Reviews tagging Sexism

Hurricane Summer, by Asha Bromfield

9 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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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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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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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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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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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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utopiastateofmind's review

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  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

4.5

 (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) 

 Hurricane Summer is a story about embracing the person who we are, not who we are told to be. It's also a story about fathers, about family who let us down, and stories that just can't be. About being changed by destruction, altered by the forces of family, and walking out the other side. It's about the words we never should have to hear, the sights we never should have to see, the defenses we shouldn't have to prepare. What began as a story about the disillusionment and complex relationship between Tilla and her father, morphs into a story about family, privilege, and female sexuality.

 Hurricane Summer contains the hurts, the pain, the aches of missing and longing we forget. The family relationships that Tilla is thrown headfirst into, a history of sacrifices, apologies never uttered, and grievances. It's also rife with privilege differences, the jealously and envy, the pain that twists our heart. How can Tilla fit into this world? This place that should be a source of home, but is fitted with jagged edges. Tilla has to reckon with the image she has of her father. Especially as she sees how he acts in Jamaica, surrounded both by his family, and memories of the past. 

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amandalynnnb's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional inspiring reflective sad tense fast-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Thank you, NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with this eARC in exchange for an honest review. Hurricane Summer follows Tilla while she visits Jamaica, where her father lives, for the summer with her younger sisters, Mia. I will say right now, there are explicit scenes of sexual assault, and quite a few other scenes of serious mistreatment that I would call emotional and verbal abuse from family. 
Tilla has a really hard relationship with her father. She remembers the good times in Canada when her mom and dad were happy. She remembers the time where they fight and yell and then her dad goes back to Jamaica for periods of time before returning to her family. This time he’s been gone for a while and she doesn’t think he will be coming back. So, her and her sister are going to Jamaica for the summer and Tilla is so angry with her dad. She feels like he forgot about her, like he doesn’t want to be a part of their family anymore. But the moment she sees him at the airport, all that goes away. She’s happy to see him, to be with him. But the plans keep changing and she has to keep reminding herself that her father never sticks to what he says. Tilla and her sister end up at the family home in the country. They’re both excited to meet their family. Tilla is especially excited to reunite with her cousin Andre, one of the few cousins she remembers. The summer doesn’t turn out to be all sunshine and quality family time as she hopes. One of her aunts treats her horribly when her father isn’t around and tells lies when she reports back to Tilla’s father. Every time Tilla finds an afternoon of happiness, it’s torn down by her family, people that are supposed to love her. 
This was a really emotional story. From the familial abuse, to the death of a family member, Tilla does her best to hold it together. She was such a strong main character. She always did her best to make the best situation she could for herself. I absolutely loved the moments she spends with her cousins, exploring the country. These were some of my favorite parts of the book. It was really hard to see Tilla just take the abuse from some of her cousins and aunts, and even her father. I was so proud of her when she finally stood up for herself. Even though she didn’t always get the results she wanted, I was so proud of her for speaking up. 
Overall, this is not an easy story to read, but it was a stunning story about what it means to be a woman dealing with assault and abuse. It shows what it means to have a father that doesn’t believe in you, one that you feel just doesn’t love you anymore. It talks about racism within the community of Jamaica. I think this book did everything it was trying to do and it did it so well. I highly recommend this book to anyone that can handle these hard topics. 

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