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Hurricane Summer

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Tilla has spent her entire life trying to make her father love her. But every six months, he leaves their family and returns to his true home: the island of Jamaica. When Tilla’s mother tells her she’ll be spending the summer on the island, Tilla dreads the idea of seeing him again, but longs to discover what life in Jamaica has always held for him. In an unexpected turn of Tilla has spent her entire life trying to make her father love her. But every six months, he leaves their family and returns to his true home: the island of Jamaica. When Tilla’s mother tells her she’ll be spending the summer on the island, Tilla dreads the idea of seeing him again, but longs to discover what life in Jamaica has always held for him. In an unexpected turn of events, Tilla is forced to face the storm that unravels in her own life as she learns about the dark secrets that lie beyond the veil of paradise—all in the midst of an impending hurricane. Hurricane Summer is a powerful coming of age story that deals with colorism, classism, young love, the father-daughter dynamic—and what it means to discover your own voice in the center of complete destruction.


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Tilla has spent her entire life trying to make her father love her. But every six months, he leaves their family and returns to his true home: the island of Jamaica. When Tilla’s mother tells her she’ll be spending the summer on the island, Tilla dreads the idea of seeing him again, but longs to discover what life in Jamaica has always held for him. In an unexpected turn of Tilla has spent her entire life trying to make her father love her. But every six months, he leaves their family and returns to his true home: the island of Jamaica. When Tilla’s mother tells her she’ll be spending the summer on the island, Tilla dreads the idea of seeing him again, but longs to discover what life in Jamaica has always held for him. In an unexpected turn of events, Tilla is forced to face the storm that unravels in her own life as she learns about the dark secrets that lie beyond the veil of paradise—all in the midst of an impending hurricane. Hurricane Summer is a powerful coming of age story that deals with colorism, classism, young love, the father-daughter dynamic—and what it means to discover your own voice in the center of complete destruction.

30 review for Hurricane Summer

  1. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    i love that this is an own voices novel and i understand the amount of heart the author put into this story, but that is unfortunately where my appreciation for this book ends. this is such a negative story. i understand that the aim of this novel is to handle heavy topics, but wow. this is just too much of a downer. the big red flags are:- the MC keeps saying how amazing jamaica is, yet the reader is only shown the horrible side of it. - the MC tells herself she is enjoying her visit, yet she h i love that this is an own voices novel and i understand the amount of heart the author put into this story, but that is unfortunately where my appreciation for this book ends. this is such a negative story. i understand that the aim of this novel is to handle heavy topics, but wow. this is just too much of a downer. the big red flags are:- the MC keeps saying how amazing jamaica is, yet the reader is only shown the horrible side of it. - the MC tells herself she is enjoying her visit, yet she has encountered nothing but verbal and physical abuse. this is honestly the worst summer vacation anyone could possibly ever have. - this is supposed to be a story about family, yet every single person in tillas family is extremely unlikable, toxic, and cruel. - the author meant this novel to be a voice for those who are sexually shamed, yet all the (view spoiler)[physical abuse, child neglect, verbal harassment, racism, rape, bullying, sexism, infidelity, the hurricane and drowning, and f-boi behaviour (hide spoiler)] take away from this, as everything is so quickly glossed over that there is no real depth to any of these serious topics. and i really wanted to blame all my unenjoyment on culture-shock, on me having a bad reaction to this book because i just didnt understand and maybe wasnt empathising as much as i should. but, honestly, after thinking it over, culture cant (and shouldnt) excuse the type of behaviour in this story. im sure there are some readers who will be able to appreciate this kind of novel, as i know the good intentions are there, but im just not one of them. just a bit too negative for my liking. thanks for the ARC, wednesday books, but this was a miss for me. ↠ 1.5 stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Two things you need at your disposal to start this precious poignant journey; Patois language dictionary and tons of napkins because you’re going to cry your eyes out! Get ready to be ripped your heart apart: Tilla’s story will bring out the feelings you never experienced! Your emotions will be everywhere after you read her heartbreaking journey! This is thought provoking story about daughters who are deeply yearning to preserve her father’s love and care ! Tilla can do anything to stay as her Two things you need at your disposal to start this precious poignant journey; Patois language dictionary and tons of napkins because you’re going to cry your eyes out! Get ready to be ripped your heart apart: Tilla’s story will bring out the feelings you never experienced! Your emotions will be everywhere after you read her heartbreaking journey! This is thought provoking story about daughters who are deeply yearning to preserve her father’s love and care ! Tilla can do anything to stay as her father’s beloved daughter. When they were traveling from Toronto to Jamaica with her sister Mia, she was so excited to spend her summer with her father. Their parents’ turbulent marriage made him move away from Toronto but now he makes excuses about work crisis to go to Kingston urgently, leaving his daughters with extended family. As Mia easily connects with her cousins, Tilla suffers from verbal abuse, feeling rejected by her own family. Her resentment to be left away by his own father push her to resume a secret relationship which results with terrible consequences! This book is a young teenager girl’s search for love, acceptance, suffer from her sudden steps to the womanhood. It’s about first love, verbal and physical abuse, jealousy, seeking approval of loved ones, racism, self discovery. It is intense! The words cut you deeper than you can imagine, you bleed and cry as you witness Tilla’s pain and empathize with her loneliness and inner struggles. It’s lyrical, it’s natural, it’s heart wrenching. Its intensity and genuineness make the book more powerful, inspirational, unconventional! How far you go to earn your father’s love and approval again? A girl’s true seeking to find her place in her society, her efforts to find her identity without being criticized and humiliated could be more challenging than she can endure! This book is not for everyone! This book is for people who are not afraid of feeling too much! If you’re one of them, you’re the great match to enjoy this lyrical, unforgettable journey which earned my full five ready, heartfelt, sad, inspirational stars! Special thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press/ Wednesday Books for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Asha Bromfield

    What I love the most about my book is that it gives a voice to the sexual shame that a lot of young women are forced to carry. It's a story about the inherent dangers of becoming a woman. When were are no longer loved and revered by 0ur fathers or protected by the chastity of girlhood. The purpose of putting pen to paper has always been clear for me: I wanted to write a coming of age that explored the deep complexities of the journey into womanhood. This is a story about a young woman’s humanity What I love the most about my book is that it gives a voice to the sexual shame that a lot of young women are forced to carry. It's a story about the inherent dangers of becoming a woman. When were are no longer loved and revered by 0ur fathers or protected by the chastity of girlhood. The purpose of putting pen to paper has always been clear for me: I wanted to write a coming of age that explored the deep complexities of the journey into womanhood. This is a story about a young woman’s humanity - something that has gotten lost in the way that we as a society tell stories about young black women. What started as a story of catharsis, became an exploration of the question: What happens to the young women whose fathers no longer love and revere them? And how can someone love themselves, when the person they were told is supposed to love them the most, doesn’t know how? At its core, Hurricane Summer is about the sexual and spiritual wounding that can happen when a girl moves out of her teenage years and into her womanhood. It explores the deep resilience that girls are forced to acquire when their sexual nature is weaponized against them. It is a story of how the world begins to disown you when you are forced to leave your innocence behind, and the devastating depths that we will go to in order to be loved by others - particularly our parents. My prayer is that women will find healing within these pages, just like I did. Or at the very least, I hope that they find catharsis in knowing that they are not alone.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Elle

    This book feels so much. Tilla and her sister Mia are going to see their father again for the first time in over a year. He’s had a pattern of leaving them and their mother in Canada and returning to Jamaica whenever he feels the urge, often abruptly and without consideration for his family. Even so, Tilla is determined to make the best of the trip, despite her own conflicting feelings about her father, not just for the sake of her sister but for herself too. Hurricane Summer is a lot like what I This book feels so much. Tilla and her sister Mia are going to see their father again for the first time in over a year. He’s had a pattern of leaving them and their mother in Canada and returning to Jamaica whenever he feels the urge, often abruptly and without consideration for his family. Even so, Tilla is determined to make the best of the trip, despite her own conflicting feelings about her father, not just for the sake of her sister but for herself too. Hurricane Summer is a lot like what I would imagine the island is, visceral and painful at times, but also beautiful. There’s a quiet resilience running through the characters, one that seems to be constantly stress tested by their environment. The stream of tension in the story is tied to not just the literal storm looming ahead, but the figurative one that you can tell will strike land at any moment. I think the hardest thing about reading this book was just seeing the way Tilla is treated again and again by the people around her. She puts up with a lot, and has often let her feelings go unsaid to her father and the rest of her extended family. They’re condescension is rooted in not just the resentment they have towards Tilla and her sister for being better off than them, but also in a rigid patriarchal structure that thrusts all blame on the women and girls, while letting the boys and men off the hook. It’s a familiar kind of cruelty for any girl reading this book, but that doesn’t make it any easier to witness. Another topic that Bromfield explores is the effect that colonialism and racism has had on the mostly Black population of Jamaica. Colorism in particular is still an obstacle that darker-skinned characters have to overcome, and skin tone can effectively dictate the way their lives turn out. That, on top of poverty and classism, doesn’t provide even the opportunity for some characters to even imagine an alternative life for themselves, which is so immensely heartbreaking. Especially as a debut, I was really impressed with Asha Bromfield’s storytelling here. The setting and scenes she writes are evocative and feel so vividly real, that you’re instantly transported to Jamaica while reading. I loved seeing Tilla learn about where she comes from while also learning about herself and using what she learns to finally find her voice. This novel was a pleasant surprise for me, and I’m excited to see what the author comes out with in the future! *Thanks to Wednesday Books & St. Martin’s Press for an advance copy! **For more book talk & reviews, follow me on Instagram at @elle_mentbooks!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Katie B

