Reviews tagging Bullying

Hurricane Summer, by Asha Bromfield

11 reviews

misspennreads's review

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challenging emotional reflective medium-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

3.5


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piperhill's review against another edition

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emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

This was a really beautifully written story of self-discovery, courage, and learning to derive purpose from oneself & not others. The growth of the mc was powerful & her narration full of raw emotion.

And it was extremely heavy. I think too heavy for me. It felt like 90% struggle and despair with only 10% of joy and redemption. So much trauma was fit into one storyline, & mixed with the mc’s own internal dialogue of self-doubt and depression…it was hard for me to get through.

**do not read this if sexual assault is a triggering topic for you** there was graphic on-page description & emotional abuse and gaslighting afterward from basically everyone about the incident. It never was resolved & the truth about what happened was never shared which created a snowball effect of shaming and lies. I felt it was handled poorly & was very disturbing to read.

Trauma felt like a device for growth & I take issue with that. And when there is so much trauma fit into one story, it felt like a lot was glossed over & not properly dealt with. The ending especially felt over the top & incredibly distressing simply for the point of the mc’s development. 

Further, I didn’t like any of the characters. There were obvious antagonists that we’re not supposed to like, but even the mc…she wasn’t likable. The only character I felt drawn to was Andre. 

So I’m giving this a low rating because I had a hard time enjoying it. But it was very well written & the theme of redemption and freedom in the end is important. I listened to the audiobook read by the author & that was also very well done & added to the intensity and emotion of it all.

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courtneyfalling's review

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

3.0

This was definitely a powerful premise and sometimes stunning story and character portrayal, but I honestly felt uncomfortable and on edge through most of my time reading because of how little Tilla challenged what was happening to her... like wow I had a lot of secondhand hate for characters around her, but without relating to Tilla as much, it felt consuming! (I do think this might be impacted by how much this book activated my own teenage experiences, fears, and traumas, so like, definitely check the CWs on this!)

A few main frustrations:
  • Tilla does not read as 18, she reads as like 15 :/. I couldn't get over how much younger her perspective felt than what we were supposed to believe throughout basically every chapter. And to a lesser extent, Mia doesn't read as 9, she reads as 11-12 with some of the comments she makes. She's not really believable, just a device for Tilla. 
  • SpoilerThis book shows a pretty graphic sexual assault on page then refuses to openly name it as sexual assault in Tilla's thought process, let alone out loud to other characters, and given the victim-blaming and internalized slut-shaming that follows, I really think this book needed to address it as sexual assault. It feels incomplete and potentially really damaging, especially given this is YA with what is supposed to be a clear-cut moral and main character we relate to/like.
     
  • SpoilerI hated Andre's death being used as Tilla's final moment of self-understanding. It's shitty to use the darkest-skinned character's death as merely a plot device and moment of redemption for other characters after spending the whole rest of the book challenging the colorism that exact character faces.
     
  • SpoilerI didn't feel like Tilla should "forgive" her father. I just didn't. She hadn't processed enough yet, her father hadn't taken any accountability, so much will still happen when Tilla returns to Canada and talks to her mother, and honestly, her father doesn't deserve any forgiveness. Tilla can absolutely live her life and live it well without ever forgiving her father and I don't like how this book simplifies surviving an estranged parent-kid relationship into all this burden, still, onto Tilla. Like her father can rot for all I care and she can never speak to him again? And I didn’t understand her not forgiving Hessan in comparison OR telling him he should be with Diana because he can still go on to date neither girl and discover other relationships he's fully invested in instead? Maybe the bigger issue is that I didn’t like how uncritically pro-Christian this book ended up. It was way too trite and undeserved for the characters. And trauma isn't something that just "makes you stronger" and that constant messaging is wildly irresponsible.


