Reviews tagging Sexual violence

Hurricane Summer, by Asha Bromfield

6 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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tayahmarie's review

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adventurous challenging 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

 Tilla, the young brown skin girl from Canada who is trying so hard to connect with her homeland, Jamaica, and calm the storm within her by making sense of her complicated relationship with her father. Wow. I saw SO much of myself in Tilla that it was scary low key, lol. Her character truly transported me back to my own girlhood and that made this reading experience even more interesting. That said, I became attached and grew a fierce protectiveness over her very quickly. Unlike most YA books, I didn’t have to keep reminding myself that Tilla was young, because so many of the things she said and did, I might’ve said and did, too when I was her age. She got a lot of grace from me. Whenever she went through one traumatic/hurtful thing, it’s like something else was lurking around the corner, and my heart broke for her in so many different ways and so many different times. 

I also wanted to note that the exploration of Black girlhood and Black fatherhood was done so well. I feel like there aren’t that many books or even works on the direct impact and correlation when it comes to the two. Tilla had so many complex feelings when it came to Tyson and the way in which she tried to navigate those feelings could resonate with so many Black girls and women. Tilla’s final conversation with him hit different, because sometimes all you can do is simply forgive and try to move on as best as you can.

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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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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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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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