Monday, February 17, 2020

Book Review: Fight Like a Girl by Sheena Kamal

Title: Fight Like a Girl
Author: Sheena Kamal
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Genres: Young adult
Format: Paperback
Expected Publication Date: March 10th 2020
Pages: 272

Synopsis (Goodreads): Love and violence. In some families they're bound up together, dysfunctional and poisonous, passed from generation to generation like eye color or a quirk of smile. Trisha's trying to break the chain, channeling her violent impulses into Muay Thai kickboxing, an unlikely sport for a slightly built girl of Trinidadian descent. Her father comes and goes as he pleases, his presence adding a layer of tension to Toronto's east-end townhouse Trisha and her mom call home, every punch he lands on her mother carving itself indelibly into Trisha's mind.

Until the night he wanders out drunk in front of the car Trisha is driving, practicing on her learner's permit, her mother in the passenger seat. Her father is killed, and her mother seems strangely at peace. Lighter, somehow. Trisha doesn't know exactly what happened that night, but she's afraid it's going to happen again. Her mom has a new man in her life and the patterns, they are repeating.


My rating: 3.5 / 5 ★

I had thought that I have no expectations on this book when I started it–not because I think it would be bad, I just had no idea what to expect from it. But after finishing Fight Like a Girl, I guess I probably expected something out of it, because way after the end, somehow I felt that it was not quite... what I should be expecting?

Confusing, huh? That's probably the best explanation for my feelings that I can muster after reading Fight Like a Girl.

Plot-wise, I considered it like a slice-of-life genre, just a portion of Trisha's life being written down. Apart from the mystery behind her irresponsible father's death and the patterns repeating when her mother finds a new man, everything else seems to not leave me with any impression. The ending just left me with a "Is that it? That's all?".

But I do appreciate that the author did not focus too much on the romance between Trisha and the boy from the gym, but focuses more on her relationship with her mother. The words "But what she's saying, what he was, is that you're mine" refer to Trisha's thoughts on her mother, and it may sound nice without the right context, but I assure that in the book itself, it definitely did not portray something good. Her mother seems to be the type that is very loving, but disguised inside the love is a threatening possessiveness. When things don't go her way, all hell will break loose, never mind that her loved one is getting hurt through it. Which is terrifying, because this kind of person do exist in real world.

I have not much thoughts on the rest, it's a relatively good read, but sadly it didn't leave any lasting impression to me. I was probably expecting a much fiercer story.

Many thanks to Pansing for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Fight Like a Girl will be released on the 10th of March 2020.

Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'


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