I don’t understand why more people aren’t talking about this book. Watch Us Rise was published on February 12th, 2019 and thankfully, my library had a copy.
This is the final book of my June Library Book Haul. I actually read all four this time. It’s been a pretty good reading month and I’m excited for the Wrap-up next week. I’ll also have to bring these beauties back to the library, but at least they’ll get to be loved by someone else.
I’ll be using the same reviewing style I did for Love, Hate, & Other Filters so please let me know if you like it, or if you’d rather I go back to my old ways.
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 has probably just broken the record for quickest tears. My eyes were watering by page 8. By the time I got to page 18, I realized Jasmine, Chelsea and the rest of the crew are the kind of people I would’ve hung out with in high school. Especially junior year.
The story progressed really naturally, it didn’t feel like anything was going too fast or too slow. The character development also flowed naturally. We could really see the Jasmine, Chelsea, Isaac, Nadine and the others growing as activists. I also love how it tackled real issues teens face, especially in terms of family.
I remember wanting to create change in my own school, but feeling like I didn’t have the power or resources to do that. This story tackles how it feels to be marginalized. It also beautifully tackles women’s issues and the fight for equal rights.
The quotes and references to women who have made a difference throughout history mixed in with the story so well. I loved the art that was also used. The fact that Chelsea and Jasmine made sure to pay homage to the women that came before them was so sweet.
The resource section at the end of Watch Us Rise is absolutely perfect. I’m honestly thinking of adding this book to my own shelves.
There was one point in the story where I felt like Chelsea was doing a little too much. She was starting to seem way too close-minded and starting arguments that were unnecessary. I also wasn’t a fan of the James situation, but I feel like it ended up being kind of part of her character development.
Chelsea eventually chilled out a little, so that ended up okay.
All in All
I personally enjoyed Watch Us Rise. It’s not perfect, but it is a good addition to the growing conversation on feminism.
This is a great book for feminists, people who are curious about feminism, or others who love YA fiction with female leads.