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Download Althea & Oliver Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Althea & Oliver, by Cristina Moracho Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Cristina Moracho Narrator: Jorjeana Mari Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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What if you live for the moment when life goes off the rails—and then one day there’s no one left to help you get it back on track?

Althea Carter and Oliver McKinley have been best friends since they were six; she’s the fist-fighting instigator to his peacemaker, the artist whose vision balances his scientific bent. Now, as their junior year of high school comes to a close, Althea has begun to want something more than just best-friendship. Oliver, for his part, simply wants life to go back to normal, but when he wakes up one morning with no memory of the past three weeks, he can’t deny any longer that something is seriously wrong with him. And then Althea makes the worst bad decision ever, and her relationship with Oliver is shattered. He leaves town for a clinical study in New York, resolving to repair whatever is broken in his brain, while she gets into her battered Camry and drives up the coast after him, determined to make up for what she’s done.

Their journey will take them from the rooftops, keg parties, and all-ages shows of their North Carolina hometown to the pool halls, punk houses, and hospitals of New York City before they once more stand together and face their chances. Set in the DIY, mix tape, and zine culture of the mid-1990s, Cristina Moracho’s whip-smart debut is an achingly real story about identity, illness, and love—and why bad decisions sometimes feel so good.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “What sets this novel apart is the way the youth are allowed to speak for themselves in all their chaotic, exciting complexity…Oliver’s medical condition functions as both an interesting narrative quirk and a deeper metaphor, and the resolution is satisfyingly uncertain. The novel is set in the mid-1990s, which is vividly re-created with plenty of drinking, sex, and rock and roll, but it is the exquisitely created and painfully real, pitch-perfect characters who make it so memorable.”

    School Library Journal (starred review)

  • “This ain’t no fairy tale: This raw coming-of-age novel captures the listless wanderings of teens at loose ends…At turns gritty and gooey, Oliver and Althea’s evolving relationship unfolds in a warts-and-all narration that alternates between the two, deftly capturing the purgatorial crossroads between youth and adulthood. Moracho’s descriptions are vivid and arresting…There is rich potential for crossover appeal here; while Althea and Oliver’s fumbling progress toward maturity will resonate with teens currently in the angst-filled trenches, the characters’ worldly-wise perspectives on their own histrionics will give adult readers reason to nod and sigh in appreciative recognition: Growing up is a messy business. Mesmerizing.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Debut author Moracho takes a familiar setup—best friends with incompatible feelings—and examines it thoroughly and deeply…Throughout the book, Oliver’s reserve is an effective counterpoint to Althea’s reckless responses to the teens’ respective predicaments. Moracho wisely resists a storybook ending for these two, concluding with what seems like the next logical step in their lives.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Moracho’s debut novel is chock-full of tropes, any one of which might have been enough to tank the story. Despite these conventions, the novel works, due in large part to Moracho’s engaging and genuine narrative voice…The bittersweet romance, Oliver’s battle with his illness, and Althea’s coming-of-age struggle should appeal to fans of John Green and Sarah Dessen who are looking for something new.”


  • “A gorgeous, glorious, unforgettable novel about punk rock, bad decisions, falling in love, and the messy beauty of growing up. Althea and Oliver is a flawlessly crafted straight shot to the heart.”

    Sarah McCarry, author of All Our Pretty Songs

  • Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books, Best Teen Book of 2014
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