    4.5 stars It took a bit before the story hit its stride but once it did, I was all in. Every emotion the main character was feeling, I started feeling too. Maybe not a perfect read, but it was an incredible reading experience. Pick this one up if you enjoy YA fiction. Tilla lives in Canada with her mother and younger sister. Tilla's dad pops in and out of their lives as he spends much of his time in the country he was born and raised in, Jamaica. Tilla and her sister will spend this summer on the 4.5 stars It took a bit before the story hit its stride but once it did, I was all in. Every emotion the main character was feeling, I started feeling too. Maybe not a perfect read, but it was an incredible reading experience. Pick this one up if you enjoy YA fiction. Tilla lives in Canada with her mother and younger sister. Tilla's dad pops in and out of their lives as he spends much of his time in the country he was born and raised in, Jamaica. Tilla and her sister will spend this summer on the island with their dad and other relatives. Perhaps, this will be an opportunity to understand her father better and who knows, Tilla might just discover a thing or two about herself as well. The author incorporates so many different things that brought substance to the story. Fair warning, there are some disturbing scenes in the story that might be triggering for some readers. For the most part every part of the story added value but I did question if the last shocking part was thrown in just for dramatic purposes. (I'm trying to be vague so I don't give away spoilers) After awhile you can't help but feel protective of Tilla and want to shield her from getting hurt. At the heart, you have this complex father-daughter relationship. There's also Tilla feeling like she doesn't quite fit in on the island and with her relatives in Jamaica. I love how the author explored social class as well as colorism. There is one particular scene that really resonated with me in regards to the topic of colorism. There is some good tug at your heartstrings type writing in the final chapters. However, some of it becomes a bit repetitive and loses its impact after awhile. That's just a teeny, tiny criticism though as my overall opinion is this book is a fantastic YA read and I encourage fans of the genre to check it out. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with an advance digital copy! All thoughts expressed are my honest opinion.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Booktastically Amazing

    Blog Tour is out! Click on link for blog post, author bio, excerpt and a few activities my 3 am self came up with! Trigger Warnings: Bullying, Cancer (mentioned), Car accident (off-page), Cheating, Colorism, Death, Drowning (off-page), Gaslighting, Grief, Physical abuse (on-page), Racism, Rape (on-page), Sexism. Full Trigger Warning list ~Personal thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for a review! All opinions are my own and if I offend anyone, please let me know, so I ca Blog Tour is out! Click on link for blog post, author bio, excerpt and a few activities my 3 am self came up with! Trigger Warnings: Bullying, Cancer (mentioned), Car accident (off-page), Cheating, Colorism, Death, Drowning (off-page), Gaslighting, Grief, Physical abuse (on-page), Racism, Rape (on-page), Sexism. Full Trigger Warning list ~Personal thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for a review! All opinions are my own and if I offend anyone, please let me know, so I can fix it as soon as possible!~ I stared at the wall in shock for fifteen minutes after reading this. I want to cry. I loved this book. And it terrifies me. Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐4.5 Let me just clear up the statement up above. I didn't cry, I outright quietly sobbed. And it was just this bittersweet pain because every story, anecdote, and metaphor in this book came together in one of the most beautiful ways I have ever read about. Seldom do I read a 'contemporary' book and actually get connected with everything that's happening, because sometimes, I'm that moron who can never find her feelings. Shocker. Tears welled up in my eyes and threatened to decimate my entire existence considering that I haven't actually cried for a story in a really, REALLY long time. Half of the time I spent yelling at the MC to actually do something. And the other half I was yelling at the rest for doing everything 'wrong' There is literally no understanding me. My heart was angered, shattered, destroyed, run over in the span of 400 pages of beauty. To be honest, I was feeling heartbroken at least for 60% of it. The other 40% was me pulling my hair out in frustration. Guys, I actually felt something. This- this is an accomplishment in and of itself. Okay, scratch that, I got shattered on multiple occasions. This story is so incredibly majestic in so many ways, that actually trying to do this review will break a part of me, because I'll sound like half a maniac throughout it all. Sue me, I loved it. I really have to begin with the writing. Holy mother of flying cows, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH UYSFOIWFBIWEOEIFNW EF. Okay, I got that out of my system. I looked at it from every angle possible, stared at it, and dared it to shatter me. And of course, it totally did. Now, it's not to say that it didn't have points in which I was looking like the 'meh' face because frankly, it happened at least a couple of times. However, they were few and far in between so to rant a little for the sake of it, some parts were a bit repetitive, but dang, it made me feel every single speck of heart-wrenching beauty I was longing to be drowning in. The paragraphs and pages were lushly crafted, written in a manner that reached in between my ribs and pulled my soul from its resting place. Pushing my mind to such limits, I was bamboozled for most of it. So yeah, I adored it and cannot wait until it's published, so I can write a whole book of quotes. And like, cry a little more. It's been some time since I've felt something so pure for the writing. The plot would've been absolutely glorious if not for a few loopholes that brought this from 5 stars to 4.5. As I seldom do, I'll get the fangirling out of the way, putting aside my screaming self for about 6.2 seconds. (because come on, more than that is a death sentence to yours truly) I LIKED IT A LOT. LIKE, AN UNHEALTHY AMOUNT. The pacing was lovely, the chapters were awesome, the twists were saddening, and I was in shock after some things drove over my corpse as if it were disgusting unworthy garbage. *snort*In truth, the vivid imagery gave me material to vicariously live through the sights of Jamaica. Which I've never been to, but still. At the moment, I am still extremely peeved as to the things that were glossed over. Mainly the sexual abuse and emotional trauma. Yes, I never usually go into topics such as this, because I'm not one to judge. But I personally feel that at times it was used as a plot filler, for the only sake that what happened to the main character was never touched on again. Um... that's not right? I would've been so happy, well, not happy. Hmmmm Felt as if justice had been served? Yeah, way longer than the word I was searching for, but it's way better than 'justiced'. If there would've been some sort of closure. Because those things are never light nor should they be taken as light as they were. Regardless of that, I must mention that the rest was tear-jerking, frustrating and stunning. Unto the main source of (some) of the idiotic trash that somehow has survived this long on the earth. The characters. See, the MC, was great but a little meh. I loved her to an extent, understood her to a degree. But that got somewhat trampled when she wouldn't defend herself. Picture this, it's 1:15 am, your eyelids are burning, fingers are starting to shake, but no! You NEED to finish this book. Like, it's necessary for your survival. And what happens? The girl succeeds in getting a spinal cord (maybe from some other MC) on the last 100 pages. Throughout it all, I screamed, yelled, and basically cussed (elegantly) her out of existence. Like, sweetie, this is a gift. One you've never been given before. Here, TAKE IT. I finally got my happiness in the last few chapters when she finally stopped 'giving in' and 'not wanting to get in trouble' and I literally heard Apollo singing to me. Or was it Cupid? I'll take both. I replayed the part where she got some sense so many times, and I shared it with my dad, mirror, dog, cows, and basically anything with ears. I think I even conversed with a mosquito before attempting his murder. So yes, I loved her but would've loved to hit her lightly, more. The rest of the characters were built so amazingly and in such a way that they left a certain imprint on my heart. Considering I liked only three of them. Everyone in this book is a nightmare, tis the truth. I don't care about 'understanding' where they're coming from, nor do I give a unicorn's horn what they've been through, your choices and your actions are yours. Own up to them. They were flawed and broken, and so painstakingly constructed, they actually left me in a breathless state. Every single spoken conversation was drenched in venom and vitriol, all the pain was so visible and poignant in its existence. It truly left me aghast how some people were so evil, but in a sense, I get it? I will forever be conflicted with them as a whole because they're too complex for me to be able to break down sufficiently. It actually surprised me, how much I appreciated the romance. I cried during their every interaction (internally) and basically, felt compensated for the other awful romances that pooped on my life. I feel like it was a bit insta lovey for my taste, so I didn't adore it, however, I loved how they were so connected with each other. How the love interest was actually worth squealing for and how the guy had actual substance and not only there for the MCs delusional lack of proper thought process. On a closing note, I must say that this book, this whole entire story, will always have a place within my bookish memory. The plot was deliciously stunning, the writing was a thorn in between roses. Barbed but oh so beautiful. I don't think I'm in the right state of mind to ever be able to re-read this, at least for now, since the pain is too fresh, and I felt too much. Now, I'll go and submerge my broken self in a sea of shallow reads to see if I can regain my stone heart. Haha, this was painful. ....................................................... Hoooooooly Crap I need to sleep and like, get my thoughts to go drown themselves in hot chocolate or something. This physically hurt me. In the best way possible. ....................................................... I am awaiting the carriage of emotional feelings to hit me over the head.

