Cover Image: Hurricane Summer

Hurricane Summer

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Member Reviews

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."

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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</strong></p>

Thank you to NetGallery for this Arc in exchange for an honest review!

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If you're interested in a deep dive into Jamaican culture, I would recommend this book. While the language is a little hard to get into, even with the glossary in the beginning (hard to reference on an e-reader), I did find myself immersed in the story. The language supported the story well, creating a rich picture of the hometown where Tilla and her younger sister Mia spent the summer. This is foremost a family drama, but also it's a story about growing up and finding yourself. It was certainly compelling, but not my favorite read.

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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.

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I loved the authentic dialect in this book, It really sweeps you into the setting of the story. A gorgeous, yet raw/heart-wrenching novel. Pulls on all the heart strings, would definitely recommend. Thank you for this arc, it was truly enjoyable. Very talented author!

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This YA captures the selfishness, anguish, and rage of being a teen. Great setting and story of family and belonging. The Patois dictionary at the beginning intimidated me (I don’t often enjoy dialogue heavy writing with dialect) but the use of Patois in the writing was pretty seamless.

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This book really brought me into the feel of Jamaican culture, and disproved what it would be like to feel the culture shock of spending the summer with your family but still being a foreigner. I appreciated the dictionary of Jamaican patios in the beginning and felt myself learning it along with Tilla- the descriptions and the pacing of the novel were great. However, the characters over dramatic feelings were a bit too heavy handed and had me skimming along rather than really getting into the story. There would also be points where it seemed like the author was trying to impart her life lessons, and the metaphor of the hurricane was overdone. All in all a solid book, but not a top recommendation

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Whew, Hurricane Summer packs an emotional punch. You will need the Patois word bank in the front of this story or you will be VERY lost. Hurricane Summer is the kind of book that could save a life.. it can help the right person heal. It's STUNNING and painful. The writing is so lyrical the book flows like music. The topics are hard to read at points but beautifully handled. I'm in awe of this powerful story.

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Thank you NetGalley for this ARC. I literally cried my eyes out reading this story! I absolutely loved how I felt the author brought me into Jamaican culture, and not the touristy culture, but real small town Jamaican culture. I struggled with the Patois dialogue throughout because of the e-book format. It was difficult to go back and forth from the dictionary to the text. I would have liked it more in paperback or hardcover. Overall I really liked it and would recommend it to others after release date!

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Wow....what a debut from Asha Bromfield. I was sucked into this book from the moment I saw the cover and the story itself did not disappoint. Tilla is exactly what a protagonist should be - flawed, yet the reader can’t help but root for her to find her voice and her strength. I will say there were a few scenes that got a bit repetitive. How many times was Tilla going to let her awful cousin and aunt abuse her? Her tolerance for their nonsense and bullying was a little too high to be truly believable. And then that ending just gutted me. I didn’t see it coming and definitely shed a few tears. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC. I can’t wait to read more from Bromfield.

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This book really hit my heart. I literally felt it breaking as I read this story. As I read this book I felt like an intruder of the worst kind, a voyeur, seeing all that I did yet I didn't actually help when I should have.

Everyone in this story was their own kind of fucked up. I have opinions on each and every primary character but this review should be focused on the story and the fact that this author wrote so well that I was able to create these opinions. She made these characters very complete and full and so clear that it felt like I knew these people.

The author wrote in the language of a countryside Jamaica. This was interesting. At first, I thought I wasn't going to be able to follow it, however, after a few chapters I was following right along and even found myself reading with the accent!

This is a great book for young adults because it really walks through the change in people and it speaks to things this age group goes through. A wonderful read. An amazing coming of age story!

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-`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 for 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.

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Tilla is going to Jamaica, her family’s homeland, for the first time. She has no idea what to expect but she does know her father yearns for that land. That he hates living anywhere else and that he loves Jamaica more than he loves her and her sister, for all that he always goes running back to the place. She’s hoping that going to Jamaica will bring them closer and that he’ll love her like he used to.

She is oh so wrong.

