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The Closest I've Come by Fred Aceves; narrated by Christian BarillasWhat it's about: Living in a poor neighborhood with his neglectful mother and her abusive boyfriend, it's hard for 15-year-old Marcos Rivas to see any way out. But when an unexpected opportunity arises -- his high school principal chooses him for a program for underachieving but promising students -- Marcos begins to let himself hope.
Narration: Actor Christian Barillas, who has a recurring role on the television show Modern Family, brings to life this gritty yet inspirational young adult story.
The Floating World by C. Morgan Babst; narrated by Christa LewisWhat it's about: As Hurricane Katrina approaches, Creole artisan Joe Boisdoré and his high-society wife flee, while their eldest daughter, Cora, refuses to leave. Six weeks later, Joe and Tess have separated, and Cora is nearly catatonic. When a body is found in the house Cora had sheltered in during the storm, the question morphs from "What happened to Cora?" to "What did Cora do?"
Narration: Narrator Christa Lewis skillfully evokes a devastated and racially divided New Orleans in this complex tale.
The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine; narrated by Suzanne Elise Freeman and Meghan WolfWhat it's about: Amber Patterson wants one thing: to leave behind her poor background and land a wealthy husband -- in this case, Jackson Parrish. The fact that there's already a Mrs. Parrish doesn't bother her too much; she hopes to use Daphne Parrish to get to Jackson.
Is it for you? Fans of the amoral characters in Gone Girl will want to give this debut a try.
Narration: Suzanne Elise Freeman and Meghan Wolf give voice to the dual narratives in this psychological thriller.
Ali: A Life by Jonathan Eig; narrated by Kevin R. FreeWhat it is: a sweeping biography of boxer Muhammad Ali, relating his family background, boxing career, the complexities of his celebrity status, and his later life. Author Jonathan Eig also examines political and personal controversies in the context of the 1960s, and draws on previously unavailable sources.
Book buzz: Eig is now working with filmmaker Ken Burns to make a documentary about Ali.
Narration: Read with enthusiasm by Kevin Free.
Hanna Who Fell from the Sky by Christopher Meades; narrated by Caitlin KellyWhat it's about: In her isolated town of Clearhaven, polygamy is the norm, so 17-year-old Hanna has never questioned that on her 18th birthday she'll become the fifth wife to a man three times her age. But a chance meeting with a stranger -- and a revelation from her mother -- has her thinking about other options.
Narration: The melodious, fluid voice of narrator Caitlin Kelly is a good match for this unusual coming-of-age novel, which weaves in elements of magical realism.
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