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bookwormbullet's review

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challenging dark emotional reflective tense 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

4.0

Wow. What a heartbreakingly beautiful book. I went into Hurricane Summer with no expectations other than a glance over previous reviews and finished this in one sitting. Many reviewers stated how there are a lot of potential triggers in the book, and I do wish I had taken those warnings more seriously because this book is very explicit for a Young Adult book. There are no content warnings attached to the book, so here is a list of TWs: rape (explicit, on-page), sexual assault (explicit, on-page), physical abuse & domestic violence (explicit, on-page), slut-shaming (explicit, on-page), colorism & racism (explicit, on-page), bullying, death (drowning, off-page), gaslighting (explicit, on-page), and cheating. I would definitely recommend this book for readers 16/17+ and do agree that this probably should have been marketed as New Adult even though Tilla is 17 years old in the novel.

Asha Bromfield does a really good job of explicitly portraying what many people of color who are a part of the diaspora of their home country go through when they have to balance both of their identities (in Tilla’s case, her Canadian identity vs. her Jamaican identity) while traveling to and from their home country. I also liked how Tilla’s feelings regarding her identity and her relationship with her father naturally contrasted with Mia’s feelings. The relationship Tilla has with her father was really devastating. Her father, frankly, was a horrible father to her and Mia and as much as I wanted Tilla to unleash all her rage on him and get back at him for treating her so horribly, I understand why she forgave him and told him that she loved him at the end of the novel. It’s a feeling many children of immigrants feel--that even though their parents may not be the most perfect parents to exist, they still love them for sacrificing their livelihoods and moving to a country they know nothing about, all in the hopes of ensuring that their children have a better life.

It was also really hard to read about Tilla’s relationship with her relatives back in Jamaica, but still relatable. I’ve also experienced this line of disconnect between children of immigrants and their extended family who still live back in their home country, especially when these two parties don’t see each other often. I was so happy that Tilla at least had Andre while she was in Jamaica, especially after witnessing how both of them are treated by their relatives, but my heart completely broke at the end of the novel. I really have to admire Tilla for still acknowledging how much Jamaica has strengthened her after everything she endured that summer.

As stated, this book is definitely relatable for those of us who are children of immigrants. Please take the content warnings seriously if you choose to read this and only read this if you are in the right headspace to take it all in, because it was really heavy. I’d give Hurricane Summer four stars overall!

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kerrygetsliterary's review

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dark emotional reflective 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

5.0


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blueheure's review

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

5.0

Mom says you get two birthdays.

The first one is the day you are born. The second is the day you leave home and give birth to yourself.


This book hooked me from the very first line and never let me go. The writing is gorgeous, and Asha does such a wonderful job of bringing her characters and the island to life. Her descriptions of how Tilla was feeling really brought me into her mind and I felt like I was really experiencing her journey with her. There were elements of the story that really resonated with me and made me reflect on and question my own experiences, especially Tilla's relationship with her father and her relationship with herself.

Hurricane Summer isn't an easy read, but it was a cathartic one, and finishing it was really like the calm after the storm as cheesy as it is.

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myrialovesbooks's review

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emotional 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? Yes

5.0

*Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the advanced copy for review.

CW/TW: abandonment, physical abuse, rape, infidelity, bullying, verbal abuse

Tilla and her little sister Mia fly to Jamaica to spend the summer with their dad. He has been in and out of their lives, traveling between Jamaica and Canada, and he wants them to get to know where they came from. Tilla thinks that this will be an opportunity for her relationship between her and her dad to be mended because his absence from her life has left a hole.

Tilla and Mia are thrust into an unfamiliar place, with unfamiliar people, and they're forced to eat or be eaten. Will Jamaica be the paradise that it's portrayed to be or will Tilla succumb to what's hidden deep in it's countryside?

Hurricane Summer sucked me into it's grasp and didn't let me go. I am still reeling from this book. Tilla is met with so many challenges that my heart couldn't take. She experiences so many highs and lows and the way that it is written you are right in there with her. I had butterflies at her first glimpse of Hessan. I felt anxious with the encounters with certain characters. I found myself holding my breath in so many instances. I felt her joy and peace in quiet moments with Andre.  I experienced absolute shock and the most heartbreaking sorrow at other times. I am crying as I type out this review and I beg of you to read this book. It is so well written and I loved it.

