Watch Us Rise
Jasmine and Chelsea are sick of the way women are treated even at their progressive NYC high school, so they decide to start a Women's Rights Club. They post everything online—poems, essays, videos of Chelsea performing her poetry, and Jasmine's response to the racial macroaggressions she experiences—and soon they go viral. But with such positive support, the club is also targeted by online trolls. When things escalate, the principal shuts the club down. Jasmine and Chelsea will risk everything for their voices—and those of other young women—to be heard.

Watch Us Rise Details

TitleWatch Us Rise
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 12th, 2019
PublisherBloomsbury YA
ISBN-139781547600083
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Feminism, Fiction

Watch Us Rise Review

  • Dylan
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars.Absolutely amazing. One of the greatest takes on feminism - and more importantly, intersectional feminism that I've seen in a very long time. WATCH US RISE has amazing characters, writing, pacing, message, and so much power. I cannot wait for this to come out next February because I am sure that this will change the YA book community.
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  • Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
    January 1, 1970
    I'm going to talk a little about the book, but mostly share some quotes.  This book has a lot of blog posts, playlists, and poems.  Warning for death of a parent (cancer), racism, sexism, fat shaming, slut shaming, harassment.  There may be more, but each of these things are covered in the book.  Watch Us Rise has two narrators, Jasmine and Chelsea.  They are best friends along with Isaac and Nadine.  The four of them have been activists (artivists) since they were young.  Each of them love a di I'm going to talk a little about the book, but mostly share some quotes.  This book has a lot of blog posts, playlists, and poems.  Warning for death of a parent (cancer), racism, sexism, fat shaming, slut shaming, harassment.  There may be more, but each of these things are covered in the book.  Watch Us Rise has two narrators, Jasmine and Chelsea.  They are best friends along with Isaac and Nadine.  The four of them have been activists (artivists) since they were young.  Each of them love a different art form (acting, poetry, drawing, singing) and they use this to get their message out.The kids go to a school where they have to be in clubs.  Jasmine quit her club after the adviser was trying to put her in roles where she was just loud and hysterical.  Chelsea left her poetry club after feeling like her voice was being silenced.  She didn't want to just cover the classics (mostly white men).  The girls decide to start a new club for girls.  They call it "Write Like A Girl" and it really takes off.  However, their progressive school isn't thrilled with what they are doing and the principal shuts it down.This book really focuses on fighting back and making sure your voice is heard.  There is a lot about women who spoke out and made a difference.  I loved so much about it, but the writing was incredible.  Books like this make me want to do more."Uh no, it's real.  All the princesses I grew up with were thin and white and had long straight hair-all of them.  I didn't see myself in them.  that's the main problem-when you don't have any diversity.  You just have these generic models of women, marketed and manufactured to little girls all over the world, who are meant to value and want to look and act like those women.  And what if you don't look like them?  Then where can you even see yourself?""There is a definite divide, as if a shirt with a 3x tag will contaminate the other clothes.  I look through the clothes-there's not much to choose from.  Just two racks compared to a whole store of options for thinner girls.""It says:  Why Are There Period Ads Everywhere?  And below, it says, The better question is, why shouldn't there be?  There's a 1 in 12 chance that you're on your period now, yet we rarely discuss menstruation outside of whispers from woman to woman.  Today we can change this.""This is how I know these people are my people, though, the ones who you can dance around and act silly with-the ones who you can do shots of soda with and laugh until it comes out of your nose.  They're also the ones you can cry with.""I resolve to protest and rage like a girl.""You know, ladies is old-fashioned, Mr. Smith.  I like to use womyn, spelled W-O-M-Y-N, so I don't have to include the word 'man'."I can easily keep going.  There are so many parts that I could quote to show you how amazing this book is.  There is a lot of diversity.  It talks about loving yourself, no matter what.  And the friendship is so special.  I gave this book 5 stars and would rate it higher if I could.  Thank you so much to Bloomsbury for sending me a copy for review.  I will definitely be ordering this one soon.*quotes taken from arc and may change before final publication
