Hello everyone! You may or may not have noticed that I took a bit of a hiatus for the last few weeks to focus on the end of the semester and just to focus my time elsewhere.
But I’m back today to share such an exciting book review for Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield, who you may know from the show Riverdale!
I just want to jump right in because I adored this story and want to talk about it.
Sexual assault, rape, death, grief, loss of a parent, domestic abuse, and possibly more.
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.
Before I begin this review, I want to start by saying that this book is incredibly heartbreaking. It covers some very deep and difficult topics, and there were times where I was having trouble reading the descriptions. Please be cautious going in!
That being said, I really loved this book. It is such a wonderful story of a family that is broken and trying to heal. This was a book that really talked about humanity and showed that everyone makes mistakes. That does not excuse their actions in any way, but it shows you that life is not so black and white. It’s messy sometimes.
The cast of characters was great. They were all so unique and interesting to learn about. The dynamics between them were also done really well—from the dialogue to their actions.
It was also so rich in culture. Not only do you get really beautiful descriptions of Jamaica, but the author uses Patois throughout the story, so you really feel like you’re in the country with Tilla!
The ending especially broke my heart, but I appreciated the character development that Tilla experiences. She really grows into herself as a person and becomes comfortable with her life.
In the beginning, she did some frustrating things, but I don’t fault her for it. I’ve definitely behaved the way she did when I was younger, so even though I was reading it from a “wiser” perspective, I could still see her justifications for her actions.
Side note: Mia, Tilla’s sister is so precious and must be protected at all costs. I want a whole book just about her. Reminded me a little of Kitty from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before!
I spent a couple of hours flying through the 2nd half of the book because I really needed to know what was going to happen.
There were a couple of flaws that knocked it down a star for me, but not enough to hinder my enjoyment. First, there was just a bit too much miscommunication for me, which is one of my pet-peeves in books. However, I was thinking about it from a YA POV and it’s definitely something I could see happening to me at that age.
Also, I wish that some of the side plots were taken out. They didn’t fully feel fleshed out to me, and I think they could have just been taken out.
Overall, this was a phenomenal read. I will definitely be picking up a finished copy for myself! And good news—The book is officially out today, so you can go get your own copy!
Let me know if you’ve read this or plan to! I’d love to hear your thoughts!