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Watch Us Rise

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  2,505 ratings  ·  635 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 12th 2019 by Bloomsbury YA
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Dancer feminism bad is the theme... purely because of how they oversatirize it in a terrible way smh

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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Lala BooksandLala
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Y'all, this book was SO FUCKING GOOD. Going into it I was worried it was going to take me a long time to read because it's def not a short book, but I absolutely FLEW through it and fell head over heels for Jasmine & Chelsea's friendship. This is the perfect book for someone who is somewhat new to feminism and wants to read something that will gradually ease them into it. This was so compelling and well written and I JUST LOVED IT A LOT OKAY YOU NEED TO READ IT

(ALSO- the reason I'm rating this 4
I have liked books where a group of girls form a feminist group that aren't the most inclusive or nuanced (Moxie and the Nowhere Girls), but this one isn't one of them.

Queerness and disability are never acknowledged, there are so many ignorant and decidedly unfeminist narratives, and the overall feminism portrayed is shallow as fuck and comes off as whiny teen girls always looking for a fight (*cough* Chelsea *cough*). Despite the girls being told that they need to stop thinking only of themselv
Rebecca McNutt
Apr 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
Oh good lord... good lord.

Having just wrapped up my third final exam at my super-liberal liberal arts university (the university which has a student union wanting to ban meat from the school so as not to offend vegans, and which wants to fund more mental health support for "climate change anxiety", don't even get me started on that garbage), heading closer to my brief April break before summer courses start up, the last thing I wanted was to be shoved back into social justice warrior culture in
Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell

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WATCH US RISE is a young adult book that explores feminism and intersectionality in a way that breaks down core concepts and key figures for younger readers. Jasmine is a black, plus-sized young woman who is interested in poetry and theater. Chelsea is a thin, white feminist who also likes poetry and wants to be an activist. When the two of them start chafing in their clubs at their liberal arts high school due to their ideals and perso
Dec 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: tumblr feminists; people who would call themselves a "womyn"
Shelves: 1-star
hot take: books like this make feminism look like a complete joke.

I talked about his book during my worst books of the year video starting at 17:30 - while I wish I could have liked this book, I completely stand by the fact that while this book had good intentions, its portrayal of social justice issues is so tone deaf that the events of the story are more hilarious than empowering.

video link:
Feb 11, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy.

I'm going against the tide of other reviews here but this book was just too much. It almost reads as a parody of social justice discourse.

The novel follows the stories of Chelsea and Jasmine, two intersectional teenage feminists living in New York City. These two young women must exist in a state of constant mental exhaustion as they find issue with almost every single thing in the world around them.

At their school every student ha
Ellie M
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Jasmine gets 4 stars. Chelsea gets 1, so I take one off. I take another off because of the fake outrage.
I love Watson's previous book, Piecing Me Together. But listen. I waited for MONTHS for this book to come out. When it finally did, I put a hold on it at my library and waited another month for it to come in.
And this is what I get? A caricature of fake outrage who manages to find something "sexist" about EVERYTHING? This is why feminists aren't taken seriously. I could go on and on about the "
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 stars.

Absolutely amazing. One of the greatest takes on feminism - and more importantly, intersectional feminism that I've seen in a very long time. WATCH US RISE has amazing characters, writing, pacing, message, and so much power.

I cannot wait for this to come out next February because I am sure that this will change the YA book community.
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
You know how, sometimes, you can tell almost immediately that a writing style isn't going to work for you? Yeah... sigh. That was me with this book. I disliked the narrative voice from literally the first page, and a few chapters in, it hadn't gotten any less frustrating. It's not bad, it's just extremely heavy-handed, if that makes sense. It feels like the authors tried to hold the readers' hands through every step of the messages about intersectionality, diversity, and feminism, which is great ...more
Kate (GirlReading)
This is exactly the kind of empowering, inspiring, powerful and moving book I wish I’d had in high school.

I adored each and every moment.