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Jasmine is a fat black girl with a father who is dying of cancer. Chelsea is an average-sized white girl. They're best friends and both are ready to start a revolution in their social justice focused high school which, despite being conscious of many things, still falls into traps of sexism, racism, sizeism, ableism, and more. Forced to pick a club to be part of for the new year, they decide instead of taking part in an already-established group, they'll begin their own focused on feminism and e Jasmine is a fat black girl with a father who is dying of cancer. Chelsea is an average-sized white girl. They're best friends and both are ready to start a revolution in their social justice focused high school which, despite being conscious of many things, still falls into traps of sexism, racism, sizeism, ableism, and more. Forced to pick a club to be part of for the new year, they decide instead of taking part in an already-established group, they'll begin their own focused on feminism and empowering female-identifying students. But when their blog becomes a hit, the principal isn't happy about the attention and after fighting back and causing chaos for members of the school community who are already undervalued, the duo reconsider how they can be the best activists and change agents -- starting with the writing center where both of them find so much of their voice.This is a powerful, empowering, and smart intersectional feminist novel. While not all of the characters are as well-fleshed as they could be (Meg, for example, is really a stereotype), Jasmine and Chelsea are complex, fallible leads. Despite being close, they fail one another throughout and they fail to achieve the goals they believe they're representative of, too, making them real, relatable, and, of course, feminists. Jasmine is a fat black girl, and there is no shying away from sizeism in this book. There's a passage where Chelsea purchases t-shirts for a protest, and she never once considers purchasing sizes beyond the straight ones; Jasmine calls her out on it, and while Jasmine is able to solve the problem herself, it's one of those situations that hit far too close to home for me as someone who has been in that same situation. Throughout the book, there is incredible poetry written by the girls. These are protest poems, these are poems of resistance, and these are poems about being female in America. They are gut punches and wakeup calls for not just the characters in the book, but for the readers who pick up the book. If you liked MOXIE, this is a great next read. Though it doesn't take on every instance of social justice or feminism, as that would be downright impossible, what this book does is showcase the possibility and the breadth of why feminism matters and why it is something for which everyone should advocate. Watson and Hagan get bonus points for highlighting Native women and their erasure, too, as this might be the first time in a book by non-Native writers where I've seen such careful attention paid to that, without co-opting those challenges as their own. Smart, well-written, and will resonate hard, especially with young readers growing up in the Parkland generation. This book is a love song and boost of encouragement to get out there, make change, and embrace being the messy, imperfect humans that make up the movement.
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  • Pegi Ferrell
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. Powerful, thought-provoking. The themes and messages are timely and timeless. Great for book club. Perfect for parent-child book club! Amazing poetry. Can't wait to share!
  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    hot take: books like this make feminism look like a complete joke.
  • Shoshana
    January 1, 1970
    I don't yet have coherent words for the experience of reading this book. So powerful and wonderful.
  • Denise
    January 1, 1970
    I LOVED THIS BOOK!
