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, Realistic Fiction

Watch Us Rise Review

  • Lala BooksandLala
    January 1, 1970
    THIS WAS SO GOOD I WANT TO SCREAM
  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
    January 1, 1970
    Y'all, this book was SO FUCKING GOOD. Going into it I was worried it was going to take me a long time to read because it's def not a short book, but I absolutely FLEW through it and fell head over heels for Jasmine & Chelsea's friendship. This is the perfect book for someone who is somewhat new to feminism and wants to read something that will gradually ease them into it. This was so compelling and well written and I JUST LOVED IT A LOT OKAY YOU NEED TO READ IT(ALSO- the reason I'm rating th Y'all, this book was SO FUCKING GOOD. Going into it I was worried it was going to take me a long time to read because it's def not a short book, but I absolutely FLEW through it and fell head over heels for Jasmine & Chelsea's friendship. This is the perfect book for someone who is somewhat new to feminism and wants to read something that will gradually ease them into it. This was so compelling and well written and I JUST LOVED IT A LOT OKAY YOU NEED TO READ IT(ALSO- the reason I'm rating this 4 and not 5 stars is because I'm not really a fan of poetry and this has A LOT of that in it. I enjoyed the themes of the poems, but I'd be lying if I said that I didn't struggle connecting to them. So, 4 stars!)TW: death of a parent, fatphobia, blatant racism
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  • Rebecca McNutt
    January 1, 1970
    Oh good lord... good lord.Having just wrapped up my third final exam at my super-liberal liberal arts university (the university which has a student union wanting to ban meat from the school so as not to offend vegans, and which wants to fund more mental health support for "climate change anxiety", don't even get me started on that garbage), heading closer to my brief April break before summer courses start up, the last thing I wanted was to be shoved back into social justice warrior culture in Oh good lord... good lord.Having just wrapped up my third final exam at my super-liberal liberal arts university (the university which has a student union wanting to ban meat from the school so as not to offend vegans, and which wants to fund more mental health support for "climate change anxiety", don't even get me started on that garbage), heading closer to my brief April break before summer courses start up, the last thing I wanted was to be shoved back into social justice warrior culture in fiction, a realm I like to escape to between studies. Watch Us Rise has got it bad. REALLY bad. Mind you, I actually liked Jasmine as a character; she's much more level-headed and likeable than her whiny new wave feminist, lame poetry-spouting pal Chelsea, who seems to just be a dumb kid in that awkward teenage phase of finding themselves. I found that Jasmine's frustration and problems were much more valid, and had the book toned down the heavy-handed liberalism and focused more on Jasmine as a protagonist, I would have liked the book a lot better. Her annoyance with the attitude she gets towards her weight and her race, as well as her own personal family struggle with a horrible illness affecting a loved one, feel genuine and real, and are problems many young readers today face. Chelsea... uh, where do I begin with her? She was overdramatic, shallow, judgmental and so into her cause that she came across as some kind of dictator. Jasmine can at times appear this way too, but not in quite the same preachy, annoying way. Having a parent with cancer on top of feeling angry and sick of cruel prejudice at her expense, her attempt to raise awareness and make a difference is actually somewhat admirable... but all too often overshadowed.The author's heavy-handed political agenda just didn't do anything for me, nor did the dry prose and unoriginal plot. While not the worst book I've ever read, it reads like a satire on millennial feminism and I don't think Watson really understands what feminism or women's empowerment is truly all about. I did love the New York setting, but Watch Us Rise just wasn't for me at all.
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  • kory.
    January 1, 1970
    I have liked books where a group of girls form a feminist group that aren't the most intersectional or nuanced (Moxie and the Nowhere Girls), but this one isn't one of them.Queerness and disability are never acknowledged, there are so many ignorant and decidedly unfeminist narratives, and the overall feminism portrayed is shallow as fuck and comes off as whiny teen girls always looking for a fight (*cough* Chelsea *cough*). Despite the girls being told that they need to stop thinking only of the I have liked books where a group of girls form a feminist group that aren't the most intersectional or nuanced (Moxie and the Nowhere Girls), but this one isn't one of them.Queerness and disability are never acknowledged, there are so many ignorant and decidedly unfeminist narratives, and the overall feminism portrayed is shallow as fuck and comes off as whiny teen girls always looking for a fight (*cough* Chelsea *cough*). Despite the girls being told that they need to stop thinking only of themselves and start being intersectional, they end the book still not having learned a single thing or including narratives in their feminism that are inclusive of ALL womEn.Content/trigger warnings for sexism, racism, anti-Blackness, cultural appropriation, death of parent to cancer, aromisic rhetoric, fat-antagonism, ableist language/slurs, anti-native rhetoric, sexual harassment/assault, TERF rhetoric, queer erasure,Rep: Jasmine is fat and black. Nadine is Japanese and Lebanese. Isaac is Puerto Rican. Chelsea is white and annoying.This book maybe would have benefited from not having Chelsea's POV. Or her character at all. She's the worst. And kind of the main focus of this review lmao.She judges women who cook, because "gender stereotypes", never mind the fact that women are fully capable of choosing to cook because they genuinely want to. She accuses her teacher of "falling into gender stereotypes" by cooking for her husband and her teacher is like, "uh Chelsea, I like cooking and I have a wife. You have some things to learn, huh?". She preaches about how girls should focus on their brains and education and go into fields that they're kept from, while not doing so herself with the reason of "it's not because I'm a girl, I'm just not interested", but she can't seem to wrap her mind around girls liking makeup and clothes and cooking and cleaning because they genuinely like those things, not because they've been forced or manipulated into liking them, and that they should be able to like those things without some child giving them a "feminist" lecture to enlighten