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Watch Us Rise

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  185 ratings  ·  90 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, 400 pages
Published February 12th 2019 by Bloomsbury YA
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4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  185 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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Lala BooksandLala
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
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 th
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.

Dec 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: tumblr feminists; people who would call themselves a "womyn"
Shelves: priority, 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:
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 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
Cerys Weston (BrowsingForBooks)
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
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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!
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.
I don't yet have coherent words for the experience of reading this book. So powerful and wonderful.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Samantha (WLABB)
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
In three words: Thought-provoking, emotional, inspiring.

Jasmine, Chelsea, and their friends attended a very progressive school, which was supposed to focus on social justice.Yet, there were social injustices being committed left and right on school grounds. Instead of giving up, Jasmine and Chelsea formed a club, Write Like a Girl, where they shared stories, poetry, playlists, and information regarding women's issues and information about those, who have been fighting for women.

One of the things
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
Ms. Yingling
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
E ARC from Netgalley

Jasmine and Chelsea attend high school at Amsterdam Heights, a progressive school with an impressive social justice program. They are unhappy that their theater and poetry groups are still embracing the traditional, white ideas and want to make a change, so they start their own women's activist group, called Write Like a Girl. Each group in the school has a blog, so they start theirs, and their writing attracts lots of attention, both good and bad. The principal admonishes th
Elise (TheBookishActress)
Jun 13, 2018 marked it as releases-2019
feminist blogger girls!!
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay so female empowerment books are either a love or hate type of books for me so I was a little wary of reading this, but it far exceeded my expectations! I absolutely loved this book!

I cannot explain how many emotions I went through reading this book, I was so pumped and excited and so mad at some things that happened, and I cried and laughed. Basically this book will leave you an emotional mess, but I loved it! One of the things I loved about this book was that it dealt with intersectional f
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
This book is said to be great for fans of The Hate U Give and Moxie and I honestly couldn’t describe it better. I feel like this book screams The Hate U Give and Moxie, it’s literally like the two books combined (well, with some differences of course). I enjoyed both of those books and now this one is also one I’ve enjoyed.

Before I get started in this review, I’m not a huge feminist. It’s not that I don’t support feminism, but I’m just not as heavily into it as this book is yet I still thoroughl
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like this book has so much potential to be absolutely awesome but sadly not all of it was realized. I really loved the feminist action and teens raising their voices and demanding to be heard and taken seriously, but the story connecting all the cool and well portrayed action was kinda lacking ... a lot of things. If these characters had been fleshed out more and given more backstory and chances to develop, the story would have been lifted to a whole new level. In many ways, this book was ...more
Kelly Hager
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I apologize in advance because I will not be able to discuss this book like a rational human being. 

I love this book. It is the book I needed when I was in high school; it is the book I need now.

Chelsea and Jasmine are amazing. They're smart and focused and fierce and funny and they are going to change the world, whether the people in their lives help or not. (I don't think it's a spoiler to say that many people don't but a not-small amount do.)

It's unapologetically feminist and its feminism is
Mary Thomas
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ahhhh! I loved this book! Fingers crossed that it becomes a Project LIT book next year. Regardless, this is going to spur such great conversations with students. Wonderfully paced and plotted. Highly, HIGHLY recommend for libraries and classrooms. 7th grade & up.
Jen McGraw
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got this book at NCTE while waiting in line to have Pieces of Me signed by Renee Watson. This is a great read with an amazing plot and enjoyable characters. Everything about this book made me smile and cry.
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I can't wait for so many of my students to read this book.
Jan 27, 2019 marked it as didn-t-finish
Really struggling with this. I love the construct of kids finding their voices through art. However, the writing is so expository and without nuance, it may as well be an essay. Perhaps I will try again later.
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
What Moxie did for feminism, Watch Us Rise does for intersectional feminism. What a powerful story. I loved that the girls’ essays and poems were part of the book as well. Such an important thing to show the rights and wrongs of how authority figures, especially schools, treat outspoken women and people of color.
Michele Knott
This is one of those books you’re going to want to make sure all the female teens and preteens in your life get to read. You know what, never mind. Give it to ALL the teens and preteens.
Taryn (Taryn and Her Books)
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.

Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen
This was a dense, heavy look at feminism and racism and body shaming and grief. At times it felt a bit didactic and one or two of the characters definitely existed to be one-dimensional molds of the "racist person" and the reaction of the school to some of the questionable events that took place were unrealistic, but it's all forgivable. This book has so much to teach all of us. It begs to be read again and again.
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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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