Her father has to go back to town after only a couple days so Tilla is left to stay in the country, with people she doesn’t know. As time passes, it becomes clear that she’s so different from everyone. In Canada, her mom can barely afford to buy her and her sister, Mia, clothes from Walmart. Yet here, in Jamaica, the fact that she has maybe ten pairs of shoes makes her seem rich.

She soon discovers that the hatred of foreign runs deep and that all her relatives are against her. Every time she gets her hopes up about fitting in, something happens to beat her down. Agan and again.

This book. Wow. The depth of feeling in this book. The beautiful descriptions of the land, alongside the hateful things Tilla experiences, is such a juxtaposition. It makes all her experiences all the worse for there being such beauty in the world. It’s the way of things, of course.

I felt so betrayed by what happened, though I could tell from the beginning that going to Jamaica wasn’t going to be all sunshine and rainbows. I was absolutely outraged on Tilla’s behalf, for everything she went through and how everyone talked about her. I hate how this book made me feel but that’s probably a mark of just how good it is. It was so immersive into the culture of Jamaica, I assume anyway. I’ve never been there nor do I know anyone from there.

The issues of how women are perceived and how men can do whatever they want and not face consequences, are at the forefront of this novel. Alongside the horrible sexism is colorism. The way the family talks about Andre and how they treat him as less than makes me so angry. He’s the best of them all and I will be taking no criticism on this front. He was the only one who took TIlla seriously and who believed her side of the story (other than her own sister). Even Tilla’s father falls for what her cousin, Diana, says about Tilla. Calling her a slut, and a whore. It made me so outraged.

I don’t like how quickly Tilla fell for not one, but two guys. How quickly she gives herself over to a man after being betrayed by the key man in her life over and over again. I would have rather she had been more cautious. But, again, this makes her more human. I also wish there had been more time dedicated to Tilla and her father. They barely get to see each other, as he abandons her to the country and her family there. Perhaps it’s just a marker of the fact that he will never be on her side, that she will never be enough for him, not over his life in Jamaica. Her many issues with her father are buried under everything else that happens to Tilla in Jamaica, though everything is connected.

This book is dark and deep. It was not a fun read, not like that. It was enjoyable for the sake of reading, but I will never read it again. It has certainly left a lasting impression, however, and I’m sure it will resonate with many readers, especially those who are looking for a deep emotional connection. Just be aware that there are several trigger warnings associated with this book, not least of which is a scene of sexual assault. Gaslighting, infidelity, slut shaming, language, racism, colorism, and more.

It will take me a long time to recover from Hurricane Summer.

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Tilla and her sister Mia are headed to spend the summer with their father in Jamaica. He spends a majority of his time on the island, and Tilla just wants to understand what she can do to make him love her. While she isn’t thrilled about spending the summer there, she will finally get to see what is so amazing about Jamaica that it keeps him from his family. With a Hurricane headed their way, Tilla will truly see all the beauty and destruction Jamaica has to offer.

So when I first opened this book on my kindle, I immediately went “oh crap.” There was an index in the beginning of what phrases mean, that was legit 6 pages long. I knew I would never remember them, and its harder to go back and forth in an e-book than a paperback. Luckily, I didn’t need to worry. I was able to figure out the meanings just fine! It did mean it took me a little bit longer to read because I had to go slower to understand it, but it didn’t bother me at all. Oh man, this was such a sad/hopeful book. I cannot even describe the rage I felt towards Tilla’s father. Why bring your children to Jamaica for the summer just to dump them with your family that doesn’t like them and disappear? It just made me so mad. Moving on though, this was such a wonderfully written book about growing up and finding yourself, especially in a new and uncomfortable environment, and as a female. My heart broke for Tilla so many times throughout the book and I just wanted to jump into the pages and give her and Andre a massive hug. This book will shatter your heart, start to mend it, and then shatter all over again.

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This book was a masterpiece. It was raw, personal, and introspective. The story tells of a young girl, Tilla, who discovers herself in her home country of Jamaica. As the country prepares for a hurricane, Tilla is going through her own emotional storm. The juxtaposition of the literal hurricane to the figurative hurricane going on inside her is simply stunning. Warning: there are some raw sexual parts of the novel that make me uncomfortable recommending this title to my 8th graders. However I could totally see me using excerpts from the novel in my classroom.

