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If you are a fan of workplace thrillers and audiobooks, then Zakiya Dalila Harris’ “The Other Black Girl” is one you won’t want to miss. This audiobook review will take a closer look at the plot, characters, themes, and overall performance of this intriguing story. Whether you’re looking for a new audiobook to enjoy during your commute or while relaxing at home, “The Other Black Girl” could be just what you need.

But before we dive into the details, let’s get a quick overview of what this workplace thriller is all about.

As we explore the world of “The Other Black Girl,” we’ll consider how it relates to modern society and the issues we face in the workplace. So, get cozy and prepare to embark on an engaging and thought-provoking journey with Zakiya Dalila Harris’ audiobook.

Overview of “The Other Black Girl” Audiobook

If you’re a fan of workplace thrillers, then “The Other Black Girl” audiobook by Zakiya Dalila Harris is a must-listen. This audiobook tells the story of Nella Rogers, a young Black woman working at a prestigious publishing company in New York City. When another Black woman, Hazel, joins the company, Nella finally feels like she has a kindred spirit. However, as the two women bond, Nella begins to notice some strange and unsettling occurrences. Soon, she finds herself caught up in a dangerous web of secrets and betrayal.

“The Other Black Girl” is a gripping and thought-provoking story that tackles issues of race, identity, and power in the workplace. The audiobook is narrated by Aja Naomi King, who brings the characters to life with her dynamic and engaging performance. Whether you’re commuting to work or relaxing at home, this audiobook is a thrilling ride that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Plot Summary of “The Other Black Girl”

“The Other Black Girl” follows the story of Nella Rogers, a young editorial assistant at Wagner Books, who becomes excited upon hearing that another black woman, Hazel-May McCall, has been hired to work there. Nella has been the only black employee in the office and has struggled to fit in.

As Nella and Hazel-May grow closer, Nella starts receiving strange and unsettling messages, making her question whether she can trust Hazel-May. As the two delve deeper into the company’s history, they uncover a sinister secret, and Nella realizes she must fight for her own survival and that of those around her.

“The Other Black Girl” is an expert workplace thriller, pairing social commentary on race in the publishing industry with page-turning suspense that will have readers on the edge of their seats.

Throughout the novel, Nella experiences microaggressions and racism from her white colleagues, leading to a heightened sense of paranoia and isolation. The story also delves into themes of power dynamics, identity, and the lengths people will go to maintain their position of authority.

The plot’s twists and turns keep readers engaged and on their toes, making it difficult to put the book down. Zakiya Dalila Harris has crafted a captivating debut novel that is sure to become a classic in the genre of workplace thrillers.

Setting and Atmosphere

Zakiya Dalila Harris expertly crafts a vivid setting and atmosphere in “The Other Black Girl” that immerses the reader in the world of the publishing industry. With New York City as the backdrop, Harris creates a sense of unease and tension that permeates throughout the story, like a looming storm cloud.

The publishing house, Wagner Books, where the majority of the story is set, is portrayed almost like a character in its right, with its labyrinthine hallways, creaking floorboards, and mysterious archives. The author uses these elements effectively to build a sense of foreboding and a feeling that something sinister is lurking just beyond the surface.

Harris also explores themes of race and identity within this setting, highlighting the microaggressions, discrimination, and power dynamics that exist in predominantly white workspaces. Through the eyes of the protagonist, Nella, and other characters, the author provides a nuanced perspective on these issues, adding depth and complexity to the story.

“The publishing industry can be a real pressure cooker, so it makes sense to set a thriller there,” says Zakiya Dalila Harris, author of “The Other Black Girl”.

Character Analysis

One of the strengths of “The Other Black Girl” is the richly drawn characters, each with their own distinct personalities and motivations driving the story forward.

The protagonist, Nella Rogers, is a young and ambitious editorial assistant at Wagner Books, whose experiences as the only black employee create a sense of isolation and frustration. As the plot unfolds, Nella becomes increasingly invested in uncovering the truth about the mysterious Hazel-May, whose arrival at the company sets off a chain reaction of events that threaten to upend Nella’s world.

Hazel-May is a complex character with layers of secrecy and intrigue. As a new colleague, she initially befriends Nella, but soon reveals a more calculating side, causing Nella’s trust to falter. Hazel-May’s motivations for her behavior remain unclear until the conclusion of the audiobook, providing a satisfying reveal for listeners.

Other supporting characters, such as the enigmatic editor-in-chief Diana, provide additional depth and tension to the storyline. Diana’s unwavering ambition and harsh criticisms of Nella and Hazel-May create a palpable sense of workplace competition and set up a surprising twist in the final act.

Themes and Social Commentary

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris is not just a thrilling read but also a commentary on some critical issues. The book highlights themes such as workplace injustice, the complexities of identity, and the microaggressions that people of color face in predominantly white spaces. The author masterfully weaves these themes into the story, making them an integral part of the narration.

One of the most significant social commentaries in the book is on the lack of diversity in the publishing industry. The author herself has worked in the industry and brings to light the challenges faced by black women trying to break into the field. Through her characters, Harris portrays the insidious biases that exist in the publishing world and how it affects the opportunities and work experiences of black professionals.

Themes and social commentary in The Other Black Girl

“That was the guts of their training a lot of the time: how to survive in a space where most of the people in charge don’t understand anything about you but always seem to expect more.”

