Full Pour Review: The Girl With The Louding Voice

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

WOW. This one left me speechless. I finished The Girl With The Louding Voice days ago and I can’t stop thinking about it, having delayed my review trying to figure out exactly how to put into words how much I loved this powerhouse of a book. This book is another one that has been on my TBR list for a while that I wish I didn’t take so long to get to. Abi Dare is an incredible storyteller and had me on an emotional roller coaster throughout this debut novel- needless to say, I was HOOKED on this book from the very beginning.

The Girl With The Louding Voice is about a 14 year old girl named Adunni growing up in a rural Nigerian village whose dream is to get a good education so that she can develop a “louding voice” to stand up for herself and others. After her mother passing away and having escaped an unwanted arranged marriage by her father, she finds herself traveling to Lagos and ending up working as a housemaid to a sadistic businesswoman and her terrible husband. Despite the seemingly never ending obstacles thrown her way, and with the help of a few unlikely allies that have crossed her path, Adunni sets out to overcome the cultural confines of Africa’s toxic patriarchy and discover her louding voice.

I fell in love with Adunni’s character hard. At only 14 years old, she is an incredibly strong force to reckon with and I found it impossible to not be completely inspired and endeared by her spirit, strength, bravery, perseverance and determination. Despite all of the obstacles thrown her way, she continues to hold her head high and go after her dream of getting an education and building a better life for herself and the females that will come after her. She is truly the most perfect, unforgettable female protagonist and hands down one of my new all-time favorite literary characters. I finished the book needing to know what happened to her and how her future carries out- anyone else rooting for a sequel?! 🙋🏻‍♀️

If you haven’t read this book yet, I encourage you to place it at the top of your TBR list ASAP. This is one of the most powerful, heartbreaking, infuriating, triumphant and inspiring books that I’ve ever read and it will stick with me for a very long time 🙌🏻


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Dare is best paired with Bourbon Paradise by Prairie Artisan Ales. This smooth and delicious imperial stout is aged in bourbon barrels and conditioned on both coconut and vanilla 🍻

Full Pour Review: Black Sunday

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Fuck. This one took me on a roller coaster ride. Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham is not a book that I have seen much on Bookstagram and it deserves SO MUCH attention.

In 1996, twin sisters Ariyike and Bibike are enjoying a comfortable life in Lagos until their mother suddenly loses her job and in the midst of facing poverty, their family becomes drawn to a new church with an enthralling pastor who worships earthly wealth and possessions. Shortly after joining this church and befriending the pastor, the girls’ father wagers their family home on a bet and loses the home. As their parents marriage collapses, the girls and their two younger brothers are forced to live with their grandmother. Once inseparable, Ariyike and Bibike are now forced to diverge down separate paths of self discovery and independence.

Tola Rotimi Abraham is a truly incredible writer and story teller. The story line and character plots throughout this book provoked a lot of intense emotions, making it incredibly hard to put down. My heart ached for what Ariyike, Bibike and the rest of their family experienced and how it altered the courses of their lives. I loved the way she explored various themes like social and political strife, poverty, violence, religion, the nature of regret, and the power of redemption and self-reliance. It is incredibly hard to believe that this is Tola Rotimi Abraham’s debut novel and I look forward to the possibility of reading more books by her in the future.

I feel like my words can’t do this book justice. If you’re looking for a quick, captivating and addictive read that’s packed with a lot of intense themes, or are a fan of the storyline and writing style by Chelsea Bieker in Godshot, I highly recommend checking this one out!


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham is best paired with Fresh J’s by RAR Brewing. This delicious, juicy triple IPA is triple dry hopped with calypso, moteuka and zyrhos hops, resulting in a smooth and hoppy tropical flavor🍻

Full Pour Review: Home Before Dark

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Well, it should come as no surprise that Riley Sager did it again! Home Before Dark has been one of my most highly anticipated books so far this year and it lived up to all of my expectations! This story was incredibly spooky with several surprise twists that I wasn’t expecting and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of the emotional roller coaster that this story took me on.

25 years ago, Maggie Holt and her parents, Jess and Ewan, moved into Baneberry Hall and only lasted 20 days before fleeing in the dead of night and leaving behind all of their personal belongings. Ewan ended up writing a story called House of Horrors about their horrific experience in that house, consisting of tales about encounters with ghosts and evil spirits that rivaled with The Amityville Horror in both skepticism and popularity. This book has haunted Maggie all of her life, making her an outcast among peers. The worst part? She doesn’t remember any of her time at Baneberry Hall, convinced that nothing in the book actually happened and that her parents have been lying to her all of her life.

Now, at 26 years old, Maggie discovers shortly after her fathers passing that her family never sold Baneberry Hall and that she has now inherited this house. Since Maggie has her own home restoration business with her best friend, she plans on renovating the home and putting it up for sale. In addition, Maggie ultimately decides to use this project as an opportunity for her to finally figure out what really happened in this house and what made them suddenly flee and never return. Despite her disbelief that the house is haunted, it doesn’t take long for Maggie to begin experiencing weird, unexplainable events in the house- events so strange, that she begins to wonder if the tales that her father wrote about in House of Horrors are actually true… and if the real secrets that are hidden within the house are much more terrifying than anything her dad wrote about in his book.

Riley Sager is an incredible storyteller. I absolutely love the way he writes and how he draws the reader in so quickly with his stories, keeping them on the edge of their seat the entire time. I flew through this book because I NEEDED to know what happened next. One of my favorite things about this book was how the chapters rotated between Maggie’s present day experience, and chapters from House of Horrors.

I also really enjoyed the spookiness to this story. I am such a baby when it comes to scary/haunted things and I do NOT like horror movies. I was traumatized with The Amityville Horror in 6th grade and still make an effort to distance myself from things that have to do with haunted houses and evil spirits to this day (including haunted houses/hay rides around Halloween 😂). However, while this book definitely came me there spooks and despite there being several comparable events in this book that resemble events from The Amityville Horror, I was actually able to fully appreciate and enjoy everything taking place in the book and manage to sleep at night just fine 😂

So happy that my favorite bookish girl gang decided to do this as a buddy read this month! 🤗 If you’re looking for a really spooky thriller with a lot of surprises twists and a wonderful surprise ending, I highly recommend picking up Home Before Dark. I was sold on Riley Sager being an auto-buy author for me after reading Lock Every Door last fall, and after finishing Home Before Dark, I REALLY need to finally check out his other two books.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Home Before Dark by Riley Sager is best paired with Roast Coffee Cider by Bold Rock Cider. Partnered with Pisgah Coffee, this delicious cold brewed hard cider is infused with a medium roast coffee, resulting in a rich coffee aroma and wonderfully balanced flavors 🍻