10 Best YA Audiobooks You Should Read 2020

Young adult audiobooks offer some of the most affecting, original stories that, despite the genre’s name, make an excellent choice for listeners of all ages. Unforgettably poignant coming-of-age stories, hopeful tales of youth resistance, and brave teens reckoning with questions that stump even the wisest adults are at the heart of this varied and exceptional genre. The list below includes selections ranging from historical fiction to sci-fi, romance to historical sci-fi with a romantic twist, and features diverse characters and ensembles that will make it impossible to press pause. Here is our list of 10 best YA audiobooks you should read.

  • By: Suzanne Collins
  • Narrated by: Tatiana Maslany
  • Series: Hunger Games, Book 1
  • Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
  • Release date: 10-30-18
  • Language: English

The Hunger Games introduced the world to Katniss Everdeen, a teenager who volunteers to take the place of her younger sister in the annual Hunger Games, a competition wherein one teen from each of the 12 districts of Panem (a nation born from the ruins of North American cities) fight to the death. Her story, which is told over the course of a trilogy, is widely (and in our opinion, rightfully) considered a YA masterpiece. You might find it impossible to believe that narrating this edition of The Hunger Games is Emmy Award winner Tatiana Maslany’s first audiobook performance. She comes across like a veteran narrator, perfectly capturing characters known and loved by millions of fans across the globe, driving the action-packed, moving story to new heights with her emotive and layered performance.

  • By: Rainbow Rowell
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman, Sunil Malhotra
  • Length: 8 hrs and 56 mins
  • Release date: 02-26-13
  • Language: English

In 1986, an unlikely pair of high school students named Eleanor and Park grow close and soon fall in love over the course of one year. Eleanor is an outcast—poor, unfocused, with an unmistakable mop of curly red hair—and Park is the opposite—popular, secure, and sure of himself. They both know how first loves usually end, and with additional complications from Eleanor’s family, it looks like a tougher road ahead than usual. This Audie Award finalist is tender, heartbreaking, and hilarious in ways that only teenaged love can be. It’s told in alternating narrative perspectives, with Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra bringing a reflective, almost dreamy quality to their performances that suits the lyrical, expressive tone of the story.

  • By: Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Length: 3 hrs and 30 mins
  • Release date: 03-06-18
  • Language: English

Xiomara Batista will not be silenced, even if her mother, who wants her to be a good, demure, church-going girl, and the world (both her boisterous Harlem neighborhood and society at large) are trying to drown her out. In The Poet X, listeners encounter Xiomara’s private journal of poems, where she can record how she really feels about everything from her daily life as a young Afro-Latina woman in the world to a boy who’s caught her eye in class. This is a powerful author-narrated story about expression and voice, created in verse and narrated by award-winning slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo. The rhythmic, relentlessly energetic story unfolds in a hypnotic three-hour experience that is truly unique. (Fair warning: pausing is pretty much impossible.)

  • By: Angie Thomas
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Release date: 02-28-17
  • Language: English

This is a can’t-miss selection. A #1 New York Times best seller called essential by Audible Editors, The Hate U Give is a stunning debut from author Angie Thomas. It’s a topical, important story about a 16-year-old girl, Starr Carter, who witnesses the fatal shooting of her best friend Khalil, innocent and unarmed, when they’re stopped by a police officer one night. Hall of Fame Narrator Bahni Turpin gives voice to an extensive cast of characters in Starr’s community with distinctiveness, but it is her narration of Starr as she is transformed not only by grief but by disillusionment that is most heart-wrenching. As the media vilifies Khalil and the police cover up the real story, tensions rise, and Starr feels immense pressure as the only person who knows the truth.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before audiobook cover art

  • By: Jenny Han
  • Narrated by: Ali Ahn
  • Series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Book 1
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Release date: 01-14-20
  • Language: English

Lara Jean writes letters when she falls in love—but she doesn’t ever intend to send them to the objects of her affection. Unfortunately for her, the letters are mailed one day without her knowledge, and now every boy knows. Created by best selling author Jenny Han and with expert narration by Laura Knight Keating, whose bright voice captures the youthful, idealistic Lara Jean perfectly, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a bit like listening to a great romantic comedy. It’s fun, laugh-out-loud funny, and has a particularly great set of supporting characters in Lara Jean’s sisters and father. To put it simply, this listen is undeniably charming.

