Reviews tagging Sexual content

Hurricane Summer, by Asha Bromfield

9 reviews

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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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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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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raethereviewer's review

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challenging dark emotional informative reflective 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

4.0

I really enjoyed this story. As a Haitian-American, a lot of this resonated with me and the descriptions of Jamaica made me want to go visit Haiti again. I also enjoyed how the more serious topics are addressed. I'd recommend this for ages 16 and up.

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signediza's review

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adventurous dark emotional sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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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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craftshley's review

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adventurous dark emotional inspiring reflective sad tense slow-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? It's complicated

4.0

 
Tilla is going to Jamaica, her family’s homeland, for the first time. She has no idea what to expect but she does know her father yearns for that land. That he hates living anywhere else and that he loves Jamaica more than he loves her and her sister, for all that he always goes running back to the place. She’s hoping that going to Jamaica will bring them closer and that he’ll love her like he used to. 

She is oh so wrong. 

Her father has to go back to town after only a couple days so Tilla is left to stay in the country, with people she doesn’t know. As time passes, it becomes clear that she’s so different from everyone. In Canada, her mom can barely afford to buy her and her sister, Mia, clothes from Walmart. Yet here, in Jamaica, the fact that she has maybe ten pairs of shoes makes her seem rich. 

She soon discovers that the hatred of foreign runs deep and that all her relatives are against her. Every time she gets her hopes up about fitting in, something happens to beat her down. Agan and again. 

This book. Wow. The depth of feeling in this book. The beautiful descriptions of the land, alongside the hateful things Tilla experiences, is such a juxtaposition. It makes all her experiences all the worse for there being such beauty in the world. It’s the way of things, of course. 

I felt so betrayed by what happened, though I could tell from the beginning that going to Jamaica wasn’t going to be all sunshine and rainbows. I was absolutely outraged on Tilla’s behalf, for everything she went through and how everyone talked about her. I hate how this book made me feel but that’s probably a mark of just how good it is. It was so immersive into the culture of Jamaica, I assume anyway. I’ve never been there nor do I know anyone from there. 

The issues of how women are perceived and how men can do whatever they want and not face consequences, are at the forefront of this novel. Alongside the horrible sexism is colorism. The way the family talks about Andre and how they treat him as less than makes me so angry. He’s the best of them all and I will be taking no criticism on this front. He was the only one who took TIlla seriously and who believed her side of the story (other than her own sister). Even Tilla’s father falls for what her cousin, Diana, says about Tilla. Calling her a slut, and a whore. It made me so outraged. 

I don’t like how quickly Tilla fell for not one, but two guys. How quickly she gives herself over to a man after being betrayed by the key man in her life over and over again. I would have rather she had been more cautious. But, again, this makes her more human. I also wish there had been more time dedicated to Tilla and her father. They barely get to see each other, as he abandons her to the country and her family there. Perhaps it’s just a marker of the fact that he will never be on her side, that she will never be enough for him, not over his life in Jamaica. Her many issues with her father are buried under everything else that happens to Tilla in Jamaica, though everything is connected. 

This book is dark and deep. It was not a fun read, not like that. It was enjoyable for the sake of reading, but I will never read it again. It has certainly left a lasting impression, however, and I’m sure it will resonate with many readers, especially those who are looking for a deep emotional connection. Just be aware that there are several trigger warnings associated with this book, not least of which is a scene of sexual assault. Gaslighting, infidelity, slut shaming, language, racism, colorism, and more. 

It will take me a long time to recover from Hurricane Summer. 

 

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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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