Reviews tagging Domestic abuse

Hurricane Summer, by Asha Bromfield

21 reviews

onemorepagecrew's review against another edition

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emotional reflective sad 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

Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield is a debut contemporary YA novel that held my heart captive while I read it.  In it, we meet Tilla and her sister who are traveling from their home in Canada to their dad’s home in Jamaica.  During their annual trip to visit their father, we see Tilla grappling with their strenuous relationship while finding her way with family and friends in Jamaica.  In the background, the island is preparing for a hurricane and the potential destruction it will bring.  
 
Coming-of-age stories are one of my favorite types of YA fiction and this story delivered depth and heart.  It directly confronts colorism, classism, sexism, and generational stories of a family with vulnerability. The biggest thing I take away from this book is how I felt while reading it.  I was attached to Tilla and there were times that my heart was broken, and others when I was frustrated and protective, but also times where I deeply felt her joy and self-discovery.  It’s such a well-rounded look at the complex emotions of young adults. 
 
The author did a wonderful job allowing the reader to be uncomfortable with how Tilla was treated while giving space for her family and their stories, too.  It’s a hard balance to strike and she did it very well.  I also really enjoyed that the Patois language in the book and the glossary of terms included, it added so much. 
 
If you enjoy coming-of-age YA then I strongly recommend you read this book – and do it when you feel ready for an emotional pummeling.  I loved meeting Tilla and if there was a sequel that takes place in her adulthood, I’d sprint to the bookstore for it.  
 
Content warnings: Abandonment, Sexual violence, Domestic abuse, Colorism, Classism, Sexism, Infidelity 

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cookiemonsterinwonderland's review

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emotional inspiring reflective sad 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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greenlivingaudioworm's review against another edition

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challenging emotional sad 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

3.5


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clare072's review

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emotional reflective sad 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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daphne__02's review

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challenging dark 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? No

5.0

Amazing plot. Talking about her relationship with her mostly absent dad. How it feels to be a stranger when u visit a struggling country and you’re well off compared to them. The love and hate relationship with people in Jamaica and their secrets that they keep within them. I cried as fuck so I loved it obviously.

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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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bookswithmybulldog's review

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emotional tense fast-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

5.0


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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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betweentheshelves's review

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challenging dark emotional 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

I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, this is a story that needs to be told. It's authentic, the voice feels real, and the incorporation of the Patois language makes it really unique. However, Tilla's story isn't the easiest to read. She goes through abuse, bullying, name calling. Your heart aches for her. There isn't much to balance out all of the negative stuff Tilla goes through, and I wish there was more showing a balanced side of Jamaica. 

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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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