  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from NetgalleyJasmine and Chelsea attend high school at Amsterdam Heights, a progressive school with an impressive social justice program. They are unhappy that their theater and poetry groups are still embracing the traditional, white ideas and want to make a change, so they start their own women's activist group, called Write Like a Girl. Each group in the school has a blog, so they start theirs, and their writing attracts lots of attention, both good and bad. The principal admonishes th E ARC from NetgalleyJasmine and Chelsea attend high school at Amsterdam Heights, a progressive school with an impressive social justice program. They are unhappy that their theater and poetry groups are still embracing the traditional, white ideas and want to make a change, so they start their own women's activist group, called Write Like a Girl. Each group in the school has a blog, so they start theirs, and their writing attracts lots of attention, both good and bad. The principal admonishes them that they need to watch themselves, which defeats the whole purpose of the group. The girls also have complicated lives. Jasmine's father is dying of cancer, and she has a long time friend in Isaac, but she's not sure where the two stand romantically. Chelsea has a younger sister who is also a feminist, but her parents are old school and religious. Chelsea is interested in a boy in her class, but he already has a girlfriend, although this doesn't stop him from putting the moves on Chelsea, which she doesn't appreciated. Still feeling that their voices aren't being heard, the girls print t shirts highlighting women's voices, and even stage a strike by the women in their school. While they are still not happy with the atmosphere, there are small steps being made, and the two are glad that they are socially conscious and willing to take risks in order to be heard. Strengths: This has lots of female empowerment as well as on trend depictions of many social issues like body positivity. Jasmine and Chelsea both take control of their own destinies and try to figure out a way to make their voices heard. They deal with a variety of reactions to their opinions from teachers who are supportive to classmates who mock them. The poetry will appeal to readers who like free verse.Weaknesses: I found it a little hard to believe that the principal of a school that wins awards for social justice would be so completely tone deaf to microaggressions and outright harassment. It's not unusual to portray principals as incompetent, but it would have made more sense if the principal had been more supportive.What I really think: This is very introspective and deals with many issues that middle school students are just discovering. It would be appropriate for middle school, but most likely of limited interest. An excellent purchase for a high school.
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  • Lucy
    January 1, 1970
    This book is said to be great for fans of The Hate U Give and Moxie and I honestly couldn’t describe it better. I feel like this book screams The Hate U Give and Moxie, it’s literally like the two books combined (well, with some differences of course). I enjoyed both of those books and now this one is also one I’ve enjoyed.Before I get started in this review, I’m not a huge feminist. It’s not that I don’t support feminism, but I’m just not as heavily into it as this book is yet I still thoroughl This book is said to be great for fans of The Hate U Give and Moxie and I honestly couldn’t describe it better. I feel like this book screams The Hate U Give and Moxie, it’s literally like the two books combined (well, with some differences of course). I enjoyed both of those books and now this one is also one I’ve enjoyed.Before I get started in this review, I’m not a huge feminist. It’s not that I don’t support feminism, but I’m just not as heavily into it as this book is yet I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It was quite a dense feminist read but I found myself agreeing to quite a bit of what was being said.I really enjoyed reading about these characters. It was so refreshing to have two strong and powerful girls right from the beginning of the book. It was clear with what they wanted and they fought so hard for it.I did find myself getting a little confused between Chelsea and Jasmine for the first couple of chapters but once I figured out who was who, I did find myself taking more to Jasmine than to Chelsea. Don’t get me wrong, there were certainly points where I loved Chelsea but there were also moments I wasn’t so keen on her. I think my main problems with her was sometimes she felt a little childish but hey, characters can’t all be perfect I suppose. And like I said, there were definitely moments where I did like her. I don’t usually take to female characters that well for some reason, but I really did love Jasmine and Nadine, and as I said above, even Chelsea in some places.Nadine and Isaac are Chelsea and Jasmine’s friends and I loved both of them too. From early on in the book, I found myself rooting for Jasmine and Isaac (and I think everyone else in the book was too).Both families were quite present in this book which is always a huge relief. The girls did question their actions, mainly their mothers’ actions, but you could just tell there was so much love within their families. I get that not all families are like that but there’s nothing more irritating in a YA book where the protagonists take their parents for granted.From page one we learn that Jasmine’s father is terminally ill and it was so heartbreaking to read since you could tell that everyone loved her dad. What was nice about this plotline was the story wasn’t focused around him and his illness. It was purely a subplot and I think that’s important because those with an ill/terminally ill parent still have life and school and whatever going on as well. As heartbreaking as it is, it can show their life doesn’t have to revolve around a ill parents, though there were of course points where things had to change because of her dad, but Jasmine did have a life outside of it all and so did her dad.One aspect I