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The Stars and the Blackness Between Them

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  608 ratings  ·  189 reviews
Told in two distinct and irresistible voices, Junauda Petrus’s bold and lyrical debut is the story of two black girls from very different backgrounds finding love and happiness in a world that seems determined to deny them both.

Trinidad. Sixteen-year-old Audre is despondent, having just found out she’s going to be sent to live in America with her father because her
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
Wow. Wow wow wow. I spent most of this book not thinking it would get me emotional, but it absolutely destroyed me in the end. I think this is a f/f YA that flew a little under the radar in 2019 and I hope it gets more time in the spotlight going into the new year. If you are participating in f/f February and also intend to read Black authors (aka my 2020 plans) then this is a MUST READ. Warnings for some emotional intensity - one of the main characters is suffering from a mystery illness and ...more
may ➹
4.5 stars

The Stars and the Blackness Between Them is a book I don’t think I’ll ever forget. The way it made me feel, the way it was written—everything about it feels like it was a gift to this world that I wasn’t worthy of experiencing.

My first thought upon finishing was just, “Oh my god.” There are no other words for how I felt, because this book was absolutely gorgeous. I don’t know how exactly to describe it, but I teared up so many times reading it. I’m tearing up right now as I write this
Jesse bowtiesandbooks
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
When 16 year old Audre’s homophobic mother catches her with her girlfriend, she is sent to live in Minneapolis - thousands of miles away from her partner, family, and beloved Trinidad.
What does it mean to be uprooted? Despite her grief, Audre meets Mabel, and an undeniable attraction - and love - blooms between them.

The audiobook is the ONLY way to read this book. Partially read by the author, the girls’ two distinct voices weave together with the cohesion and beauty of a tapestry. Much of the
Aug 29, 2019 marked it as 2020-priority-tbr
That cover! That Title! The universe knew I needed more black lesbian fiction in my life . Can't wait! ...more
temi ★
Apr 10, 2019 marked it as to-read
so apparently i was found passed out in my room after reading the summary of this book. wow
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen-fiction
OK OK OK now that I’ve had a few days to wholly bask in the sheer magic of this book’s creation...

This is my favorite read of the year, hands down. Juanada Petrus is a fabulous storyteller. She managed to incorporate soo many people’s lives in many dimensions into this book and it didn’t feel overwhelming or extraneous or unnecessary. Her language was lyrical and concise and Black as hell. I loved the joining of vastly different parts of the diaspora: a Black girl from middle America (Mabel) and
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
This book was different than what i expected in every single way. It was so soft and tender and magical and I loved every single minute of it even if hard to read at times.

RTC!! (I swear i'll catch up eventually)
c, (½ of readsrainbow)
that ending??? hello???

Rep: Black lesbian mcs (one Trinidadian), Black Muslim sc, Black cast & other wlw side characters

CWs: homophobia & child abuse (ch.3)
Liv Morris
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is, hands down, one of the most interesting, original YA books I’ve ever read. I’m incredibly glad I got the chance to read it, and I’m a bit at a loss as to how to describe it. There are a lot of different threads here, all of them working together to illustrate interconnectedness, the link between people, between the past and the present, between the body and the spirit. It’s a spiritual book, rooted in both New Age and historical Black sensibilities. This spirituality is so deeply felt ...more
Rec-It Rachel
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was such a unique reading experience. And such a beautifully written book.

This is one of those books that wasn't written for me as a white reader, and that I couldn't be happier exists. I really loved this book, and I think it will mean a lot to own voices readers.

Rep: all Black cast, f/f romance, LGBTQ+ side characters, Muslim side character

CWs: religious and internalized homophobia, physical abuse, terminal illness, incarceration
Sep 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
Overall, this was good. There were a few pacing issues, and it is hard to get into at first, but I love all the queerness and seeing two new looks into two different cultures. Both Audre and Mabel have really great father characters that I love so much. The ending made me VERY confused, still not sure how I feel about it. (EDIT: I have thought about for a couple months, and I kind of hate it:/) I am excited to see what else this author has in store!

Thanks to Book of the Month YA for bringing
kav (xreadingsolacex)
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
" Black folks we are limitless. That, maybe, our blackness holds ancient cosmic memory. What if our wisdom comes from our dreams, not just churches and Bibles?"

The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus is one of the most beautiful novels I have ever read. This moving contemporary follows Mabel and Audre, two sapphic Black MCs who fall in love with each other over the course of this novel. Audre is kicked out of her house and forced to move from Trinidad to America after
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
DNF at pg. 122

CW: terminal cancer, homophobia, and transphobia

I hate that this is my first review of the year.

I only read to page 122 and this book, for me, was middling at best for what I had read so far. This book isn't written for me. I'm a very white male, not a black or Trini female who's queer. But the publisher sent me this book and I wanted to try it.

