Reviews tagging Abandonment

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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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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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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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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