Girl Made of Stars – 5/5 Stars
“They wrinkle their noses when I’m holding Charlie’s hand they wrinkle their noses when I’m not.”
Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake is a book about so many different things. First and foremost, it’s about a girl, Mara, and her twin brother, Owen. Owen is accused of rape by Mara’s best friend, Hannah. Most of the book is spent with Mara, who doesn’t know what or who to believe. On one hand, she wants to believe that her brother wouldn’t do such a thing. On the other hand, she would never dismiss someone’s serious accusations, especially not her best friend’s. Mara is in charge of a club called Empower. She writes articles about victims and helps to empower others to use their voice. It seems absurd to dismiss Hannah’s claims just because the person she’s accusing is Owen.
I had never read a book like this before, even though stuff like this happens daily around the globe. Rapists are often people we never suspect; they might be a friend, a brother, or a teacher. Girl Made of Stars deals with the aftermath. It explains that cases like these are almost always dropped. It shows the struggle of Hannah trying to get her truth told.
“I’m a distraction, he’ll say. Boys will be boys, he’ll say. If I’m a nice girl, I should know better, he’ll say. Because that’s what he says to any girl who shows a deltoid or has naturally long legs under her skirt or has to wear anything above an AA-cup. And that’s when I’ll breathe fire.”
The book also deals with Mara, and Mara’s past sexual assault. With her past a secret, she finds it hard to side with her brother, even though her family wants her to. Mara fights back and is the social warrior that we all strive to be. In the face of a horrible dilemma, she stands up for her friend when her brother needs her the most. Mara is a girl who will not deny any other person the chance to have their story told.
“This. This is why I never said anything. Because no one ever believes the girl.”
Girl Made of Stars deals with real life scenarios and teaches its readers about things that happen every day. It paints the picture of real high school parties where people get drunk and don’t ask for consent. It is an eye-opening book that I think everyone should read. I think that everyone could benefit and learn something from this book. The characters are real and vivid; each of them has and deals with their own struggles. They mesh incredibly well together and form a story that I am so unbelievably happy to have read.
“What does feel like a girl even mean, anyway?”
Not only does this book deal with rape accusations and brother/sister relationships, it deals with sexuality in an amazing way. Girl Made of Stars is not a coming out story, which I really appreciate. I find that most LGBT books and movies are often about someone coming out (which is great), but I also love having a book where not only one, but two people are out and proud! This addition of having two LGBT characters normalizes the inclusion of LGBT characters and is one of the reasons I gave this book a five-star rating. This is simply a young adult novel with two characters that happen to be LGBT. It’s amazing. It also deals with questioning identities. Charlie (Mara’s ex-girlfriend) struggles with not knowing who they are and there’s even a page or so where they discuss with Mara that they might be nonbinary. I love this book and I highly encourage everyone to read it. If you’re a victim or struggling with your identity or sexuality, I think you could find a lot of peace in this book. I know I did.
“There is no way to really move on. No song or empathetic friend or all the love I have for my brother will ever change that.”
I was however, disappointed with the way the book ended. I wanted Mara to get more closure for her own situation. I didn’t think this was reason enough to knock it of its five-star rating. Everything else is so utterly amazing and realistic that I think it deserves the praise. Mara, Charlie, and Hannah are three very empowering characters and their stories are wonderfully written. Girl Made of Stars is compelling and powerful, and is definitely a book that will stay on my shelf for years to come.