Bitter is thrilled to have been chosen to attend Eucalyptus, a special school where she can focus on her painting surrounded by other creative teens. But outside this haven, the streets are filled with protests against the deep injustices that grip the town of Lucille. Bitter's instinct is to stay safe within the walls of Eucalyptus . . . but her friends aren't willing to settle for a world that the adults say is 'just…

Bitter is a fast-paced, politically aware novel. As a prequel to Pet, one of Akwaeke Emezi’s former books, it expands on the world, magic, and characters living in the town of Lucille. Bitter has strong themes of using art as a form of resistance, and an understanding that not all fighting happens in the front lines. This is a refreshing new perspective for YA, especially paired with the casually diverse world building and the advocacy against violent protests. The magical element is original and ties in well to the plot and themes, and all around Bitter is an enjoyable and thought-provoking story.

Review by Tara – Viewbank College