This summer, SYNC will be providing two free teen audiobooks each week from April 25th to July 31st. Each week will focus on a specific theme, pairing complete downloads of two high interest titles for teens 13+. The third week starts today with The Epic Crush of Genie Lo . These two titles will be available to download for free this week only (from 5/9 to 5/15) at the SYNC website. The theme for this week is “legends come to life: What do you do when ancient myths invade the here and now?”
Once Genie Lo’s only concerns were college applications—that is, until the ancient Chinese Monkey King leapt upon her Silicon Valley school desk in the form of the scandalously handsome rebel Quentin Sun. Narrator Nancy Wu uses ample snark and deadpan humor as Genie balances her quest for the Ivies with Quentin’s quest to harness her newfound superpowers to defeat an army of Chinese demons. Wu is serious when Genie ponders the stereotypes of her Chinese-American culture, but entertainment is her primary goal. She humorously portrays Genie’s stereotypical Asian mother as she fawns over Quentin, thinking him part of a socially desirable family, rather than the furry-tailed rabble-rouser from another millennium that he is. Imagine mythical Chinese characters as comic superheroes and villains, and you’ll have the vibe of this campy adventure. The library owns this in book format.
This YA fantasy celebrates Japanese folklore and the legend of the Kitsune. Subtle cultural influences abound in the descriptions, but what really brings the atmosphere to life are the slightly accented performances of narrators Emily Woo Zeller and Brian Nishii. While Joy Osmanski’s portrayal of main character Yumeko is sweet and earnest, making her more relatable, her American accent distracts listeners from the setting of the story in a way that the other two performers’ deliveries do not. While the simplistic dialogue and slow pace of all the narrators make the story come across as meant for a much younger audience, the plot has plenty of exciting demon-battling moments to keep listeners’ attention. The library owns this title in book and eaudiobook formats.