them.She goes on a rant about how she never saw herself (an abled, average-sized, non-queer, white girl) in Disney princesses, because none of them had her frizzy hair, and that's why diversity is needed. I mean.....the sheer caucasity of that. She laughs off the idea of guys needing feminist narratives, too, because "they already get all the positivity" completely ignorant to the harmful rhetoric that gets spewed at guys, too. She tells a guy to not call her crazy because it's "a way men silence women", with zero mention of it being ableist, as if ableism isn't intrinsically tied into men being able to use that word to silence women. She makes a comment about wanting a burger and fries, not girly food, which coming from Miss Feminism seems like a fucked up thing to say, assigning gender to food? She claims she's "doing everything possible in the name of women's right" and like...........girl you haven't even scratched the surface. The world does not begin and end with your two person club at your school.She says that stereotypes are "all fake, aren't real". And while I agree with her about them being "a way to lump people together and create bias about a whole group", I also believe that stereotypes often come from people who aren't in a group taking a trait or behavior they see in someone of that group and blowing it up into a caricature to twist it into something false or bad that is supposed to represent that entire group in a negative light. There are people who do "fit" stereotypes to an extent, because stereotypes come from somewhere. That doesn't make them any less bad or harmful or offensive.She has a ridiculous "can I be feminist and xyz" passage titled "top 10 feminism questions", and like...........I get that first timers might question if they can be feminist while wearing makeup or liking clothes or wanting to look nice or liking a boy or being shy or not always being on or being friends with people who aren't as passionate as you or whatever else, but we start the book with Chelsea being (or rather, acting like) Miss Super Feminism, so why near the end of the book is she pondering such basic questions about if she be feminist and do things that have nothing to do with being a feminist?She is the only one in the book to use the word "womanist", and claims her womanist blog is one of the few things she's good at and it just...........womanism is about Black women, so why is the white girl the only character in the book using it? The fuck does she know about womanism? (More on this in a bit.) She and her sister mock to use of "woke" which is AAVE, so white people being contemptuous about it, saying that they hate the term and think people only use it to look like they're progressive when they aren't, is anti-Black as fuck. SHE ALSO IS SUDDENLY ADAMANT AT THE END OF THE BOOK THAT "WOMYN" IS THE PREFERRED TERM, WHEN THAT IS LITERALLY A TERF TERM, Y'ALL. FUCKING TERFS.She very much feels like she prefers bragging about how much she knows about feminism and fighting with people about it. When her mother doesn't argue with her, she keeps going to get a reaction. When she brags about celebrating not only Christmas, but also Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, she recite basic Wikipedia level information about them and says "boom! In your face" to her sister who asked what she knew about those holidays. She clearly cares more about appearing knowledgeable and enlightened, than the actual holidays and cultures.Other Notes:There's a moment where Jasmine is being sexually harassed by a creep on the bus and a woman tells her to come sit by her, and instead of being grateful for the escape from the creepy man, she gets mad about how the woman told her to move instead of telling the guy to shut up. How can she expect a woman she doesn't know to confront a strange, creepy man who potentially could've become violent? Not everything is about a fight or confrontation or call out, especially when your safety isn't guaranteed. I mean, the woman helped her in a way that was safe for both of them, and Jasmine had the nerve to be mad about it. Ridiculous.It's all so "women shouldn't be doing this thing, they should be doing that thing and it's okay for me to say so because I'm a woman telling other women to do things men have told us we shouldn't", but it should be "women should do whatever the fuck they want" point blank, period.Womanism, #SayHerName, and #ImWithHer are used in this book for no reason, because the meaning of those things are not represented or addressed. Womanism is about Black women, but the term is only claimed by the white girl who seems to think it's just an alternative term for feminism. #SayHerName is about Black women who are victims of police brutality/anti-Black violence, and #ImWithHer is about supporting Hillary Clinton, both of which are never talked about in the book, yet it's specifically mentioned that people have signs with those hashtags at the walk out at the end of the book. It feels very much like random terms and hashtags were just thrown in either because people know them or to coopt them to mean something that is actually relevant to the book. I'm surprised #MeToo didn't make it in there.The feminist club is honestly a joke. It's literally two girls posting poetry on a blog, selling shirts, and throwing scraps of paper around the school. Two girls. They don't branch out to invite more people until the end when their club is shut down. And even then, the narrative does not change to become more inclusive. I find it hard to believe that their club was so influential when not a single person moved to join the club, or asked to be included, or anything. I just don't buy that a white teen girl and a fat Black teen girl with basic, barely there knowledge of feminism could offer such life changing takes on feminism. Jasmine's POV is without a doubt the best, because she touches on racism and fat-antagonism and offers a perspective that little miss privilege can't, but it doesn't amount to much in the overall feminism presented in the book.While reading I was thinking I'd maybe give this three or two stars, but now, I believe I have my second 1 star/nope nope nope book of the year.
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  • 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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  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    hot take: books like this make feminism look like a complete joke.I talked about his book during my worst books of the year video starting at 17:30 - while I wish I could have liked this book, I completely stand by the fact that while this book had good intentions, its portrayal of social justice issues is so tone deaf that the events of the story are more hilarious than empowering.video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZraAA...
