Review | How We Rise by Brooke Riley

Hello, wonderful readers!

It’s been a hot minute since I shared a post, but I’m excited to say that I have finally finished reading the ever-amazing Brooke Riley’s debut novel, How We Rise. I won’t give too much away, but guys, it’s GOOD!

How We Rise is an edgy, YA read set in dystopian America just three years from now in 2023. It’s a fresh, fun read that I think anyone could enjoy. But now, to the actual review.


Our main characters are Raegan, Peter, and Agent Specter. If you know anything about me, of course my favorite ended up being Agent Specter. Overall, every character was a joy to read and each felt well-rounded and realistic. I will say that the two main characters (Raegan and Peter) weren’t my favorite, but that might have been because I found them a little boring at times. Still, they were highly enjoyable and their friendship dynamic was so incredibly realistic and beautiful. I loved it! I actually found the side-characters to be the best part of this story, and really wish we got see more about them, like Spencer and Samantha. But, I know this is a trilogy, so I’m desperately hoping for some more page-time next book *gives Brooke a knowing look* All of these characters surpassed what I normally expect from ones of this genre, and I fully support them all, though I’m not against a death or two 😉


Now, How We Rise follows a pretty standard plot when it comes to books of this genre and style, but Brooke made it very much her own, and I really appreciated it! There was never a dull moment, and she wove the harsh terrors of the world they live in beautifully. Cliffhangers, plot twists, and tense relationships abound in this story, and I loved every minute of it. Also, can we discuss the opening and closing lines? Because I am not okay! *glares at Brooke* If you’re a fan of dystopians, thrillers, or action books, then How We Rise should be a perfect fit for you. I’d describe it as THE DIVIDED NATION meets The Hunger Games.

Overall Enjoyment

I really, really liked this story. There were a few grammatical and formatting errors, but none that majorly took away from the story. Brooke Riley gives indie-publishing a good name with this fresh, exciting opening book for a dystopian trilogy that is sure to delight.

Content Warnings

Light cursing with words like h*ll and a**. It’s also quite violent at times, and shows you how cruel and demanding anyone can become when given too much power. Some mild romance with absolutely no negative content as well. I’d say anyone 12 and up could probably read this comfortably.

4/5 Stars


To learn more about Brooke Riley and her writing endeavors, you can find her at her website, or on Goodreads and Instagram.

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