  7. 5 out of 5

    myo (myonna reads)

    the main character really annoyed me because she was so naive, she never spoke up for herself and let everyone talk to her any kind of way. i hated how everyone was so mean to her and i understand why but i feel like no one got the ending they deserved and you know what i fucking hate the ending. i feel as though a lot of issues where glossed over and then other other things were dramatized that didn’t need to be. the description makes it seem like this book is going to be deep but also happy an the main character really annoyed me because she was so naive, she never spoke up for herself and let everyone talk to her any kind of way. i hated how everyone was so mean to her and i understand why but i feel like no one got the ending they deserved and you know what i fucking hate the ending. i feel as though a lot of issues where glossed over and then other other things were dramatized that didn’t need to be. the description makes it seem like this book is going to be deep but also happy and it really isn’t. i spent most of this book crying and honestly i suggest not reading this unless you are in the mood to cry because i’m pretty sure this book just triggered my depression. i’m giving it 3 stars because it’s a debut and i did enjoy how beautiful jamaica was described but also discussed some poverty. there was some things i enjoyed but the most is very short.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    5 stars TW: death, sexual assault (on page), rape (on page, explicit), colorism, physical abuse (explicit), slut-shaming "What we go through ... it meant fi serve us ... and if it cyan serve us, it can at least change us. Mek us betta people. Stronger people. You cyan 'fraid of a likkle rain and breeze." I'm a simple man—I really am—you give me a book set in the Caribbean and I have to have it. I'll be honest, I didn't think much of this when I first got my hands on it. I saw that it had to do with 5 stars TW: death, sexual assault (on page), rape (on page, explicit), colorism, physical abuse (explicit), slut-shaming "What we go through ... it meant fi serve us ... and if it cyan serve us, it can at least change us. Mek us betta people. Stronger people. You cyan 'fraid of a likkle rain and breeze." I'm a simple man—I really am—you give me a book set in the Caribbean and I have to have it. I'll be honest, I didn't think much of this when I first got my hands on it. I saw that it had to do with Caribbean people and hurricanes, two things I'm well-acquainted with, and thought, "Oh, this'll be an alright book" and man was it way more than that. This book is an absolute five star from me, which, if you know me at all, you'll also know is a bit like watching a horrible catastrophe go down—not common at all but definitely something I won't shut up about for a while. I mean, just everything about it is absolute gold to me. I'm having a hard time putting into words what I enjoyed when it was /everything/. Let me take it slow and go one by one: God, do I love the main character. I was under the impression that this was young adult so I was horrified of Tilla being one of those incredibly annoying YA protagonists but, uh, yeah, this is definitely new adult. (Seriously, somebody change the official age range for this because nothing about this reads like YA) And Tilla is definitely not that. It's actually insane how much I related to her—from her relationship with her family to the way she experiences a culture shock—I genuinely saw myself in her. It doesn't really sound like much, but I never see myself in new adult books. I never see myself in contemporary. I never see my friends and my family the way that I saw them in this book. The characters in this book felt to me like the people I've known in my life and the people I grew up with. I've known Andre in my life. I've known an Aunt Herma. I feel what these characters feel because to me they're people who've existed in my life. Speaking of, this book got the atmosphere so right. It's the kind of thing that I can't explain to non-Caribbean people, but trust me when I say that you will FEEL it when you read this book. I was only in Jamaica for a short while, but the descriptions in this book radiate the atmosphere of all the islands. I mean, I genuinely saw my home in this. The smell of the grass, the look of the towns, the fruits, the type of people you see—everything about it felt so right to me. Even the emotions surrounding the hurricane were real. I've always grown up around the absolute truth that hurricane season is imminent. It could mean some strong winds for a while or it could mean the absolute desolation of everything around me. The plot of the story, while going around multiple ideas and subplots, ultimately revolves around this upcoming hurricane and what it'll do. The attitude surrounding it was just so...Caribbean, ya feel? I mean, there really is no other way to say it. I'll say it: this book made me downright bawl. I've noticed a pattern where all my favorite books are things that made me cry and, yep, this goes right in. So many things happened that were just so brutal. I think the reason I can usually stomach horrific things happening in what I read is because they're mostly fantasy. My suspension of belief is very thin. I'm aware this isn't real, therefore I am disconnected from it, But everything about this felt like something that I would see myself—like a story my friend would tell or something I would hear from cousin so-and-so. When horrible things happened it felt like it could happen to anyone I know and it made it so much worse. God, this book was so heartbreaking I don't even want to talk about it. I mean, yeah, there's just so much to say that I have nothing to say at all. Does that make sense? I just feel like this is the first time I've ever seen my people in a book. And not just characters who remind me of them, but characters who are them. Who live like them, who speak like them, who think like them. It really does mean a lot to me. To see yourself, to truly see yourself and the people you know and the places you know to be represented in media is something that can be so life-changing. I think I'll just leave it off with this quote I really like; "I have learned that when a hurricane passes through, it knows no favor. It takes no precedence. When the time is right and it is ready, it will destroy you. It will destroy everything. Even the good things. Even the things you love." E-Arc provided by publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chelsey (a_novel_idea11)

    This was a fantastic debut that I highly recommend. I'm not a reader who can visualize what I'm reading very often but something in the way Bromfield described the lush landscape of Jamaica, the juicy fruit plucked right from the trees, and the cascading waterfalls simply transported me to the island and created vivid images in my mind. Tilla is a young woman, recently turned eighteen, living in Canada with her mother and nine year-old sister, Mia. Their father spends part of the year in Canada w This was a fantastic debut that I highly recommend. I'm not a reader who can visualize what I'm reading very often but something in the way Bromfield described the lush landscape of Jamaica, the juicy fruit plucked right from the trees, and the cascading waterfalls simply transported me to the island and created vivid images in my mind. Tilla is a young woman, recently turned eighteen, living in Canada with her mother and nine year-old sister, Mia. Their father spends part of the year in Canada with them but the majority of his time is spent in his home country of Jamaica. The girls are planning to spend a summer with their father in Jamaica, giving them an opportunity to see where they come from and to meet more of their family. Almost immediately, Tilla feels unwelcome in Jamaica. Her family lives in the country and the disparity between her lower class Canadian "wealth" and her Jamaican family's poverty is staggering. Moreover, she's seen as a "foreign princess" - spoiled, bratty, and worst of all, slutty. Nothing Tilla does or says seems to be right, and as she tries to find her place in Jamaica and among her family members, she experiences discrimination, hardship, love, and a true finding of herself. I loved the coming of age aspect of this novel. Oftentimes, I felt frustrated with Tilla's decisions and self-deprecation, though it felt authentic when I tried to think back on myself at 18 years old. The hostility and resentment directed toward Tilla was brutal and often incited anger within me, though I felt that most of the time she handled herself fairly maturely. Not sure I could have had that restraint with Aunt Herma! I thought Bromfield did a phenomenal job addressing major social issues such as privilege, racism, and sexim in a sensitive and eye-opening way. In Canada, Tilla was ashamed of her clothing from WalMart and was considered lower class, but in Jamaica, where many of her cousins wore tattered hand me downs from other sibling and cousins, she appeared spoiled and rich. Tilla's lack of understanding of these disparities in wealth, privilege, and opportunity shone through most of the novel, but her growth in this area was also great to see. I felt that it also really helped to define "privilege." So many people don't recognize their own privileges and focus only on what they don't have or their shortcomings, but when taken in the bigger context, they may actually be quite privileged when compared to others. Regarding racism, the discrimination against darker skinned Jamaicans was pervasive and blatant and the family's treatment of Andre was often difficult to read. I had first read about something similar in The Vanishing Half and appreciated that Bromfield tackled this sensitive and extremely relevant subject in Hurricane Summer as well. I think by showing the impact of racism on the Jamaican community, it helps demonstrate how systemic racism truly is. It was shocking learning that Andre was not only targeted and abused because of his darker skin color by the people who were supposed to love him most, but that he was also denied opportunities for education because of it. I really appreciated Tilla's anger and call to action about Andre's treatment, and how she called out the hypocrisy later on in the novel as well. Finally, Bromfield did an exceptional job highlighting the sexism Tilla faced while in Jamaica too. Because she was a woman, and an attractive one from another country, she was often identified as a slut and as promiscuous. Just by being kind or friendly, Tilla was given a poor reputation. The difference in treatment of Tilla versus her younger sister Mia really highlighted how Tilla's womanhood and sexuality was being weaponized against her. This was a central theme to the story and the growth Tilla experienced here was empowering. Because of the powerful topics, this is definitely one that would be excellent for a book club or buddy read. I loved that not only was this a magical and enjoyable read, but one with deeper messages and powerful themes. The writing was stellar (the use of Patois added SO much to the story and to the characters), the storyline complex but well executed, and the characters beautifully developed. If you're a fan of Elizabeth Acevedo, particularly her novel Clap When You Land, this is a book that you absolutely cannot miss.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)

    This is an utterly heart-wrenching and extremely well-written book. Bromfield's way of turning a phrase is poetic, the imagery is so vivid with both emotion and scenery. I was able to put myself in Tilla's place and believe me, that's definitely not a comfortable place to be in many parts of this book. Her pain regarding her father and feelings of abandonment, her feelings about not fitting in and trying to fit in, and her longing for love and inclusion are palpable and radiate off of each page. This is an utterly heart-wrenching and extremely well-written book. Bromfield's way of turning a phrase is poetic, the imagery is so vivid with both emotion and scenery. I was able to put myself in Tilla's place and believe me, that's definitely not a comfortable place to be in many parts of this book. Her pain regarding her father and feelings of abandonment, her feelings about not fitting in and trying to fit in, and her longing for love and inclusion are palpable and radiate off of each page. Warning, there are some events that occur that might be triggering for some. While this is a deeply affecting novel, it's not exactly easy to read on the page. The Jamaican Patois becomes easier to decipher the more you read, but it's still not an easy flow. This is a book that might be better as an audiobook in order to immerse yourself in the rhythm of the language. It's not a huge distraction, but those who have difficulty with vernacular might stumble. There's a great glossary at the beginning so unfamiliar words and phrases can be looked up along the way. The lyrical nature of the writing reminded me a great deal of Clap When You Land, which is another story about a girl trying to figure out where she fits into her father's world. They are completely different, but similar enough that if you connected with Clap When You Land, you will connect with the overall themes of Hurricane Summer. Readers who like thought-provoking, emotional novels should definitely pick this one up. It is YA, but adult readers will discover much to relate to as well. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    chantel nouseforaname

    Wow, what a debut! I swear... Asha, Asha, Ashaaa! You triggered me, girl. Wow. As a Jamaican-Canadian/Canadian-Jamaican… sis, I was super triggered by the storylines. I love that this was a YA because it's so dramatic, and it fits perfectly within the realm of the dramatic as seen through a teenager's eyes. I feel like if you have Caribbean roots and have spent any length of time back on your island with family, this story will touch a nerve because it eloquently highlights the dual beauty and m Wow, what a debut! I swear... Asha, Asha, Ashaaa! You triggered me, girl. Wow. As a Jamaican-Canadian/Canadian-Jamaican… sis, I was super triggered by the storylines. I love that this was a YA because it's so dramatic, and it fits perfectly within the realm of the dramatic as seen through a teenager's eyes. I feel like if you have Caribbean roots and have spent any length of time back on your island with family, this story will touch a nerve because it eloquently highlights the dual beauty and madness of the Caribbean, Jamaica especially. Asha Bromfield dives DEEP into the backward "bush" mentality juxtaposed against the glory and power of the island. It highlights the strengths and the curse, the magic and the evil of dealing with yardie-based mindsets, especially as a young Canadianized "foreigner" teenager. One minute they're reminding you that you're a warrior who can take anything and survive and the next minute they're reminding you that you're a young woman and should not have any male friends your age because that makes you a slut. After all, you can't do what boys do, girls. Jamaicans. (-_-;) Been there, dealt with that, fought that, made it back. But, whew I was triggered re-reading the experience. I felt like I was holding my breath so many times while reading this book. So much of what is described in Hurricane Summer is a very specific experience and the publishing of this book is a categorical reflection of what it means when we talk about the need to prize diversity and promote representation. Hurricane Summer is needed. It is absolutely, positively, 100% necessary in the YA genre. This isn't the kind of story you read everyday. A lot of folks might experience this book and be like, what the fuck is happening right now in this young girl's life! And yes, those sentiments are accurate. It's also something that kids experiencing these situations need to read about to know that they are not alone, and that they're not insane.. It's nice that Asha is out here following her dreams. This story set against her real life as a singer and actress highlights that you can use hard experiences as lightning rods to something else, to become who you're supposed to be. Reading this book reminds me of reading Tiffany D. Jackson, it reminds me of reading Angie Thomas, it reminds me of reading to a lesser extent Zora Neale Hurston, whose work I'm currently in the process of exploring. I say Zora in the sense that Asha Bromfield does not reduce or diminish the vocabulary and vernacular used by her people. It's so beautiful to experience. Patois can be simultaneously simple and complex, it's textured and expressive and I love that she didn't take that out of the book, instead she focused on it, gave us a glossary and guidance. It's so easy to strip that away in hopes to reach a wider-audience, but she maintained that integrity to the story she was sharing with us, and that is so important. The thing I hated about the story is the thing I wouldn't change about the story because of the fact that it's something no kid, teenager or otherwise has the ability to change or advance-through quicker than age allows. Tilla's blindspot is her inability to calm down and try to see the forest for the trees. Not that anyone in the book, any adult that is, allowed for the space for the young people, the younger characters around them to try to understand them, their logic, etc - and that's the thing about Jamaica. You don't get to have that back and forth dialogue with your parents or relatives. That's the thing with the Caribbean. I've heard that from Trinis, Guyanese, Vincys, etc. That hardness begets more hardness. It's something Asha captured well, in the sharp moments that the younger characters have with one-another, the passed-down, external and internal brutality. Tilla, our main character, is very very self-centred. All the characters are to a degree. However, the type of insight I wanted her to have as a character, especially when dealing with her parents, would have saved her so much heartbreak. It's completely me projecting onto her. It's the type of insight I didn't develop until late into my 20s and am currently working my way through as an adult. There's something about seeing the younger you, walk through these scenarios that makes your heart race. I'm glad that some degree of clarity isn't restricted from her towards the end, it's just sad that it came with so much pain. The writing for a debut was amazing. The story moved at a great pace. I feel like I need a fucking therapy session tho after mentally being in that house with Aunt Herma. I sent my mom this book, and gave her super hugs for having lived through dealing with an Aunt Herma-type all her life growing up. Hessan as a character was a great addition. It takes awhile for teenaged girls to learn and to realize that the Hessans and Jahvans of the world, are all the same mofucking dude. All in all, I'm looking forward to whatever else Asha Bromfield puts out. I can't say she's a great fiction writer, but she was extremely skilled in flipping and sharing this semi-personal story. I would like to see what else she creates in the future.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Maddie (Inking & Thinking)

    ⭐️ 5 Stars ⭐️ It’s a heartbreaking story that deals with sadness, death, powerful and intense scenes. I would not recommend this book to everyone, because it involves getting into serious subjects and lots of getting into your feelings. It’s a story about a daughter who is trying to keep her father’s love. Tilla is willing to do anything to keep her father still care about her. She wants to figure out why he cares so much more about his homeland of Jamaica is so much more important than her. It’s ⭐️ 5 Stars ⭐️ It’s a heartbreaking story that deals with sadness, death, powerful and intense scenes. I would not recommend this book to everyone, because it involves getting into serious subjects and lots of getting into your feelings. It’s a story about a daughter who is trying to keep her father’s love. Tilla is willing to do anything to keep her father still care about her. She wants to figure out why he cares so much more about his homeland of Jamaica is so much more important than her. It’s also about her trying to navigate Jamaica and her father’s family. She is continuously shamed by the family, judged without really knowing her. The family knew nothing about her and they immediately started making worse assumptions of her. While there, she learns some shocking things about her father, and all of the family. As she stays there, she learns that it isn’t just the hurricane she has to face. We see Tilla make some choices that aren’t the best. But that makes logical sense. She is a teenage girl in Jamaica trying to find her father’s love. We see her make rash decisions because her father isn’t there to spend time with her and left her there. She doesn’t have any role models there. Her father hasn’t been there for her, and her mother is in Canada. We follow Tilla through her journey and see her interact with people she has never met, but immediately judge her. We see Tilla suffer from verbal abuse and feeling rejected by her family. It’s about a young teenage girl who is trying to find love from her father and her family. It’s about a girl who wants to be accepted by her family and fit in. It’s about her first love and how it doesn’t always turn out pretty. It’s a story about her facing challenges like verbal and sexual abuse, jealously, racism and ultimately overcoming them. This story was written so beautifully. We get vivid descriptions of the people but also what Jamaica is like. We what life is like for people who live there. We see how it is hard for them, and to survive. They had to be tough. They could not let people in. They had created a hard barrier around them. We get to meet the people who lived there and grasp who they are as a person. We get to see how living in Jamaica has impacted them and what they have had to give up. One of the things I loved about this novel is that it uses the Jamaican dialogue of Patois. This adds so much more depth to the setting and we get to see how the people are. At first, it was challenging to figure out what they were saying. I would say that when you pick this up, you should use the Patois dictionary that the author provides. Once I learned some of the words, it made it much easier to understand. I have never seen a book done this before and I’m so glad the author added this in. In this book, we see the belief that the woman must do whatever the man says and that you are lucky to even have him. We see people believe that young black women should only be raising children, and should stay in the house. Of course, it is a privilege for women who get to have other opportunities outside of the house. But we see how people go after Tilla because she is privileged. This isn’t right because, even though Tilla may be privileged, we all deal with the same struggles. The metaphor of the hurricane was such a powerful symbol. As you may have known, a hurricane starts small, but as it travels over water it becomes more powerful and bigger. This is the perfect way to describe Tilla’s story. Small issues start to form, and then they get bigger and bigger while destroying everything in its path. But then it stops, leaving you with the aftermath. It’s a beautiful book that shows the self-discovery of a teenage girl, and her transformation. TW: Verbal and physical abuse, racism, death, and blood Thank you to NetGallery for this Arc in exchange for an honest review! Check out my review on my blog: https://inkingandthinking.wordpress.c...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carrie (brightbeautifulthings)

