BOOK REVIEW: Safe Harbour by Christina Kilbourne

Title: Safe Harbour
Author: Christina Kilbourne
Publication: December 10, 2019
Publisher: Dundurn
Genre: Teens, YA Fiction
Pages: 264

SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

As crazy as her father’s plan sounds, sticking to it is easy for Harbour — until it isn’t.

Fourteen-year-old Harbour is living in a tent in a Toronto ravine with her dog, a two-month supply of canned tuna, and an eccentric reading list. She’s not homeless, she tells herself. She’s merely waiting for her home — a thirty-six-foot sailboat — to arrive with her father at the helm. Why should she worry when the clouds give her signs that assure her that she’s safe and protected?

When her credit card gets declined, phone contact from her father stops, and summer slips into a frosty fall, Harbour is forced to face reality and accept the help of a homeless girl named Lise to survive on the streets. Lise shows Harbour how to panhandle and navigate the shelter system while trying to unravel Harbour’s mysterious past. But if Harbour tells her anything, the consequences could be catastrophic.


**A copy of this book was provided by the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

I was instantly intrigued after reading the description of Safe Harbour by Christina Kilbourne. I love finding books with story lines I’ve never even remotely seen before and this story was unique.

The story follows Harbour Mandrayke as she works her way through the streets of Toronto trying to survive until her father arrives on their sailboat. Problem is he doesn’t show up on time and it’s getting cold.

I love Harbour. I love her fiesty-ness and her ability to take care of herself at such a young age. The side characters in this story really helped build up the story and make it more interesting. Lise was one of my favorites. While she was still young herself, she had a maturity about her that you could see she earned from years on the street. The friendship she builds with Harbour right from the beginning shows that big sister instinct to protect those younger than yourself. Frank and Josh were fun side characters that gave the view from the rough edges of homeless life in a big, freezing cold city.

For most, being homeless is something we cannot fathom or even comprehend what these people do on the daily to survive. I think this book showed the realities of life on the street in such a raw and pure way that it put a lot into perspective for me. I love that Kilbourne was able to showcase this side of society that most don’t understand so openly. Kilbourne gave us characters that were easy to love and you found yourself hoping they make it. I wanted all of Harbour’s ideas about life to end up coming true. I also like that while this story may have a “happy ending” in some aspects, it didn’t really in others and that holds true to real life.

Kilbourne’s story telling abilities are supreme and I felt emotionally attached to these characters by the end. I also was not able to see the ending coming, even though I thought about quarter of the way through I knew what was going to happen. I was wrong, just in case you were wondering. I am a fan and I will be looking into reading more from Christina Kilbourne very soon. A new favorite of mine amongst the Teen and YA Fiction genre.


You can pre-order your copy of Safe Harbour by Christina Kilbourne on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your local bookstore. The book officially releases on December 10, 2019. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. You can check out author Christina Kilbourne on her website HERE and see all her other books she has released. Follow her on Twitter HERE.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *