Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “My Name Is Venus Black” as Want to Read:
My Name Is Venus Black
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

My Name Is Venus Black

by
4.04  ·  Rating details ·  2,063 ratings  ·  569 reviews
Venus Black is a straitlaced A student fascinated by the study of astronomy—until the night she commits a shocking crime that tears her family apart and ignites a media firestorm. Venus refuses to talk about what happened or why, except to blame her mother. