Watch Us Rise

 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
471 0
Watch Us Rise
Age Range
13+
Release Date
February 12, 2019
ISBN
978-1547600083
Buy This Book
      
Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Renée Watson teams up with poet Ellen Hagan in this YA feminist anthem about raising your voice.

Jasmine and Chelsea are best friends on a mission--they're 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 their work online--poems, essays, videos of Chelsea performing her poetry, and Jasmine's response to the racial microaggressions she experiences--and soon they go viral. But with such positive support, the club is also targeted by trolls. When things escalate in real life, the principal shuts the club down. Not willing to be silenced, Jasmine and Chelsea will risk everything for their voices--and those of other young women--to be heard.

These two dynamic, creative young women stand up and speak out in a novel that features their compelling art and poetry along with powerful personal journeys that will inspire readers and budding poets, feminists, and activists.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

awesome activism
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
WHAT I LOVED:

Readers get a dual POV novel narrated by Jasmine, a fat Black girl, and Chelsea, a white girl who presumably wears straight sizes but at the very least is nowhere near Jasmine’s size. I bring their body sizes up because it’s relevant; Jasmine and Chelsea have been best friends for years and are together in their management of the Write Like a Girl blog, but Chelsea fails to really see Jasmine sometimes. When the two go check out a new clothing store, Chelsea finds a bunch of clothing whilst Jasmine sees only two racks of plus-size clothes and is told most of the larger sizes are only online. Then when Chelsea orders shirts to support Write Like a Girl, she doesn’t order a shirt big enough to fit Jasmine comfortably.

The point: even in progressive spaces and when among friends who are allies in the fight for human rights, bigotry is still present. Being left-wing or liberal doesn’t automatically make a person or a space anti-bigotry. That’s something people have to actively work for! People who call themselves liberals can be just as hideously racist as Donald Trump, for instance. This is something Jasmine knows all too well thanks to Chelsea’s size-blindness and that Chelsea comes to learn as well when their “progressive” high school’s administration objects to Write Like a Girl’s posts and shuts the whole thing down when some classmates use a school dance as an opportunity to make fun of Jasmine’s and Chelsea’s ideas.

When you’re protesting an issue and your so-called allies do exactly the thing you’re protesting against, it can make fighting for what’s right all the more draining. But these girls don’t quit when it gets tough. Jasmine eventually calls Chelsea out, the two of them work together to fight back against their school’s censorship, and their club is so empowering even when it’s fictional and only on the page. It makes you dream of fighting back against the same pressures in your life. If you’re not a teen or no longer in school while reading this, it might make you reflect on your time in school like it made me do.

Just don’t take anyone or anything at its word when it calls itself progressive. That’s what the girls’ high school markets itself as, but I wouldn’t say the place is progressive to any degree when Chelsea tells the principal directly that she was sexually harassed by the student body president earlier the same day and Principal Hayes responds by doing NOTHING. He really, truly deserved a kick to the reproductives.

Sadly, his response is quite realistic. When three boys sexually harassed me on the school bus for weeks in junior high, their punishment was merely being assigned seats at the front of the bus. Students harassed me during school? Absolutely nothing. Heck, my ninth grade gym class was one big Title IX violation and I had no idea! Had I been aware of Title IX at the time and tried to report it to the administration, I highly doubt anything would have changed. This was only ten years ago. Call me a cynic, but I doubt the schools I went to are doing any better now in those regards.

WHAT LEFT ME WANTING:

ANYWAY. One element of Watch Us Rise that didn’t work for me was its timeline, being that the entire novel takes place over the course of a single school year. The events feel artificially stretched out at times and it left me with an odd feeling I was missing events in their lives. Though I read the book in almost a single sitting, that choice messed with the pacing and messed with my sense of time.

FINAL VERDICT:

If Watson and Hagan collaborate on another YA novel in the future, I’ll read it. If Hagan publishes a solo YA novel, I’ll definitely check it out. I’ve still got it on my list to check out some of her poetry after seeing what she came up with in Watch Us Rise! Teens will learn a great deal about activism while enjoying a well-written story with a diverse, unique cast of characters.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Faith has always known she was different and her...
The Mall
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Poems to Live Your Life By, Chris Riddell, political...
The Claires
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Four beautiful girls. Quadruplets. They are not identical.But each is...
The Life Below
 
4.0
 
4.0 (1)
It was hard enough for Naomi to leave Leo,...
What He Hides
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
She wants the truth... or does she? They say...
The Shadows Between Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Tricia Levenseller, author of Daughter of the Pirate King,...
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
It's 1940, and Sarah Goldstein is hiding in plain...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
"more forgetting time. more midnight dances with yourself."...
The Upside of Falling
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
It’s been years since eighteen-year-old Becca Hart believed in...
More Than His Best Friend
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
She’s got a strict rule against dating. Could her...
Salty, Bitter, Sweet
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There’s more to...
The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s...
The Winter Duke
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
She survived the curse. Now she must survive the throne....
Most Likely (Most Likely, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the creator of the hit TV series The Bold...
Look Both Ways
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This story was going to begin like all the best...

Latest Member Reviews

The Mall
 
3.7
"Cassie Worthy won't let a little thing like Mono hold her back from completing the Plan. It's the summer of..."
Salty, Bitter, Sweet
 
4.3
"SALTY, BITTER, SWEET is a book about family, forgiveness, grief, and following your passion. Isabella dreams of being a world-class..."
 
4.0
"break your glass slippers is the first book in the poetry series, “you are your own fairy tale,” by award-winning..."
The Upside of Falling
 
3.3
"THE UPSIDE OF FALLING is a YA contemporary romance by Wattpad author Alex Light. The story follows Becca Hart, an..."
The Winter Duke
 
5.0
"THE WINTER DUKE is a thrilling YA fantasy that takes place in a world where magic is controlled by a..."
Most Likely (Most Likely, #1)
 
5.0
"MOST LIKELY is a fantastic YA contemporary about friendship. The book starts with a woman becoming president and reflecting back..."
The Life Below
 
4.0
"After our mindbending landing on the moon back in 1969, we’ve faltered in our quest to explore space. Mars seems..."
The Twin
 
3.7
"Ivy and her twin sister Iris parents divorced when they were ten. Ivy got to live with their father and..."
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
"Sarah Goldstein, alias Ursulla Haller, is living right under Nazi rule in 1940 Germany. She's the Shirley Temple of the..."
The Life Below
 
4.0
"Naomi can't help but wonder if there was an ulterior motive behind the decision to kick Leo out of the..."
The Stars We Steal
 
3.7
"Jane Austen in space….yes please! The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne is a futuristic retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion...."
Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things
 
4.0
" The story: After living in foster care since the death of her mother, Edie finally..."
Seven Deadly Shadows
 
4.0
"Sixteen-year-old Kira Fujikawa loves helping at her family shrine. She also has a paranormal ability. She sees the not only..."
The Shadows Between Us
 
5.0
"THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US is the highly devourable YA fantasy I have been searching for! This is an enthralling story..."
 
3.3
"The Betrothed is a brand new YA-novel set in the 15th century by Kiera Cass, whom we all know from..."
Remember Me
 
4.0
"‘First rule of storytelling,’ he says, a glint in his eyes.’ Everything is possible.’ Nell is..."
Lobizona
 
5.0
"Sixteen-year-old Manuela, 'Manu' is in hiding from her father's Argentinian crime family. She also runs the risk of being deported..."
A Very Large Expanse of Sea
 
4.7
"Reviewed for YA Books Central A book that should be on every teen's shelf. ..."
Serious Moonlight
 
5.0
"Birdie and Daniel has the most awkward first encounter. So when Birdie started her job in a historic hotel, she..."
Long Way Down
 
5.0
"I feel like I've been asleep for the last 31 years and I just woke up. I am woke. ..."