Audiobook Spotlight #6

Happy Monday! It’s that time if the week again where I spotlight an audiobook that I’ve listened to. I’ve debated on another blog post about whether audiobooks count as reading and I definitely fall into the yes camp. I think that the narrator in particular can really change the way you perceive a book – for better or for worse!

Sal by Mick Kitson

Publication Date: 1st March 2018

Publisher: Canongate

Narrator: Sharon Rooney

Genre: Young Adult

Format: audiobook

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Goodreads Synopsis

Sal planned it for almost a year before they ran. She nicked an Ordnance Survey map from the school library. She bought a compass, a Bear Grylls knife, waterproofs, and a first aid kit from Amazon using stolen credit cards. She read the SAS Survival Handbook and watched loads of YouTube videos. And now Sal knows a lot of stuff. Like how to build a shelter and start a fire; how to estimate distances, snare rabbits, and shoot an air gun; and how to protect her sister, Peppa–because Peppa is ten, which is how old Sal was when Robert started on her.

Told in Sal’s distinctive voice, and filled with the silent, dizzying beauty of rural Scotland, Sal is a disturbing, uplifting story of survival, of the kindness of strangers, and the irrepressible power of sisterly love, a love that can lead us to do extraordinary and unimaginable things.

My thoughts

YA is a genre that I always see as really popular on blogs and Book Twitter but a genre that I don’t really gravitate towards. I’ve not been thrilled by some of the YA I’ve read, but that isn’t to say there isn’t something of this genre out there for me. And, that being said, I think this book is one of them.

CW: child abuse, drug misuse

Sal tells the story of Sal and her little sister Peppa who have run into the wild after a horrific incident with their stepfather. Told from teenage Sal’s perspective, it offers an emotional account of her desire to protect her little sister at all costs.

As this book is set in the Scottish Highlands, it had a delightful Scottish narrator in the form of Sharon Rooney who brought the characters to life really enjoyably. I love the Scottish accent, although I know some people can find it hard to understand, yet I thought the enunciation was fabulous. Her narration was expressive, but not over the top.

Although the abuse that Sal has suffered at the hands of her stepfather is the catalyst for the events of this book, it was the relationship between Sal and Peppa that took centre stage. The bond of sisterly love was absolutely unbreakable, but also very believable. Sal is a character much more mature beyond her years as she takes on the role of mother towards her younger sister.

Throughout, the difficulty of their situation is forefront as they try to survive in the wilderness. There has clearly been a lot of research on the part of the author to bring the scenes of survival to life which I really enjoyed. Sal has to make incredibly tough decisions about whether to stay in the wilderness or return when things get treacherous, and my heart was in my mouth.

Overall, I thought this book was great. The strength of the characters was a real plus point for me and I felt every second of the drama with these characters.

I hope you enjoyed this review. Let me know of any audiobooks you’ve loved down in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Audiobook Spotlight #6

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