Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson & Ellen Hagen, #44 review

Publication date: 12 February 2020

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.

Thank you to @definitelybooks for sending me this book for my honest review.

Watch Us Rise sends a strong message about the power of girls through the pages of feminism, what it takes to fight for women’s rights, diversity and everyday conflict in a high schooler’s life. Except, Jamine and Chelsea are not your average high schooler. They are feminist. They fight for women’s equality and their rights. Starting in their High School, Amsterdam Heights.

Their story starts in NYC, the concrete jungle that never sleeps. Jasmine and Chelsea look opposite in every way. Jasmine is black and big and plainly speaking, gorgeous. Chelsea is white and skinny and beautiful. They are the Ying to each other’s Yang, the peanut butter, and jelly. They complement each other and they are best friends forever. Something that tends to happen when you put a white and black character together as best friends isthat the author might overwrite their friendship or milk the diversity content. For Watch Us Rise, it was perfect with a huge P.
It didn’t feel overdone or that the author put them together just for impact. Each Chapter is in one of the girl’s POV, each of them have their own struggles, their own lifestyle, their own insecurities, and their unique backstory.

“I wonder why girls with bodies like mine can’t even model the clothes that are made for us”

They are ARTivist. Artist + feminist. Jasmine has her theatre while Chelsea has her poetry. Together, they quit their clubs after finding out that they are both sick of the drama of racism and sexism in their clubs. They lay out their cards and started their own – Write like a Girl. In their club, they strive to push forward the message of putting women in the spotlight.

What I can tell you is this book might be a hit or miss. It depends on the reader. As you can tell if you scroll through the reviews, with every satisfied reader, you can find a dissatisfied reader. As you can tell, I’m a satisfied reader. I only ask that you read this book with an open mind and a heart ready to accept the authors’ views. There is so much we can do to encourage feminism and push away society’s norms. We will take it day by day, step by step like our main characters. The world was pre-programmed from one generation to the next to follow a “rule”. It will take time to wipe the hard drive and reboot the system. Until then, here’s to believing that one day, we will get there. Cheers!

Thank you once more to @definitelybooks for sending me this book for my honest review. I loved this book!

By elysianbooksish

The Bookish Faerie who loves to read and write, and bake too

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