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Jack Mooney, a career criminal, has been in prison for a decade, nursing his hatred for the jurors who put him there, including the alluring Amy Stone. When Mooney is released, Amy is his first priority. To his delight, she’s even more enticing than before, and she has a lot more to lose than he’d imagined. As Mooney’s campaign of terror mounts, the police seem powerless to protect the Stone family, who must rely on their wits to survive a psychopath hell-bent on revenge. Narrated by award-winner Laura Jennings, this “truly terrifying (Booklist)” thriller is not to be missed.
Hola Audiophiles! Happy Thursday from Migraine Central, where all the sounds are loud, the lights are bright, and a dull ache lives in the space behind your eyeballs even after the worst of the pain has faded. At least the aura and fuzzy floaters in my vision went away in time for me to put the final touches on this week’s newsletter. I thought I was about to have to send you all an audio file with some incoherent ramblings of what I thought the premises of the new releases’ plots were from memory. Phew!
Ready? Let’s audio.
New Releases – Week of May 18
publisher descriptions in quotes
Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean
Izumi Tanaka, a young Japanese American woman in a mostly white northern California town, was raised by a single mom and no idea as to her father’s identity. Then she discovers that pops is none other than the Crown Prince of Japan, making Izzy is a literal princess. She travels to Japan to meet the dad she never known and get a taste of all that glitters, but the glamorous life may not be all it’s cracked up to be. This is pitched as The Princess Diaries meets Crazy Rich Asians, and that sounds like a super fun time. (young adult)
Read by Ali Ahn (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, Claudia and Mean Janine (The Baby-Sitters Club, Book 7) by Ann M. Martin, plus all the recent BSC recordings of books told from Claudia’s perspective)
Ophie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland
Ophelia “Ophie” Harrison learned she could see ghosts on the night her Georgia home and her father were taken from her in an act of cruelty. She and her mother have started a new life in Pittsburgh where Ophie’s mother secured her a job as a maid at Daffodil Manor, the same manor house where she works for the wealthy Caruthers family already. The manor is haunted by memories, prejudices, and wrongdoings from days gone by, not to mention the ghosts that only Ophie can see. She befriends a ghost whose life was ended suddenly and unjustly, hoping she might be able to help… but that haunted old house may hold more secrets that she realizes. (middle grade)
Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall
How many ways do I already love this book!? One: It’s by Alexis Hall, whose Boyfriend Material was one of my favorite audiobooks of 2020. Two: It’s a rom-com set at a baking show. Three: it’s the first in a series called Winner Bakes All. Give it to me! The titular Rosaline is a single mom who dropped out of college to raise her daughter and is now teetering on the edge of financial ruin. But where there’s a whisk there’s a way (hehe), and Rosaline gets a shot at turning things around when she lands a spot on a beloved baking show. That prize money would be life-changing, but there’s more than just the usual baking challenges to contend with; fellow contestant and shy electrician Harry Dobson makes Rosaline question everything she believes about herself, her family, and what she wants out of life. (romance, romantic-comedy)
Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller
Fifty-one-year-old twins Jeanie and Julius live in isolation with their mother, Dot, in a cottage in the English countryside, secluded and sheltered from the modernizing world all their lives. When Dot dies and their landlord takes back the cottage, the twins are hit with a harsh dose of reality as they try to navigate life on their own. Julius is torn between his loyalty to Jeanie and a desire for independence while Jeanie struggles to find a job and and home for the two of them. “And just when it seems there might be a way forward, a series of startling secrets from their mother’s past come to the surface, forcing the twins to question who they are, and everything they know of their family’s history.” (fiction)
Read by Kim Bretton – I’m unfamiliar with Bretton’s work but I was sucked in by the sample enough to include it here in spite of being an Audible exclusive. I love her cadence, the slight rasp to the lower registers of her voice, and her lovely accent, of course.
The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Her
This historical YA mystery had me hooked from start to finish! In mid-1400s Joseon, Korea, Min Hwani’s family has never been the same since she and her sister went missing as children and were later found unconscious in a nearby forest next to a grizzly murder scene.Years later, their detective father has learned that 13 other girls have disappeared in that same forest—and now it’s him that’s gone missing. He traveled to their hometown on the South Korean island of Jeju to investigate and hasn’t been seen since. Min Hwani takes it upon herself to find her father and get to the bottom of these awful and mysterious disappearances, but the secrets she unburies in the process suggest the answer could lie within her own buried memories.
Some of you may just be cooler than I am, but this book kept me guessing the entire time. It casts suspicion on just about every character convincingly with lots of deftly placed red herrings, but also in examining how some crimes aren’t just the result of one act of evil. The heart of the crime explores women’s lack of bodily agency at the time and the danger that results when obsessive protection and misogyny combine. Add this to your TBL, journey to Jeju, and enjoy this suspenseful, atmospheric mystery.
Funny story: I was debating whether to read this book or If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha next, and it turns out they’re both read by Sue Jean Kim! I absolutely loved this performance. Sue Jean Kim manages the suspense and tension really wonderfully and keeps each of the characters really distinct. I can’t wait to spend time with her work again soon.
From the Internets
Over at the Riot
5 Fantastic YA Audiobooks Narrated by Frankie Corzo <<< your girl came out of writing retirement to rave about one of her favorite narrators!
Thanks for hanging with me today! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with with all things audiobook or find me on Twitter and the gram @buenosdiazsd. Sign up for the In The Club newsletter and catch me once a month on the All the Books podcast.
Stay bad & bookish, my friends.