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  • L A
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy.I'm going against the tide of other reviews here but this book was just too much. It almost reads as a parody of social justice discourse. The novel follows the stories of Chelsea and Jasmine, two intersectional teenage feminists living in New York City. These two young women must exist in a state of constant mental exhaustion as they find issue with almost every single thing in the world around them. At their school every student ha Thanks to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy.I'm going against the tide of other reviews here but this book was just too much. It almost reads as a parody of social justice discourse. The novel follows the stories of Chelsea and Jasmine, two intersectional teenage feminists living in New York City. These two young women must exist in a state of constant mental exhaustion as they find issue with almost every single thing in the world around them. At their school every student has to join a social justice club and even the Science class is officially the 'Science of Social Justice'. I'm no expert on the American education system but I'm guessing that public schools are bound to some kind of local or State standards? Not this school. Forget Covalent Bonds or the Theory of Relativity, they are going to study the Use of Human Subjects in Medical Research and Climate Change and Racism instead. Good luck on the SATs I guess.The villain is a pretty white girl. The issues are shoehorned in with all the subtlety of a 6ft tall Peacock playing the Tuba. It's simply too much for one book to try and cover this many issues without it coming across as unrealistic and frankly absurd. I actually felt drained reading this book. As a proud intersectional feminist who cares passionately about equity and social justice I didn't feel inspired, I felt like these important issues ended up as a bit of a joke. The poetry was quite good though. Really sorry, just not for me.
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  • Kate (GirlReading)
    January 1, 1970
    This is exactly the kind of empowering, inspiring, powerful and moving book I wish I’d had in high school. I adored each and every moment.I loved the characters so much and hugely appreciated each facet of their individual narratives and personalities. I especially loved Jasmine and Chelsea’s characters and how they lifted each other up, called each other out and gave each other a chance to grow and learn from their mistakes. It was also so refreshing to read a book about a positive female frien This is exactly the kind of empowering, inspiring, powerful and moving book I wish I’d had in high school. I adored each and every moment.I loved the characters so much and hugely appreciated each facet of their individual narratives and personalities. I especially loved Jasmine and Chelsea’s characters and how they lifted each other up, called each other out and gave each other a chance to grow and learn from their mistakes. It was also so refreshing to read a book about a positive female friendship, that actually stayed positive. Each individual relationship in this book, whether it be familial, romantic or platonic, was brilliantly developed and held its own in a way that really stood out to me. Even the minor relationships had an impact! With gorgeous characters, an empowering story and a writing style that flowed flawlessly, Watch Us Rise is a book that will stick with me for a while to come and one I’d recommend whole heartedly. (Because, let’s be honest, a book with a diverse cast, about a badass feminist blog, written by badass girls calling out fatphobia, racism and sexism is always going to be a winner.)
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  • destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
    January 1, 1970
    You know how, sometimes, you can tell almost immediately that a writing style isn't going to work for you? Yeah... sigh. That was me with this book. I disliked the narrative voice from literally the first page, and a few chapters in, it hadn't gotten any less frustrating. It's not bad, it's just extremely heavy-handed, if that makes sense. It feels like the authors tried to hold the readers' hands through every step of the messages about intersectionality, diversity, and feminism, which is great You know how, sometimes, you can tell almost immediately that a writing style isn't going to work for you? Yeah... sigh. That was me with this book. I disliked the narrative voice from literally the first page, and a few chapters in, it hadn't gotten any less frustrating. It's not bad, it's just extremely heavy-handed, if that makes sense. It feels like the authors tried to hold the readers' hands through every step of the messages about intersectionality, diversity, and feminism, which is great for a young reader or someone who's new to intersectional feminism and to equitable treatment! There is absolutely nothing wrong with this book or how it's written, it just didn't work at all for me, an adult who is already familiar with the topics being covered within this story.Will I recommend this book to younger readers? Absolutely! Do I have any desire to finish reading it myself? ... sadly, no.Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Latanya (CraftyScribbles)
    January 1, 1970
    What a good starting point for young girls and women to decide what part they wish to play in our world. Jasmine and Chelsea, two New York City teens, living their truth by fighting sexism, racism, and other harmful aspects make the story, Watch Us Rise, written by Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan.Despite attending a progressive high school, they feel muted voices around them, especially those possessed by girls and women. To change the muting of said voices, they create an after-school club based o What a good starting point for young girls and women to decide what part they wish to play in our world. Jasmine and Chelsea, two New York City teens, living their truth by fighting sexism, racism, and other harmful aspects make the story, Watch Us Rise, written by Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan.Despite attending a progressive high school, they feel muted voices around them, especially those possessed by girls and women. To change the muting of said voices, they create an after-school club based on women’s rights. In this club, they discuss women’s history, platform their poetry and writings, and open discussions on what they, and fellow supporters, see around them.However, not everyone’s on board and the girls must decide how strong their fight prevails and how they will exist in this world.I love this story. Well-written. Great pacing. Characterization that feels real and true. The girls come from strong and involved families. Conflict arising as the story progresses reflect instances that many young girls and women handle on a daily basis.While the messaging can get a bit heavy-handed, topics included in this story, such as misogynoir, misogyny, racism, and classism, present themselves for spring-boarding conversations high schools deserve. Libraries ought to invest in books, such as these, to allow students to cope with issues that, honestly, in my day, was washed over as a means to continue the status quo.Bottom line: Watson and Hagan presents a book which libraries require. Books that make us think. Books that makes us talk. Books that make us listen.More importantly, books that make us grow.★★★★/★★★★★
