Reviews tagging Cancer

Hurricane Summer, by Asha Bromfield

4 reviews

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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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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cortnereads's review

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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for a free e-arc copy in exchange for an honest review.

I understand that this book is an own voices book, set in Jamaica, and that the author did their best trying to convey their love for Jamaica but I DNF'd at 47%. 

Hurricane Summer seemed like a promising story with the blurb and I was very excited to read it. I was engaged in the story of Tilla and Mia from the start. They have a strained relationship with their Jamaican father and he invites them to Jamaica to spend the summer with him. This story is based on the country with poverty and racism. It was full of verbal, physical, emotional, and mental abuse. I tried to continue the story but as her "love interest" started to heat up, I could not find myself interested in reading anything more. I did not feel as though the story was actually going any where. Not much had happened since the beginning except for finding out a little more about other characters. Tilla and Mia were never introduced to the "wonderful" sides of Jamaica that the author continued to talk about. They were taken to a river that Tilla described as beautiful but other than that, there time so far was in the poverty stricken country side of Jamaica. I could never figure out what the main problem was in the story and where the plot was leading us. I feel like there were so many different ways it could take us but I got to a point where I could not longer bring myself to finish it.

I am happy that I was given a chance to read this book, but unfortunately, it was a no for me.

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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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