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Broken Harbour audiobook cover art

Superb story, beautifully written, perfectly read

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-12-19

I love Tana French's Dublin Squad series. This story shows a different view of murder detective "Scorcher" Kennedy and delves into his past. I really appreciate the way French shows characters, like Kennedy, as bit players in other books -- Kennedy's generally shown to be a flashy jerk -- but fleshes them out in their own story elsewhere. This was an absolutely gripping read, and Hugh Lee was the ideal choice to portray male and female characters with all sorts of accents and backgrounds. Highly recommended.

The Hate U Give audiobook cover art

Excellent insights into troubled race relations

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-28-17

Beautifully narrated by Bahni Turpin, this book tackles the extremely thorny issue of white American-African American relations from the perspective of a teenaged girl who lives in a tough neighbourhood but attends a mostly white private school. What is it like to experience racism from police officers firsthand? What is it like to lose friends because of racial hatred? What is it like to live in a community with its own deep divisions and violent conflicts, caused by its own gangs? Author Angie Thomas looks at all these problems in this novel, which probably ought to be required reading in American schools. As a Canadian reader, I'm not saying we don't have these issues or divisions in my country, but the proliferation of U.S. news stories about police officers killing young, innocent African Americans suggests that this is a major issue there, and that a warm, human story like this one, told by an endearing young female narrator, is something everybody ought to read. There are insights into African American culture that I'd never had before, and Thomas isn't afraid to confront white people's casually racist comments head-on. This is really well done, and I can't imagine a better narrator than Turpin, who manages to bring each and every character to life.