    Tilla and her younger sister, Mia, are spending the summer in Jamaica with their father. Though she was born in Canada, her parents are Jamaican natives, and she’s resigned herself to a summer without friends or internet. Yet there’s more waiting for Tilla in Jamaica than even she realizes, and she at once experiences a sexual awakening and a cultural backlash intent on shaming her for it. When the threat of a hurricane cuts her off completely from the outside world, Tilla will have to learn how Tilla and her younger sister, Mia, are spending the summer in Jamaica with their father. Though she was born in Canada, her parents are Jamaican natives, and she’s resigned herself to a summer without friends or internet. Yet there’s more waiting for Tilla in Jamaica than even she realizes, and she at once experiences a sexual awakening and a cultural backlash intent on shaming her for it. When the threat of a hurricane cuts her off completely from the outside world, Tilla will have to learn how to survive and flourish in the middle of the destruction of everything she loves. I received a free e-ARC through NetGalley from the publishers at St. Martin’s Press. Trigger warnings: character death, car accident (off-page), drowning (off-page), sexual assault (on-page), rape mention, incest, cancer mention, injury, racism/colorism, sexism, slut-shaming, slurs, threats, bullying, infidelity, grief. I wanted to rate this higher because I think there are some good things in it, but there was very little of it I actually enjoyed. Let’s start with the good things. It’s an #ownvoices novel set in Jamaica, and I enjoyed the immersive look into a culture that’s totally unfamiliar to me. This isn’t tourist Jamaica or even city Jamaica; it’s Jamaican country in a small town where everyone knows everyone and poverty is extreme. Almost all the dialogue is written in Patois, which makes it feel very authentic. At first, I was flipping back and forth a lot to the accompanying glossary, but after a while it slips into a kind of rhythm and it wasn’t as necessary. I think the phrase “kmt” or “kiss my teeth” should have been included though, since it’s used a lot and is specific to Jamaican culture. (I recommend a YouTube video, since I had never heard it before.) It’s very much a first novel though. The language is poetic, but it often feels overwritten and overdramatic. More words don’t always lead to more emotion or more meaning, and Tilla never feels anything halfway. I think this will appeal to teenagers (it is a YA novel, after all) or readers who prefer a very emotional experience, but I’m resistant to anything that comes after my feelings too hard. There’s also way too much packed into too short a time frame. The novel tries to tackle too many issues: absent fathers, female sexuality and slut-shaming, rape, incest, cancer, hurricanes, poverty, family death, infidelity, and the kitchen sink, and it ultimately does justice only to the first two. At some point, it begins to feel like Bromfield is including things for the added drama in a book that’s already quite dramatic. Much like in writing, more isn’t always better when it comes to plot. It doesn’t help that I wasn’t feeling Tilla’s romance at all. I never once warmed to her love interest or her reasons for pursuing him when there are so many obvious downsides to it. Though Tilla claims to love Jamaica and the novel is praised as a love letter to it, it’s also portayed as extremely religious and oppressively racist/colorist and sexist. While I appreciate the realism and I’m glad these stories are being told, it makes for a very heavy read. There are a few too many characters to keep track of, most of them hugely unlikeable. Tilla’s character development with her father is well-done, but the rest doesn’t quite get the attention it needs, and it all resolves a little too fast for me. There’s a heavy theme of looking at trauma as a growing experience that I don’t care for. Sometimes there’s no poetry in destruction; sometimes things just hurt. Many of the issues feel glossed over, and the end doesn’t help. I never appreciate character death being used for added drama, without a chance to actually develop any plot around it. It’s not for me, but I’m not sure it was ever intended to be. It’s a worthwhile story to tell, and I hope it finds its perfect audience. I review regularly at brightbeautifulthings.tumblr.com.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Thank you Raincoast Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review! If there's one book I'd hope everyone reads this year, it's easily this one. It's packed with a lot important issues that I think will open up a lot of really great discussions. You can really feel the pain, loneliness, and anger of Tilla as she's having to deal with everything that's going on. Get ready for an emotional roller coaster, because that's what this book will give you. It's well worth the read, and a great book wi Thank you Raincoast Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review! If there's one book I'd hope everyone reads this year, it's easily this one. It's packed with a lot important issues that I think will open up a lot of really great discussions. You can really feel the pain, loneliness, and anger of Tilla as she's having to deal with everything that's going on. Get ready for an emotional roller coaster, because that's what this book will give you. It's well worth the read, and a great book with a plot line and characters that will stick with you well after you're finished.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lucie

    *I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review* CW: (view spoiler)[ Sexual Assault/Rape, Bullying, Physical Abuse, violent colorism (hide spoiler)] I was enjoying the story while I was reading, but as it progressed I was liking it less and less until the ending which left a terrible taste in mouth. Obviously that's a spoiler so it's under a warning: (view spoiler)[ Having the dark skinned character who was treated as a dumping ground for the entirety of the st *I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review* CW: (view spoiler)[ Sexual Assault/Rape, Bullying, Physical Abuse, violent colorism (hide spoiler)] I was enjoying the story while I was reading, but as it progressed I was liking it less and less until the ending which left a terrible taste in mouth. Obviously that's a spoiler so it's under a warning: (view spoiler)[ Having the dark skinned character who was treated as a dumping ground for the entirety of the story *die* for the main characters development really rubbed me the wrong way. Especially when this book deals heavily with colorism. (hide spoiler)] Parts I enjoyed: I thought the writing was well done and there were some really nicely done descriptions. I'm one of those people who enjoys flowery writing and this definitely has that. I also appreciated the choice to have a lot of dialogue in Patois. I'm not Jamaican and don't speak Patois so I can't say whether the language was used correctly. I also appreciated a peek at the less touristy side of Jamaica and seeing Tilla, an outsider, interact with the true country. I just wish we were shown more positive aspects other than the pretty landscapes. Parts I didn't enjoy: ...The whole plot? The whole story felt like uninterrupted trauma to be honest. This was supposed to be a story about family, but Tilla's family is horrible to her and not in any kind of complicated way, they're just plain mean. There's some explanations given for why they act in certain ways, but those explanations felt shallow and hollow at best and not a way to show complicated characters. That's how I ended up feeling about all of the tough topics dealt with in the story, they all made me feel for the main character because who wouldn't after watching her go through what she went through, but none of the events felt like they had any kind of resolution so ultimately felt shallow overall. Overall: Like I said at the beginning of the review I did enjoy the process of reading it, just when the ending hit it made me reflect on what actually happened in the story and I realized I had some issues.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bookworm Extraordinaire

    ⭐⭐⭐.🌓 -- A hard book to review! PROS -- Gorgeous cover. ❤️ -- Phenomenal writing. ✅ -- Well paced. ✅ -- Engaging plot. ✅ -- Beautiful lush setting. 🌴 -- Loved the dictionary at the start for the Patois language, however a bit impractical when reading on a tablet! ✅ -- Andre...sigh...just Andre (and Mia, I guess). ❤️ CONS -- Every single character (bar like two) was horrible in this book. And I don't mean, just unlikable. They were abusive, rapists, racists, neglectful. With a family like this, who the hel ⭐⭐⭐.🌓 -- A hard book to review! PROS -- Gorgeous cover. ❤️ -- Phenomenal writing. ✅ -- Well paced. ✅ -- Engaging plot. ✅ -- Beautiful lush setting. 🌴 -- Loved the dictionary at the start for the Patois language, however a bit impractical when reading on a tablet! ✅ -- Andre...sigh...just Andre (and Mia, I guess). ❤️ CONS -- Every single character (bar like two) was horrible in this book. And I don't mean, just unlikable. They were abusive, rapists, racists, neglectful. With a family like this, who the hell needs enemies! 🤬 -- Tilla...this girl really needed to grow a pair and stand up for herself WAY before she actually did. She also made some pretty selfish and stupid decisions that left me scratching my head. 🙄 -- This book is full of MAJOR triggers that are never expanded on, or given the page space they deserve. If you are going to throw in bullying, cheating, racism, rape, slut shaming, physical and mental abuse, death (and that isn't even all of them) they need to be fleshed out. Everything was just glossed over in favor of moving on to the next "big" trigger. 🤷🏻‍♀️ -- A lot things were left unresolved. 😒 -- Why was Mia spared from all the abusive toxicity❓ -- The ending...JEZUS...on one hand, I was glad Tilla finally grew a backbone, but seriously author? There wasn't enough dark, depressing and shitty stuff you had to do the ONE likable character that way??!! 🤬 **ARC Via NetGalley**

  17. 4 out of 5

    WillowRaven

    OK ... so ..... before I start, I just want to say ... look at this cover that they used for the ARC for this book (apologies, not the best picture): Honestly, I just LOVE it and wish they would use *it* for the official cover instead of the one I've seen. I think this is so beautiful in it's simplicity, and allows more for the reader to ponder what is really between the pages. Sometimes simple *is* better. Now, then ..... This book ... THIS BOOK .... OMG ... the feels, the emotions, the roller coa OK ... so ..... before I start, I just want to say ... look at this cover that they used for the ARC for this book (apologies, not the best picture): Honestly, I just LOVE it and wish they would use *it* for the official cover instead of the one I've seen. I think this is so beautiful in it's simplicity, and allows more for the reader to ponder what is really between the pages. Sometimes simple *is* better. Now, then ..... This book ... THIS BOOK .... OMG ... the feels, the emotions, the roller coaster .... all the things .... I wasn't really sure what to expect, outside of what it mentions in the blurb at the back of the book however I have to say it was *so* much more than that. The book was wonderfully written, and the small dictionary at the start of the book for the Patois language (which is one of the primary languages of Jamaica) is a big help. While it was challenging in the beginning to get through it, I quickly adjusted and had little to no issue with the Jamaican expressions. The author also has a remarkable ability to describe the people and places with such beauty and creativity. Some of the descriptions she uses to relate the beauty of the island against some of the perceptions that the MC has to tend with ... just stunning and memorable. Without going in to *too* much, or giving away any spoilers: From almost instantly, you are in Tilla's (the MC) point of view, imagining and seeing and feeling what she is experiencing. You can sense the hope, the promise ... such potential ... for an amazing summer. However things don't go even CLOSE to the way she had hoped or thought or even imagined. Both she and her younger sister, Mia, are flung in to a somewhat chaotic family dynamic that they are ill-prepared for and, for Tilla, have no way of navigating it. I felt such deep reactions to the events and people she encountered and sometimes I was stuck between feeling bad or sorry for her and/or wanting to reach through the pages of the book, grab her by the shoulder, give her a b**ch-slap up side the head and ask her "What in the world are you DOING??" However when the time finally arrives for her to "do" what I kept wondering about, I actually said out loud, "It's about damn time girl!" (Hubby and his cousin both looked up at me with confused looks on their faces. I just kind of pointed to the book and went back to reading.) In a season that was suppose to be a vacation of fun and getting reacquainted, it ends up being a series of life lessons for Tilla. I *will* say .... there are a few things that might affect those who have triggers to the following: Abuse: verbal, emotional, mental/psychological, sexual, racial, physical Bullying: verbal, emotional Curse words: while not a lot, when they do happen, they can be "rough", and not all are in English (some are in Patois) That being said, these things are in the story *for a reason* and, within the context of the story, make sense, even in their ugliness. I would strongly recommend this book, even to those with triggers, as it may be a source of comfort and strength, as it was for Tilla. However, only you, the reader, can make that decision. I know I will still be thinking about it in the days to come. It made quite the impression. In closing, I'd like to thank the author *and* the publisher the opportunity to read this amazing and inspiring book. While this was a book won through a independent giveaway earlier this year, the review was not a requirement, and I give an honest one of my own free will.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Hoover