Dear Martin audiobook cover art

  • By: Nic Stone
  • Narrated by: Dion Graham
  • Length: 4 hrs and 32 mins
  • Release date: 10-17-17
  • Language: English

Audie Award winner Dion Graham has performed audiobooks of seemingly every genre, and in title after title, he demonstrates an ability to strike the perfect tone for a given story. In Dear Martin, he’s done it again as he nails his performance of young, black Justyce McAllister’s struggle with identity, success, and a system that’s been stacked against him. Justyce, who’s at the top of his class and headed for an Ivy League college, is driving around with his friend Manny when they draw the attention of a white, off-duty cop—an encounter that quickly escalates. This listen moves at an unrelenting pace from there as Justyce reckons with race relations, unfounded accusations, and what actions he should or should not take as he writes letters to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for advice.

What If It's Us audiobook cover art

  • By: Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera
  • Narrated by: Noah Galvin, Froy Gutierrez
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Release date: 10-09-18
  • Language: English

Becky Albertalli, best selling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, and Adam Silvera, best selling author of They Both Die at the End, teamed up to create What If It’s Us, a story about missed connections, new opportunities, and whether or not love really can be fated. Dually narrated by Noah Galvin and Froy Gutierrez, What If It’s Us introduces Arthur, hopeless romantic in New York for the summer, and Ben, wearied by his recent breakup, in the cutest of meet-cutes at the post office. As they attempt to make it through just one first date on the same page, their attitudes put them at odds even as the universe shoves them together. It’s a precious, frustrating, completely engaging story as listeners wait for the two boys to get out of their own ways when it comes to love.

Skyward audiobook cover art

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Suzy Jackson
  • Series: Skyward, Book 1
  • Length: 15 hrs and 28 mins
  • Release date: 11-06-18
  • Language: English

Author Brandon Sanderson is an adept world-builder. He has multiple best selling series in which he creates completely engrossing, totally believable worlds, and in doing so, he has gained an incredibly loyal fanbase. In Skyward, Sanderson turns his expertise to YA audiobooks, crafting yet another fully fleshed-out world geared toward a younger audience without pandering or losing any of the luster of his more mature works. We love the story of young heroine Spensa Nightshade attempting to become a pilot and redeem her father’s reputation (in space!). Each kernel of exposition fits seamlessly into the expert narration by Audie winner Suzy Jackson, so each of the advanced sci-fi elements of the story are revealed bit by tantalizing bit.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue audiobook cover art

  • By: Mackenzi Lee
  • Narrated by: Christian Coulson
  • Series: Montague Siblings, Book 1
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Release date: 06-27-17
  • Language: English

As Henry Montague (Monty) and his best friend, Percy, embark on their grand tour of Europe together, only a few details stand in the way of Monty having an excellent time. The first is that he’s bisexual in the not-very-tolerant 18th century, the second is that his father is in danger of ending all of Monty’s fun by enforcing his role as the heir to the family’s estate, and the third is that he has a giant, secret crush on Percy. Audie Award nominee Christian Coulson strikes the perfect tone for each wholly unique character in The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. From troubled, kind Percy, affected by chronic illness, to Monty’s sharp, searingly intelligent sister Felicity, to the especially insolent Monty, Coulson perfectly matches the gleeful, hilarious, and heartfelt tones of the story beat for beat.

Cinder audiobook cover art

  • Book One of the Lunar Chronicles
  • By: Marissa Meyer
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Soler
  • Series: The Lunar Chronicles, Book 1
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Release date: 01-03-12
  • Language: English

In Cinder, narrator Rebecca Soler uses her impeccable diction and vocal control to breathe life into an entire cast of fairytale-inspired characters. In this retelling of Cinderella, listeners meet Cinder, a cyborg and gifted mechanic in the care of her step-family in futuristic Beijing after an accident killed her father. Entirely without companionship but for one friend (and no fairy godmother), Cinder struggles with discrimination for being a cyborg as she dwells on the hopelessness of her captive life. This sci-fi retelling of a classic story has just enough familiar elements to connect it to the original tale, but not so many that the story feels in any way stale or repurposed. Instead, author Marissa Meyer unveils an expansive universe and thrilling twists that propel listeners through Cinder—and, luckily for fans of the series, the multitude of sequels that follow.

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