Hurricane Summer Blog Tour!
In this sweeping debut, Asha Bromfield takes readers to the heart of Jamaica, and into the soul of a girl coming to terms with her family, and herself, set against the backdrop of a hurricane.
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.
On-sale: May 4th, 2021
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.
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.
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.
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.
The beautiful use of Jamaican dialogue was a bit difficult to understand at the beginning but then became so much better, and I ended up loving that too.
I still want some people to painfully perish.
Still worshiping the last few pages when the MC finally got up from the metaphorical ground and threw some punches of her own. YOU GO, GIRL!!
I still hate what they did to a certain character. Hate it with a burning passion. They should've been punished.
Badum, tsss. Book Sneak Peek!
Me is pain. I is pain.
Mini activity that my 3 am self came up with + Author Bio.