cover image Wild Cards

Wild Cards

Simone Elkeles, read by Kirby Heyborne and Amy Rubinate. Dreamscape Media, unabridged, seven CDs, 9 hrs., $59.99 ISBN 978-1-62923-132-7

When Derek gets kicked out of boarding school, he has to move in with his pregnant stepmother in Chicago because his father is away at sea. Life gets more complicated when chemistry develops between Derek and a girl named Ashtyn, who is the football captain at his new school. Now the teens must navigate high school while fighting hormones that send them down dangerous pathways. The dual-narrator strategy works well in this audio edition, which features chapters alternating between first-person points of view. Heyborn effectively fleshes out Derek’s personality, utilizing inflection and tone. Rubinate also keeps listeners engaged during Ashtyn’s chapters, capturing the complexity of a young woman who is both powerful and vulnerable. However, when Heyborne gives voice to Ashtyn and Rubinate to Derek, their performances falter and feel distant. Ages 14–up. A Walker Children’s hardcover. (Oct.)