Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 301
Daughters of Jubilation
(Updated: February 21, 2021)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
It's South Carolina in 1962. Sixteen-year-old Evvie has two little sisters to take care of, a single mother, and finally Clay, the boy she's been crushing on, has noticed her. She also has magical abilities that have been growing. These abilities, called the Jubilation, are a gift from the women in her family that have gone back generations since the time of slavery. Just when she tries to come to terms with her ability, something ugly and dark reenters her life.

What worked: Wowza. Wow. Magical world set during Jim Crow South with one strong Black protagonist. Evvie has come from a long line of women with magical abilities. Only Evvie's not sure how to use these newfound powers. Her single mother has turned her back on her own ability and on her mother. What I loved about Evvie is she's a protagonist to cheer on during a time where White Supremacy reigned and tensions were high. Jim Crow laws rule the land. With these odds against her, she struggles to made sense of a magical ability within her. Plus, trying to make sense of the growing attraction she has to Clay.

The demon Evvie faces is one from her past who did something unforgiven to her. He refuses to let her forget. Evvie faces many challenges against her, including being put down just for the color of her skin.

There's triggers in this book with rape, trauma, racial slurs, and violence. The book shows some very difficult topics, but realistic ones that affect women of color. I loved the idea of haints. These are the spirit women ancestors of Evvy that lurked at the corners of her life.

I especially loved the relationship Evvie has with her grandmother, who is brushed off as the town's eccentric. Grammie Atti is outspoken and doesn't care what others in the small South Carolina town think of her. She also helps Evvie learn how to handle her growing magical abilities.

Realistic dialogue, great pacing, and all kinds of feels throughout.

Captivating, magical fantasy set during the Jim Crow South with a resilient protagonist who learns to accept not only her growing abilities but herself.
Good Points
Magical world set during Jim Crow South
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