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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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  • Cerys Weston (BrowsingForBooks)
    January 1, 1970
    Watch Us Rise is an insightful and empowering feminist novel about two friends, Jasmine and Chelsea, who set out to change the world with their art-activism.Watch Us Rise confronts many conversations that too many forms of media are afraid to talk about; feminism, racism, sizeism/fatphobia, ableism and more. After Chelsea and Jasmine discover that their supposedly liberal High School falls into the trap of many of these prejudices, and fails to support those victimised on the school grounds, the Watch Us Rise is an insightful and empowering feminist novel about two friends, Jasmine and Chelsea, who set out to change the world with their art-activism.Watch Us Rise confronts many conversations that too many forms of media are afraid to talk about; feminism, racism, sizeism/fatphobia, ableism and more. After Chelsea and Jasmine discover that their supposedly liberal High School falls into the trap of many of these prejudices, and fails to support those victimised on the school grounds, they decide to rise up against it and create a womanist group where they share their activist art on their blog, Write Like A Girl. I don't think I have highlighted so many passages in a novel before and it was clear that both Watson and Hagan knew what they were talking about in a lot of depth. It makes me sad to think about why these passages might be so insightful and the answer can only be that they must have faced adversities such as this themselves.I would have liked some of the characters to be a little bit more fleshed out and I often forgot that Nadine existed. However, Chelsea and Jasmine are incredible protagonists. Chelsea, a white girl who is incredibly feminist, constantly questioning and calling people out on their sexist and problematic remarks. Jasmine is a plus sized black girl who's father is dying from cancer. The novel follows them throughout this difficult time in Jasmine's life as she tries to navigate Junior year in High School while being constantly distracted by her father's illness. Chelsea, her best friend, tries to be there for her, but sometimes doesn't know the best way to support her friend. There's a fantastic passage where Chelsea buys T-Shirts for a protest and unknowingly disregards the idea that Jasmine won't fit into any of the T-Shirts she has bought. Being plus sized myself this is often an idea I have encountered and it has made me uncomfortable in the past when friends of mine have insisted that I would fit into x size T-Shirt. The emotion and frustration Jasmine feels in this moment is so real and raw, while highlighting the fact that even people like Chelsea, who everyone would see as the pinnacle of feminism, makes mistakes. This book is true, this book is real, this book is human.My only problem with this novel was that the only openly LGBT+ character was Ms Lucas and she barely shows up in the novel. In fact, for most of the story I forgot that she existed. Furthermore, the fact that she is LGBT feels like a throwaway comment and LGBT+ issues are not discussed for the rest of the novel. When we think about how detailed and powerful the messages and activism in this book are I think its significant that the conversation about LGBT+ issues in feminism were basically ignored. The LGBT+ representation in this book felt like an afterthought, and honestly that's just not good enough.I barely have a bad word to say about this novel and I urge every single one of you to preorder this novel. You won't regret picking up this wonderful story, an ode to feminism, sprinkled with a collection of powerful poems and articles.*REVIEW ON MY BLOG TO COME SOON*
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  • Julie Ehlers
    January 1, 1970
    It will surprise no one to hear that as a child and teenager, I was all about reading and writing. These interests (nay, passions) were in no way encouraged by my parents or my Catholic junior high/high school, so I always felt like these parts of me didn't "count," somehow. Which was unfortunate, because it wasn't like I had an overabundance of other personality traits to replace them with. For this reason, I'm always going to appreciate a YA book that's about a girl claiming and embodying her It will surprise no one to hear that as a child and teenager, I was all about reading and writing. These interests (nay, passions) were in no way encouraged by my parents or my Catholic junior high/high school, so I always felt like these parts of me didn't "count," somehow. Which was unfortunate, because it wasn't like I had an overabundance of other personality traits to replace them with. For this reason, I'm always going to appreciate a YA book that's about a girl claiming and embodying her creative self. I was a big fan of The Poet X and Brown Girl Dreaming, for instance. I wanted to be an equally big fan of Watch Us Rise, about two high school juniors, Jasmine and Chelsea, who form a feminist writing group at their school, but unfortunately this novel ended up being a disappointment.Chelsea and Jasmine live in Harlem, which is pretty vividly rendered, and attend a high school that's all about teaching kids to be socially aware. Despite this, there's a lot of pushback on their feminist club, some of which was realistic and some of which was a bit ridiculous: When some students wear Halloween costumes meant to poke fun at the club and a fight ensues, for instance, the club gets in trouble for allegedly "instigating" the fracas, which they obviously didn't. And when Chelsea complains to the principal about a male student groping her, the principal reacts with skepticism and then reprimands her for not saying "thank you" when she walks out of his office. Why is this happening in a supposedly socially aware school? It just strained credibility. The school setting also allows for an exploration of many other issues of class, race, gender, sexuality, and body image, and wow, does the book ever explore them—pretty much any social justice topic you can think of gets mentioned here and then goes unresolved: the groping incident; a bit where a character's father dies and her mother is shown to be helpless without him; a character's burgeoning theater career quashed by a racist teacher... you name it, it's introduced here, given a cursory treatment, and then forgotten. And for all the wokeness on display, the whole thing is weirdly sanitized: In a group of sixteen-year-olds, there's NO mention of sex or birth control of any kind; no cursing... it's just overly wholesome in an unrealistic way that kind of undercuts the book's message. These girls just didn't seem real; they were perfect social justice warriors and not much else.To end on a positive note, Renee Watson's sections (from Jasmine's point of view) were definitely the best, and I may seek out her other novels. And Watch Us Rise contains a lot of poetry and a long list of recommended poets at the back, and I'll always feel kindly toward any book that encourages people to read poetry. So I would suggest this book for maybe 12- and 13-year-olds. Anyone older may find themselves as let down as I was.