    From the first page of Hurricane Summer to the last, ugly storms are brewing in more ways than one. There's the killer physical hurricane bearing down on the island of Jamaica and then there's the emotional storm that batters our heroine Tilla at every turn of this stunning debut novel. Canadian's eighteen year old Tilla and her nine year old sister Mia arrive in Jamaica to visit their Jamaican father who they haven't seen for a year since he left them and their mother in Canada to return to his From the first page of Hurricane Summer to the last, ugly storms are brewing in more ways than one. There's the killer physical hurricane bearing down on the island of Jamaica and then there's the emotional storm that batters our heroine Tilla at every turn of this stunning debut novel. Canadian's eighteen year old Tilla and her nine year old sister Mia arrive in Jamaica to visit their Jamaican father who they haven't seen for a year since he left them and their mother in Canada to return to his homeland. Relationships are strained, and Tilla is both fearful and excited to see her father again. This is her chance to see her father in his elements . . . his beloved Jamaica. A place he loves more than her, her sister and his wife. Tia wants to understand why her father was drawn back to this place time and again . . . why she was never enough. However, it soon becomes clear that she won't be spending a lot of time with her father even after he promised they'd spend the summer together. Almost immediately after their arrival, he leaves Tilla and her sister in the poverty stricken countryside with his family while he returns to the city to work. She is devastated, humiliated and immediately put on-guard as she senses the hostility radiating off some family members. The story that unfolds is heartbreaking, extremely intimate, and quite educational. I found myself repeatedly shocked at the resentment and abuse practiced among these native people whom you would expect to support each other. The presence of colorism is particularly disturbing as the shade of ones skin-tone determines ones "place" in society - even affecting ones educational opportunities. Social class and sexism play a large role in their daily lives also determining ones place in a family. My heart absolutely broke for these characters and their bleak futures. Hurricane Summer is an emotional roller coaster from start to finish. Author Asha Bromfield has penned an intense coming-of-age story featuring a young woman desperate to find her place in her father's world and to find herself. Through vivid imagery and analogies, the author showcases the beauty of a place known to travelers as paradise vs. a poverty stricken world of dark secrets and impoverished people. Through characters so fully fleshed out that you can feel the sweat drip off their skin along with waves of desperation radiating from their eyes, readers get up close and personal with the storms threatening their lives. The undertone of danger and darkness kept me turning pages while silently praying Tilla and others would escape unharmed. Through it all, I was amazed by Tilla's strength and resilience and ability to stand back up after being knocked down time and again. Incidences of verbal abuse are disturbing and often worse than physical blows and assaults. The growing sense of despair lends an ominous tone throughout as the story engulfed me and carried me at breakneck speed toward the coming storm. The inclusion of the Jamaican Patois language is difficult to understand until you get into the flow of the story. The author includes a dictionary at the front of the book, but I found I didn't need it as I soon lost myself in the atmospheric story after getting more into the characters heads. I found the language actually enhanced the reading experience with authenticity. Hurricane Summer is rich and full and alive with both darkness and rays of hope. Threads of a deeper message intertwine with compelling themes of classism, colorism, sexism, abandonment, rejection and first loves delivered through beautifully lyrical writing. This book would make a great book club or reading group discussion, and I highly recommend it in spite of several warning triggers. Brilliantly rendered through the eyes of a confused, coming of age eighteen year old girl on a journey of self-discovery, Hurricane Summer is simply the perfect storm. Destined to be "that" book in 2021! Special thanks to Wednesday Books for an arc and blog tour invitation. Reviewed at: Cross My Heart Reviews

  19. 4 out of 5

    -`ˏ Galaxi Faerie ˎ´˗

    -`ˏ 4 stars ˎ´˗ Storyline -`ˏ 8/10 ˎ´˗ It's only for the summer. . . Tilla dreaded the idea of facing her father, a man she once respected, who made the decision to leave his family and live his life in Jamaica. She needed to use this moment to figure out why his homeland is more important than her, but things didn't turn out as planned. Not only did she realize something shocking about her father, but her own self as well. There’s more than one storm brewing on this island. Characters -`ˏ 8/10 ˎ´ -`ˏ 4 stars ˎ´˗ Storyline -`ˏ 8/10 ˎ´˗ It's only for the summer. . . Tilla dreaded the idea of facing her father, a man she once respected, who made the decision to leave his family and live his life in Jamaica. She needed to use this moment to figure out why his homeland is more important than her, but things didn't turn out as planned. Not only did she realize something shocking about her father, but her own self as well. There’s more than one storm brewing on this island. Characters -`ˏ 8/10 ˎ´˗ There are moments where you'll get frustrated with Tilla's choices, but when you really think about it, it's natural. This is the crude reality, many girls don’t have a good male figure to guide them and teach them correctly how to love and be loved. When you are starving for a love your father fails to give, the sweet words of another can cloud your perception and fill that need. It becomes disconcerting to follow Tilla's journey as she interacts with people who hardly know her, but project their own thoughts of judgment upon her. Atmosphere -`ˏ 8/10 ˎ´˗ As an “Americanized” Trinidadian, this story is striking but relatable. The old-time belief that the woman most responds to their man like a king and stoop down because you are lucky to even kiss their feet. Young black women should have no ambition if it does not involve cooking dinner and taking care of kids. Yes, it is considered a privilege to be able to live outside the island and have more opportunities to widen your horizons. However, you should not treat someone terribly because their life is different than yours, and have the appearance of having more. Our environment may not be the same, but there is no difference in the struggles we face in society. Trigger warning: sexism, classism, colorism, abuse (physical, verbal, and emotional), sexual assault, guilt, death(mention), and blood(mention) *Inclusion of religious belief and ideas of God Language -`ˏ 7/10 ˎ´˗ The story was written beautifully, packed with a lush and vivid description of people and places in Jamaica. The only drawback was that there were too many subplots left unfinished and we slightly lost sight of the major issues. Enjoyment -`ˏ 10/10 ˎ´˗ “I have learned that when a hurricane passes through, it knows no favor. It takes no precedence. When the time is right and it is ready, it will destroy everything. Even the good things. Even the things you love.” The hurricane- great symbolism of the story, it starts off as a small issue, and then it begins to pick up speed. Things begin to accumulate, making it bigger and bigger, creating a path of uncontrollable destruction. Then it simply stops. . leaving you with the aftermath which you may or may not be able to repair. *Sidenote: That ending. . *insert every cuss word known to man* . . Where’s the manager? I need someone to formally apologize to my emotions, she was not aware of the possible outcome of her favorite side character and needs to be reimbursed. **Sidenote: I'm still upset Tilla wasted good cake on trash. ***Sidenote: I'm craving cake now. e-Arc provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. -`ˏ Thank You ˎ´˗

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kerine Wint

    This book read more like a memoir but with the author penning the MC as a teenager (making this assumption based on the acknowledgements and her own comments on the GR's page about this being about her life experiences). Unfortunately, unlike a reflective piece, Bromfield writes most of the scenes and the MC's reactions to mistreatment as if she's already had some life experiences/lessons that she's already learned without ever explaining how she would have. There is such a disconnect - or maybe This book read more like a memoir but with the author penning the MC as a teenager (making this assumption based on the acknowledgements and her own comments on the GR's page about this being about her life experiences). Unfortunately, unlike a reflective piece, Bromfield writes most of the scenes and the MC's reactions to mistreatment as if she's already had some life experiences/lessons that she's already learned without ever explaining how she would have. There is such a disconnect - or maybe an unintended omission of anything that would've been pertinent to Tilla's character development - that makes her responses feel undeserved/unearned. The presentation of different traumatic experiences like abuse and sexual assault are glossed over as just growing pains without ever diving into what that would mean for an 18-y-o (in real-time) who supposedly has never experienced that. There is also a weird shift where the MC is suddenly more in tune with religion although that never plays a part in the first 2/3 of the book (being religious isn't bad but suddenly finding solace in it without taking the reader's on that journey is... strange). I mention this as it plays into the idea of a memoir being packed into a YA novel with an MC that responds to situations with what can only - obviously - be the author's hindsight. Overall, it's an overload of triggering content that served more for dramatic purposes - and pseudo-female empowerment - that overshadowed all the inferred intentions.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Celia McMahon

    I'm working with St. Martin's Press today to bring you a coming-of-age story about a girl with a complicated relationship with her father as she navigates the summer in the place of her parents' birth: Jamaica. I was given a free copy of the book for this tour. HURRICANE SUMMER releases today! There are a lot of things I loved about this book, but I first want to tell you that you are going to need some tissues and junk food to deal with your emotions because this book packs a punch. Tilla wants I'm working with St. Martin's Press today to bring you a coming-of-age story about a girl with a complicated relationship with her father as she navigates the summer in the place of her parents' birth: Jamaica. I was given a free copy of the book for this tour. HURRICANE SUMMER releases today! There are a lot of things I loved about this book, but I first want to tell you that you are going to need some tissues and junk food to deal with your emotions because this book packs a punch. Tilla wants to badly to earn her father's love, and the abuse she takes is absolutely heartbreaking. Part of me wants to understand where she's coming from but the other part wants to shake her and ask her WHY? Granted, I am the type of person to cut my losses, being a teenager and wanting so badly to be loved is familiar territory for a lot of young girls. Teenage girls go through a TON and our loss of innocence is different than boys when it comes to sexual exploration and coming to terms with our bodies and minds. Like Tilla, we tread across hot coals in being free to explore our desires and knocked down and burned when society deems us wrong for our choices. Tilla sees this first hand in the way she's treated by her family and those around her. She makes mistakes, yes, but there's no ill-intent. All Tilla wants is to be happy, to find her place, and connect with her past. No, but really, this book took me through a rollercoaster of emotions. The journey the author takes us on is both captivating and heartbreaking. This story was written beautifully and captured the beauty of Tilla's world. If the rest of the book doesn't make you feel things, the ending will. I was fainting like a 1920's starlet. I could not think of a more perfect ending for Tilla's story. Although it's not truly an ending because Tilla is a fighter and she's going to begin her entry into adulthood with fresh eyes and a kinder heart.

