Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Review: Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield

It's only the 2nd day of February, and I'm already shaking things up. Due to certain circumstances, I've had to change my schedule  Instead of the book I was planning on presenting today, I'm pulling in something else. Actually, I'm not completely upset by this turn of events, since this book is perfect for Black History Month!!!

And it's a good read, too. (Which is obviously the most important factor)

So, please forgive me for the change-up, but I'm sure you won't be disappointed, either. Just make sure you grab your umbrella for this one...or at least, a box of tissues... because it is an emotional storm.

by Asha Bromfield
Wednesday Books
YA Contemporary / 
Coming of Age
400 pages

MAY 4th, 2021!!!

In this sweeping debut, actress 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.

Sometimes the storm is inside of you...

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.

GOODREADS  /   B&N   /   KOBO      



                                                        * takes place in a realistic Jamaican setting
                                                        * packed with emotions
                                                        * struggles easy for age group to identify with
                                                        * quick-paced the entire way through
                                                        * strong family dynamic


With the force of a hurricane, the emotions of a young woman finding herself and her place blows through even tough circumstances.

Tilla has grown-up with her sister and mother in Canada, her father always going back to Jamaica and his true home. When her mother decides the two girls should spend the summer on the island with their father and a family they haven't seen in many years, Tilla doesn't really want to go. But she's not asked. The arrival not only means culture shock and struggling with the accent, but each family member packs their own personality and attitude...not all of which are good. When her father heads out for a few weeks to take care of business, leaving her and her sister alone, Tilla feels more than betrayed. Add the incoming hurricane, the difficulty of deciding who to trust, and the possibility of love, and she's battling more storms than she might be able to handle.

This is a book chucked full of heart, tears and sweat. It's clear that the author poured herself into this one, and the result is a very grabbing and emotional read. Tilla is thrust around the family and placed into an environment, which she's really not sure how to handle. The first chapters illustrate her confusion and insecurities masterfully as she's tossed from one situation into the next as if flailing helplessly between waves. Her personality is not one of a victim, but those around her and her inexperience as well as lack of knowledge of the island and people, cause her to stumble even when she tries to hold her ground. It makes her very sympathetic and hard not to root for.

As the troubles grow, so does Tilla's capability to deal with them. She makes mistakes and matures with each problem. This book does hit upon tough themes such as incest, rape, cancer and...and...and... And this is where it stumbled a bit for me. Every issue under the sun comes up as if packing the trouble-list with every possible piece of baggage...something which wasn't even necessary. Tilla's inner struggles, learning to deal with the family, and facing her own growth into a woman with all of the hurdles involved was already more than enough for the tale (and well handled). All of the added rest cheapened that more important side.

The rich culture in this one is a bonus. The characters come across as very authentic, and it's as if the reader can breath the Jamaican air. The author knows the island and allows the reader to be submerged into the scenes as if they were truly there. There is a dictionary at the beginning of the book to help out with the dialogue and phrases. While this is very interesting and helpful, it also wasn't. The dialogue holds the accents very heavily....for light, quick reads this does weigh down. And since not all phrases can be memorized before the read, anyone using the dictionary needs to flip back and forth (not often but sometimes). This pulls out of the story for those who want to immerse themselves into the tale. For those who love to dig deep into their reads and really embrace the moments with study as well, it's great. It just isn't my thing.

All in all, this is an amazingly well done coming-of-age read and was definitely worth the read.

1 comment:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Someone recommended this to me, and I reserved it at the library. I'm glad you changed your schedule and reviewed. Because I want to read it more. Thanks!