Reviews tagging Ableism

Bitter, by Akwaeke Emezi

11 reviews

musebeliever's review

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3.0


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dreareads_'s review

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dark emotional informative reflective tense

4.5

<i> Hope is not a waste of time. Hope is a discipline <\i> 

I really enjoyed this book. Emezi is the kind of author that is not afraid to be explicit about the central points of their story. The characters (old and new) and beautifully constructed, and the love between them is obvious. 

While Pet was a fairly contained story, Bitter is a story about a movement and the role of individuals. It is a story that warns against revenge, but also the ugly side of ‘justice’.

There are many things to love about this book but there were points that were confusing or just didn’t work for me.
1) The Angels: in Pet the Angels are here to hunt monsters, and while they have their own agenda they are not needlessly blood thirsty
Spoiler in this story, the Angels are bringers of destruction, their purpose isn’t to safe the innocent, but to cleanse the city w/ blood
this to me felt like a departure from what we knew about the Angels from Pet.
2) The delivery of the message: although I appreciate the ideas that Emezi is promoting in the book, sometimes they felt a bit too on the surface. This is more a preference than anything else, and I understand that as a YA story this is aimed at an audience that benefits from clear messaging. 

Regardless another masterpiece from a wonderful writer. 

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ekmook's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional hopeful reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75


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ashleycmms's review

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

4.0


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karcitis's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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michaelion's review against another edition

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dark hopeful tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

I'd like to reiterate what I said in my review of Pet. Which I will not repeat here but it still stands. I liked, nay, LOVED Vengeance. And the worldbuilding in this sequel / prequel is just so rich. Not that they have to, but Emezi could run wild with this world alone and never be broke again. It's so beautiful, it's so refreshing. Pet was so warm and sweet and this was so dark and sultry... Bitter if I may. But both books, despite how different they feel, smell, sound, despite how different the in-universe world is barely a generation later, both taste like eating really good dark chocolate. For me. I say this because I love dark chocolate. And I did eat a few while reading, but because the world already made me think of the flavor! What I mean is the world itself is rich, flavorful, colorful, and even though the books are different they have the same heart.

Emezi has a real talent, a real beauty in absorbing me into these words. There was one page I gasped at least 10 times, just one page! And throughout the whole book I was so giddy. But can you blame me? A straight (presenting(?)) couple so gay they grow to have a trans daughter? I love it here! We have no choice but to stan! If there's a third book I'm sending Emezi my paycheck the day the book is announced.

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cyrinw98's review

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

4.75

Semi-spoilers ahead.
Trigger Warnings: Graphic depictions of violence, mentions of the life of an adult abuser(Hibiscus), mentions of child abuse, blood, fire
In this sequel to Emezi’s young adult novel Pet, we follow a seventeen-year-old Bitter( Jam’s mother) back as a former foster care child and queer artist attending the mysterious Eucalyptus Academy back in a time when the monsters in Lucille very much existed. Bitter has built a bubble around herself for protection. Protection from the monsters that are turning her home into a warzone and protection from the memories of “the lost years.” Bitter has no interest in the revolution. She isn't like the Assata kids who fight on the frontlines, but when tragedy strikes closer to home Bitter must make a decision that may have a rippling effect.
Emezi is such a master with their prose and is talented at creating very human characters that jump off of the page. I think the way Bitter feels is how many of us feel about injustice, but maybe are too afraid to voice. I liked seeing Bitter’s character progression and getting to know the origins of many of the characters we met in Pet. 
This book touches on two important questions: In the face of injustice, am I doing enough?
How can I help/where is my place?
I liked how Emezi constantly reiterated that every person has a role in the revolution: the organizers, artists, historians, and the front-liners. Everyone has a purpose. It also touches on the importance of self-care for activists, art as activism, and the importance of community. There was also a commentary on ableism and the idea of being useful. There are nods to prominent figures: Assata Shakur, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Mariam Kabe and their contributions to their respective movements. 
The pacing in the novel was off at times and there were certain parts of the novel that I think needed to be explored more. This is my second Akweake Emezi novel and it solidified  them as one of my favorite authors.

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emzhayreading's review against another edition

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dark emotional hopeful informative inspiring reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

I love the ideals and topics discussed in this book. It gave me a whole new perspective on Pet. I would say  books are essential reading. 

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readingatthemuseum's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional hopeful inspiring reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0


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sonaea's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional reflective
  • 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

4.5

One of the best descriptions of activism and activists I've yet read. Also, awesome representation, strong women and even a bit critical of the system (a lot, but only a bit is really mentioned).
My only critical points are of the storytelling-kind: Some of the conflicts between the characters that first seem huge are suddenly not important at all anymore. They forgive and forget and while they do talk about it, it's easily solved (especially thinking about
Spoilerthe last conflict between Bitter and Aloe - first they don't seem to even care about the others feelings, being all angry with each other and stuff, not listening to each other, then suddenly they're all reflected and make up again - that's not healthy, and honestly I don't think that's how it works for long irl. Please reflect before you start accusing each other of things
). Also, the writing style could have been better, but it was a good read nonetheless.

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