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This is a gripping, colorful coming of age story as Tilla and her sister come to grips with their place in their family, their world, and their culture. I would caution that young adult readers may need support as they navigate some of the realities that face Tilla as she journeys through the realities that she faces. This is a complex story and it will be important to process some of the events.

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This was well written and I really appreciated the inclusion of Patois to make it authentic, but oof this was just not an enjoyable book to read. None of the characters were particularly likable (except for Andre), and the plot was just trauma after trauma after trauma with no real break. So while this wasn't a bad book, I just can't see myself recommending it because the process of reading it was just a bummer.

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I wavered on how I wanted to rate this book, there were parts of it that I absolutely loved, but there were also parts that made me angry and tearful. And the parts that are written in Patois were sometimes hard to follow, but I read a lot of them out loud and that helped immensely.

The parts of the story that I loved were where Tilla realized that her actions, even when she had good intentions, may have unintended consequences to other people. That's one of the things that is probably the hardest as you go toward adulthood and move from being self-centered to world centered (well, hopefully you do! LOL).

The parts I did not like were the abuse that Tilla received at the hands of nearly everyone in her family and the neighborhood. The aunts mentally and physically abused her and there was some questionable sexual activity as well. There were so many characters I wasn't sure how to define some of the abuse/relationships.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good read about coming of age, just know there are triggers for abuse.

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The Quick Cut: A teen girl and her younger sister spend the summer in Jamaica with their father. Drama ensues when the summer does not go as planned.  

A Real Review: Thank you to Wednesday Books for providing the ARC for an honest review.   
 Some of our most complicated relationships are with our parents. When we're born, we idolize them and their place in our lives. Eventually though, those ideals crack and break when the reality of who they are slams into us. After all, parents are flawed people like the rest of us. So what does that realization look like? This book centered around Tilla is about exactly that when she goes to Jamaica for the summer with her younger sister. 
 Tilla has spent her entire life wanting the love of her father. However, she has rarely gotten that since her father continued to travel to Jamaica for business over and over again. When her mom agrees to let Tilla and her younger sister spend the summer in Jamaica with their father, she is excited for the opportunity. Finally, she can get to know her dad on a true level and spend plenty of time with him. However, instead of getting face time with dad, she ends up getting blown off and left in the hands of her extended family. How much more of this disappearing act can Tilla take? Or will this be the beginning of her breaking point showing? 
 This book is so magical and yet devastating at the same time. The author works some very beautiful skills painting the author a very realistic image of what Jamaica looks like. I've never been there myself, but I felt like I have been after reading this one. She not only discussed the natural beauty of the island, but she also gives a good idea of what life is like for those who live there. The good and the bad are elaborated on. 
 Tilla goes through so much in such a short time. In two months of her life, she gets abused by family, betrayed by friends, and name called across the board. Every time she feels a new pain (physical or emotional), you can't help but feel like it's hurting you too. It's all the beginning of when Tilla starts to realize how sometimes parents can disappoint us.... and sometimes break our hearts the most. That's a lesson I wouldn't wish on anyone as it tends to leave emotional scars that run as deep as scars can. 
 Not only is the storytelling so bold and emotional, but the landscape is so visceral. Together, they are a potent combination that you can't help but fall for. 
 A profoundly touching story that will linger in your mind for a long time. 
My rating: 5 out of 5

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Tilla and her sister Mia are heading to spend the summer in Jamaica with their father. Tilla has mixed feelings about her father because he spends so much time in Jamaica instead of at home with them in Canada, but she expects to be enchanted by the beautiful island and discover the hold it has on her father. With an impending hurricane brewing, Tilla learns much about the island, her father, his family, and herself.

Hurricane Summer is a beautifully written story that tackles many important themes. I understand the importance of including Jamaican Patois, but it will make this book extremely challenging for a lot of teen readers. Some will power through (as I did), despite the difficulty, but many will become discouraged and miss out on a powerful story.

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