how we rise

May 27, 2020

welcome to the next stop on the How We Rise book tour!!

I've been waiting for this day for ages! one of my best friends, Brooke, is releasing her first novel - and not only am I excited because I know her, but because the book is really really good :)) I've known Brooke for nearly three years (my word, so long already?) and I beta read some early chapters of this, saw how the cover design progressed, and practically enneagram typed all her characters (although, she did confirm everything through tests XDD). I am so proud of her and cannot wait to share her novel with all of youuuuu !!

How We Rise
by Brooke Riley

When the truth gets you killed… will you still Rise? 

Raegan MacArthur is content with her simple life. But lately, her life hasn’t been all that simple. She can’t drown out the screams in the night coming from the military base up the road. And she can’t ignore the truth behind them. 

Peter Daniels thought moving back to Texas with his mom for senior year was a good thing. A chance to reconnect with old friends and finally feel at home again. But his life now can never be the same as it was six years ago. 

Signs of government overreach are everywhere, and an unknown- yet familiar- enemy lurks in the shadows, watching their every move. The government is clamping down tighter and tighter on anyone who resists their ways. Raegan and Peter have to make the hardest decision they've ever faced: will they go quietly to save their lives… or will they rise?  

disclaimer: this book was written by one of my best friends and I might be slightly biased. I read it more critically than I would a book by a stranger, and I also enjoyed myself far too much (almost feeling as if these characters were my own) so my review isn't impartial.

- the review -

part i. the characters.

It's been quite a while since I've seen a supporting case as strong as the one in How We Rise. the protagonists, Raegan and Peter, are certainly characters who deserve love and support and all the hugs, but for me, the true shining stars were the side characters. there's something about their quirks, and emphasized traits, and humor that calls to me. they actually remind me - slightly - of the side characters in K. A. Emmons's trilogy. they're colorful; they're sympathetic; they're round. (almost too sympathetic, if you ask me; I certainly was too fond of someone I shouldn't have been fond of.)

anyone who doesn't ship Peter and Raegan is blind to the obvious truth - the two were meant to be together. and I don't mean this in a story-line sense. I mean that the author obviously wants us to ship them, and wrote them like that. whatever she plans to do with the ship, heaven knows. but what does she want us to do with them - SHIP THEM, OF COURSE. and I do. who can't? (if you don't I know some people who'll fight you.) but whatever the standing of their feelings, these two are awfully lovable individually, and I'm sure you'll be cheering them on their adventures too.

part ii. the plot.

I was extremely invested. to be fair, it wasn't as fast paced as I would expect a dystopian to be, but then, that's where the contemporary vibe comes in. see, this book is dystopian in its storyline and the current set up of the world - but it's a contemporary in the sense that its set in a contemporary time where the technology and the make up of society is very similar to what we currently have. nevertheless, I was quite hooked. there was this delicious mystery element that kept me on my toes, trying to guess the identity of a certain someone - and that also that kept the characters busy trying to sort things out.

there was definitely a predominant mood of danger and doom in this book - something I appreciate. it /felt/ like a solid dystopian in this sense. and I liked how I could kinda see where the plot was going, but not really - it made sense to me and yet surprised me all at the same time. I'd also like to say that I have the brain of a five year old when it comes to comprehending strange and complicated political intrigues and plots - but I understood everything going on in here. the author did a great job explaining things simply yet soundly.

part iii. world building.

I've already touched upon this a little, but I like how I got a sense of what was happening all over the country instead of just this little corner of the world that the character's inhabit. I do still have some unanswered questions on the "how" part of some past events that happened in this dystopian world, but other than that, the author did a wonderful job laying out the land and showing us what was going on. I also really appreciated her descriptions - concise yet precise.

part iv. somethings you should look forward to reading in the book

- friends who obviously should be lovers but keep denying it
- very complex troubled conflicted bois
- someone cocky, someone broody, someone sunny, someone vicious.
- hinted-at-ships that could go any direction but I'm here cheering for them
- an evil president
- a very very scary sort of school
- a very very interesting/exciting rebel institute
- R E L A T I O N S H I P S
- a very dark mood
- kidnapping
- shooting
- some punching and running
- some scheming
- blackmail
- a very neatly and beautifully woven in theme that's apparent but doesn't slap you in the face with its apparent-ness
- some happiness, some sadness, a lot of in the between of the two
- the audience [you and me] screaming over a lot of things

part v. thoughts summed up

I'm so proud of Brooke. YOU SHOULD READ HER BOOK. it's really lovely. it's quite exciting. it's quite BrUtAL, too. 4.5 stars/5 stars (rounded to 5 for the goodreads rating). I think you'll enjoy it. and I for one can't wait for book 2.

recommended for everyone, especially those who love books full of amazing relationships, a touch of futuristic, and a struggle against tyrants.

// read more here about the characters 
// read more here if you need more convincing

have you read this book yet, or do you want to?
what's your favorite dystopian novel to date?
if you lived in a dystopia, would you rise?

peace out, lisa

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    1. BROOKE I'M SO HONORED TO BE A PART OF YOUR BOOK'S RELEASE and you author journey, so proud of you!! Thank youuu <333

  2. Okay but YES to the conflicted complex bois. *cough* especially Evan *cough* favorite character *cough*

    This is a FANTASTIC review, Lisa!!

    1. AAAHHHHH I'm so happy you love Evan ((he's my fav too, whyyy)) XDD

  3. AHHHHHH I really want to read this, but I've had to put myself on a serious spending budget. Grrrrr. It's on the top of my list to buy though!! (And I don't want to wait for it to go on sale, as I want to support Indie authors, so I'm saving up!)

    1. The pains of the bookworm :(( I THINK YOU'LL REALLY LOVE IT WHEN YOU GET THE CHANCE TO READ IT!!


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© Lisa Elis 2017-2019. All text mine unless otherwise credited. Please do not steal. Thank you.