Reviews tagging 'Physical abuse'

Bruised, by Tanya Boteju

3 reviews

sarah984's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful 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

3.0

This is a young adult novel about a young woman (the character is still in high school but she's 18) who joins a roller derby league while dealing with unresolved personal trauma.

Like a lot of other reviews, I was surprised how severe the self-harm content was, and how often it came up in the book. Daya is also extremely obnoxious for the first half of the novel as a self-defence mechanism. It's understandable but it does make parts of the book a slog to get through. The romance was fine but a little underwhelming. Daya obviously benefited but the love interest kind of felt like a prop. The storyline with Kat dragged on way too long and never really felt resolved.

I did like the parts about the derby itself and all its events. Daya’s friend Fee and most of her derby friends were fun characters. I think it's valuable as well to show a character who is still struggling with trauma despite a supportive environment, and I loved how kind and understanding Daya’s aunt and uncle were about her sexuality since you don't usually see that in novels about immigrant families.

The second half of the book was wonderful, but I'm rating it a bit lower for the rough first half. I would not recommend this book to anyone with a history of self-harm because the narrative dwells on it for so long but I would recommend it to anyone else.

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forbearance's review

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emotional inspiring 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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ramunepocky's review

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emotional hopeful sad
  • 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

“flowers are fucking stronger than you think.”

bro, I literally bawled my eyes out for the last forty pages of this book, i cant even

I think this a really heartfelt book about discovering, learning to heal and that being soft and vulnerable is equally as strong as being physically tough and aggressive. We journey alongside Daya as she feels the cracks appearing in her exterior, despite how hard she fights to keep it intact and try to erase her emotional pain with physical pain, but eventually, the people that love her and care about her, get through to her and she lets her walls come down and discovers that it takes a special kind of strength to do this too. Her emotional journey is very raw, what she went through was devastating, especially as she blamed herself, and her reasoning for seeking out bruises as a form to control her pain, her self-harming that way, was very relatable to the reasons I often resorted to my own forms of sh.

I was rooting for Shanti to get through to her the entire time, and for them to become endgame, especially as I had a moment of fear that she’d end up with Kat instead, but was extremely pleased that her and Shanti did form a bond despite their obvious differences, that Shanti managed to get through to Daya and that they made their relationship work. I also loved Daya’s obliviousness to her own queerness, though often not helped by the fact she deemed girls to be “too soft” and therefore she couldn’t feel for them, it was also entertaining and relatable for her to have very gay reactions to girls and be like ??? the fuck was that ??? I want more books of sapphics discovering they’re sapphic tbh, it was a journey that took me a long time and it’s reassuring to read about others who have taken a longer time to work it out.

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