Reviews tagging Rape

Hurricane Summer, by Asha Bromfield

24 reviews

blueeyedshook's review

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fast-paced

4.5

Wow. This was unlike any book I have read. And for it to be a debut is even more astonishing. We meet Tilla as she is heading to visit her father in Jamaica over the summer. The place of his birth, returning to her own origin story in a way. Discovering not only who she is but where she came from. Tilla's discovering the country of Jamaica is such a beautiful metaphor of her own life and her own strength that she is discovering while she is there.

"We are the children of Jamaica, and we are screaming out in agony, in pain, in love, and in joy."

The contrast of the beauty and the hardship, a metaphor for the joy and the pain that she experiences over the summer. Seriously, some of the prose were so beautiful I didn't want them to end. 

While the story seemed to go from one hardship to another, it also didn't feel depressing because of the beautiful between the pages. As it is in real life, there are always moments of joy amid the pain, light amid the darkness.

The only portion that felt like a little let down was the hurricane. The scenes during the hurricane were done beautifully. Like a picturesque movie of the harshness and devastation while also the beauty that could only be found by someone who has walked and run through a hurricane. 
But the scenes were just so few. The book is NAMED Hurricane Summer (a metaphor for Tilla herself, yes, but also the hurricane). And the build up to the hurricane took the majority of the book. So the promise to the reader would be that the hurricane itself was a part of the climax....and yet there were a few brief scenes in the hurricane. While the aftermath was absolutely heart wrenchingly satisfying for the reader, I wanted to see a little more pages on the 24 hours of the hurricane itself.

A minor nitpick in the midst of a masterful debut, and a true tribute to the island country of Jamaica.

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breboom450's review against another edition

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

4.0


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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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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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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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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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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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cozynaturereads's review

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dark emotional reflective sad 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

5.0

I have a reading vlog of this book on my Booktube channel ( https://youtu.be/-cDx1y7bfTs ) if you want to hear more of my thoughts. Absolutely loved this book can’t wait to reread it!

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