Reviews

Run, Rebel, by Manjeet Mann

memorable's review against another edition

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challenging emotional 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

5.0


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twiinklex's review against another edition

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4.0


That's the problem with privilege.
If you have it,
it can be hard to imagine
why others can't live as freely as you.

That's the problem with privilege.
If you have it,
the world is your oyster.
Become, do and have
whatever you please.

That's the problem with privilege.
Those that have it
never fear resistance.


Told in verse form, this is a novel told from the POV of a girl with an abusive father. Despite being a quick read, it was powerful and enjoyable. It also captured the protagonist's struggles, feelings and psyche very well. I loved her mother's growth and journey. Definitely recommended!

But then it's better to love and feel heartbreak,
no matter how many times, than never having loved at all.

cathyp72's review against another edition

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5.0

I absolutely loved this powerful verse novel about one girls fight for the right to make her own choices and her own life. Using the historical trajectories of revolutions, the story unfolds skilfully, building tension and revealing the various POV of the characters. Amber herself is a vividly drawn character, her fears and responses convincing and developing as her rebellion grows. I found the complexities of her feelings towards her friends and family were particularly well done, making her a multi-layered and truly interesting character. very clever and a wonderful read.

hellohannahw's review against another edition

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5.0

The last three novels I've read have been in poetry and this was definitely the one that handled the poetry aspect the best. I really felt that the poems felt relavent and they added clarity to the book. I did find the romance between Amber and David to feel a little lacklustre and boring at times and think if they'd just been friends it would have been just as powerful. The relationships between Amber and her mum, Ruby or Gemma were very well written and I think the merits of this book heavily outweigh the negatives. I did find the first quarter of the book to be a little boring so my advice to anyone starting reading it would be to carry on.

elburgess's review against another edition

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4.0

I enjoyed this so much! I've not read a novel told through poetry before so it was a new experience for me, and I was surprised by how much I liked the format. I listened to the audiobook and felt quite torn by the end - it was a great poetry reading, but it also made me really want to read the book and see how the words were laid out on the page. It's like I got a sense of their layout, and that made me want to see them. Anyway, I really enjoyed this book.

theoceanrose's review against another edition

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4.0

CW: domestic abuse, violence, threats, shame/gaslighting

In this novel in verse, Amber Rai tells her story. Living with her Punjabi parents in the UK, both illiterate in their own language and unable to speak or understand English, her life has been filled with experiences forcing her to grow up before she's ready. Amber is trapped, unsafe, and unable to explain it to anyone else. When she begins to learn about the stages of revolution in her history class, she starts to wonder if she could ever be a rebel herself.

This is a powerful story, and when Amber sees hope, you begin to feel it for her too. There is a lot of weight in this story, but the resolution is satisfying. Amber is imperfect, but she's learning, and she's growing (and her Mum is pretty cool too).

Take a chance on this hidden gem!

anniereads221's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional tense medium-paced

4.0


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joanna_likes_books's review against another edition

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4.0

I really like the format, and the story. It was really empowering and inspiring however there was a not like other girls quote and that really bugged me.

basicquartz's review against another edition

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2.0

CW: Alcoholism, domestic abuse
Characters: Amber, her best friends David and Tara (a crystal fix), her parents, her sister Ruby
Plot: Amber lives with her two parents. She and her mother need to escape (or "rebel") from her abusive husband. Meanwhile, Amber struggles with letting go of resentment towards an old friend, Gemma, feeling left out by her friends Tara and David, her crush on David, wanting to compete in track 200m against her father's wishes and missing her sister Ruby who moved out to an arranged marriage. This novel explores issues related to feminism, gender roles and honour killings and racism as Amber is Indian, and she feels the disappointment of not being a boy while being shamed for hanging out with friends and running.
Opinion: Some of these poems were very hard-hitting and impactful, and is a structurally interesting choice to portray trauma and systemic issues. However some of the poetry was not as powerful.

ashortbooklover's review against another edition

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4.0

From the first page, Mann’s writing had utterly hooked me into Amber’s story. The verse almost pulses with such emotion and seethes with scarcely contained anger from the first line. The way she explores family, friendships, class and identity was brilliant, particularly the discussion around abuse and the feeling of constantly walking on eggshells. There’s an underlying uneasiness to Amber’s voice that resonated with me, giving me an atmosphere of paranoia whilst I was reading.

The formatting and the way that Mann plays with language & form within her verse was so unique and captivating to see. I flew through the pages in just one sitting, unable to extract myself from Amber’s voice. She was a brilliantly complicated narrator, authentic and flawed but you could understand her motivations even if her actions were completely wrong. There was so much rich character development for several of the characters and I enjoyed being able to see their perspectives through the verse, handily signposted by different styles.

For me, the form Mann chose to tell this story was perfect. It allowed room for the intense emotion and subject matter of the story to shine through precisely selected, often sparse language, reflecting their controlled lives that gradually widen. This is a dark and fierce book, but Mann ultimately allows for there to be hope and dreams to be explored past the final page. Some of the most beautiful moments in the book centre around friendship, love and light amongst the choking, dark atmosphere.

There are no simple answers in this powerful dissection of patriarchy, female empowerment and trauma, but nor should there be. Run, Rebel is a brilliant verse novel that will completely captivate you.