"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Book Review: How We Rise - by Brooke Riley

Hello, hello!

Brooke Riley over at Words in Her Soul has just released her debut book, How We Rise.
She has been working on this for a few years and finally indie published it last week. Way to go, girl! That takes so much work! Today I am going to review her book as part of her online book tour.

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning. This is spoiler free!

Disclaimer: I got a free copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.

How We Rise - by Brooke Riley:
Raegan MacArthur can't sleep at night because of the screams. She knows that the military camp down the road is torturing and killing anyone who dares to oppose the government. All she wants is for things to go back to normal. Peter Daniels is moving back to his hometown where he hasn't been for six years. He is so happy to be near his best friend Raegan again, but so much pressure is on him that it's hard to think of anything else. To do anything would risk getting killed, but when given the chance will they rise?
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult.
Characters: 9, can I talk about the conflict in everyone? It is amazing. You can tell all of the struggles that everyone is going through and it makes you pity and relate to all of them. This is really one of Brooke's strong suits!
My favorites:
Raegan: I want to give her a hug. She is so afraid of her family getting hurt, and wants to do what is best. Oh, and did I mention that she is homeschooled? I am too, and you hardly ever see that in stories, so I loved it!
Peter: He optimism despite everything that he's been through is amazing! I just want him to keep it up.
"I know that you don't want to be positive about this, but you'll never make it out of there if you stay negative."
Spencer: I feel like I didn't see enough of him! I love this guy.
Words: 7, there are a few bad words, but it's really mild and didn't bother me at all. Why I have a lower score is because there were a few places that the writing felt a little jarring to me. This is written in first person present tense, WHICH IS MY FAVORITE. It feels like you are with the characters while they do everything, not that your just reading about it afterwards.
'I want to memory to make me hate everything the government is doing more, so I fight harder.'
There were a few things that were inconsistent:
Evan is described as having, "copper brown eyes" on one page, and the next he has, "cold green eyes".
Every start of a new perspective has the date written, which is a really cool idea, but being how I'm kind of obsessed with dates I realized that they were off. For example, it is written Tuesday, September 12th, 2023, and in 2023 September 12th will actually be a Monday.
There also seemed to be a few plot holes, where people knew things and it could've progressed faster because of that. If they knew these things then why didn't they do anything about it?
I'm willing to let some of these slide because I know that Brooke had planned a release date later in the summer, but was having technical difficulties and had to publish earlier than she would've liked.
Quotes: 8.
"I'm bored."
"Sorry, you must have the wrong number, I don't know anyone by the name of Bored."'
Content: 8, this is set in a harsh dystopian future where there is death, torture, abuse, fighting, and mention of bodies, wounds, and blood. There is also a divorce that happens prior to the book's start, but it is mentioned a bit. Sometimes I'll be reading a book or watching a movie and be really into what's happening, then there is violence and I start focusing on how terrible and intense it is and stop paying attention to the story. That didn't happen here! I was super impressed because it was all handled really well, as it was never so graphic that it disturbed me. I was too busy being pulled in by the emotional conflict!
Originality: 8. I believe that this is actually only the second dystopian book that I've read (my first was Fahrenheit 451), so I don't know what is too common in the dystopian genre, but I thought that this was very original! It is such a painful future, but then you really are cheering for the resistance group to defeat the larger government.
Good For: dystopian fans, anyone who is struggling with something, anyone who loves internal conflict in characters.
Age Range: As I mentioned in the content section, the violence didn't really bother me, but it could bother younger readers. This is young adult, so I would say 13 and up.
Overall Score: 8!
Bonus thoughts:
Sometimes when I read or watch something I'm not sure what I think of it and want to wait a few months before reviewing it. Or, I just review it and am kind of vague because I don't know how I feel about it. The moment I finished this book I wanted to write down all of my thoughts! Eeep! That's exciting for me to be so motivated!
I want to end on a high note, so I'll list what my dislikes followed by my likes.
-2023 is really close. It's so close that I have plans for that year and the like. If this was set a little farther away I'd be more comfortable. Maybe 2033?
-There were some parts that seemed to repeat. The same characters telling each other the same thing without any new information. A few times I thought, "Didn't we already see this?" My motto with writing is "short and snappy" so I feel like there were a few unnecessary scenes. Which, you know, you could fill with more of Spencer...

-THE CHARACTERS! They are the true heart of this story. I get tired of plot driven stories, but this is truly character driven and it is so refreshing!
-The stakes. Everything matters to the characters and the risks are high.
-All the hydration. This is just a weird quirk of mine, but sometimes it seems like characters never drink water and go through all the adventures bam, bam, bam, and I am sure that they should've died of thirst by then. These characters stay hydrated and I was so proud of them!
-Homeschool! What the government did made me hate them so much. Outrageous!
-The ending. The whole book I was considering giving it a lower ranking because of the inconsistent times, repeated actions, and the writing being a tad hard to read, but then the ending happened. OH MY WORD. I'm so impressed.

Congrats to Brooke! That is a huge achievement!
Thanks for reading! Check out Brooke's blog for other info on the book tour.




    1. Absolutely!!! <333 THANK YOU for giving me the opportunity!

  2. I keep hearing about this one! Sounds good!


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"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, where you stop your story." -Orson Welles