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ktdakotareads's review

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dark informative 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? It's complicated

4.0


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abookwanderer's review against another edition

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

3.5

Hurricane Summer is the first book I’ve read in a long time that has left me with such mixed feelings. For this reason, I’m finding it very difficult to give it a star rating. There were things I absolutely loved about this novel and then there were things that bothered me no matter how I tried to rationalize them. I’m hoping I can explain my thoughts, without giving any spoilers. And settle on a rating by the end of my review.

Hurricane Summer is an #OwnVoices young adult novel that touches on many things: classism, racism, sexism, abuse, sexual assault, rape, abortion (mentioned), infidelity, grief, and death. It’s hard to read at times, and I recommend keeping tissues nearby and taking breaks.

Let’s talk about what I loved first, because that’s always more fun. My favorite thing about Hurricane Summer is the setting. It takes place in beautiful Jamaica—and not the touristy Jamaica we’re all more familiar with—but mostly in the countryside, where the poorer people reside among the farmland, the deep forests, the rivers, and the waterfalls. The reader is transported to what’s probably a new and unfamiliar place. Even the language is different. The Patois dialogue took some getting used to—I forgot to use the handy word bank at the beginning of the book since I was reading an ebook—but once I quit trying to translate each word and settled into the story, it wasn’t an issue. In fact, it enhanced the book for me, forcing me to be even more immersed in the world.

Secondly, the fact that this novel is an #OwnVoices made the story even more powerful. I could feel the author’s connection to her main character, Tilla. I felt like Bromfield was using Tilla to speak her own truth, and it was heartbreakingly honest.

And it’s worth it to read this novel for those reasons alone. It’s why I have no regrets for picking it up, and I’m fairly confident it will be a novel that sticks with me for a long time.

Now on to what bothered me…

Bromfield has written many beautiful passages, I highlighted many lines, but it often became too melodramatic, and I couldn’t help thinking that maybe less would have been more. BUT, I also kept reminding myself that the book is considered young adult, and more purple prose is acceptable in the YA genre.

The many side characters are hard to keep straight in the beginning. While a few of them are standouts, well-rounded and real (particularly Tilla’s father and her cousin Andre), there are several side characters that I wish had been given more attention, primarily Tilla’s mother and her sister Mia. The book also has multiple antagonists—more than what’s typical for YA, and it becomes almost overwhelming. I felt like I was left with little time to process between each traumatic experience Tilla endured. Maybe the author was trying to do too much instead of just focusing on a few issues, leaving the reader with little breathing room.

Without spoiling anything, I’m not sure how I felt about the ending, as well. It felt rushed, but I was ready for the novel to be wrapped up after such an emotional ride. Maybe if the middle part of the novel had been shortened a bit and the ending extended, it would have given me more time to sit with the characters and process what I’d just read?

I hope my review doesn’t dissuade readers from picking it up. It’s a novel to be discussed, and I’m eager to hear your thoughts. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been so conflicted about a book, and to me that’s not necessarily a negative thing. Reading Hurricane Summer is enlightening and inspirational. It deals with important and urgent issues that deserve the utmost respect. And I feel like this is only the beginning for Bromfield. She’s written a novel from the depths of her heart and soul, and I’ll be eager to see what she does next. So where does that leave my rating?? I’m gonna average out the positives and negatives and settle on 3.5 stars.

Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for providing me with an advance copy.

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decklededgess's review

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

5.0

trigger warnings: rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, slut shaming, physical abuse, negligent parent, natural disaster, near death experience, blood, death of loved one, cancer mention, abortion mention, teenage pregnancy mention, bullying, infidelity and extramarital affair, misogyny, colourism, grief, suicidal thoughts, depression and anxiety

WTF WHY WAS THIS SO SAD. It was SO GOOD BUT LIKE NO GOOD THINGS HAPPEN. Trauma upon trauma. The main point, I guess, was to learn to self heal and weather your storms and fight your demons by yourself because those who disappoint you will never take responsibility and help your healing but SHIT. Tilla has to suffer SO MUCH in such a short period of time. 

It's such a good book but DUDE. 

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