Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake is available now!!
Read our shared review!
“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 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.
As you can probably tell from the synopsis, this book is about sexual assault. But it is probably different from any other book about sexual assault you’ve read in the past, it sure was different for me
Girl Made of Stars is told from the point of view of a girl, Mara, whose twin brother is accused of sexually assaulting one of her best friends. Just try to imagine how that must feel like. I know I can’t. I tried to put myself in Mara’s shoes while reading this story but it was very hard. In my head things were either black or white and there was no in between. As soon as Owen’s girlfriend said he assaulted her, I hated him. Immediately. But from Mara’s perspective there are more shades than black and white because she loves both of the people involved and she wants to believe both sides of the story. Which led to me being frustrated and angry because I kept thinking, “Mara, why don’t you hate him?! Why don’t you tell your parents you think he is lying?!”, and at the same I had this thought, “of course she can’t hate him, he’s her freaking TWIN”. It was like a war inside my mind that drove me crazy and made enjoy the story a little less. That was all on me. And I felt like I had to share that with you because that’s the reason I can’t give five stars to this book. I think my empathy flew out the window.
Aside from my inability to connect with Mara, I loved everything in this book. I loved how honest and heart wrenching the story was. I loved how the author handled the topic of sexual assault. I loved that this was a story about overcoming the trauma of sexual assault and of people finally speaking up about it. And I sincerely believe most of you are going to love all of those things too so please, please, please give it a chance.
4.5 / 5 flowers
Okay so here’s the thing, I didn’t absolutely hate Owen and this review won’t be full of negative feelings and thoughts towards him so if you’re not up to read that, stop reading here.
Mara’s story is more about the collateral damage done after Hannah—one of Mara’s best friends—says her boyfriends Owen (Mara’s twin brother) raped her. That’s the big plot; there are obviously smaller conflicts within the story like Mara’s relationship with her ex girlfriend, Charlie. I liked this book because it touches a very important topic and it doesn’t do it from the normal point of view, the story revolves around what happens when someone so close to Mara harms someone else she loves and she doesn’t know what to think, who to believe and what to do.
The reason why I didn’t hate Owen was because I got fully in character mentality and didn’t know, for sure, if he did it or not. And I found myself being sort of numb towards Owen, I didn’t hate him but I obviously didn’t like him. He was just there for me. Which makes me feel like a horrible person because how can you not hate someone who did something so terrible?
Girl Made of Stars made me cry. Simple as that, I didn’t absolutely bawl my eyes out, I didn’t sob until my lungs hurt, I just sat and let the tears run down my face as I finished reading the book and, as weird as it sounds, it was nice. I would like to know what happens next, I think there are a lot of things that were left unfinished and I would like to see what proceeds.
In the end, I liked it a lot, it’s an amazing book. I definitely recommend you all check it out if you’re able to.
5 / 5 flowers
Massive thanks to HMH Books for Young Readers for sending us a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!