Thank you to HMH Teen and Netgalley for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Content warnings: rape, sexual harassment, repressed memories, homophobia, victim blaming. I mean like everything really.
If you’re planning on reading this book I want you to look at the list of warnings and maybe look into more in depth warnings if you’re worried because it’s really heavy. A lot happens in this book and whilst I think it’s an important book I hope everyone who reads it knows that it deals with some things that could be very triggering. Even this review, don’t read it if you’re worried it’ll affect you.
Mara’s biggest problem in life is that her ex has moved on and they’re not the close friends they used to be. Until Mara’s twin brother is accused of rape, and Mara struggles with believing the victim, her friend, over her brother who she has been close to all her life. She has to come to terms with her morals versus her family and when some repressed memories start coming to the surface it gets even worse.
I feel weird saying I loved this book because it’s such a rough book. Every page felt like a punch in the gut and I’ve never dealt with rape and/or sexual harassment. Whilst there is so many things in this book that can be triggering they are dealt with so well and I think that’s such a testament to Blake’s skill.
Mara is a very strong main character, her voice is so human and believable through the whole thing. For such rough topics it could really be a struggle for the author in making a character like Mara and keeping her voice one of a teenager, it could’ve gone too young or too old for her age but it didn’t. Please be so aware that Mara is a survivor of sexual abuse herself and she goes through suppressed memories of this. I didn’t know this before reading and whilst I’m not a survivor it shocked me. So again, be careful.
Mara’w ex Charlie is genderqueer and there’s a fair bit of discussion about it in the book, which I really wanted to point out because I haven’t seen too many people mention it. I keep seeing people say this is an f/f book, which it isn’t. I can’t speak for the representation but I could tell Blake had done her research.
I think because of the content this book will stay with me for a long time. I almost want to reread it but I don’t know if I want to put myself through that again. I want everyone to read it but I think for a good few people it could be emotionally harmful.
Girl Made of Stars comes out on the 15th!