Girl Made of Stars

Trigger Warnings: sexual assault, pedophilia, rape, victim shaming, panic attacks

Synopsis:

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“I need Owen to explain this. Because yes, I do know that Owen would never do that, but I also know Hannah would never lie about something like that.”

Mara and Owen are about as close as twins can get. So when Mara’s friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn’t know what to think. Can the brother she loves really be guilty of such a violent crime? Torn between the family she loves and her own sense of right and wrong, Mara is feeling lost, and it doesn’t help that things have been strained with her ex-girlfriend and best friend since childhood, Charlie.

As Mara, Hannah, and Charlie navigate this new terrain, Mara must face a trauma from her own past and decide where Charlie fits in her future. With sensitivity and openness, this timely novel confronts the difficult questions surrounding consent, victim blaming, and sexual assault.

My Thoughts:

This book made my heart break.

Blake has such an amazing, beautiful way of writing that just lured me in and took me on Mara’s journey. I cried and I felt a sort of primal rage whilst reading.

Her characters are authentic, realistic people that I could recognise in my high school corridors. More than that, there is this raw undercurrent to Blake’s writing that affected me so much. It just makes her writing that bit more heart-breaking and easy to connect with, whilst also making sure that you can feel her rage at this twisted culture.

Black dissects the ingrained realities of sexual violence in a nuanced and complex narrative that captures rape culture’s perversive influence and endless damage.Girl Made of Stars is  a raw and unflinching look at victim blaming, consent, male privilege and the tendencies of many to mock and underestimate.

The representation in this book and the relationships that develop from it are just beautiful, with a non binary love interest and bisexual protagonist.  Blake discusses the spectrums of sexuality and gender in a way that was so brilliant to read. In addition to this, Mara runs a feminist journal called Empower, which is intersectional and precisely the type of feminism that is needed more in YA.

Mara is such a brilliant protagonist, with Blake always making sure to fully explore the complexity of her feelings, especially when coupled with Mara’s own past trauma. This narrative is what really made the book stand out for me, with that desire to want to trust both people, only to have that trust ripped away from you.

Girl Made of Stars is a powerful, unflinching book that demands to be read.

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