Tag Archive: YA


Death Cloud – Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins63128
By: Andrew Lane
Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
Series: Holmes: The Legend Begins, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins
Release date: 02-01-11
Publisher: Macmillan Audio

So once again I venture into the YA world of literature. This time, however, I go knowing what to expect. I love the Sherlock Holmes stories. So picking this up, I say yeah, why not, get those kids reading Sherlock stories. Get them into the classics. The best way to do so is to make Sherlock their age, an origin story, if you will.

This definitely could get someone’s interest piqued toward exploring the Arthur Conan Doyle world of the master detective. However this was not without its flaws. First and foremost I have to approach the violence. Not for being a YA novel was the violence too much but just the fact that it was present. I’ve always looked at Holmes in much the same way as Doctor Who, and Star Trek, in that violence was an extremely last resort, but this book has Holmes being trained by an American on how to be more violent. It really didn’t ruin the story but it did sort of jab at me on occasion.

In typical YA form it seems if only one adult was there to listen and believe what was going on the problems would have been over sooner. I’ve always been bugged by that go to element of YA stories. Anyway, while this did have some issues, the story still captured the essence of a Sherlock Holmes story, and did provide a good listen.

Daniel Weyman delivers the story with great narration that just plunges the listener into the world of Young Sherlock. Being a native of the UK his accent (from this American’s point of view) was perfect.

Publisher’s Summary

It is the summer of 1868, and Sherlock Holmes is 14. On break from boarding school, he is staying with eccentric strangers—his uncle and aunt—in their vast house in Hampshire. When two local people die from symptoms that resemble the plague, Holmes begins to investigate what really killed them, helped by his new tutor, an American named Amyus Crowe. So begins Sherlock’s true education in detection, as he discovers the dastardly crimes of a brilliantly sinister villain of exquisitely malign intent.

©2010 Andrew Lane (P)2011 Macmillan Audio

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Carter Finally Gets It45210
By: Brent Crawford
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
Release date: 04-07-09
Publisher: Brilliance Audio

When a good YA book comes out I like to see what they are about. I got suckered into the “Twilight” series because of this curiosity and you’d think I’d never do it again but with examples like “The Sword of Darrow,” the Harry Potter series, the Lemony Snicket books, and the “Eragon” series I see there’s more good than bad. One bad, no make that horrible shiny vampire series will not stop me.

This book is definitely one of the good ones. It was offered up as a free audiobook for the Summer SYNC YA reading program books, so I jumped on it. That way if it was bad I didn’t lose any money. After listening to this audiobook, I will definitely seek out the rest of the books in by Brent Crawford. Even better thing about this book is that most YA novels (unless they are supernatural based) are typically from a young girl’s point of view. This time we get the point of view of a young man about to start high school. However teen girls should read this as well, it will give them an inside source as to what is going on to their male counterpoint’s brains.

Publisher’s Summary

Meet Will Carter, but feel free to call him Carter. (Yes, he knows it’s a lazy nickname, but he didn’t have much say in the matter.) Here are five things you should know about him:

1. He has a stuttering problem, particularly around boobs and belly buttons.

2. He battles Attention Deficit Disorder every minute of every day…unless he gets distracted.

3. He’s a virgin, mostly because he’s no good at talking to girls (see number 1).

4. He’s about to start high school.

5. He’s totally not ready.

Join Carter for his freshman year, where he’ll search for sex, love, and acceptance anywhere he can find it. In the process, he’ll almost kill a trombone player, face off with his greatest nemesis, suffer a lot of blood loss, narrowly escape death, run from the cops (not once, but twice), get caught up in a messy love triangle, meet his match in the form of a curvy drill teamer, and surprise the hell out of everyone, including himself.

©2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.; ©2009 Brent Crawford

Poor Carter stutters and has ADD but he is still pretty much the average teen boy. The book does have some somewhat crude teen locker room humor, but really is pretty typical. If you don’t think your teen thinks or has a friend that thinks this way, come out from under that rock once in a while.

In Carter’s case the mixture of raging hormones, not knowing a thing about the opposite sex and throw in his ADD and things just don’t go as planned. This book has several Laugh out Loud moments, and still some of the poignancy of the troubles of growing up. Any teen going into high school NEEDS to read this book.

In the case of the narrator of this audiobook, Nick Podehl, Nick captures the teen voice perfectly and delivers the story right where it needs to be.

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