Listen, Hear: Audiobook Award Winners

I’m not usually a fan of audiobooks. They tend to make me sleepy and if I do listen to one I’m driving a car and well, that’s not a good combination. However, I picked one up for a recent road trip and was surprised how much I enjoyed it.

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama is a paranormal romance for teens. Alternating between the past and the present, it tells the story of mermaid Syrenka and her love for a human man, Ezra. This relationship leads to a bloody mess—literally, no fewer than three people are murdered—and a mystery that present-day Hester must solve in order to find out her connection to the mysterious Syrenka and Ezra.

This title won an Odyssey Award Honor. The Odyssey is awarded by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association, and given annually to the producer of an audiobook for children or teens. It’s no wonder Monstrous Beauty received this award. Narrator Katherine Kellgren tackles not only the persona and voice of mythical mermaids, but a teenage girl and even a Scottish priest. Her brogue is exceptional, by the way. The story is seamlessly produced, as Kellgran expertly and comfortably shifts between characters. At the end, there is a fascinating Q&A between the author and narrator. I was surprised to learn that Kellgren did as much research as Fama for her performance.

Wanna hear the author in action? Visit the Back of the Yards Branch at 4 p.m. Thursday, December 19. Elizabeth Fama will read from and discuss Monstrous Beauty, sign copies of books to be raffled at the event and share details about her upcoming novel, Plus One.

Check out the 2013 Odyssey Award winner:

The Fault in Our Stars

And the other 2013 Odyssey Award honor books:

Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian

Ghost Knight