Identity and Belonging

The protagonist’s struggle with identity and finding a sense of belonging is another theme that underscores the book’s social commentary. Nella, as the only black girl in her predominantly white office, feels the pressure to conform and fit into the mold of what is expected of her. On the other hand, Hazel, a new hire and another black girl in the office, catches Nella’s attention. As they get to know each other, Nella finds herself drawn to Hazel, and together they navigate the complexities of identity in a predominantly white space.

The Illusion of Inclusivity

The theme of inclusivity is explored in the book when the publishing company celebrates diversity by hosting a diversity and inclusion event. However, the event’s discrepancies highlight the “illusion of inclusivity” in such workplaces that only use tokenism to appear diverse but do not follow through with meaningful actions towards a more equitable workplace.

Impactful and Thought-provoking

The Other Black Girl brilliantly incorporates important themes and social commentaries with a thrilling storyline. It is a rare book that is both impactful and thought-provoking, leaving readers with much more than just entertainment. Harris’s writing serves as a call to action to address the pervasive issues of workplace injustice and the necessity of change in the publishing industry.

Suspense and Thrills

The Other Black Girl is a workplace thriller that keeps readers on the edge of their seats with its suspenseful elements and thrilling moments. Throughout the audiobook, Zakiya Dalila Harris maintains tension and keeps the listener engaged with unexpected plot twists and turns. The story is infused with a sense of foreboding and mystery, making it difficult to predict what will happen next.

As the story progresses, the stakes get higher, and the tension builds to a crescendo in the climactic final act. Harris expertly weaves together various plotlines and subplots, creating a layered and complex narrative that keeps the audience intrigued and invested in the story.

“The Other Black Girl had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. The suspenseful elements and thrilling moments had me guessing until the very end!”

This gripping plot is augmented by delightful characters that draw the listener into the story. The combination of thrilling moments and intriguing character development creates a story that is both thrilling and thought-provoking.

Key elements of suspense and thrill

Element Description
Sense of foreboding The suspenseful atmosphere keeps the reader engaged and on edge, anticipating what will happen next.
Unexpected plot twists The story takes unexpected turns, keeping the listener guessing until the very end.
Rising stakes The increasing tension and danger faced by the characters make for a thrilling read/listen.

Narration and Audiobook Performance

One of the most important aspects of any audiobook is the narration, which can make or break the listener’s experience. In the case of “The Other Black Girl,” narrator Aja Naomi King delivers an outstanding performance, bringing the characters and storyline to life with her skilled delivery and nuanced interpretations of the text. King’s voice perfectly captures the range of emotions portrayed in the book, from the tense and suspenseful moments to the quieter, introspective scenes.

The audiobook performance of “The Other Black Girl” is a true testament to the power of narration and how it can enhance the storytelling experience. King’s engaging and captivating performance adds an additional layer of depth to the audiobook, making it a must-listen for anyone who enjoys a well-narrated audiobook.

Audiobook Performance Ratings for “The Other Black Girl”

Performance Aspect Rating
Narrator Delivery 5/5
Emotional Range 5/5
Pace and Rhythm 4/5
Character Differentiation 4/5
Overall Performance 4.5/5

“Aja Naomi King’s narration of ‘The Other Black Girl’ is spot-on, capturing the tension and intrigue of the story and bringing the characters to life with her skilled delivery. Highly recommended!”

Critique and Analysis

Overall, “The Other Black Girl” is a well-crafted audiobook that expertly combines the genres of workplace drama and thriller. The story’s premise is captivating, and the author effectively builds suspense throughout the narrative, making it difficult for the listener to predict the outcome.

The character development is one of the book’s strengths, with the protagonist Nella’s internal conflict and motivations being particularly well-drawn. However, some of the secondary characters lack depth and development, making their actions and decisions feel less impactful.

The book’s social commentary on racism in the publishing industry is timely and important. The author handles the subject matter with nuance, highlighting the complexities of racism and discrimination in the workplace.

However, the pacing of the story is somewhat uneven, with some scenes feeling rushed while others drag on. Additionally, the ending falls somewhat short, feeling abrupt and unsatisfying given the buildup throughout the book.

Overall, “The Other Black Girl” is a worthwhile audiobook for anyone who enjoys a blend of workplace drama and thriller genres. While it may not be perfect, the book’s strengths outweigh its weaknesses, and it presents a thought-provoking and engaging listening experience.

Reader’s Recommendation

Overall, we highly recommend “The Other Black Girl” audiobook to fans of workplace thrillers and those interested in exploring themes of race, power dynamics, and identity in contemporary society. Zakiya Dalila Harris’ debut novel is a thought-provoking and captivating read that skillfully balances suspense, social commentary, and character development.

Through its engaging plot, well-crafted characters, and layered themes, “The Other Black Girl” offers readers a compelling and poignant exploration of the challenges and complexities of navigating professional spaces as a person of color. The audiobook performance is also top-notch, bringing the story to life in a riveting and immersive way.

“A must-read for fans of thriller and social commentary. Harris’ debut novel delivers a captivating story that makes you think, question and empathize with its characters. Highly recommended!”


“The Other Black Girl” by Zakiya Dalila Harris is a gripping workplace thriller that offers an insightful and thought-provoking look at the experience of being a Black woman in the corporate world. With its well-crafted plot, engaging characters, and themes of power, race, and identity, this audiobook is a must-read for anyone looking for a captivating and socially relevant story.

Overall, we highly recommend “The Other Black Girl” to readers who enjoy suspenseful thrillers with a meaningful message. With its unique perspective and skillful execution, this audiobook is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who listen to it.

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