I loved the characters so much and hugely appreciated each facet of their individual narratives and personalities. I especially loved Jasmine and Chelsea’s characters and how they lifted each other up, called each other out and gave each other a chance to grow and learn from their mistakes. It was also so refreshing to read a book about a positive female frien
Jasmine is a fat black girl with a father who is dying of cancer. Chelsea is an average-sized white girl. They're best friends and both are ready to start a revolution in their social justice focused high school which, despite being conscious of many things, still falls into traps of sexism, racism, sizeism, ableism, and more. Forced to pick a club to be part of for the new year, they decide instead of taking part in an already-established group, they'll begin their own focused on feminism and e ...more
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, social-justice
Closer to 1.5 stars. THIS BOOK WAS SO DISAPPOINTING. I have a lot to say about it, and my reaction is confounding and complex. But if I could summarize my experience in one phrase: it was friggin exhausting to read.

Set in New York, the book jumps between two perspectives - Jasmine and Chelsea. Jasmine is a plus-size black teenager who loves theatre and writing, and is dealing with a father dying of cancer. On the other hand, her best friend Chelsea is a bubbly white girl with a penchant for poe
Julie Ehlers
It will surprise no one to hear that as a child and teenager, I was all about reading and writing. These interests (nay, passions) were in no way encouraged by my parents or my Catholic junior high/high school, so I always felt like these parts of me didn't "count," somehow. Which was unfortunate, because it wasn't like I had an overabundance of other personality traits to replace them with. For this reason, I'm always going to appreciate a YA book that's about a girl claiming and embodying her ...more
Latanya (Crafty Scribbles)
What a good starting point for young girls and women to decide what part they wish to play in our world. Jasmine and Chelsea, two New York City teens, living their truth by fighting sexism, racism, and other harmful aspects make the story, Watch Us Rise, written by Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan.

Despite attending a progressive high school, they feel muted voices around them, especially those possessed by girls and women. To change the muting of said voices, they create an after-school club based o
Wow just wow !!! I knew from the blurb that this was going to be a very interesting book on intersectional feminism but the way it’s written in the form of poems, essays, quotes, art etc just blew me away. It made me think, rage, reflect, feel joy and also sadness. It’s been a great reading experience but I definitely don’t know if I can properly express my thoughts in this review.

Jasmine and Chelsea are two great realistic portrayals of teens who have a lots of thoughts and ideas, want to find
Cerys Weston (Library of Cerys)
Watch Us Rise is an insightful and empowering feminist novel about two friends, Jasmine and Chelsea, who set out to change the world with their art-activism.

Watch Us Rise confronts many conversations that too many forms of media are afraid to talk about; feminism, racism, sizeism/fatphobia, ableism and more. After Chelsea and Jasmine discover that their supposedly liberal High School falls into the trap of many of these prejudices, and fails to support those victimised on the school grounds, the
Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
I'm going to talk a little about the book, but mostly share some quotes.  This book has a lot of blog posts, playlists, and poems.  Warning for death of a parent (cancer), racism, sexism, fat shaming, slut shaming, harassment.  There may be more, but each of these things are covered in the book.  

Watch Us Rise has two narrators, Jasmine and Chelsea.  They are best friends along with Isaac and Nadine.  The four of them have been activists (artivists) since they were young.  Each of them love a di
✨Emily | Procrastinating • Bibliophile
DNF @36%

Chelsea just really got to me and I just can’t read her chapters anymore which is a shame since I am interested in Jasmine’s story. It’s just that I don’t want to read Chelsea’s perspective anymore. I’m all down for a feminist character but I just absolutely hate it when they’re shoving their opinions down my throat, and for someone who always preached feminism, Chelsea had moments of hypocrisy and naivety. Gosh it was freaking irritating hearing her long-winded monologues.
"Don't call me baby, ma, sexy. Do not rename me. You can't name what you do not own. You don't own my body. My body is not yours."

This is one of those books that everyone seems to have rated either 5 stars or one star. And here I am, right in the middle. I totally get the critical voices but I also understand why people liked this. I basically read this in one sitting, it was very easy to get through. I also feel like I learned stuff from this book, especially from the plus-sized character Jasmi
Pegi Ferrell
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Powerful, thought-provoking. The themes and messages are timely and timeless. Great for book club. Perfect for parent-child book club! Amazing poetry. Can't wait to share!
rachel ☾

Trigger warnings for (view spoiler).

