2017 and is the debut novel by Angie Thomas, who started writing the story while she was in college. The short story evolved into a novel, and it is told from the perspective of a 16-year-old girl.
Starr Carter, the protagonist, is an African-American young woman who grew up in a poor neighborhood. The story follows Starr as she becomes a part of the national news when her best friend from childhood is killed by a police officer. The book sends a powerful message, and being able to experience it through Starr Carter’s eyes is chilling. A year later, The Hate U Give was made into a movie, which won numerous accolades.
If you are interested in checking the audiobook version of The Hate U Give, it is narrated by Bahni Turpin and is nearly 12 hours long.
What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
What If It’s Us is a love story combined with comedy written for young adults, and the authors are Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. What If It’s Us is the first book written by the duo even though they were friends for quite some time.
It is a delightfully romantic story about two boys, Arthur and Ben who are living in New York City. It is a tale of new beginnings, old relationships, and missed opportunities. But at the same time, it’s filled with hope. The book shows us how much we can achieve if we dare to take that one step.
What If It’s Us is the first book of the series, and it was released in 2019. In 2021, the authors published the sequel book Here’s to Us.
If you’re looking to check out the audio version of the book should know that there is a wonderful version narrated by Noah Galvin and Froy Gutierrez. The What If It’s Us audiobook is nearly ten hours long.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
If you are a fan of sci-fi, you need to check out Cinder. The book was released in 2012, and it was the debut novel by Marissa Meyer. Something fun about the author is that she’s a huge fan of fanfiction, and she first wrote a couple of stories inspired by Sailor Moon. Cinder is the first novel in what became The Lunar Chronicles, and it is followed by the books Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, and Winter.
As you might have guessed from the name of the book, Cinder is loosely based on/inspired by the classic tale of Cinderella, and this retelling in a whole new light will leave you speechless. The story is set in New Beijing, a futuristic city in Eastern Commonwealth. The countries we know today do not exist, and there are new alliances readers will get to explore while also learning more about the colonization of the Moon.
The main character, Cinder, is a cyborg, and she lives with her adopted mother and stepsisters. It is a thrilling adventure that offers elements of the beloved fairy tale, and you can listen to it narrated by Rebecca Soler. The book is a bit over ten hours long.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The final entry on the list is The Raven Boys, written by Maggie Stiefvater. The Raven Boys is the first book in the series (The Raven Cycle), and it was published in 2012. It was followed by the novels The Dream Thieves, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and The Raven King.
The story is set in a fictional town in Virginia, and it follows a group of teenagers. What makes the story truly incredible is the magic present in the world Maggie Stiefvater imagined. The main character Blue Sargent will soon discover the connection with the Raven Boys.
It only gets better if you listen to the audiobook narrated by Will Patton. This magical journey is just the first step of the way, and you will find yourself craving for more.
Where to listen
If you’re new to audiobooks, you’re probably wondering where to find them. Thankfully, there are plenty of different options!
One of the most common ways to listen to audiobooks is through Audible. The website is designed to provide a vast amount of audiobooks, and you will of course be able to find all popular titles. However, this is far from being the only option.
In the past couple of years, more and more people have been exploring text to speech (TTS) tools to turn books into audiobooks. Text to speech apps can turn any type of text into an audio file, and with it, you will be able to make your own audiobooks. One of the most popular text to speech apps today is Speechify. Speechify is easy to use, it has numerous functionalities to improve your experience, and the quality of the voices is amazing.
Since Speechify works on any type of text, it only means that you can use it to convert digital or physical books into audio files. For digital books, all you will need to do is open the app, pick the AI voice you like, and Speechify will do the rest. If you own a physical version of the book, Speechify will work on it, as well. Thanks to optical character recognition (OCR), the app is able to recognize letters and synthesize voice once you take photos of the pages.
Speechify’s intuitive UI makes it easy to use, and the app supports numerous languages and accents. You can use Speechify for free, or you can upgrade to the premium version for even more incredible features.
What is the best audiobook to start with?
It’s completely up to you! Each person is different, and everyone has their own tastes and preferences. Maybe you are someone who enjoys reading fantasy or science fiction, and that’s perfectly fine. You can stick to the genres you enjoy, or you can try out something new. You can check reader reviews to see how others enjoyed the books you are interested in before you read them yourself. For audiobooks, you can check out the reviews of the narration or choose an audiobook narrated by a celebrity whose voice you enjoy. Of course, you can also use a customizable text to speech reader to create the kind of narration you would like to hear for your favorite book.
What type of books should young adults read?
Young adults often enjoy reading fantasy and adventure novels, but there are no rules. If you enjoy the classics, nothing should stop you from reading them. Both young adults and older adults can enjoy young adult novels for their compelling stories and fun worlds.
Some young adults enjoy books like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, while others prefer Illuminae or even non-fiction. You can also check out incredible novels by Tomi Adeyemi, Jenny Han, Amie Kaufman, or any other writer you like.
Of course, you probably already know of the novels that have had movie adaptations. These include The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, the Harry Potter series, and countless others. You can also prepare for upcoming movies based on young adult books like An Ember in the Ashes or Children of Blood and Bone.
How long does it take to read a book?
It mostly comes down to how fast you read. Some people read faster, others are slower. As long as you are enjoying the experience, it shouldn’t matter. However, you can always simplify the process by going for the best YA audiobooks.
This way, all you need to do is put on your headphones, and listen to the book. One of the simplest ways to achieve this is using a text to speech apps like Speechify, which will read any type of text to you with many customizable features, including reading speed.