Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

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 her beloved brother 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 best friend and ex-girlfriend, Charlie.
As Mara, Hannah, and Charlie navigate this new terrain, Mara must face a trauma from her own past and decide where Charlie fits into her future and how to move forward.
Confronting difficult questions surrounding consent, victim blaming, and sexual assault, Girl Made of Stars is a timely, emotionally gripping novel that shines a light on the story of a survivor with sensitivity and hope.
My wonderful twinny, Alana, got me this book for Christmas off my wish list. Its one that I’ve heard nothing but great things about and I’ve been super excited to get to it. With the start of Contemporary January, I knew this book was at the top of my list. This was my first read of 2019 and I’m so glad for that. I could not put it down one I started. I read 180 pages in my first sitting and then read the rest in the car while I was traveling the next day.

“It’s as though the stars are breaking apart in the sky, nothing but dark underneath.”

Girl Made of Stars was hard hitting but realistic. This wasn’t a story about how rape is a thing that happens, but those that do wrong get what they deserve. This was a story for all those that have had these experiences with no closure. And I loved it. I thought it was an excellent story with characters you can really feel for.

“Secrets are safe in here. It’s our own little world, just you and me.”

Mara, the main character, was someone I could really get behind. I tried to imagine how I would feel is my brother had done something like this, let alone to one of my best friends, and what I would do. It really made me relate and care for Mara. She’s not the one that did anything wrong here, but she’s still basically being punished for her brother’s wrong doing whether she sides with her brother or her best friend. I loved Mara. I loved that she stood up for what she knew to be right, even though it was hard. I really loved how she grew and changed.

“How can I believe either one of them? How can I not believe them?”

I loved all the supporting characters too. They were interesting and compelling and I cared about them, even Owen (the brother). We don’t just go into the story knowing he’s done something wrong. We see him and like him, and then are dumped on with this horrible thing he’s done. Alex was Owen’s best friend, but he and Mara grew closer with all of the events in the book and I thought that was a nice touch. The two people that were not actually involved, but were still affected by this coming together was a beautiful thing to me. A new friendship coming out of such a horrible thing. Hannah was just, ugh. I was so proud of Hannah. She was so strong and held her head high and didn’t let anyone bring her down. Even after everything she’s going through, she sticks by Mara. I really appreciated that. There was one instance with them, the first time Mara sees Hannah after it all happens that has me in complete tears. I cannot imagine being in either of their shoes and I just have so much respect for them both.

“Freedom. Release. A sort of falling apart that felt like letting go.”

Then there’s Charlie. I liked her because she was new to me. She’s complex and interesting. She tries to please everyone despite being sure about who she is. There were parts where I was very frustrated with Charlie and Mara. I just wanted them to get over their drama and be there for one another. The fact that they dated brought a really unique dynamic to their friendship. They are figuring out how to still be the best friends they always were while also trying to deal with their breakup. It was an intriguing addition to the story where they are both trying to deal with their own shit while also help one another and Hannah.

“Eventually, Sister Twin realized that she has to tell her story. Because that story was hers. Because she was worth the telling.”

Overall, I really loved this book. It made me cry again and again. This is such an important story and I think everyone needs to read it. It talks about something that people don’t want to talk about, but it needs to be.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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