My main thing is that this book features one MC who's diagnosed with terminal cancer. None of the reviews I read/skimmed mentioned this
ONYX Pages
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wooooow!! 4.5

What a glorious, melanated, magical love story!

Bravo! Brrraps! Biggup!
Neville Longbottom
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtqia, 2019
After Audre’s mother catches her with another girl she is sent from Trinidad to live with her father in the United States. There her path crosses with Mabel, a girl who becomes Audre’s closest friend and perhaps something more. But both their lives change when Mabel receives some surprising test results after feeling sick all summer. I really enjoyed this book, but it ended up being really different from what I assumed it would be. I guess I didn’t read the synopsis closely because I wasn’t ...more
Tomes And Textiles
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, pub-penguin
Find the full review on Tomes and Textiles.

“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched your into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” Audre Lord

What if I told you nothing else about a book except: read it. Would you pick it up? Would you at least put it on your radar for me? Read the synopsis in my first comment?

What if I then told you the writing had the poetic lyricism of Elizabeth Acevedo and Jandy Nelson? The writing is baptized by queens Toni Morrison and Audre
An excellent Sapphic romance between two Black girls navigating what it means to be Black in America. Mabel has always lived in Minneapolis, but Audra is new -- she's been sent to live with her father there from her home in Trinidad after her mother catches her physical with another girl. Together, the girls navigate high school and Mabel's terminal illness, falling into deep love with one another.

Written partly in dialect, with seasons depicted by zodiac signs and poetry, this is gorgeous
I was lucky enough to get an ARC at ALA this year and promptly fall a little in love with both Audre and Mabel and their gorgeous, heartrending story. This is a stunning story of queer Black girls in love and I can't wait to read Junauda Petrus' next work.

This has immediately gone onto my "purchase for school library collection" list.
Feb 12, 2018 marked it as to-read
this sounds sad oh no please don't destroy me like the song of achilles
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
.5 | impactful. slow. disjointed.

’how could they call loving you anything demonic? whose god is this?’

for the most part, i did like this! it wasn’t as good as i wanted it to be, but i still believe that there are many people who will find this book refreshing and impressionable.

one thing i really enjoyed about this was how it was written as a kind of tribute to the female body. it’s honoring femininity through a very normalized exploration of sex, masturbation, female friendships, lesbian
4.5 stars
I highly recommend the audio book, partially narrated by the author.
There are strong themes of astrology, spirituality, and religion which I personally didn't connect to but didn't bother me.
faith ✨
Silently crying @ the fact I need this book so badly
Danika at The Lesbrary
I really appreciated the skill at work here. Audre and Mabel are well-rounded characters, and I loved their relationship. Mabel pushes away the people in her life when she becomes seriously ill, and they also don't know how to be around her. Audre is determined to keep their friendship, and she continues to show up for Mabel. They develop a stronger relationship through this. Audre is also still dealing with the rejection from her mother, and slowly becoming closer to the father that she has ...more
Feb 17, 2020 marked it as to-read
DNF for now, had a hard time reading the Trinidadian Creole so I'll come back to it when I can be more focused or if I can get the audiobook from the library.
4.5 stars.

“Mabel. Loving on you is prayer, like the prayers of bees is honey. We loved on each other like we always been. My fingers caressed your naps in this life. It placed oils. And we was infinite and knew how to love. On the scalp. Along the cornrow and on each other. These coilings was anoited like a real love. We was a cosmic conversation, before I even met you in this life.”

The Stars and the Blackness Between Them follows sixteen-year-olds Audre and Mabel. Audre is from Trinidad and has
C.E. G
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the best YA I've read so far this year. I think there are a number of reasons I really liked it:

* The author is a poet and it shows - the writing was really beautiful.
* It's set in Minneapolis! The characters go to South High!
* Each section of the book starts with a poem about a different astrological sign.
* The characters are into the Minnesota Lynx, vegan food, social justice, and exploring queerness and black identity.

It's not a novel written for me (it's very much about black
Elise (TheBookishActress)
I'm already so proud of these sapphics of color can't wait for them to get published
Kurt Ostrow
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, favorites-ya
"We outsmarted oblivion seven times in a row
and made it look like jazz with no chains,
like shaking out butt with no shame.
We moonwalked past the ghosts of this living world.
We decided.
To free ourselves out of the estranged,
strangling of this reality.
We swan-dived and centered in our magic.
We found an eternal life that oculdn't understand
prisons or any other enslavement.
We was not at the frequency that could catch or contort
our souls.
It wasn't easy, but destiny is destiny.
Our bodies
levitated by
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“Mabel. Loving on you is prayer, like the prayers of bees is honey. We loved on each other like we always been. My fingers caressed your naps in this life. It placed oils. And we was infinite and knew how to love. On the scalp. Along the cornrow and on each other. These coilings was anoited like a real love. We was a cosmic conversation, before I even met you in this life.” 3 likes
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