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  • Ellie
    January 1, 1970
    Jasmine gets 4 stars. Chelsea gets 1, so I take one off. I take another off because of the fake outrage.I love Watson's previous book, Piecing Me Together. But listen. I waited for MONTHS for this book to come out. When it finally did, I put a hold on it at my library and waited another month for it to come in.And this is what I get? A caricature of fake outrage who manages to find something "sexist" about EVERYTHING? This is why feminists aren't taken seriously. I could go on and on about the " Jasmine gets 4 stars. Chelsea gets 1, so I take one off. I take another off because of the fake outrage.I love Watson's previous book, Piecing Me Together. But listen. I waited for MONTHS for this book to come out. When it finally did, I put a hold on it at my library and waited another month for it to come in.And this is what I get? A caricature of fake outrage who manages to find something "sexist" about EVERYTHING? This is why feminists aren't taken seriously. I could go on and on about the "over-the-top activist' trope is problematic, but I don't want to waste your time. So I'll start with this: Things Chelsea gets LEGITIMATELY mad about (and most were in her first chapter):The word "woman" having the word "man" in it. She uses "womyn" which is not only obnoxious but used by TERFs. The word "man" isn't a cause to fight against. It's a WORD. Fake outrage.Lip glosses named "Pure Doll" and "Divalicious". She calls these examples of the "patriarchy". I myself am a feminist but seriously if I had a dollar for every time she called something "patriarchy" I could buy out a bookstore.Blush called "color me perfect". Really?Football. Not the athletes but the ACTUAL GAME. I lost respect for her in the second chapter.Then there's the scene (adding to the "womyn" thing) where all the girls and women are participating in a walkout, and Chelsea's math teacher calls them "ladies." What happens next-and I kid you not, this is an ACTUAL quote from the book, not a Tumblr user's fake story from 2015."'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 smile, and a few of the other girls clap."Seriously? Who would CLAP for that? This sounds like it's taken right out of one of those r/thathappened stories that ends in "and everyone clapped." Nobody is going to clap at your ridiculousness. Chelsea is also somewhat misogynistic herself, writing an entire blog post about why the concept of princesses is problematic and she doesn't "see herself" in them (when she's an average straight white girl. Seriously?) Um, no. She guilts people for liking princesses and anything "girly", makes everyone think they're un-feminist and enforcing gender stereotypes for liking dresses, cooking, makeup, ANYTHING. Ugh. She doesn't just criticize the role of the princess, but when she sees people dressed as princesses on HALLOWEEN, she calls them "sexist" and "offensive" OVER AND OVER AGAIN. She says this about CHILDREN for liking princess costumes. Why can't girls be empowered, strong princesses? Kicking ass while wearing bright red lipstick and a dress? We get it, Chelsea, you're "not like other girls." Have you ever thought that when a girl likes something traditionally girly...it's not because she's forced to, but she GENUINELY LIKES IT?I grew up on princess movies and constantly played dress-up. Even now, I love makeup and dressing up for school dances. I love making myself look nice, I love the art aspect of makeup, I love the way princesses' caricatures are changing in movies and they're portrayed as self-confident and independent. I loved the color pink. I wore dresses everywhere. Nobody FORCED me to do any of those things. I chose to because I WANTED to. Same thing with bras. I wear them because they make things more comfortable. Not because men told me to.And in another instance, when her teacher mentions she has to go home and cook, Chelsea goes on a rant about how just because she wants to cook, this teacher is "enforcing gender stereotypes." So you can't be a feminist if you cook? She also assumes this teacher is straight, and when the teacher tells Chelsea she's married to a woman and Chelsea still has a ways to go, she treats it like some kind of attack. People who don't hold themselves accountable for their mistakes and don't acknowledge their mistakes are the opposite of progressive.Not to mention when buying shirts to sell, she doesn't even bother to order a plus-sized one for her BEST FRIEND.Not to mention the scene where Chelsea tells her friends she celebrates Hanukkah and Kwanzaa as well as Christmas, she says this "smiling and very proud of myself." What do you want? A medal?And what personality traits does Chelsea even have besides being a feminist? None. She just acts like she's the best feminist, but she's really not. Her beliefs and constantly calling things sexist (and her purposely obnoxious use of big words to try to sound smart) is the caricature of feminists anti-feminists make up to make feminists look like a joke. Jasmine, however, was my favorite. She talked about real issues she faced and informed her blog readers of influential lesser-known feminists. She was the kind of girl I like to read about.But Chelsea ruined it. I thought this would be like my past favorite feminist books-Nowhere Girls and Moxie, which talk about intersectionality, rape culture, etc- issues women actually face, not skinny jeans being called skinny jeans. (Seriously, Chelsea? They're called skinny because they fit tight. This was her most embarrassing thought yet.)I'm not going to discredit the good messages within the book, shared by Leidy, Jasmine and other characters, but it was hard to see them when another character labeled all "girly" things as anti-feminist.
