Book: Girl Made Of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
Published May 2018 by HMH Books For Young Readers|295 pages
Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library
Genre: YA Contemporary
For readers of Girl in Pieces and The Way I Used to Be comes an emotionally gripping story about facing hard truths in the aftermath of sexual assault.
Mara and Owen are as close as twins can get, so when Mara’s friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn’t know what to think. Can her brother really be guilty of such a violent act? Torn between her family and her sense of right and wrong, Mara feels lost, and it doesn’t help that things are strained with her ex-girlfriend, Charlie. As Mara, Hannah, and Charlie come together in the aftermath of this terrible crime, Mara must face a trauma from her own past and decide where Charlie fits into her future. With sensitivity and openness, this timely novel confronts the difficult questions surrounding consent, victim blaming, and sexual assault.
I absolutely LOVED this book. It absolutely gutted me and I was a sobbing mess by the end of the book. It is worth reading. Please please please let this be one of the books you read this year. It’s very much a look at rape culture, and please keep that in mind if you do pick up the book- or continue reading this review.
I felt so much for Mara, who doesn’t want to believe that her brother did, but she also wants to believe Hannah, especially since Hannah isn’t the type of person who would make it up. The way people treated Hannah when she came back to school was horrifying but not surprising, and I’m not surprised that a lot of people seemed to believe it didn’t happen the way Hannah said it did. And it’s horrifying that charges weren’t pressed, at least partially because Hannah and Owen were dating and because they had sex before. I was so angry, but again, it wasn’t a surprise.
I loved Hannah’s relationship with Charlie, and they both have their flaws and things they’re dealing with, but they rely on each other to get through it. I also loved seeing Mara’s relationship with Hannah, and how it changes throughout the book.
Girl Made Of Stars isn’t just about Hannah’s rape- it’s about the trauma Mara experienced when someone she trust took away that trust in a society that doesn’t believe women when they come forward about sexual assault. Mara’s parents believing Owen didn’t do anything, meant that they would never believe Mara if she told them what happened to her. You see so clearly how everyone feels and what they think and it’s messy and complicated and you see it so much throughout the book.
I loved everything about this book, as heart-wrenching as it was to read. I know there is no way I can do this book justice, and I’m having the hardest time putting into words how amazing and powerful this book is. I’m starting to cry just thinking about how I felt when I read this book, and that’s not something that happens often.
Just make sure this book is one of the ones you read this year.
5 stars. I cannot think of a single negative thing about this book, and it’s one book I’m glad I picked up.