What makes a great coming-of-age novel can be as varied and twisty as coming-of-age itself, but one thing is certain: the audiobooks that orbit this category keep getting better and better. Listen to any of these new releases (clips below!) and find unforgettable characters—and narrators—whose stories offer a gut punch to the soul and a full re-charge of your empathy batteries, sometimes in the course of a single, beautifully read sentence.
From the celebrated author of Conversations with Friends comes â€śa stunning novel about the transformative power of relationshipsâ€ť (People), hailed as â€śa masterpiece, pure and simpleâ€ť (Minneapolis Star Tribune). Sally Rooney brings her psychological acuity to a story that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love, and the complex entanglements of family and friendship. Narrated by the pitch-perfect Aoife McMahon.
“In this memorable audiobook, Connell and Marianne, both smart, odd, and socially at sea, are deeply connected to each other and too young to know how rare their bond is…Aoife McMahon, a skillful actor with a gorgeous Irish accent, makes each personality idiosyncratic and believable, and perfectly captures their confusion at being young and emotionally innocent, and trying to be decent but with no idea how to manage it. Rooney’s subtle writing and engrossing plot work with McMahon’s nimble and witty performance to balance your sympathies on a knife edge between these unforgettable characters.”—AudioFile, Earphones Award
Fifteen-year-old Ilya arrives in Louisiana from his native Russia for what should be the adventure of his life, but back home his older brother Vladimir has been charged with the murders of three young women. With the help of his new host sister, Ilya embarks on a mission to prove Vladimir’s innocence. Lights All Night Long is a spellbinding audiobook about belonging and the pull of homes both native and adopted, and the fierce bond between brothers determined to find a way back to each other.
“With remarkable vocal agility, narrator Michael Crouch takes a fascinating novel and makes it downright riveting…Crouch’s skill with diverse voices and dialogue delivered with exceptional timing come to the fore.”—AudioFile, Earphones Award
At a boarding school in New Hampshire, Ben joins the honor society led by Pierre LaVerdere, an enigmatic, brilliant, yet perverse teacher who instructs his students not only about how to reason, but how to prevaricate. As the years go by, LaVerdere’s covert and overt instruction lingers in his students’ lives as they seek some sense of purpose or meaning. When Ben feels the pace of his life accelerating and views his intimate relationships as less and less fulfilling, there seems to be a subtext he’s not able to access. What, really, did Bailey Academy teach him?
99 Nights in Logar is at once a gripping and vivid adventure and a surprisingly tender coming-of-age journey across contemporary Afghanistan that blends the bravado and vulnerability of a boy’s teenage years with an homage to familial oral tradition. It calls to mind One Thousand and One Nights, yet speaks with a voice all its own.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Descendants, Testimony from Your Perfect Girl is a propulsive listen that celebrates the awkward complexity of teenage relationships. Annie Tripp has everything, but all that changes when her father is accused of scamming hundreds of people out of their investments and she and her brother are exiled to their estranged aunt and uncle’s house until the trial blows over. As the family’s lies begin to crumble and truths demand consequences, Annie must decide which secrets need to see the light of day…and which are worth keeping.
When Oksanaâ€™s family begins their new American life in Florida after emigrating from Ukraine, her physicist father delivers pizza at night to make ends meet, her depressed mother sits home all day worrying, and her flamboyant grandmother relishes the attention she gets when she walks Oksana to school. Oksana just wants to have friends and lead a normal life—and though she constantly tries to do the right thing, she keeps getting herself in trouble.
â€śKuznetsovaâ€™s standout debut offers a fresh and funny look into the life of a bold young immigrant woman…This accomplished and frank work is a new take on an immigrant girlâ€™s complicated coming-of-age.â€ť—Publishers Weekly
Will Daughtry is a late bloomerâ€“at least, thatâ€™s what everyone tells him. On his sixteenth birthday, Will is just shy of five feet, and he is bitterly resigned to being tiny forever. That is, until things take an unexpected turn, and he realizes heâ€™s really and truly on his own. Thatâ€™s when he starts to grow, and grow fast. For the first time, Willâ€™s happy with his stature, and the worldâ€™s at his feet (for a change). But the highest heights come with some low, low lows, and his most precious relationships suffer excruciating growing pains.
Summer preview! For fans of 80’s nostalgia and riding bicycles home in the dark, look for The Saturday Night Ghost Club coming to audio soon:
A short, irresistible, and bittersweet coming-of-age story in the vein of Stranger Things and Stand by Me about a group of misfit kids who spend an unforgettable summer investigating local ghost stories and urban legends. Growing up in 1980s Niagara Falls—a seedy but magical, slightly haunted place—Jake Baker spends most of his time with his uncle Calvin until he befriends a pair of siblings new to town, and Calvin decides to initiate them all into the “Saturday Night Ghost Club.” But what begins as a light-hearted project may uncover more than any of its members had imagined. With the alternating warmth and sadness of the best coming-of-age stories, The Saturday Night Ghost Club poignantly examines the mutability of memory and storytelling, as well as the experiences that form the people we become.
To find audiobooks for every season, browse the collections on Penguin Random House Audio.