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Girl on the Brink

Girl on the Brink

Author: Christina Hoag
Narrator: Angela Rose Masi
Publisher: Onward Press
Length: 7 hrs 39 mins
Published: 0
Reviewer: Anonymous

Book Rating 

Audio Rating 

I have listened to numerous novels with a domestic abuse theme. What made ‘Girl on the Brink’ stand out from the crowd for me personally was the age of the main character. This is technically a young adult novel, but it should appeal to a much wider audience. There is so much potential for discussion here, it would be a great book to be shared and talked about between parents and teenagers, in youth groups etc.

17-year-old Chloe is about to start her last year at high school when she meets charming Kieran. Initially, Kieran seems perfect boyfriend material. Unlike other boys Chloe has come across, Kieran doesn’t just want sex, he is very attentive and fun to be with. He actually listens to Chloe, when she needs to talk about her difficult time at home. Her parents have recently separated and Chloe’s Mum is not coping well.

While some readers/listeners will soon pick up on the tell-tale signs of where Chloe and Kieran’s relationship is starting to turn sour, the story is ideal for introducing less experienced audiences to this difficult subject matter in a meaningful but very enjoyable way. Chloe is a brilliantly drawn character and it is easy to feel for her, but what made this really outstanding for me, is the fact that Christina Hoag’s characterization of Kieran made me feel all sorts of emotions, too. I was there with Chloe when she tried desperately to help Kieran. The push and pull between needing to save herself and wanting to save Kieran were done so well and really emotional.

Christina Hoag has evidently done extensive research into the topic. The novel is well written, the story is completely believable, characters and dialog felt realistic, and the cycle of abuse is portrayed frightfully accurately.

Possible spoiler: Unlike other domestic abuse stories I have read, this one doesn’t end when Chloe “frees herself”. I liked that it went further into the aftermath of it all. The support group meeting certainly provided a lot more information about domestic abuse without ever coming across as being preachy. My only minor niggle: while I realize that most domestic abuse is targeted at women, it would have been nice to acknowledge, within the support group meeting perhaps, that men can also be victims of domestic abuse.

The narration by Angela Rose Marsi was excellent. She had a young sounding voice that suited Chloe’s first-person perspective very well, but her male voices were equally great and very believable. There were no issues with the production of the audio.

This is the sort of novel that should be widely available in educational establishments, libraries, and homes across the country. Highly recommended!
Review from Midwest Bonsai Blog