loved about these characters was they all had different artistic hobbies but at the same time, their hobbies weren’t their personalities. Their hobbies were something they enjoyed doing and were also featured, especially Jasmine’s and Chelsea’s, throughout the book. We also get snippets of playlists, poems and blog posts which I loved.As for the plot, I did really enjoy it. As I mentioned above, I’m not heavily into feminism, I just don’t know much about it. But I do know that feminism is all about equality to men and sometimes, I did feel it was either very close or just stepped over the borderline for overpowering men. Maybe they weren’t because like I literally just said, I’m not that heavily into feminism and don’t know much. However, there were also definitely points I thoroughly agree with and there were a lot of important discussion topics brought up surrounding all sorts. One of the things that stands out in my mind was actually earlier on in the book where I think it’s Chelsea is describing how magazines never say ‘how to have a healthy relationship with a cheeseburger’ rather it’s all dieting tips which I thought was something important. And there was also a interesting part analysing the princesses. Of Course, there are so many points I could bring up here and because there were so many, I didn’t write them all down, but if you read this book you’ll see just how much it covers. I’ve talked mainly about just feminism here but it also deals a lot with race and racism is something both Jasmine and Chelsea are also fighting against and they just seem to be fight for equality all around.I also loved how it showed possibilities for females. Chelsea was at one point discussing how science, maths and tech was not her sort of thing but that doesn’t mean a girl can’t be into that.The ending was rather similar to Moxie but with a slight different reason behind it. This book definitely had it similarities, a sort of club, similar ending, but there was also so much that was different to it too.So overall, I did thoroughly enjoy this book. I think the main thing with this book is there is so much that opens up for discussion and it would be the perfect book for a book club.Would I recommend?Yes! It’s a book with strong characters and things that make you angry and make you want a change and I think if I book is making you angry in this context, then it’s definitely worth taking a look at!.
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  • Mary Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    Ahhhh! I loved this book! Fingers crossed that it becomes a Project LIT book next year. Regardless, this is going to spur such great conversations with students. Wonderfully paced and plotted. Highly, HIGHLY recommend for libraries and classrooms. 7th grade & up.
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  • Jen McGraw
    January 1, 1970
    I got this book at NCTE while waiting in line to have Pieces of Me signed by Renee Watson. This is a great read with an amazing plot and enjoyable characters. Everything about this book made me smile and cry.
  • DaNae
    January 1, 1970
    Really struggling with this. I love the construct of kids finding their voices through art. However, the writing is so expository and without nuance, it may as well be an essay. Perhaps I will try again later.
  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    What Moxie did for feminism, Watch Us Rise does for intersectional feminism. What a powerful story. I loved that the girls’ essays and poems were part of the book as well. Such an important thing to show the rights and wrongs of how authority figures, especially schools, treat outspoken women and people of color.
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  • Michele Knott
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of those books you’re going to want to make sure all the female teens and preteens in your life get to read. You know what, never mind. Give it to ALL the teens and preteens.
  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    feminist blogger girls!!
  • Brittany
    January 1, 1970
    This was a dense, heavy look at feminism and racism and body shaming and grief. At times it felt a bit didactic and one or two of the characters definitely existed to be one-dimensional molds of the "racist person" and the reaction of the school to some of the questionable events that took place were unrealistic, but it's all forgivable. This book has so much to teach all of us. It begs to be read again and again.
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  • Djenne Grant
    January 1, 1970
    This is such an amazing feminist piece! It was absolutely amazing! I'm giving it five stars! This book has such amazing characters, pacing and writing. The message in the story really touched me. There is so much power in h=this work!
  • Taryn (Taryn and Her Books)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you SO much to the publisher for sending me an advance copy in exchange for an honest review!3.5/5I'm incredibly grateful that teens will have this book to read this year however I just wasn't the right target audience. A lot of the dialogue is a bit heavy-handed and at times it reads like the authors lifted sentences straight from a dictionary. There was a lot of feminism 101 education going on & sometimes felt like the authors were trying too hard to educate the reader. Nonetheless, Thank you SO much to the publisher for sending me an advance copy in exchange for an honest review!3.5/5I'm incredibly grateful that teens will have this book to read this year however I just wasn't the right target audience. A lot of the dialogue is a bit heavy-handed and at times it reads like the authors lifted sentences straight from a dictionary. There was a lot of feminism 101 education going on & sometimes felt like the authors were trying too hard to educate the reader. Nonetheless, I appreciate the focus on intersectionality and I also thoroughly enjoyed reading some of the blog posts and poems the characters posted on Write Like A Girl. This book will be great to show teens that it's okay and encouraged to call your friends and family out on injustices.
