Reviews tagging Infidelity

Hurricane Summer, by Asha Bromfield

14 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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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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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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thelovelylibrarylady's review against another edition

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adventurous 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? No

4.0

Bromfield, an author of Afro-Jamaican descent, wrote this beautiful story set in Jamaica. While it is not the main focus, I learned a lot about the island and Jamaican culture by reading this novel. Hurricane Summer is a bit of a slow starter. I found the early chapters to be a little boring, but once the plot picks up, it doesn't stop. Many heavy topics are addressed in this novel including (but not limited to) colorism, sexual assault, the sexualization of girls of color, and classism. I would recommend this book to others, but also make sure that they were ready to tackle such an emotionally taxing story before they started this one.
(PUB DATE: AVAILABLE NOW)
(I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed above are my own.)

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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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theliteraryphoenix's review

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dark 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

5.0

Hurricane Summer is a book filled deeply with pain.

It is the opposite of a Disney movie.  It is cruel and Tilla is naïve and kind and out or her element, which everyone in the story uses against her.  It is a heartbreaking book with a very specific story and I appreciate so much that it exists.  Hurricane Summer is the type of book we need when we talk about representation in books because this is a Caribbean story, a Black story, and one I’ve never seen before… which means those with lived experiences like Tilla’s haven’t seen either.  And it is so important they are represented and know they are no alone.

Bromfield’s writing is gut-wrenching, doubly so considering it’s a debut.  It’s evident that she’s spilled her heart on to the page, written this story in her own blood.  Tilla’s story is fictional, but at the same time, it feels incredibly personal.  Hurricane Summer doesn’t hold back – it will cut your heart out and make you angry and leave you feeling helpless.

I loved it, in that I appreciated it so much but I hurt every time I sat down to read.

The language is beautiful.  The integrated Patois may be an obstacle for some readers.  I personally didn’t find it challenging and you get more used to it as you read.  Bromfield includes a glossary at the beginning of the book so readers are ready for the language.  Author often clean up regional dialects and foreign languages in books, but the inclusion of Patois added depth and realism to the story.  I liked that Bromfield didn’t anglicize it.  I know some readers will struggle, but this book isn’t really for those readers.  It isn’t for me.

The story moved forward quickly, piling one heartbreak after another until the hurricane arrived, literally and metaphorically.  This is one of those books with characters that come to life, even though many of them will upset readers as much as they upset Tilla.  Other than how broken I feel now that I’ve finished it… I loved it.  Hurricane Summer reminded me of my privilege as it highlighted Tilla’s.  It made me uncomfortable.  It was really good.

I wholeheartedly recommend Hurricane Summer, but I know some readers won’t like the style, will struggle with the Patois, or will find Tilla frustrating.  That’s okay – this book may not be for you.  But I really encourage readers to give it a try because it is powerful and devastating.

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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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anovelbeauty's review

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adventurous dark emotional tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

Book TW: rape, sexual assault, infidelity, victim blaming, sexism, IPV, physical abuse, colorism, prejudice, hypocrisy

Note: I read an eARC of this book from Netgalley in order to provide an honest review

Alright, I had a bit of a rough time with this book. It was just pretty triggering for me and I had to skip over quite a few sections having to do with infidelity, which this book has a lot of. Even though the main character struggles with the morals of what’s going on and that’s a big portion of the plot, it’s just not something I can really handle reading very well. Pretty much all of the things mentioned in the trigger warnings are pretty explicit and tough to read. It is absolutely not a light book.

Now, I did think the book was well written. The way the author describes things and puts you straight into Tilla’s emotional states was really well done. The way she describes Jamaica is lovely and poetic, but doesn’t feel overly romanticized either. I loved the friendship between Tilla and Andre. Tilla is an interesting protagonist and even when she makes horrendous decisions or finally has had enough with all the terrible stuff she goes through in the story and bursts, it makes sense. Most of the characters in the book are unlikeable, so if that’s not your thing, this probably isn’t going to work for you (except Andre and Mia, they are the only sweet characters in the book). Also, if hypocrisy and unjustness just sets your blood absolutely boiling… yep, that’s present too!

I though the aftermath portion of the book seemed a little rushed in comparison with the rest of the book and somehow, I expected a bigger disaster turn with how much the the physical hurricane had been built up throughout the story. The book did such a good job of buildup that the actual event and aftermath just felt a bit, well not a let down exactly, but just not what I felt it was building up to. The big actual plot twist also came very late in the story, so I felt like there wasn’t quite enough time to sit with the enormity of it, it felt like it needed just another 50 pages or so to really help it settle. It wasn’t a bad ending, it just didn’t quite feel like it matched the same pacing and quality of the rest of the book.

I did have trouble at first picking up on the dialect writing (Patois), there was a glossary at the beginning of the book, but since I was reading an ebook, I couldn’t really flip back and forth very easily if I didn’t understand a phrase. So if you’re unfamiliar with Patois like me, I would highly suggest a physical copy of the book so you can more easily check the glossary until you’re comfortable with the language. I definitely settled into understanding the dialect in the latter half of the book, it was just a bit of a learning curve towards the beginning. 

Overall, I think its a good book and I’m sure it’s the perfect book for someone, but not really for me and that’s totally okay. Not every book is going to work perfectl

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