  22. 4 out of 5

    ... Lost In Bookland...

    I began reading and left this book several times .... An amazing writing style that vividly describes sequences full of trauma, pain, and judgment, and makes you want to leave the book while forcing you to continue reading... A roller-coaster of emotion is a weak expression to describe the whole dizzying range of emotions that will engulf you as you turn the pages. Anger, laughter, sadness, rage ... are just a small part of the emotions that changed as I traveled this heartwrenching trip into th I began reading and left this book several times .... An amazing writing style that vividly describes sequences full of trauma, pain, and judgment, and makes you want to leave the book while forcing you to continue reading... A roller-coaster of emotion is a weak expression to describe the whole dizzying range of emotions that will engulf you as you turn the pages. Anger, laughter, sadness, rage ... are just a small part of the emotions that changed as I traveled this heartwrenching trip into the world of Tilla ... Hurricane summer is a heartbreaking story of a teenager visiting her father in Jamaica, a journey that takes you through the life of this young girl and her attempt to discover herself and her origins. The desire of a child to feel the love and care of a parent. A period of growth and change, of finding and losing love, of strong emotions .... Tilla and the puzzle called her life and her struggle to fit all the pieces, to fit herself into that world while being attacked from all sides .... And you might expect to experience the beauty of the island of Jamaica where you will experience this strong young woman coming of age, but be prepared to face the horrible side of this amazing place. Race, colorism, class, abuse, and a bit of sexual assault are just some of the situations you will encounter through the pages of this book. And now as I write this review, the first thing that comes to mind is the brutal intensity, with words that are etched in your heart and the pain that makes you sympathize with this young girl and her pain. And even though I knew this book was a debut, I somehow felt like I was reading the words of a very experienced author. Maybe because all the emotions were so skillfully poured into every sentence, in every scene. Love and beauty, versus destruction and pain... One of the things I loved about this novel is that it uses the Jamaican dialogue of Patois. Somehow it contributes to the greater complexity and depth of the story itself. Admittedly, it was quite difficult to understand, at least until you got used to the terminology. The glossary at the beginning was a great aid. Definitely a book that is not for everyone. A book that will make you cry and feel a range of emotions that will remain in you, long after reading. Though provoking and brutally honest, this book is definitely an excellent choice for people who are unafraid to dive into a sea of emotion.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    I finished this quicker than I thought and this book broke me with all the feels. As I lay in bed stirring at the ceiling I cannot help but reflect on the book as I reflect on my own experiences growing up. This is a relatable coming-of-age tale. The void that comes with endless seeking of father’s love in the midst of self discovery is indeed unexplainable increment weather. And there is no one to blame because we are all lost souls seeking something. We all have holes, because we are all damag I finished this quicker than I thought and this book broke me with all the feels. As I lay in bed stirring at the ceiling I cannot help but reflect on the book as I reflect on my own experiences growing up. This is a relatable coming-of-age tale. The void that comes with endless seeking of father’s love in the midst of self discovery is indeed unexplainable increment weather. And there is no one to blame because we are all lost souls seeking something. We all have holes, because we are all damaged. This book covered so many issues on colorism, classism, young love, and the father-daughter dynamic, with such grace, that you get a 360 view of every character. You develop empathy that halts judgment at the threshold of wondering thought. This book is a standing ovation to Jamaica and nod to women everywhere. The writing is so poetic that you don’t truly feel the knife digging in until your heart is already dripping on the bookmark. I would recommend this to everyone and caution for the triggers of sexual assault, abuse, and slut-shaming. This is one red hot summer read, not to be missed. ⠀

  24. 4 out of 5

    nessma

    i’m sad. i’m livid. i’m having too many conflicted feelings about this book but what i do know is that it has greatly impacted me in one way or another. i don’t know if this star rating is accurate; i’m pretty sure it will change as i think and ponder more on how i feel about this book. hurricane summer is a chaotic storm of devastating, deeply rooted tragedies, as well as joyous, heartfelt celebrations. i read this book in 3 days but it felt like i’ve lived the summer in jamaica with these charac i’m sad. i’m livid. i’m having too many conflicted feelings about this book but what i do know is that it has greatly impacted me in one way or another. i don’t know if this star rating is accurate; i’m pretty sure it will change as i think and ponder more on how i feel about this book. hurricane summer is a chaotic storm of devastating, deeply rooted tragedies, as well as joyous, heartfelt celebrations. i read this book in 3 days but it felt like i’ve lived the summer in jamaica with these characters. these whom i absolutely detested with all of my being—except for maybe two rarities, one of which i will constantly be thinking of. it’s nearly impossible to properly review this book without spoiling it but i’ll attempt to walk you through the plethora of emotions i’ve had to experience here. let’s start with vivid, pulsing, and incredibly vibrant jamaica! the setting couldn’t have been more perfect. we’re introduced to a colorful country glowing with so much life and culture and asha bromfield brought it justice with her stunning writing. i was first thrown off by how the jamaican patois was the heart and soul of the dialogue, which i quickly grew to love and enjoy. with it came the culture shock that the main character, tilla, goes through and it feels as if i’ve lived it along with her. the reverberations of that were portrayed effectively and it left me glued to the page as the story progressed. the story this book was telling had captured me entirely in the beginning, i was so engrossed with these characters and wanting to learn more about them and the island. however, somewhere around the 25% mark or so, i was lost. for one, as much as i loved tilla in the beginning, she began to seem more selfish and self-absorbed in some ways. her actions didn’t match with her words and she was kind of stoic and stagnant, her arc unmoving while the story’s was seeping through. i almost went mad with how close i was to begging for her to do something, to prove someone wrong, but she didn’t and it made me furious. it was almost like she was watching everything happen to her and letting it. almost all of the rest of the characters were hateful and despicable (which is intentional) except tilla’s little sister, mia, and of course: andre. he was the light of this story for me. i loved him so much. no other character came close to this boy. he deserved the whole entire world and more. there is no doubt that this book addresses important topics, but i just think it took on too many too fast and, as much as i was appreciative of the effort at first, as the story progressed, more and more wounds were left unattended to. i don’t know if it was intentional but it was definitely not something i appreciated. it just…upset me. it made me feel a lot of unease and frustration. i seriously wanted to punch a wall with everything that was going on—and nobody doing anything to stop it. at some point in the story, i just started to hate where it was going, what it was leaving behind, how it was being handled and how it ended. i waited for something to change. anything. but the ending fueled me even more. and i cannot recover from the pain and scars hurricane summer has given me nor can i forgive it. even with the many aspects that unsettled me, i empathize so much with the story. and i’m very aware it’s real so i’m definitely not trying to invalidate that in any way, i just did not like that it showed the ‘horrible side,’ and the lack of an impactful resolution left me more on edge. i wanted more of a deduction from the story. i wanted a richer, more complete outlook—one that i was convinced of and more well-rounded than what we were given for an ending. it’s not that i expected it all to be rainbows and sunshine by the end; (actually, the opposite. if you read the book, you know what i mean.) i expected more—resilience? “lesson learned”? changing?—from the main character. this could be a personal preference, but it’s the only way i view it. all in all, i didn’t like many things about this book, but i’m not sure if it’s the story’s fault or my receiving it. either way, it did not sit well with me in the end. however, there are many things to love here, too, and many topics it addresses that are too important not to have conversations and discussions about. from that viewpoint, i highly recommend this book—though i cannot promise you an ‘enjoyable’ read. see, this is what i meant when i said this book has me feeling all kinds of conflicted feelings!!! hurricane summer is beautiful and ugly with all of its sharp edges, being rich with culture and full of nuance, bursting with adventure and heartache. it has made me smile, scream, cry and laugh. and it think it will stay with me for a long while. ——— please, please, please do not pick this book up if you can’t handle the trigger warnings. all of it is on-page and it’s horrible and disturbing, so please beware. trigger warnings: colorism, racism, sexual assault, rape, incest, child neglect, slut-shaming, colonialism, natural disaster, mental and emotional abuse, physical abuse, manipulation, classism, cheating, abandonment, drowning, religious discussions/argumentation + may add more ——— digital arc provided by the publisher via edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carla