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  • Alice Byrnes
    January 1, 1970
    Shout-out to my awesome librarians who let me read the ARCs they get! Also, disclaimer: quotes are taken from the ARC and may change in the final publication.4/5 starsI make my way to the seat, wondering the whole time why this woman told me to move instead of telling that man to shut up.Chelsea says, "Leidy, chocolate is never, ever cliché."Jasmine and Chelsea are best friends and high school juniors living in New York. Jasmine's dad has just been told he has four months to live. Chelsea strugg Shout-out to my awesome librarians who let me read the ARCs they get! Also, disclaimer: quotes are taken from the ARC and may change in the final publication.4/5 starsI make my way to the seat, wondering the whole time why this woman told me to move instead of telling that man to shut up.Chelsea says, "Leidy, chocolate is never, ever cliché."Jasmine and Chelsea are best friends and high school juniors living in New York. Jasmine's dad has just been told he has four months to live. Chelsea struggles with insecurity and wonders if, as much as she wants to, she can really consider herself a feminist when she is so worried about her appearance. Jasmine deals with racism, and both deal with casual sexism on a daily basis in a school that supposedly values social justice. They want to change that.The Message:I feel like I have to start here because this was by far the strongest aspect of this book. It is full of beautiful feminism that's for everyone: men and women, people of all races, people of all sexualities and gender identities. I loved reading the articles, poems, declarations that comprised Jasmine and Chelsea's Write Like a Girl blog, and the ideas they and their friends Nadine and Isaac come up with to resist are amazing.I also appreciate that Jasmine and Chelsea aren't treated as complete harbingers of truth. Like all teens, they are flawed, and they get called out on it:"Chelsea, I love to cook, so that's why I make dinner. And as for a husband, I'm married to a woman, so that's not an issue for me." She smiles at both of us. "I think you still have some things to learn about women's rights, huh?"Characters:The story is told from the POVs of Jasmine and Chelsea, two very different people who see the world in very different ways, but are friends in spite of an because of it. I also like the characters of Nadine and Isaac, although I feel like Nadine could have been developed more. I don't think the romance(s) were entirely necessary, but they didn't take over the entire plot, so ultimately I think it worked. James really got on my nerves, but I loved the way his situation was handled in the end.Principal Hayes and Meg both irritated me, as they were intended to, but nobody was portrayed as completely irredeemable, especially Meg. (Expect for Jacob, which I am completely fine with. Jacob is a jerk.)Setting:Do high schools that require participation in social justice clubs actually exist (even if they are hypocritical about it)? This is one of the reasons I love reading so much: because I learn so much about the world by coming across regional or urban/rural differences like this. I've attended schools in the Midwest and the South, and it's hard to imagine that ever happening there. It gives me hope that it's happening somewhere. So anyway, despite this being one of the MANY contemporaries taking place in NYC, I still found the setting interesting because the high school was so different than what I'm used to. Although I did groan when it turned out they had a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) lab class. From the engineering perspective, we nearly unanimously agree that art has nothing to do with STEM and shouldn't be in the middle of the word (someone please explain this to me if I'm missing something). It's nice to know that from the art perspective, Chelsea completed agreed.Plot:A defined plot really wasn't a major part of this book, which I was okay with. There was enough (external and internal) conflict and events to make the story interesting, but the time frame of the story wasn't really defined by it. The powerful feminism is really what made this book, to a point that an action-packed plot wasn't necessary. Recommendations:A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi: If you loved the feminism and social justice and are okay with more romance, give this one a try. The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney: It's been awhile since I read this one, but if you loved Watch Us Rise's student-led social justice, you may enjoy reading about Themis Academy's secret vigilante society that deals justice when the admin don't.We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia: This is a beautiful feminist fantasy (review coming soon) that applied many of the messages portrayed by Watch Us Rise in a very different setting.
