Reviews

Brown Girl in the Ring, by Nalo Hopkinson

kalanadi's review

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dark sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

sarahjsnider's review

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3.0

This reads as a commentary on wealth inequality that is realistic and accessible for younger readers. The plot itself didn’t hold a lot of surprises for me* but the world the characters lived in is intriguing. Patois, or any dialect, is hard to pull off in writing, but I found this to be done in a way that usually enhances rather than distracts from the reading experience.

*Cemetery Boys, which I read last month for book club, takes place in a similar culture of accessing extranormal powers. Had I read this book first I might have found the plot more surprising. But then, it does feel a bit like a “chosen one” story, and I am tired of those.

victor_rosa's review against another edition

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4.0

maravilhoso, mais pessoas precisam ler essa autora

ejiroxmary's review against another edition

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4.0

Set in a near dystopian Toronto, Ti-Jeanne tries to find herself and decide what she wants to do with her life separate from her Mami and maybe also from her child's father who is just a good-looking plum fool.

Steeped in the Caribbean folklore and giving magical realism vibes, I enjoyed every bit of the story. Ti-Jeanne annoyed me a lot but now that I've sat with it a bit I think it's because she reminded me of me when I was younger and pinning over a man and all the stupid decisions I made(sighs...)

Mami was a badass and I understood her hurt, ultimately hurt people hurt people. Women are powerful. Mami's role in the community and strength was unmatched.

Let's get into these gods, I was so delighted reading about them in this book and screaming I know them, their names might be a little different but I know them and it was a piece of home I didn't know I needed.

Can we talk about how Christianity made us (at least most of us Africans and Caribbeans) believe that our religions/spirituality before the White men came force theirs down our throats were barbaric? what defines barbaric practices? is something barbaric just because you don't do it?

The way the old testament sacrifices were made, are they not similar to the practices of our ancestors?

Anyways, before I go off, all that is to say that I really enjoyed the infusion of folklore and traditional practices in the story and how they can bring healing.

siria's review against another edition

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3.0

This is a kind of speculative fantasy book, set in a post-economic meltdown Toronto, a city where 'white flight' to the surrounding suburbs has been so extreme that the city centre itself has been closed off and abandoned to poor, mostly non-white inhabitants. For a first novel, it's really well done, and there's a lot in it to admire: all the main characters are PoC; they're fighting back against colonisation (in some instances a very literal colonisation—they're being killed for their hearts); motherhood is recognised as being difficult, breast-feeding as emotionally and physically tiring; Hopkinson gives her characters Creole-inflected dialogue and draws from a literary and spiritual tradition that's not given enough respect in the white West. Hopkinson also manages the difficult task of having her characters make mistakes, and yet remain mostly likeable. (There was one decision/emotional reaction of Ti-Jeanne's at the end which irritated me a lot, though.) I didn't love Brown Girl in the Ring, but it certainly engaged my attention and entertained me, and I would be very interested to read more of Hopkinson's work and to follow her maturation as a writer.

katsudonburi's review

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challenging dark emotional hopeful mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

ceramirezmcfarlin's review

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

bookofcinz's review against another edition

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3.0

Brown Girl in the Ring is finally off my "to-read list" after an entire year.

There was/is so much hype around this book and I can see why, it is not usual for an Author of Caribbean background to tackle fantasy in this unique way. While I can't say I love this book, I will say, I strongly appreciate the writing, the characters and the plot. It is clear Nalo Hopkinson is one to watch and I am excited to see what she comes with next.

runawaybookcase's review

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adventurous challenging dark

3.75

abatt's review

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adventurous dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0