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  • Sahitya
    January 1, 1970
    Wow just wow !!! I knew from the blurb that this was going to be a very interesting book on intersectional feminism but the way it’s written in the form of poems, essays, quotes, art etc just blew me away. It made me think, rage, reflect, feel joy and also sadness. It’s been a great reading experience but I definitely don’t know if I can properly express my thoughts in this review.Jasmine and Chelsea are two great realistic portrayals of teens who have a lots of thoughts and ideas, want to find Wow just wow !!! I knew from the blurb that this was going to be a very interesting book on intersectional feminism but the way it’s written in the form of poems, essays, quotes, art etc just blew me away. It made me think, rage, reflect, feel joy and also sadness. It’s been a great reading experience but I definitely don’t know if I can properly express my thoughts in this review.Jasmine and Chelsea are two great realistic portrayals of teens who have a lots of thoughts and ideas, want to find a voice and express themselves but quickly learn that it’s not always easy, even at their very progressive New York high school. Jasmine is a big black girl actress and writer, Chelsea is a white girl poet ; their best friend Nadine is a Japanese Lebanese designer and Issac is a Peurto Rican artist and an ally to their cause. They are all encouraged especially by Jasmine’s dad who calls them “art-tivists” - people who can use their art to bring change and I loved the support he gave. Jasmine felt very relatable to me, mostly because I could feel everything she felt when she had to deal with conversations around her weight. She also came across as very thoughtful, even when dealing with the obstacles they face, along with her father’s terminal cancer diagnosis and the subsequent grief over her loss. On the other hand, Chelsea is very passionate about her ideas and doesn’t like to be stifled, so she can sometimes come across as rude/ stirring up the pot unnecessarily - however, I could also understand where she was coming from and she just needed a proper channel for her to voice her rage. But these two girls are not just feminists, they are also teenagers and I thought it was very realistically depicted. They have crushes, can get overwhelmed, have to deal with their feelings for boys and family issues; all the while wanting to be activists and not knowing how to reconcile all their various issues.What I loved about this book is how it talks about broad issues but focuses on specifics that the girls face. The most relevant one I felt is the representation of women in the media, specifically women of color - how we are always subjected to the same old stereotypes which have racist origins, and how difficult it is to make people realize that stereotypes are harmful and affect so much of our thinking. The conversations about weight and how fat women are always represented as sad and needing to lose weight to be more happy; unable to find clothes in the usual sections because somehow, there has to be a separate but small plus size section ; how every movie and media and magazine reinforces the same old beauty standards which only leads to more self-esteem issues among young girls. There are also many many more conversations here about sexism and misogyny and sexual harassment and microaggressions and how even the Principal/ teachers of a progressive school can be tone deaf to certain issues that stem from intersectionality. Another thing I absolutely loved about this book is how it gives so much detail about historical women who have been great activists, their notable works and many more resources for young women and allies who want to make a change and want their voices heard in this day and age. There is so so much more in this book, I probably highlighted almost half of it, but I’m just not able to articulate how important this book felt to me.If you’ve enjoyed reading The Nowhere Girls or Moxie, then this book is definitely for you. I highly recommend this book to everyone - young and old, feminists and those who are unsure - this has something to ponder and think for everyone. It’ll give you a chance to reflect on your thoughts and actions of the past and how we can do better, how we can change the people or society around us in our own little ways. Just pick up this book and prepare to join the conversation.
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  • Kika
    January 1, 1970
    Closer to 1.5 stars. THIS BOOK WAS SO DISAPPOINTING. I have a lot to say about it, and my reaction is confounding and complex. But if I could summarize my experience in one phrase: it was friggin exhausting to read. Set in New York, the book jumps between two perspectives - Jasmine and Chelsea. Jasmine is a plus-size black teenager who loves theatre and writing, and is dealing with a father dying of cancer. On the other hand, her best friend Chelsea is a bubbly white girl with a penchant for poe Closer to 1.5 stars. THIS BOOK WAS SO DISAPPOINTING. I have a lot to say about it, and my reaction is confounding and complex. But if I could summarize my experience in one phrase: it was friggin exhausting to read. Set in New York, the book jumps between two perspectives - Jasmine and Chelsea. Jasmine is a plus-size black teenager who loves theatre and writing, and is dealing with a father dying of cancer. On the other hand, her best friend Chelsea is a bubbly white girl with a penchant for poetry and talking. Supported by their best friends Nadine and Isaac, Chelsea and Jasmine establish a women’s rights club at their school, which creates major buzz in their school and community. When I read this synopsis, I was excited. I was excited for numerous reasons — to have a YA focused on feminism; to have some dope representation; and to read something heartwarming. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the book as much as I expected to. The thing is, “Watch Us Rise” was so damn exhausting and cheesy because it felt like a relentless love song to what I like to call “frilly feminism.” Listen. I have no quips with buzzwords such as “patriarchy” “oppression” and “micro agressions”. In fact, I use those in my daily life. However, this book felt like an impenetrable serenade from the mouth a Twitter activist that just never ended. EVERY SINGLE PLOT POINT was centred on social justice, and in a way that almost felt purposefully shallow. There was a fundamental lack of nuance in every discussion, and I think that’s what bothered me the most. As a fat black girl I thought I would be on board 100% with this book, but even Jasmine’s POV sucked for me. They bring up numerous concerns that feminists want to tackle, but there’s no artistry to the way it’s handled. Everyone’s reaction to events is predictable, and there’s no real deep dive into the realistic effects of activism. There’s an entire part about one of the characters being sexually harassed and suddenly there’s NO exploration of this action or the consequences to its victim. It’s a book meant to be intersectional bEcAuse tHerE’s a PluS sIze BlaCk cHaracTer, but intersectionality — like literally every other issue brought up in this book — is never actually explored. Queerness, disability, and class are never touched upon. The only character that seemed interested in the complexity of oppression was their advisor and the owner of the bookstore, Leidy. But she was a minor character so you just get bursts of insight with no real influence. They don’t even take her advice — they continue their vapid pursuit of their own self-interest in a way that is migraine-inducing. The characters are flat and one-dimensional, there is very little character development, and the execution is just lacking. For one, Chelsea is a main character that won’t shut up — and not in way that is endearing or courageous. It’s fascinating to me how this book seems engaged with tackling the criticism of feminism in 2019, but it does PRECISELY what feminism is criticized for. Chelsea is aggressive and she mentions sexism and/or race in every single discussion. It was so damn annoying. Am I meant to like her? Am I meant to like the character that is a caricature of the modern feminist movement? Someone who cuts off people in the middle of sentences and is so self-centred? You couldn’t have a loveable white ally? She refuses to engage in any other viewpoints or ideas other than her VERY narrow idea of feminism. The only good thing about Chelsea is how she handles her crush on a boy named James Bradford. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but that’s honestly her one redeeming quality. Chelsea was insufferable. Jasmine was pretty dope and I liked her, but she also had zero character development other than dealing with grief. She also makes a point of quitting the drama club for making her a stereotype that only talks about her body and race, and then she proceeds to write poetry that is ONLY about her body and race. Really? What I did like about this book was its deep engagement with art and community, and the decision to actually include poetry from its characters. I liked that. I loved how realistic Jasmine’s life and thoughts as a plus-size feminist. Those were some of the rare parts of the book that was insightful and relatable. I also appreciate the premise — I would’ve probably liked this book in high school. But for me now, it’s hard to digest because it’s excruciatingly simplistic and preachy. I refuse to give this book a higher rating when I consider some of the works about women of colour that changed my life, such as “Their Eyes Were Watching God” (Zora Neale Hurston); “The Colour Purple” (Alice Walker); and “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” (Maya Angelou). This book felt decidedly brutish in its attempt to tackle the same issues in a modern context. I was NOT a fan of the execution, which upon reading the rest of these reviews makes me feel like a bad and crazy person for not liking the book.