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  • Aoife
    January 1, 1970
    A fantastic addition to this growing genre. It took me several chapters to remember which of our POV characters was which, but that's a common problem for me. I really enjoyed the story and it kept me thinking after I'd read it, which is always a good sign! I also liked that the authors didn't demonise anyone; the principal should have listened to the girls, but he was doing his job otherwise, the teachers were mostly nice, and even (view spoiler)[the mean girl came around when they talked thing A fantastic addition to this growing genre. It took me several chapters to remember which of our POV characters was which, but that's a common problem for me. I really enjoyed the story and it kept me thinking after I'd read it, which is always a good sign! I also liked that the authors didn't demonise anyone; the principal should have listened to the girls, but he was doing his job otherwise, the teachers were mostly nice, and even (view spoiler)[the mean girl came around when they talked things out properly. (hide spoiler)] This is going to go well, I think.Receiving an ARC did not affect my review in any way."What happened?" I asked."Oh, nothing, we just pretty much got James and a few of the basketballs players to run up and down the bleachers while doing their sprints and drop statements in all the seats. It looks like it's been raining women's rights in the gym," Nadine says, clearly proud of herself."At one point, Namel was throwing up statements like it was cash money," Isaac says, smiling at us."And he also might have been singing some of the statements," Nadine finishes, and as if on cue, Namel and James walk down the hallway, Namel singing, "I resolve to raise my hand more. I resolve to answer questions more in algebra. I resolve to use my voice." He enters a falsetto on the last note, and we all start laughing. I see him tucking one of the statements into his pocket."What's that one say?" I ask, hanging back as they all continue down the hall practising their new songs."Ah, nothing. I just liked it." He hands it to me. It says: I resolve to ask for what I want. My voice should be valued and heard."Why do you like it?" I ask."I guess I'm just curious. What do you want?"
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  • Terynce
    January 1, 1970
    Outstanding! By the end I had chills running down my back. It has the pacing of an action movie, with none of the unnecessary drama. I couldn't want to see what happened next while at the same time afraid of what would happen next. Two high school friends are fed up with how things are going in their clubs. Jasmine is frustrated with limitations put on her as an actor, with the teacher being really impressed when she portrays a sassy and strong role as a black woman and disinterested in anything Outstanding! By the end I had chills running down my back. It has the pacing of an action movie, with none of the unnecessary drama. I couldn't want to see what happened next while at the same time afraid of what would happen next. Two high school friends are fed up with how things are going in their clubs. Jasmine is frustrated with limitations put on her as an actor, with the teacher being really impressed when she portrays a sassy and strong role as a black woman and disinterested in anything else. Chelsea is annoyed at only reading white, male poets, termed the "classics," in lieu of anything from people of color or women. The two start their own club with a focus on raising the voices of women. They create a blog where they post writing and the comment section, as is often seen online, turns toxic. Not everyone is comfortable having these conversations, students and principal included. The narrative is interspersed with poetry that fits the narrative, both in story and out. I hope this is read far and wide and discussed even more. Shortcomings - I'm not sure the character of Nadine served any purpose. When discussing the book with my class, I said the story focused on four friends, but that's not really the case. Unless the authors are planning a second book with Nadine in a more central role, I'm not sure why she was introduced at all. I don't recall her pushing the narrative forward. Isaac had his role. Quality read that's highly recommended.
