Tradition by Brendan Kiely ARC Review

Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is seriously the kind of book that I can imagine future students studying in schools; it deals with relevant issues unflinchingly, and in a totally refreshing way, and I really think that it’s a book that everyone should read.Most of the feminist books I’ve read have always been in a girl’s POV; we only hear the girls’ thoughts and feelings on rape culture and harassment, whereas in Tradition, the story is told through both Jules and Jamie’s perspective.

Jules is a difficult girl. She’s the girl asking questions and demanding answers; she’s the girl handing out leaflets to first year girls about their sexual health and trying to normalise tampons. The students say she’s crazy, and the teachers say she complains too much, but she never backs down and gives in. She’s a total icon, and you’re gonna love her.

Jamie is the new kid at Fullbrook, having left his old school after being involved in a almost-fatal accident. He already feels like an outsider, the poor kid in a school where the students’ parents arrive in helicopters, and like he doesn’t deserve a second chance – and these feelings are only amplified when he can’t join in with the sexist changing room ‘banter’. He grows closer with Jules, and they work together to expose the school and the sexist traditions they hold dear.

Whilst Jamie wasn’t my favourite character in this book, I did absolutely love seeing his thoughts on the male dominance at Fullbrook, and I loved seeing him finding his voice and standing up for what is right, even when he didn’t have to, when it didn’t directly effect him.

The ending also totally worked for me, even though I know some people won’t be crazy about it because there isn’t really a whole lot of closure. The boys don’t suddenly see the light and apologise to every girl they’ve ever put down; they don’t get kicked out for their crimes. But there is change, however small. Jules and Jamie bring hope to some of the girls at Fullbrook; they take small steps into the right direction.

*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review*

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