Representation: Jasmine (mc) is Black & fat; Chelsea (mc) Italian-American; Isaac (li) is Peurto Rican; Nadine (sc) is Japanese-Lebanese.

Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
i,,, loved this?? so much more than I thought I would??? honestly it is PERFECT for what it is (an empowering YA novel about two best friends rallying against the system they find themselves in) and I would really recommend it to everyone who is struggling to read right now - it's such an easy and quick read!!

UPDATE: lowered this to a four star on here even though its a 4.5 or 4.75. I'm just trying to be more picky with my 5 star ratings and I don't think this is going to be a book that sticks w
May 12, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism
Oh boy, oh boy. I wasn’t a fan of this. Look – I’m all for feminism and social justice. I think it’s especially important to represent intersectional feminism in YA literature. Howeverrrrr…I really didn’t enjoy this book.

There are two protagonists in this novel: Jasmine, a fat black girl whose father has terminal cancer, and Chelsea, an Irish-Italian. Both call themselves art-ivists and like to write poems and stuff. The book is about them founding a women’s rights club and blog at their very li
Ashton Wyatt
Feb 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book totally misses the mark. It is a shallow look into much deeper issues of current feminism. I was so disappointed
Audrey Laurey
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Jasmine and Chelsea are entering their junior year at a Liberal Arts high school and are sick and tired of the conventionalized and overt discrimination they see at their school and decide to do something about it. By starting a club and blog to educate and inform the student body of everyday racism, sexism, and body shaming they start a revolution!

Watch Us Rise is an incredibly topical and relevant title that examines discrimination and intersectionality through a teen girl lens. Imagine the id
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fiction
This book captures so perfectly that fierce vulnerability of smart teenage girls in their first head-on collisions with the injustices of the world. Sensitive, immersive, and so good.
Lost in Book Land
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am sooo excited to be talking about Watch Us Rise finally! I loved reading this book soo much like I can not even describe how much. I knew a little about what the book was about going into it but once I started this book I could not stop, I was hooked.


This book centers around two main characters with a cast of side characters that include their two other best friends, kids at their school, teachers, the principal, their families, and the boys they like. Jasmine and Chelsea are b
Feb 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
Yeah... I didn’t love this. It had its good moments but overall it failed on a lot of levels. Chelsea was unbearable for 90% of the book, she was a feminist... that’s it. She was so one dimensional that I just could not be bothered to care about her. What made her so unbearable was that she never spoke about anything other than feminism. Every topic during every conversation was turned into some form of feminist discussion or not really even a discussion just Chelsea giving you a big monologue. ...more
Nov 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Thank you SO much to the publisher for sending me an advance copy in exchange for an honest review!


I'm incredibly grateful that teens will have this book to read this year however I just wasn't the right target audience. A lot of the dialogue is a bit heavy-handed and at times it reads like the authors lifted sentences straight from a dictionary. There was a lot of feminism 101 education going on & sometimes felt like the authors were trying too hard to educate the reader.

Nonetheless, I a
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Renée Watson is the author of the children’s picture book, A Place Where Hurricanes Happen (Random House, June 2010), which was featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Her middle grade novel, What Momma Left Me debuted as the New Voice for 2010 in middle grade fiction by The Independent Children's Booksellers Association.

Renée’s one woman show, Roses are Red, Women are Blue, debuted at N

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“I don't even know if I agree with all the classics anyway, especially considering that the canon, whatever that means, was created by white men, who published other white men, and basically kept women and people of color out of the conversation as long as possible.” 1 likes
“I walk over to the plus size section, wondering why my sizes have to be in a special section of the store and not mixed in with the other sizes. There is a definite divide, as if a shirt with a 3X tag will contaminate the other clothes. I look through the clothes-there's not much to choose from. Just two racks compared to a whole store full of options for thinner girls.” 0 likes
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