Reviews tagging Fire/Fire injury

Bitter, by Akwaeke Emezi

11 reviews

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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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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anonymous_k's review against another edition

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

4.5

Additional Trigger Warnings: Foster Home Trauma

Good book! I go back and forth on whether I like Bitter more than Pet, but both were good and important reads! All educators need to read these books (Pet and Bitter), and I would argue that any teens who are able to read such traumatic topics should read them too. I gave it a 4.5 because reading such heavy and traumatic topics is hard for me. I am very happy to have learned more, but it took me a long time to read this book because of the severity of the trauma talked about in this book. Overall, I loved this book as it did a great job illustrating the trauma people of color (specifically black youth) face in America and it prepares me to create a safe haven and provide support in my future classroom for these traumatized students.

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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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sarah984's review

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emotional 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? It's complicated

4.5

I liked this a lot, but it suffered a bit from inevitably being compared to Pet, which I loved. The writing style in Bitter is a little more grounded, a kind of standard YA writing where the lessons in the text are stated outright. Because this is set in pre (and during) revolution Lucille there are more real-world parallels. Some of these worked for me and some didn't. I liked the characters and the basic outline of the story but things got a bit muddled toward the end for me. 

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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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puttingwingsonwords's review against another edition

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dark hopeful 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

5.0


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laynemandros's review against another edition

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dark emotional hopeful inspiring reflective 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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