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Girls Burn Brighter (2018)

av Shobha Rao

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
6743634,497 (3.72)21
A searing, electrifying debut novel set in India and America, for readers of Rupi Kaur, about the extraordinary bond between two girls driven apart by circumstances but relentless in their search for one another. Poornima and Savitha have three strikes against them. They are poor. They are driven. And they are girls. When Poornima was just a toddler, she was about to fall into a river. Her mother, beside herself, screamed at her father to grab her. But he hesitated: "I was standing there, and I was thinking...she's just a girl. Let her go...That's the thing with girls, isn't it...You think, Push. That's all it would take, Just one little push." After her mother's death, Poornima has very little kindness in her life. She is left to take care of her siblings until her father can find her a suitable match. So when Savitha enters their household, Poornima is intrigued by the joyful, independent-minded girl. Suddenly their Indian village doesn't feel quite so claustrophobic, and Poornima begins to imagine a life beyond the arranged marriage her father is desperate to secure for her. But when a devastating act of cruelty drives Savitha away, Poornima leaves behind everything she has ever known to find her friend. Her journey takes her into the darkest corners of India's underworld, on a harrowing cross-continental journey, and eventually to an apartment complex in Seattle. Alternating between the girls' perspectives as they face ruthless obstacles, Girls Burn Brighter introduces two heroines who never lose the hope that burns within them.--Amazon.… (mer)
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» Se även 21 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 36 (nästa | visa alla)
Uuuugggghhhhh, I loved this book right up until the ending, which made me want to throw my Kindle across the room. ( )
  ledonnelly | Mar 11, 2024 |
One thing that struck me was how the narrator voice seems to shift from simplisticly content, even in poverty and sorrow, in the earliest chapters (it felt almost like a YA novel at first) to something much colder and increasingly detached as the abuse and injury tally rises (and it rises quickly and never lets up). It's an utterly hopeless and cruel piece of literature, and it was also difficult to put down. Some of the timing maybe does not add up--things that are presented as happening concurrently (Poornima's arrival in Seattle, Savitha's departure) seem to be re-placed at different times as subsequent events play out. I found myself thinking after I'd finished the book and returned it to the library that it just didn't make sense, but perhaps I misread it. And I am still struggling to understand the point of the interlude about the unfortunate Arizona children--seriously what was that? Still it was artfully written hard to look away from any of it. I'm just not entirely sure that is a good thing. ( )
  SusanBraxton | Aug 15, 2023 |
3.5 stars. Beautifully written, but incredibly painful. And in the end, I can't decide if there's enough hope to slog through the pain. I don't need my endings tied up in a bow, but I need... something. This left me feeling just short of satisfied. ( )
1 rösta CarolHicksCase | Mar 12, 2023 |
'Girls Burn Brighter' is a literary flame which engulfs the reader in a supernova of plot brilliance. Rao traces the lives of two friends cruelly torn apart and their eventual cliffhanger re-meeting. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was amazed by its appeal to readers of both genders given that it only focuses on two female protagonists. However, Rao's secret ingredient for this appeal is that she focuses on the universality of human relationship and struggle rather than gender-specific reactions to convey the fundamental message of her story: there is always hope. ( )
  Amarj33t_5ingh | Jul 8, 2022 |
Pretty disappointed by this book. It started out seeming like it was going to be an awesome feminist lesbian romance but it ended up a tragedy porn with some admittedly good writing and not much else. Overall, I understand what the author is going for but we have enough of these supposed feminist novels that just wallow endlessly in violence against women and justify it by having the characters eventually (very eventually in this case) triumph (strong word in this case) against their oppressors.

I'm not sure which audience this book is intended for. Those of us who already understand that life is hard for women, especially poor women in developing countries, will find it emotionally difficult to read with very little real pay-off. The two female protagonists spend most of the book separated and struggling against a dehumanising patriarchal system only to have the novel end as soon as they finally find each other again. Actually, it ends before the emotional climax of them actually meeting. We know that they're about to meet because of context and then it just ends. This book is just sorrow after sorrow after sorrow until... oh sorry we ran out of time.

Those who do not believe in women's rights will most likely just enjoy the violence and ignore the scant ending. Those of us who care about these issues will just be emotionally worn down over and over hoping for a satisfying resolution and getting none. We see narratives of women being abused and battered all the time. Why do we need to constantly be shown just how graphic this violence can be? After a point it feels like we just keep being shown these scenes not to educate us about violence against women but to revel in it. This is why I call it tragedy porn.

We can have strong female characters without having to see them be raped, mutilated, and tortured (spoilers maybe? but these things all literally happen in this book). I only lasted through this book because I thought it would pay off with the two female protagonists getting their revenge and riding off into the sunset together but, nope, that doesn't happen. It just ends on an ambiguously happy ending without any emotional resolution. And definitely without the Sapphic love I was hoping for from the very beginning.

I guess you could say that because it ends so ambiguously that you can imagine that romance if you want but I say fuck that. Why not make it explicit? Why not have a book where the two female protagonists are treated horribly by their patriarchal culture and then get back at them by revelling in their love for each other? Why do we have to keep having these narratives where women are horribly abused and they escape but never get justice against the men who tortured them? Why can't we have the heroines ending up in each others' arms? I'm just tired of it.

This gets 3 stars instead of 2 because there was some very lovely writing in it and I know the author had the best of intentions. I feel like this book was meant to shine a light on abuses of women in India and human trafficking, which I respect. I understand the motivations. I would just rather see a book like this that actually showed the women winning in the end and being happy. I've read too many books that rely on relentless tragedy to make the characters compelling without actually giving them a triumphant story or a real character arc. ( )
  ElspethW | Feb 26, 2022 |
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A searing, electrifying debut novel set in India and America, for readers of Rupi Kaur, about the extraordinary bond between two girls driven apart by circumstances but relentless in their search for one another. Poornima and Savitha have three strikes against them. They are poor. They are driven. And they are girls. When Poornima was just a toddler, she was about to fall into a river. Her mother, beside herself, screamed at her father to grab her. But he hesitated: "I was standing there, and I was thinking...she's just a girl. Let her go...That's the thing with girls, isn't it...You think, Push. That's all it would take, Just one little push." After her mother's death, Poornima has very little kindness in her life. She is left to take care of her siblings until her father can find her a suitable match. So when Savitha enters their household, Poornima is intrigued by the joyful, independent-minded girl. Suddenly their Indian village doesn't feel quite so claustrophobic, and Poornima begins to imagine a life beyond the arranged marriage her father is desperate to secure for her. But when a devastating act of cruelty drives Savitha away, Poornima leaves behind everything she has ever known to find her friend. Her journey takes her into the darkest corners of India's underworld, on a harrowing cross-continental journey, and eventually to an apartment complex in Seattle. Alternating between the girls' perspectives as they face ruthless obstacles, Girls Burn Brighter introduces two heroines who never lose the hope that burns within them.--Amazon.

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