    “Hurricane Summer” is the beautifully written debut novel by Asha Bromfield. Having to visit her estranged father in his hometown of Jamaica leads to a summer that Tilla will never forget. I truly do not even know where to begin. “ Hurricane Summer” was a cultural experience. I felt like I ended the book with a little bit of knowledge on the Patois language as well as the Jamaican culture. The dictionary at the beginning of the book was definitely helpful and I referred back to it many times whi “Hurricane Summer” is the beautifully written debut novel by Asha Bromfield. Having to visit her estranged father in his hometown of Jamaica leads to a summer that Tilla will never forget. I truly do not even know where to begin. “ Hurricane Summer” was a cultural experience. I felt like I ended the book with a little bit of knowledge on the Patois language as well as the Jamaican culture. The dictionary at the beginning of the book was definitely helpful and I referred back to it many times while reading. I loved the setting of this book. Even though it offers a stark contrast to the tourism pictures that I have grown accustomed to in painting a paradise picture of Jamaica, this novel offers a totally different view. While this shows the countryside, a more poverty-stricken side of Jamaica, it also offers a more stunning view of bodies of water, lush land, and more. This was a fully immersive experience. “Hurricane Summer” was a hard read at times. Tilla did not deserve the treatment that she received from so many people in this book. I found myself wondering “what next?” But under all of this trauma, pain, and judgement is a story about a young girl on the cusp of adulthood. The majority of the characters in this book were unlikeable for various reasons. There were a few bright spots however. My favorite part of the summer ended up being the part that hurt me the most. I enjoyed seeing Tilla’s growth and could not help but wonder what is next for her. There were many themes explored in this book. From colorism to toxic family members, familial ties, gender roles and expectations, and so much more. “Hurricane Summer” took me through so many different emotions. I was infuriated a lot of the time, laughed a little , and cried… I definitely cried. This was a thought-provoking novel and Asha Bromfield’s writing style was simply beautiful. I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marieke du Pré

    Wow! A surprisingly well written story about a Canadian girl visiting her Jamaican father, facing the differences between both countries, including classism, racism (between colored people!) and sexism. This story is written by an actress from Riverdale. I never watched that series so I didn’t know Asha Bromfield. NetGalley provided me direct access to this story and I was curious if the actress could write too. Well, the answer is wholeheartedly: Yes! The more I read, the more intrigued I becam Wow! A surprisingly well written story about a Canadian girl visiting her Jamaican father, facing the differences between both countries, including classism, racism (between colored people!) and sexism. This story is written by an actress from Riverdale. I never watched that series so I didn’t know Asha Bromfield. NetGalley provided me direct access to this story and I was curious if the actress could write too. Well, the answer is wholeheartedly: Yes! The more I read, the more intrigued I became by this sometimes dark story. The writing is very accessible and descriptive, from the moment I started reading, Tilla became a real person, and I could see life on Jamaica through her eyes so vividly. I liked the way Asha Bromfield played with words and made sentences sound almost lyrical: I want to cry tears of joy and confess the pain in my heart like a child in need of a Band-Aid. I want to tell him I hate him. I want to tell him I love him more than I could ever hate him. The story is full of dialogue in Patois and the first pages of the book contain a dictionary of Patois. Not just two or three pages but a lot! And I though OMG I have an eARC and I can’t keep scrolling back time and again I don’t understand the Patois. But I shouldn’t have worried because after I read a few pages, my common knowledge of English was more than enough to understand most sentences (and I’m not even a native speaker). The story is about Tilla and her Jamaican family. Her normal world and the Jamaican world are far apart from each other. She’s seen as rich because she has a backpack and more than one pair of shoes (even ten pair!). There will be no fair trial. They have decided that just by being from foreign, I am spoiled and spoon-fed. I am bad, and I need to be punished. The princess will be put in her place. She’s astonished by the harshness she encounters, the way people treat her and each other. The sexism and racism she never thought she’d find on the island. Being lighter-skinned offers you celebration and praise. It offers you homecoming. And under this measure, there wil be no celebration for dark boys. And there’s the relationship with her father and so much more. It’s difficult to describe everything Tilla is facing that summer without revealing too much. That also applies to the other characters in the story. So I only highlight one: Andre. I loved him and rooted for him, such a sweet and cheerful guy despite everything that happens. Like I said before this is a very well written debut and I got goosebumps several times because of what happened and how people including Tilla were treated. I’d love to read more from Asha Bromfield. I received an ARC from Wednesday Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So after finishing Hurricane Summer yesterday, I definitely needed to sit and think about what to write. Mostly because this book seriously pissed me off in so many ways. The amount of slut shaming in this book blew my mind. This entire family knew nothing about Tilla and completely judge the shit out of her left and right. Honestly, they don't deserve to get to know her anymore. Or Mia. Other than that, I did think it was I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So after finishing Hurricane Summer yesterday, I definitely needed to sit and think about what to write. Mostly because this book seriously pissed me off in so many ways. The amount of slut shaming in this book blew my mind. This entire family knew nothing about Tilla and completely judge the shit out of her left and right. Honestly, they don't deserve to get to know her anymore. Or Mia. Other than that, I did think it was kind of nice/cool of Tilla and Mia to go to Jamaica to try to get to know their father. Mostly because he rarely comes to see them. Oh, and he's also a horrible person who slut shames his own daughter and has a secret new family. The only thing I'm grateful for is the lessons that she learned while being there. Tilla is no longer going to let people walk over her. The moment she stood up for her aunt who was being abused by her shitty ass uncle is the exact moment I fell in love with this character. I didn't care that he was dealing with cancer.. because I just didn't trust that family one bit. Also cancer doesn't mean you get to be an abusive little shit towards anyone either. Other than liking Tilla and Mia, I really adored Andre and I'm not sure how to cope with what happened to him either. The amount of bullshit he had to suffer before she even came to Jamaica baffles me but then again - this family is filled with shitty people. I feel like I'm getting repetitive now (lol) but they were just awful. In the end, I'm glad that I got a chance to dive into this one and look forward to the next book Asha writes.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Drew's ambitious reading

    Hurricane Summer is a book I've been wanting to read ever since I saw the author revealed the beautiful cover! Then I didn't realized this was her debut novel? Like what?! It was such a great ya contemporary novel that I wasn't expecting a whole lot from it but totally fell in love with it from the first page to the last. In this novel we had a huge diverse cast. Our main character background is jamician. So she had family in jamicia, which I have never been to myself at all, but it felt like I Hurricane Summer is a book I've been wanting to read ever since I saw the author revealed the beautiful cover! Then I didn't realized this was her debut novel? Like what?! It was such a great ya contemporary novel that I wasn't expecting a whole lot from it but totally fell in love with it from the first page to the last. In this novel we had a huge diverse cast. Our main character background is jamician. So she had family in jamicia, which I have never been to myself at all, but it felt like I was there with how wonderful the writing was. I pictured everything so clean and vivided. I also wasn't excpecting a character death in a contemporary book which is very rare. This cast of characters were really amazing! Our main character is name Tilla. She is in a devoirce family so that has been hard for her lately. Her father left her when she was ten and then this one summer mom decides to send her to jamicia where her father lives.. But, to soon find out a reveal that u will get to know while reading. Which was a shock to me too!! Trigger warrings: Death of a family member, cuttings, Depresion, abuse/rape, cheating

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mallory

    This is a hard book to read, but despite that it was somehow beautiful. Definite trigger warnings for bullying, sexual assault, slut shaming, classism, racism, physical assault and death. I liked that the reader was thrown into Jamaican culture with the narrator Tilla. While her parents are Jamaican she hasn’t been to visit in years. She was born in Canada along with her little sister and lives with her mother while her father floats between their home and his first love Jamaica. Tilla had been This is a hard book to read, but despite that it was somehow beautiful. Definite trigger warnings for bullying, sexual assault, slut shaming, classism, racism, physical assault and death. I liked that the reader was thrown into Jamaican culture with the narrator Tilla. While her parents are Jamaican she hasn’t been to visit in years. She was born in Canada along with her little sister and lives with her mother while her father floats between their home and his first love Jamaica. Tilla had been resistant to going to spend her whole summer with her father but agreed and the culture shock for her is real. Tilla learns a lot in this journey and it makes her stronger. There were times that I wanted to shake her but some mistakes you just have to make. I do think in a physical copy the Patois dictionary in the beginning would be more helpful, but there were definitely some bits I needed a reminder to read. I know this is a story that will be sticking with me for a while.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Monique

    Tilla and her sister Mia went to Jamaica to be with their father and were forever changed. There are major trigger warnings in this book: colorism, slut-shaming, sexism, sexual assault and bullying. Asha Bromfield wove a tale of Jamaica that made me want to run to the island to absorb all of the sights, smells, sounds and food. As the saying goes, everything that glitters isn't gold. Jamaica turned out to be anything but paradise for Tilla. There was some forced self-discovery. and things she had Tilla and her sister Mia went to Jamaica to be with their father and were forever changed. There are major trigger warnings in this book: colorism, slut-shaming, sexism, sexual assault and bullying. Asha Bromfield wove a tale of Jamaica that made me want to run to the island to absorb all of the sights, smells, sounds and food. As the saying goes, everything that glitters isn't gold. Jamaica turned out to be anything but paradise for Tilla. There was some forced self-discovery. and things she had to endure alone. As Tilla and Mia's mother I would have NEVER sent my children halfway across the world to be with an absentee father. I was so angry. How about maybe a week or two for a visit. The way those adults treated Tilla had me wanting to fight! Thankfully Mia was spared the brunt of the vile treatment her sister endured. Sometimes little girls must become their own heroes is a quote taken from the book. Tilla became her own hero at the end of this book. My heart broke for her! Asha Bromfield wrote a beautiful story that needed to be told. The patois made the book much more authentic. Read this book but be prepared to spend your time on an emotional roller coaster. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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