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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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  • Antonia
    January 1, 1970
    "Don't call me baby, ma, sexy. Do not rename me. You can't name what you do not own. You don't own my body. My body is not yours."This is one of those books that everyone seems to have rated either 5 stars or one star. And here I am, right in the middle. I totally get the critical voices but I also understand why people liked this. I basically read this in one sitting, it was very easy to get through. I also feel like I learned stuff from this book, especially from the plus-sized character Jasmi "Don't call me baby, ma, sexy. Do not rename me. You can't name what you do not own. You don't own my body. My body is not yours."This is one of those books that everyone seems to have rated either 5 stars or one star. And here I am, right in the middle. I totally get the critical voices but I also understand why people liked this. I basically read this in one sitting, it was very easy to get through. I also feel like I learned stuff from this book, especially from the plus-sized character Jasmine. Chelsea I didn't hate as much as everyone else but she is kinda a pain in the ass.Now what I didn't like at all was the unrealistic-ness of this story, especially the dialogues were ridiculous sometimes. Some things were just badly written, especially the "love-stories".I did like the description of grief though, especially cause the family member isn't already dead from the beginning of the story.I would definitely recommend you to try this out if you like feminist reads, though there is a chance you might really hate it.
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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!
  • rachel
    January 1, 1970
    ➸ Trigger warnings for (view spoiler)[racism, sexism, fatmisia, body shaming, discussion of microaggressions, ableist language, aromisic rhetoric, sexual harassment, unwanted touching, grey-area cheating, cancer, hospitals, grief depiction, death of a father & husband, physical assault and bullying (hide spoiler)].▷ Representation: Jasmine (mc) is Black & fat; Chelsea (mc) Italian-American; Isaac (li) is Peurto Rican; Nadine (sc) is Japanese-Lebanese. Blog • Goodreads • Twitter • Instag ➸ Trigger warnings for (view spoiler)[racism, sexism, fatmisia, body shaming, discussion of microaggressions, ableist language, aromisic rhetoric, sexual harassment, unwanted touching, grey-area cheating, cancer, hospitals, grief depiction, death of a father & husband, physical assault and bullying (hide spoiler)].▷ Representation: Jasmine (mc) is Black & fat; Chelsea (mc) Italian-American; Isaac (li) is Peurto Rican; Nadine (sc) is Japanese-Lebanese. Blog • Goodreads • Twitter • Instagram
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  • Audrey Laurey
    January 1, 1970
    Jasmine and Chelsea are entering their junior year at a Liberal Arts high school and are sick and tired of the conventionalized and overt discrimination they see at their school and decide to do something about it. By starting a club and blog to educate and inform the student body of everyday racism, sexism, and body shaming they start a revolution!Watch Us Rise is an incredibly topical and relevant title that examines discrimination and intersectionality through a teen girl lens. Imagine the id Jasmine and Chelsea are entering their junior year at a Liberal Arts high school and are sick and tired of the conventionalized and overt discrimination they see at their school and decide to do something about it. By starting a club and blog to educate and inform the student body of everyday racism, sexism, and body shaming they start a revolution!Watch Us Rise is an incredibly topical and relevant title that examines discrimination and intersectionality through a teen girl lens. Imagine the ideal friend and family dynamic you would want if you were a young person today; that is the relationship between Jasmine and Chelsea. These characters were so real I could feel what they were going through.Just like real friends, they are sometimes insensitive and have conflict. When the Write Like a Girl blog creates promotional shirts not considering plus size womyn, Jasmine talks to Chelsea about how not considering individuals outside of normative body types is it’s own type of conventionalized discrimination. Both characters grew from the rift emotionally, and there are multiple instances of true sisterhood throughout this book which I think will resonate with young social justice warriors. All characters are well thought out, and I think this book could very well be one of the best fiction books to be published this year.
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    This book captures so perfectly that fierce vulnerability of smart teenage girls in their first head-on collisions with the injustices of the world. Sensitive, immersive, and so good.
