Reviews tagging Police brutality

Bitter, by Akwaeke Emezi

52 reviews

readwithasherreid's review

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dark emotional funny reflective tense fast-paced
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

5.0

As someone who fell in love with PET, BITTER immediately went onto my list for the most anticipated 2022 releases!! I was worried going into this because I saw a *lot* of criticism for this book. However, after finishing it, I disagree with a lot of the negative things people have to say about this work. In my opinion, Akwaeke Emezi does not ever disappoint with their novels!! This was not a book that was ‘fun’ to read, by any means, there are some triggering topics discussed within this novel. However, I think the way the conversations are talked about is brilliant and that the book was one that I could not put down! There seem to be some adults who think this book is “too smart” for teenagers and I just don’t think you’re giving teens the credit they deserve. I could talk about BITTER for ages, but to save time and energy I’ll leave this review short.

CWs I can't link below: conversion therapy, depression, sex trafficking, etc.

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musebeliever's review

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3.0


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catapocalypse's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional hopeful 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? Yes

4.5

The most important thing to know going into this after reading Pet is that they are very different in tone and intensity. Bitter is a prequel, following Jam's mother when she herself was a teen in school, back before the monsters in Lucille were subdued. This setting is very recognizable and on-the-nose with real life issues: exploitative billionaires, corrupt government, and brutality against marginalized populations. Bitter's life has been hard, and even within the safe walls of her school, Eucalyptus, she still grapples with what her part in the struggle to make a better world should be. Things fly out of control when she accidentally unleashes Angels into the world, and both she and the activist Assata kids must decide how they really want things to resolve.

I personally didn't have an issue with the ways this differs from Pet. As with everything from Emezi, things play out in ways I didn't entirely expect, and nothing is as simple as it seems. This is definitely the most on-the-nose of their work, which some folks may not care for, but I think is fine for YA in particular.

The serious content does make it seem fit for a slightly older teen audience than Pet, as there are deaths, instances of violence and characters suffering serious injury, and some mentions of abuse and trauma from the very flawed foster care system.

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sadiefc's review

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challenging emotional hopeful tense medium-paced

3.0


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lily1304's review

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hopeful 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

4.5

Loved it - it makes a great prequel to Pet. I deeply appreciate that it gives a little more characterization to
SpoilerHibiscus, who is a major character in Pet. In Bitter, he's not a predator yet - just a headstrong teenager like Bitter and Aloe.

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readingjaunt's review against another edition

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5.0


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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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duckyreads's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional inspiring tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

In this follow up to Pet, we learn more about Bitter's past, centering around a revolution in the town of Lucille. While Bitter and her friends attend the prestigious school of Eucalyptus, the world around the is in a constant state of conflict. Bitter has a very different tone and approach to Pet, and as a more Young Adult novel, more mature themes are explored. 

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