100 absorbing young adult audiobooks (that adults will enjoy, too)

100 absorbing young adult audiobooks (that adults will enjoy, too)

Readers, we have good news for audiobook lovers. Libro.fm has seen a stunning increase in memberships over the past months, Audible is providing free audiobooks to help teachers and homeschooling parents, and thanks to hard-working librarians, ebook and audiobook collections are still available for many readers during this time of closures and cancellations.

There’s no shortage of audiobook entertainment available, so where do you begin listening? Every reader has a different taste in audiobooks, but most of us appreciate great narration and a compelling story.

With a wide variety of genres, amazingly talented narrators, and propulsive plots to keep you engaged, the Young Adult category is a great place to start. With riveting plots, endearing characters, hints of romance, and inspiring social justice narratives, there’s something for every reader on this list—because you don’t have to be a teen (or the parent of a teen) to enjoy listening to Young Adult books. 

Today’s post was inspired by a request we received from a What Should I Read Next listener. We asked the readers, and they answered with a slew of Young Adult recommendations. Today we’re sharing a huge list of YA audiobooks curated from their responses, plus more of our favorite YA audiobooks. YA is a vast and varied category, so we’ve organized the list by genre for easier browsing. I hope you find a book that you, or the teen in your life, will love.

Note: YA literature typically targets readers from 12-18 years old, but that’s a big range. To investigate whether the content of a specific book is right for you or the teen in your life, I recommend starting with the reviews at Common Sense Media. Their archives include many current YA titles.

Do you have a favorite YA audiobook? Let me know in the comments section!

This post contains affiliate links from Libro.fm, the audiobook subscription service that supports independent bookstores. More details about affiliate links here.

100 absorbing young adult audiobooks (that adults will enjoy, too)

Sci Fi & Fantasy

Realistic Fiction

Mystery

100 absorbing young adult audiobooks (that adults will enjoy, too)

Historical Fiction

Poetry & Novels in Verse

Blockbuster Favorites

Do you see a favorite YA book on this list? Do you have an amazing recommendation we should add to the list? Let me know in the comments section!

P.S. 10 audiobooks to listen to while you clean, purge, and tidy, 13 adventure-filled audiobooks for your next family road trip, and 17 great audiobooks for kids. For more great audiobook recommendations, click here to browse our complete audiobook archives. And head here to learn how to download free audiobooks all summer long.

100 absorbing young adult audiobooks (that adults will enjoy, too)

50 comments | Comment

50 comments

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  1. Shea says:

    Ooh what a great list! I usually go for memoir or narrative nonfiction on audio, but I like to mix it up occasionally–right now I’m listening to Sadie and it is excellent! I am definitely bookmarking this for future reference!

  2. Nicole says:

    I was in an audiobook rut because my library only has so many copies of adult books to borrow, but this list has opened up a whole new world and some of these books I didn’t realize qualified as YA! (Thank you author Julie Berry for shedding some light on that last night.) Off to choose my next listen!

  3. Emily says:

    A lot of my favorites were on here! Sadie in particular might be the best audio production I’ve listened to.

    I did want to note a couple things: I *definitely* wouldn’t consider Red Rising to be YA. It’s pretty brutal and gruesome, which gets even more intense as the series continues. Wouldn’t recommend for younger readers.
    Also, Elizabeth Acevedo’s second novel, With the Fire on High, is written in standard prose not verse like her debut 🙂

    • Leah says:

      You couldn’t be more right about Ready Player One being great on audio. I don’t think I would have liked it nearly as much if Wil Wheaton hadn’t been reading it to me!

  4. Thanks for sharing this list. I am a steward of a Little Free Library (LFL) and YA is one area that I am just not knowledgeable in. And the YA books that I do have fly off my shelves. Now, I just need to get some of these donated to my LFL! #littleyellowlibrary

    • Kristina Baas says:

      They are the first to go in my LFL too! I’ve been collecting titles all winter for the tweens/teens in our neighborhood, just waiting until our Stay at Home order is lifted to open our LFL for the summer (hard winters make us seasonal, due to snow city snow removal).

  5. Rana says:

    Thanks, this list is great! I love YA reads for me and my teens.

    Adding a couple to your list of Historical fiction “Hattie big sky”, “Hattie ever after” by Kirby Lawson.

  6. Allyson West Lewis says:

    Thank you so much for this list! I am a pre-published YA author and now can catch up on my genre! You’re the best!
    I’ve read and enjoyed all the Harry Potter books, The Giver, The Hunger Games, The Golden Compass, Divergent, and Code Name Verity.

  7. Donna C says:

    I’m a fan of the Divergent series, but Veronica Roth’s Carve the Mark duet is great too!

    Also, Stephenie Meyer’s The Host is good (though I haven’t tried it on audio). It’s slow to start, but gets much better. I prefer it to the Twilight books, and it is FAR better than the movie version of itself.

    There are many YA (and middle grade) novels I like, but I haven’t listened to much YA on audio. I usually read them, especially when I want a good story that requires a bit less from me mentally… which is where I am now. I’m currently reading The Ballad of Snakes and Songbirds by Suzanne Collins and just finished Okay for Now. I’ve been listening to The Hobbit.

  8. Michelle Wilson says:

    Thank you so much for this list-I don’t usually do well with fiction on audio. I am not sure why but I generally listen to narrative NF and memoir. I was encouraged to try Clap When You Land on audio and it is amazing. I was just going to start looking around for another great audio and BOOM…here is this list!

