The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare
Published: 2/4/2020 by Dutton Books
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
The unforgettable, inspiring story of a teenage girl growing up in a rural Nigerian village who longs to get an education so that she can find her “louding voice” and speak up for herself, The Girl with the Louding Voice is a simultaneously heartbreaking and triumphant tale about the power of fighting for your dreams.
Despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in her path, Adunni never loses sight of her goal of escaping the life of poverty she was born into so that she can build the future she chooses for herself – and help other girls like her do the same.
Her spirited determination to find joy and hope in even the most difficult circumstances imaginable will “break your heart and then put it back together again” (Jenna Bush Hager on The Today Show) even as Adunni shows us how one courageous young girl can inspire us all to reach for our dreams…and maybe even change the world.
Triggers: Forced marriage at a very young age and everything that goes along with it (sex, pregnancy, etc.), sexism, death, grieving the loss of a loved one, physical abuse, and the mention of rape.
I’m really sad this wasn’t a five-star read. I went in with the highest of expectations, I promise. I know that everyone views a book differently, but I almost felt like I had to enjoy this. However, this book is still important. I recommend you read this because it is well-loved and I recognize that it’s a good book as far as purpose and content.
I’ll start with what I did enjoy: Adunni, the main character, and the writing. These two aspects of the novel kept me in the story (as much as I could be). Adunni is a strong narrator / protagonist, and there’s no doubt she’ll be a great influence to many women, even though she’s a teenage girl. She pushes through many, many obstacles that most will never be able to imagine. She’s incredible, and if you don’t want to read it for anything else, read it to experience Adunni’s determination.
The writing style was hard to get into. I almost couldn’t understand what the characters were saying, but it obviously makes sense considering it takes place in Nigeria. It’s about a teenage girl who has never been to school. She’s extremely smart, though. I was just so impressed with how well Daré executed the writing. I would read more from this author because of that.
The reason for the three-star rating was the plateau in plot and the bland side characters. I think I expected a different story than what the book offered. I shouldn’t blame the book for that, but regardless of what happened, the plot plateaued for pretty much half the book. I thought we would experience Adunni going through school, but we don’t. The ending sets up for that, which is great in its own way, but it didn’t work for me.
The characters had no personality. They were very dry and unmemorable. They just fit in molds for this kind of story, as bad as that sounds. I just didn’t think they added anything to the story. I never wanted to pick it up and read about how these boring characters made Adunni’s life hell. I just wanted to DNF so badly.
I understand why people love this. Please do not take offense to my overall opinion! I respect this book for the lessons it shares. I’m sure it’ll be great for the majority of people. Please go pick it up if you’re interested!
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