  • Ashton
    January 1, 1970
    This book totally misses the mark. It is a shallow look into much deeper issues of current feminism. I was so disappointed
  • Lost in Book Land
    January 1, 1970
    I am sooo excited to be talking about Watch Us Rise finally! I loved reading this book soo much like I can not even describe how much. I knew a little about what the book was about going into it but once I started this book I could not stop, I was hooked.SPOILERS AHEADThis book centers around two main characters with a cast of side characters that include their two other best friends, kids at their school, teachers, the principal, their families, and the boys they like. Jasmine and Chelsea are b I am sooo excited to be talking about Watch Us Rise finally! I loved reading this book soo much like I can not even describe how much. I knew a little about what the book was about going into it but once I started this book I could not stop, I was hooked.SPOILERS AHEADThis book centers around two main characters with a cast of side characters that include their two other best friends, kids at their school, teachers, the principal, their families, and the boys they like. Jasmine and Chelsea are best friends living in NYC attending a high school that is supposed to be progressive. Each student at the school is required to be a part of an after-school club however, the girls decide its time to step away from their clubs and make their own. One about women’s rights and one where they can speak their minds about issues at the school and in the community. However, the clubs required blog soon begins to cause a stir at the school and the principal threatens to shut the girls and their club down. Meanwhile, the girls each have their own crush and boy drama going on and Jasmine has some big changes coming at home that not only affect her but will affect her whole social group.As things progress someone reads one of the girl’s blog posts at an open mic and the video goes online. From here things only get bigger, and the girls have to make some really tough choices about what exactly they are fighting for and what they plan to demand.I really love this book and I plan to get a finished copy at some point. I am really shocked I liked this book because if I am honest I have not read a lot in this type of genre and I felt like it was not my thing. I think this book was a five star read for me for several reasons, for example, I loved the plot of Jasmine’s family (despite how heartbreaking it truly was) and the each of the subplots were just as interesting to read as the main plot. I definitely recommend picking this up even if you do not think this is the book for you, grab it from a library and give it a try.
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  • Angourie Rice
    January 1, 1970
    I LOVE THIS BOOK. 5 stars and on my favourites shelf. This is going to be a discussion book for The Community Library, so I won't give anything away here. Tune into the episode on the 22nd of April to hear my full thoughts!
  • Kelsie
    January 1, 1970
    Yeah... I didn’t love this. It had its good moments but overall it failed on a lot of levels. Chelsea was unbearable for 90% of the book, she was a feminist... that’s it. She was so one dimensional that I just could not be bothered to care about her. What made her so unbearable was that she never spoke about anything other than feminism. Every topic during every conversation was turned into some form of feminist discussion or not really even a discussion just Chelsea giving you a big monologue. Yeah... I didn’t love this. It had its good moments but overall it failed on a lot of levels. Chelsea was unbearable for 90% of the book, she was a feminist... that’s it. She was so one dimensional that I just could not be bothered to care about her. What made her so unbearable was that she never spoke about anything other than feminism. Every topic during every conversation was turned into some form of feminist discussion or not really even a discussion just Chelsea giving you a big monologue. Jasmine was fine, nothing special and definitely more interesting than Chelsea. Jasmine had more characteristics to her personality and that made her a lot more interesting and enjoyable.I think this book suffered from having too many ideas and too many points that it was trying to make. So much so that it felt preachy and over the top and truly didn’t give you much information other than a very basic idea. I felt like I was being beaten over the head while reading this. It was also so over the top that it almost felt like a parody.The writing was mediocre. This book tells you almost everything and rarely are you shown anything. Whole weeks go by after “big” events and their never mentioned again or are in very brief one sentence lines. What I did like was the incorporation of the girls blog Write Like A Girl, I liked a lot of that. The friendships were also great and supportive and we had some mild character growth and a small romance for one of the characters. Overall I’m very very disappointed with this one. You might like it but it certainly wasn’t for me.
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  • 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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  • 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!
  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    In three words: Thought-provoking, emotional, inspiring.Jasmine, Chelsea, and their friends attended a very progressive school, which was supposed to focus on social justice.Yet, there were social injustices being committed left and right on school grounds. Instead of giving up, Jasmine and Chelsea formed a club, Write Like a Girl, where they shared stories, poetry, playlists, and information regarding women's issues and information about those, who have been fighting for women.One of the things In three words: Thought-provoking, emotional, inspiring.Jasmine, Chelsea, and their friends attended a very progressive school, which was supposed to focus on social justice.Yet, there were social injustices being committed left and right on school grounds. Instead of giving up, Jasmine and Chelsea formed a club, Write Like a Girl, where they shared stories, poetry, playlists, and information regarding women's issues and information about those, who have been fighting for women.One of the things I really enjoyed in this book was all the extras we got with the narrative: the illustrations, the poetry, the prose, the op-ed piece, and all the other informative essays. It was brilliant the way Watson and Hagan used these pieces to educate the reader, and they sought to inform without being preachy.The same cannot be said for Chelsea. I gave her a little leeway, because I understood that she was a very passionate teen, but there were so many times she came across as one of those ranty white women. Her need to stir the pot ALL THE TIME was grating on me. Though, I did appreciate her struggle with her feminist ideals and subscribing to society's beauty standard, and I was proud of a big choice she made during the story as well.Chelsea was a little bit of a struggle, but you know, who I absolutely adored? Jasmine. I welcomed all her thoughts with open arms. Both Jasmine and Chelsea were frustrated with beauty ideals, but I found Jasmine's emotions so much more relatable. And, my heart broke for her and her family as they watched their father's illness progress. I cried just about every time dad was on page, and not just because it was sad for Jasmine, but because I thought he was pretty incredible. I loved how he supported not only Jasmine's growth, but that of her friends as well, by giving them different "challenges" to complete.But I didn't just cry for dad. I also cried during the big climax. I am a woman, who attended engineering school and worked in IT in the early 90s. Lots of sexism, and seeing these fictional young women rage for equality put a smile on my face, and made me wish I had half their courage when I was their age.This book wasn't all BIG issues though. There were also common teen woes and worries in there regarding crushes, friendship, and family, which the authors wove into the story quite well.Be butterfly stroke in a pool of freestylers.Overall: A really well written and compelling story of finding and making sure your voice is heard. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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