Memoir · Non-fiction

Educated

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Title: Educated

Author: Tara Westover

Performer: Julia Whelan

Length: 12 hrs, 15 min, 32 sec

Series: N/A

Publishing Date/Publisher: 2018 by Random House Audio

Format: eAudiobook

Review: This memoir was truly fascinating.  I thought the audiobook version was incredible.  I have greatly enjoyed this performer for other books, and she really does a fantastic job with this one.

It is hard to believe this is a true story.  The fact that someone can go to college and excel without a formal education is a concept I had never considered.  As a librarian, I am a huge proponent of books, but this story really puts into perspective how powerful literacy, books, and internet access can be.

The physical, emotional, and psychological abuse in this book is difficult to stomach, so this is a serious trigger warning.  It is incredibly frustrating to see the cycle of abuse perpetuated on so many different levels, and it demonstrates how difficult it is to truly cut ties with an abuser, especially one that you love.  This story is a powerful example of how one can break the cycle and move forward in life.  My heart broke for Tara on so many occasions, and some of the choices she had to make for her own mental health and wellbeing brought tears to my eyes.  She is an incredibly resilient human being and I have great admiration for all she has accomplished.

I highly recommend this memoir.  I think it provides important insights into a world that few know about, and it tackles issues, such as mental illness, that have a lasting impact on more people than we realize.

Reader: Bekah

Rating: 

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Fiction · Young Adult

Girl in Pieces

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Title: Girl in Pieces

Author: Kathleen Glasgow

Performer: Julia Whelan

Length: 10 hr, 43 min

Series: N/A

Publishing Date/Publisher: 2016 by Penguin House Audio Publishing Group

Format: eAudiobook

Review:  BIG trigger warning for this book: there is a lot of graphic self-harm.  Sometimes it can be difficult to stomach, but it is important to note that the self-harm does not feel in any way gratuitous.  Without such vivid description, it would be difficult to understand the characters’ mental state and the extent of the damage they inflict upon themselves as a result.  This is a powerful story of addiction and finding coping mechanisms to overcome extreme trauma.

I will say that as difficult as this story was to get through due to the heavy content, I found myself wanting to finish because I was truly hoping for a positive outcome for the main character, Charlie.  I wouldn’t say the ending is uplifting, but I found that when I put it down, I did feel some sense of closure.

It’s hard to say I “love” this book…more like I found it to be very compelling.  It addresses a sensitive topic that is infrequently talked about, but important to understand.

The performer of this book did a good job.  Her voice fit the character, and that’s really all I ask for.

Reader: Bekah

Rating:

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