This summer, SYNC will be providing two free teen audiobooks each week from April 27th to August 16th. Each week will focus on a specific theme, pairing a classic YA title with a more modern YA title. These two titles will be available to download for free this week only (from 4/27 to 5/3) at the SYNC website. The first week will start on Thursday, May 27th with The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. The theme for this first week is exploring issues related to “true self.”
Charlotte Parry and Christian Coulson’s narrations, coupled with eerie musical snippets, set an ominous tone that draws listeners into this horror story involving two teenage girls. The story includes police reports, psychiatric evaluations, “video footage,” and diary entries surrounding the mysterious fire that claimed the lives of several students at Elmbridge High. Though it was Carly Johnson who disappeared in the fire, it’s the diary of Kaitlyn, a girl who seemingly did not exist, that causes the case to be re-examined decades later. The narrators infuse their performances with qualities that exemplify their characters’ emotional states, making the two girls easily distinguishable. They do stellar jobs with the secondary characters, as well. A thoroughly entertaining and engrossing production. The library owns a book copy of this title as well.
Dorian Gray is one of Wilde’s most iconic characters, referenced consistently in any number of contemporary art forms. Loyal to this tradition, Greg Wise offers a timeless narration of this audiobook. His classic British voice–elegant and erudite–moves languidly between formally proper and ironic. Wise is the quintessential narrator of this type of novel; his laconic style and resonant voice work well with the text. At times, whether due to Wilde’s nuanced prose or the moments when Wise’s consistent tone becomes too hypnotic, the effect can be too smooth, too subtle, offering an almost monotonous result. However, those interested in immersing themselves in an oft-alluded-to text will find those moments inconsequential and the recording well worth hearing. The library owns this in eAudiobook format and in book format.
Check out the rest of the month’s schedule here… you can even get text alerts about upcoming titles!