Fight like a Girl Review

Fight like a Girl by Sheena Kamal

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

I received this book from the publisher for free in the hopes I’d review. Now, this sounded intriguing, so I had to read it, but it coming from the publisher doesn’t influence my opinions of it.

Let’s start with the fact this book packs a punch and it will hit hard. As such, it requires a few content warnings: abuse (in various forms and dynamics: parent-child, between partners, as a social construct; emotional, financial, physical), manipulation, gaslighting, murder, fighting.

I did say it packs a punch. We meet Trisha who is shaken due to the fact she accidentally ran over her father, after he wandered in front of her car and he died. She’s not really emotional about it since he was a bit of an enstranged father and it is her mother who she loves.

But love in her world is translated into violence. Her mother will hit her because she loves her and the next moment make her a nice meal. And Trisha is doing the best to try to be better, do better, so she channels all that into Muay Thai kickboxing.

The book is short, and mostly shows two parts of Trisha’s world. The one where she is trying to become a good fighter and do more, get everything out of her system and make the gym and her teacher/mentor proud. But she’s just not very “lucky” and keeps losing her fights.

The other side is her family, the dynamics of the friendship between her mother, aunt and neighbour, and then how her mother very quickly seems to replace her father after the accident. At first Trisha accepts things as they are, but as time goes by she starts questioning how things really happened and why they are happening.

There is a lot of anger in Trisha, so this is a very “emotional” book where she is trying to make sense of the whole I love you and hit you at the same time, and also trying to understand where she belongs and what she can do. And she feels slightly unbalanced, should she be asking questions and does she want to know the answers behind what her mother does, what happened to her dad and the past?

The only part that didn’t really work for me was the soucoyant stories, as they are woven in a way that they may be bordering the line of realism and not, but then the thread of that is lost and kind not followed through. There a few loose threads left that had a lot of attention and then suddenly they aren’t there anymore, as if it wasn’t important or it never mattered, yet they take a few chapters and keep being mentioned for a while. I wish more had been done to follow on that particular thread or that it hadn’t really appeared as all it did was distract and detract fromthe story since it went nowhere (it peaked my curiosity, mad eme wonder and then I was like “but what about the whole soucoyant thing? what was the point?”).

I’d say, that if you plan on reading this to be prepared for how gritt and brutal it is. The only other similar book I can think of, is Monday is not coming, which was very intense too.

Always Forever Maybe Review

This book was kindly provided to me by Shrina from Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review, and I promise this will be one.

Before I start, however, I need to say two warnings:

  • TW: abuse, gaslighting, manipulation
  • This review will contain spoilers, I will strike them but just to make you aware.

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Always Forever Maybe by Anica Mrose Rissi

When Betts meets Aiden at the candy store where she works, their connection is like a sugar rush to the heart. Betts already knows the two of them are infinite. Inevitable. Destined to become an us.

Betts has only ever kept one secret from her best friend, Jo, but suddenly there’s a long list of things she won’t tell her, things Jo wouldn’t understand. Because Jo doesn’t see how good Aiden is for Betts. She finds him needy. Possessive. Controlling.

She’s wrong. With a love like this, nothing else matters.

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20px

This book is an intense read, and it excels at that. It was hard for me, since I have been in a relationship similar to the one Aiden and Betts have in the book.

They meet up at a sweets shop and everything is “sweet” at the beginning, but then it becomes a possessive controlling thing. Aiden wants her to spend time with him, gets jealous if she spends time with her family, or her best friends, or whatever happens, he wants all her free time for him.

And he starts playing games with Betts, making her feel guilty for things he says are wrong (they aren’t) and how he can’t cope with all of this. Jo, her best friend, sees things are not okay and tries to help but somehow fails. I do not blame her, it is hard to see once you’re inside a relationship like this, things become blurry and you aren’t ever sure if it is you that’s the one that’s the problem or not.

It was also awful to read how he is violent to her or possessive, and then read how Betts questions her own mind. Part of her knows it is wrong but she feels in love and she thinks this is it, that this is what it should be. It kept breaking my heart to read this, however, I would recommend others to read it, so you don’t fall for a man like Aiden or let him get away with it!

I was also happy that there was no “romance” in the end of the book (yes, I know the book is about Aiden and Betts but there is no “I just ended one relationship, started a new one 3 seconds later”)

Moon recommends

I don’t actually have a specific recommendation, except that if you experience anything like what Betts does here, to reach out to others. And do read this book, you can find it here.