This Delicious Death by Kayla Cottingham, audio version narrated by Sophie Amoss
This girl power-centric YA story features a group of friends in a slightly post-apocalyptic future where a disease has turned a bunch of people into flesh-eating ghouls. Though society has returned to mostly normal with the invention of synthetic human flesh, things go badly for Zoey and her friends when they attend a music festival and something starts causing ghouls to rampage uncontrollably. I love the LGBTQ rep in this book (main character Zoey is bisexual, best friend/love interest Celeste is trans, and friend Jasmine reads as gay), but was frustrated by all the male characters being unlikeable jerks. Sophie Amoss’s narration on the audio version is quality though, including distinct voices for each major character as well as several of the supporting cast.
What Stalks Among Us by Sarah Hollowell, audio version narrated by Amielynn Abellera
In this mildly spooky mystery horror, best friends Sadie and Logan ditch a class field trip and explore a supernatural corn maze together. Things get weird when they start finding dead bodies, including their own… several times! Sadie and Logan try to understand what’s happening, protect each other, and search for a way out of the maze, while also keeping a look out for whoever or whatever is killing people in the maze. The friendship between the two main characters is amazingly portrayed, as is the way they help each other process past traumas. However, I didn’t find the maze itself as scary as it was meant to be, and I didn’t care for some things about how the story ends, but overall it’s still a mostly fun supernatural mystery.
Stars, Hide Your Fires by Jessica Mary Best, audio version narrated by Natalie Naudus
This sci-fi story is full of action, intrigue, and just a little bit of mystery and romance. Think of it as like a mix of Star Wars and Knives Out, in a solidly YA container. Main character Cass is a petty thief and con artist who makes her living conning and pickpocketing travelers on the backwater moon she calls home. When she learns that the emperor will announce his successor at a fancy ball on a nearby world, Cass hatches a plan to infiltrate the ball, rob the guests blind, and make enough money to retire on. In so doing, she stumbles headfirst into an assassination plot where she is quickly framed for murder, falls in with a group of rebels (and a bit of sapphic romance as well), and has to solve the murder to clear her name. The action moves a thousand miles an hour, and while parts of it hold up better than others it’s overall a pretty fun ride.
All three of these are available on Playaway from Galesburg Library. This Delicious Death is available in ebook and eaudiobook format through the Libby app. What Stalks Among Us is also available in ebook form through the Boundless app.