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  • Jaclyn
    January 1, 1970
    Will resonate with teenage girls who are passionate about social justice and fighting for issues that affect women. I personally tend to agree with Jasmine and Chelsea's family members who feel that the girls sometimes need to relax ("Not everyone is out to get you," Chelsea's mom says), which is probably why I found the quieter moments more impactful. Like when Jasmine realizes her best friends don't know she doesn't fit into any of the clothes in their favourite store. Or when Chelsea asks if Will resonate with teenage girls who are passionate about social justice and fighting for issues that affect women. I personally tend to agree with Jasmine and Chelsea's family members who feel that the girls sometimes need to relax ("Not everyone is out to get you," Chelsea's mom says), which is probably why I found the quieter moments more impactful. Like when Jasmine realizes her best friends don't know she doesn't fit into any of the clothes in their favourite store. Or when Chelsea asks if she can be a feminist and still want to look pretty, or if she can let her activist side relax at times and simply be herself.That being said, I also very much remember the passion and energy of being a teen girl, and this book will definitely strike a chord in younger readers.I can imagine a lot of teen readers responding to Jasmine and Chelsea's call to action like their classmates in the novel do: by rising up, speaking their truth, and demanding that adults listen. And I'm glad such readers will have this book to inspire them to take action in their own schools and communities.
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  • Mrs. Krajewski
    January 1, 1970
    Jasmine and Chelsea are best friends who go to Amsterdam Heights, a NYC high school that requires all students to be a part of a club. When they realize there’s no club they want to join, they decide to create a Women’s Rights Club. They start with just the blog, and post their beautiful, inspirational poems and essays there. The blog takes off, and soon the principal wants to get rid of it. He’s concerned that the girls want to start a revolution, but so what if they do? What follows is exactly Jasmine and Chelsea are best friends who go to Amsterdam Heights, a NYC high school that requires all students to be a part of a club. When they realize there’s no club they want to join, they decide to create a Women’s Rights Club. They start with just the blog, and post their beautiful, inspirational poems and essays there. The blog takes off, and soon the principal wants to get rid of it. He’s concerned that the girls want to start a revolution, but so what if they do? What follows is exactly what I hoped would follow. Jasmine and Chelsea were not willing to let their principal, or anyone, silence them, so they gathered, planned, and did what they needed to do to make sure their voices were heard.Jasmine’s and Chelsea’s voices are strong in this book. We need more books like this. Girls need to be empowered. Girls need to speak up, with both their voices and their words. Time for more girls to rise.
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    I got this book for free from my local independent bookshop to provide a review for it. As a 28 year old woman, I am definitely not the target demographic for this book. I imagine I would have liked it a lot more back when I wasn’t sure about who I was and hasn’t yet been able to find my own voice. I could appreciate how this book would be motivational as a teen or even a middle schooler, which is why I am giving it four stars. As an adult woman, I think it tried a little bit too hard to be soci I got this book for free from my local independent bookshop to provide a review for it. As a 28 year old woman, I am definitely not the target demographic for this book. I imagine I would have liked it a lot more back when I wasn’t sure about who I was and hasn’t yet been able to find my own voice. I could appreciate how this book would be motivational as a teen or even a middle schooler, which is why I am giving it four stars. As an adult woman, I think it tried a little bit too hard to be socially conscious. I’m super liberal and a total SJW but it was like everything was a crusade in this book, and people didn’t feel real because I can’t see a school in that location in which social awareness is so lacking. I can see how it might be exhausting for some people, but really helpful for gen Zers that are trying to find themselves.
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  • Alicia
    January 1, 1970
    While I think there could have been a bit of editing down, the overall message was spot-on and absolutely necessary and invigorating. I've already got several books on order for our school that align with students' wishes to see their voices recognized and heard. The womyn in the story are inspiring others to talk about themselves and others and lift everyone up, not tear anyone down.It's a timely story that almost didn't need the additional family storylines as much as continuing to dive deeply While I think there could have been a bit of editing down, the overall message was spot-on and absolutely necessary and invigorating. I've already got several books on order for our school that align with students' wishes to see their voices recognized and heard. The womyn in the story are inspiring others to talk about themselves and others and lift everyone up, not tear anyone down.It's a timely story that almost didn't need the additional family storylines as much as continuing to dive deeply into the womyn's stories, plus I enjoyed that school was large part because we know that's where it starts with recognizing and advocating for unheard and unrecognized voices- in a place where many spend more time than at home.
