Today I have a very special blog tour for you: my very first audio book review! Bad Love by Maame Blue is part of one of the most exciting publishing projects of this year, Jacaranda’s #Twentyin2020 campaign. The indie publisher has vowed to publish twenty books by Black British writers this year, which Audible will be exclusively producing as audio books. Already released under the #Twentyin2020 campaign are: Lote by Shola von Reinhold, Through the Leopard’s Gaze written and narrated by comedian Njambi McGrath, The Space Between Black and White written and narrated by Esuantsiwa Jane Goldsmith and Under Solomon Skies by Berni Sorga-Millwood, narrated by Damian Lynch. Bad Love is narrated by Vivienne Acheampong, an actress and comedian, best known for featuring in Death in Paradise (2011), The Trap (2015) and Turn Up Charlie (2019).
Many thanks to Amber Choudhary from Midas PR for inviting me on this tour and Audible and Jacaranda for providing an advance copy of the audio book of Bad Love.
RELEASE DATE: 18/06/20
STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶
Bad Love tells the story of Ekuah Danquah, a London-born Ghanaian who is 18 years old when she falls in love for the first time. As both narrator and protagonist now in her 30s, she delves into her memories of angst and confusion that dismantled her experience of that first, impactful romantic relationship. It meets none of her rigid expectations and instead shines a light on other significant relationships in her life, especially the marriage of her parents, something she had long considered an unhappy pairing.
First of all, looking at the breathtaking cover makes me rather upset that I only got to review an audio book and not a physical copy so I could stare at the cover for hours instead of actually reading and reviewing it. But I have to say, I loved the experience of having an audio review copy – I’ve been binging audio so much recently that I absolutely flew through Bad Love.
Ekuah is a great leading voice throughout the book, and it is lovely to have a book narrated by a character so clearly rooted in London and the Arts. As someone who predominately reads SFF, Bad Love has made a welcome change and shown me once again that contemporary fiction can be incredibly powerful. Growing up with Ekkie throughout the course of the book resonated with me as a woman in my mid-twenties, struggling with some of the same issues that she is facing. Between the UK, Ghana and Italy, Ekkie discovers who she is and what she wants, through and despite the relationships in her life.
Bad Love is incredibly well-written, and audio book narrator Vivienne Acheampong brings it to life just as well. It approaches the intangible and complicated subjects of love and relationships with grace and nuance, and refuses to paint a rosy picture. Love is shown to be just as toxic, heart-breaking, beautiful and exhilarating as it is in real life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Maame Blue is a Ghanaian Londoner, writer, and project manager for not-for-profit organisations. As well as co-hosting Headscarves and Carry-ons – a podcast about black girls living abroad – she regularly runs social media campaigns for www.bmeprpros.co.uk and sporadically blogs over at www.maamebluewrites.com. In 2018 she won the Africa Writes x AFREADA flash fiction competition for her story Black Sky. She has since been published in AFREADA, Afribuku, and Memoir Magazine; with stories forthcoming in Storm Cellar Quarterly and Litro Magazine.