Title: Girl Made of Stars
Author: Ashley Herring Blake
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: May 15th 2018
Number of Pages: 426
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
“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.
**I want to thank HMH Teen and Netgalley for providing me an eARC. This, by any means, did not affect nor influence my review.**
TW: sexual assault and rape
This. This is why I never said anything. Because no one ever believes the girl.
I almost decided not to review this book. This became close and personal to me. Reopening old wounds is almost an impossibility. But you know what makes this special? This will help you heal. You may not be able to heal completely yet, or probably forever, (who knows?) but it will surely help you in the process. And this book will somehow make you think “Maybe if Mara, Hanna, Charlie, and other girls out there can be brave, I can too.”
This is just fucking brave and necessary. This talks about gender – and really talks about it – rape, sexual assault and its survivors as well. This shows how a sexual assault or rape victim thinks and feels, how they were all changed forever. And calls out victim-blaming and other misogynistic bs.
Mara, the main character is a good storyteller. It just felt easy to put myself in her shoes. She loves astrology, she is a feminist, she is bisexual, she is a loving daughter and twin, and she is a sexual assault survivor. She struggled so much in this book but remained strong and standing despite the invisible wounds and scars. I really loved every second I spent accompanying her and the other girls – Hannah and Charlie – in this journey. I also loved the complex relationship between her and Charlie, their love story just tells how complicated friendship and love can be when combined. I also liked her story with Alex, though I didn’t exactly love it given the circumstances and the end. But I liked how complex, conflicting and realistic it is. I personally loved Alex and definitely wish him the best.
The conflicting feelings Mara felt between being a twin and a daughter, and being a friend, a girl and just herself Mara, they are raw and deeply felt. Describing Mara’s situation as hard and painful would be an understatement. It was more than that because it changed lives, it changed relationships forever. It caused damages that will never be undone. It was a situation no one wants to find themselves in. And I commend this book for being brave to talk about such a complicated and controversial story.
All of the characters, the setting, the plot, the feelings, the issues, basically everything in this book felt so real. So solid, like no one can break this book just like no one can also break the girls made of bones and flesh in this book. I also love the fact that there was an organization founded by Mara and Charlie called Empowered. This is an organization the real world needs, and I hope young girls will be inspired and empowered by the idea and follow their lead. What I love even more? I, myself, felt empowered after reading this book, and I know, I will continue to feel empowered.
Girl Made of Stars, because of this book the main thought I now have is this: For every girl out there who have been a victim of rape or sexual assault, you are a survivor. Even if you are silent or loud, you are fucking brave, you are a fucking survivor. And your story matters – you matter. Girl Made of Stars, this is the story of fucking brave girls that needs to be heard. I highly recommend this one. It would be a loss not to be able to read Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake.
Ashley Herring Blake is a reader, writer, and mom to two boisterous boys. She holds a Master’s degree in teaching and loves coffee, arranging her books by color, and watching Buffy over and over again on Netflix with her friends. She’s the author of the young adult novels SUFFER LOVE, HOW TO MAKE A WISH, and GIRL MADE OF STARS, as well as the middle grade novel, IVY ABERDEEN’S LETTER TO THE WORLD.
Find her on:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Have you read Girl Made of Stars? Did you love it as well? What are your thoughts about the characters? How about Mara and Owen’s relationship? Did you not like anything in this book? Share your thoughts below!