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  • Marcia
    January 1, 1970
    I love love love the poetry in this book and the feminist story. I know many teens who will love this book and it will open their eyes to issues in new ways. The reason it's not 5 stars is that I found it to be a bit too didactic by the end. The authors may have sacrificed some story to make their points. In spite of that, it's well-written and will be a great addition to YA literature. I will be giving this to my students, both boys and girls, and asking them to talk about it. And I must say ag I love love love the poetry in this book and the feminist story. I know many teens who will love this book and it will open their eyes to issues in new ways. The reason it's not 5 stars is that I found it to be a bit too didactic by the end. The authors may have sacrificed some story to make their points. In spite of that, it's well-written and will be a great addition to YA literature. I will be giving this to my students, both boys and girls, and asking them to talk about it. And I must say again, there are some incredible poems within the story--they deserve to be read aloud at poetry slams everywhere.
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  • Casey Jo
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this story. Raises some real topics, and hurray for teen activism in books!4 stars instead of 5 mostly because I'm not sold on the two points of view. It's happening a lot, and I need to know there's a reason for it at this point. I would have been fine reading it all from Jasmine. I was reading an ARC without a cover, so bear that in mind when I say this, but I had a hard time figuring out that both voices weren't Black, fat girls until the scene went down where Chelsea bought I really enjoyed this story. Raises some real topics, and hurray for teen activism in books!4 stars instead of 5 mostly because I'm not sold on the two points of view. It's happening a lot, and I need to know there's a reason for it at this point. I would have been fine reading it all from Jasmine. I was reading an ARC without a cover, so bear that in mind when I say this, but I had a hard time figuring out that both voices weren't Black, fat girls until the scene went down where Chelsea bought the t-shirts only up to a size L. (view spoiler)[I *do* love that it's the fat girl who ends up in a relationship (hide spoiler)]
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  • Sierra
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, what a treat! I wish every single man in the world could read and ingest this story. I worried early on with some of the clichéd cat fighting between the girls that this book would ultimately go against its own message, but I was thankfully proven wrong. This book doesn’t have the time to fully delve into every single facet of feminism - if it did, it would probably never end. But it made heroic, encouraging efforts to touch every perspective possible while choosing specific aspects to real Wow, what a treat! I wish every single man in the world could read and ingest this story. I worried early on with some of the clichéd cat fighting between the girls that this book would ultimately go against its own message, but I was thankfully proven wrong. This book doesn’t have the time to fully delve into every single facet of feminism - if it did, it would probably never end. But it made heroic, encouraging efforts to touch every perspective possible while choosing specific aspects to really dive into and explore in depth. This is what intersectional feminism looks like. And it’s amazing.
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  • Ocean
    January 1, 1970
    I love reading about activism and feminism. Jasmine is a fantastic character, it takes a lot to call out your friends when they don't acknowledge parts of you and the intersections of your life. I cried when Jasmine's dad died because my dad also died of cancer when I was a teenager. It hit me hard. Chelsea was an annoying character at times but I liked her in the end. I'm glad she stood up for herself and wouldn't let anyone treat her like who she is isn't good enough. Overall I liked this book I love reading about activism and feminism. Jasmine is a fantastic character, it takes a lot to call out your friends when they don't acknowledge parts of you and the intersections of your life. I cried when Jasmine's dad died because my dad also died of cancer when I was a teenager. It hit me hard. Chelsea was an annoying character at times but I liked her in the end. I'm glad she stood up for herself and wouldn't let anyone treat her like who she is isn't good enough. Overall I liked this book and would recommend it to teenagers who want to stand up and fight for something.
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  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    (Disclaimer: I received this free book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)Watch Us Rise is a book that speaks inspiration. Whether it be the poems about microaggressions, or the ways their voices are suppressed, Watch Us Rise is a book to give to all the young teens in your life. It is a book about friendship, keeping each other accountable, and checking our privilege. At the same time it's a story about loss, online trolls, and activism.
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