  9. M. B. says:

    Just out of curiosity, what is the audiobook that your husband is listening to? (that your daughters talked hum into?) I can’t make out the title in the picture. Thanks! 😄📚mb

  10. Mary H says:

    It’s so good to see The Scorpio Races on this list. I listened to it then purchased a hard copy for my 12 year-old daughter. I sometimes find her re-reading it in her room now some eight years later. It’s a true comfort read for her.

    One of my favorite YA audios is Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. The dual storyline, Parisian setting/accents, and music theme all combine to make it a great listen.

  11. Rada says:

    I would also recommend the immortal instruments series by Cassandra Clare. The first book is titled City of Bones.

  12. Heather says:

    Thank you for this list!! I have 3 teenage boys and they LOVE anything by Brandon Sanderson. Particularly The Way of Kings and Mistborn series. If there are other authors or books that you would recommend for those who love this author, I’d love to hear about them!

    • Emily says:

      Brandon Sanderson finished a very long, very detailed, very good series of books called “Wheel of Time,” by Robert Jordan. I haven’t read Sanderson’s other books so I’m not sure if they’re similar in maturity level, but WoT is magnificent (though not YA)!

  13. Naylene says:

    I love the category “Blockbuster Favorites.” 🙂 Currently listening to one of those now – Hunger Games #0.

  14. Tracy says:

    Just finished “The Hired Girl” by Laura Amy Schlitz. I really enjoyed it! Recommended by my 13-year-old niece.

  15. Bonnie J Hacker says:

    I have enjoyed a number of those. Here are some of my other favorite YA audio listens:
    Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
    Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
    Greyhound by Peter Steffan
    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

  16. Love this list! I need to add one more that I loved on Audio… I’M NOT DYING WITH YOU TONIGHT by Kimberly Jones, Gilly Segal.
    It is fabulous! The book is narrated by two teen girls so the audio version is read by two different actresses. Highly recommended!

  17. Molly C says:

    The Grace Year was a wonderful YA book I read recently – a mix between Hunger Games and Handmaids Tale. Very dark and creepy but so so good

  18. Bonnie says:

    The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon and read by some of my favorite narrators: Bahni Turpin, Raymond Lee, and Dominic Hoffman.

  19. Ruth says:

    just curious, have you read dante and aristotle discover the secrets of the universe? It was recommedned somewhere so i listened to it and i think it would be meant for a very mature Y/A. ??? maybe im just an old fashioned grandma but even i had a hard time with those difficult life decisions…for sure i would read along with my kid to discuss…

  20. Lauren says:

    I have several of the books on this list on my TBR, but have to recommend Killing November by Adriana Mather! I am currently rereading it as the sequel just came out. It’s YA mystery-ish (I think I would categorize it as?), and SO good.

  21. Lizanne J says:

    I just finished listening to Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee. It’s realistic fiction with the main character a seventh grade girl who is uncomfortable when the boys start touching her at random times. The topic of sexual harassment is handled with care. I didn’t want to stop listening.

  22. Stephanie says:

    Love this list! Thank you for compiling and sharing it! I’d love to add Ruta Sepetys’ The Fountains of Silence. It was excellent!

  23. Jamie says:

    I love listening to books on CD – now the library is closed. How do I access books on audio? what kind of device do I need? I have an android phone – but won’t a book take up all my space. How would I download it? how would I find it?
    Do earplugs make the experience better or worse?

    • Sara Lefever says:

      Hi Jamie! All libraries have phone apps to access free audiobooks. U can download a book, listen, n return it w/o taking up permanent space on ur android phone. Try calling ur library for help. Ours r closed but still staffed. I prefer no headphones. Good luck!

    • Melanie says:

      Hi Jamie, I got the Libby app through our library. I use it on my android tablet, but phone would work great too. I like to plug it into the auxiliary in my car and listen over the car radio.

  24. Torrie says:

    I’ve just finished listening to The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which I think I picked up from another of your lists. I’d never heard of it, no kids, can you guess, lol? Wow, what a great book.

  25. Amy says:

    I loved the Legend Series by Marie Lu. Also, the Precious Stone trilogy (starting with Ruby Red) by Kerstin Gier.

  26. Marta says:

    Your list is great except, With the Fire on High, is not written in verse. I read it last year and enjoyed it immensely. Some of your titles are not YA. That may have a young protagonist but they are adult.

  27. Debbie says:

    Insignificant Events In the Life of a Cactus and Momentous Events In The Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling are two books I recently finished.

  28. What a great list! I would also recommend:
    Historical fiction: Gilbert and Sullivan Set Me Free by Katherine Kerr. A fantastic full-cast narration, with a different actor for every voice.
    Fantasy: the entire Immortals quartet by Tamora Pierce (Wild Magic, Wolf Speaker, Emperor Mage, and The Realms of the Gods), also done as full-cast narrations. Emperor Mage is particularly good, but all of them are well worth listening to. I also love Pierce’s Protector of the Small series, about the first girl to openly strive to become a knight (First Test, Page, Squire, and Lady Knight, read by a single narrator.)

  29. Lori Naser says:

    Currently, I’m very much enjoying The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman (the title is also known as La Belle Sauvage). The actor, Michael Sheen, narrates it, and he does an incredible job! One voice sounded spot-on like Hagrid from Harry Potter.

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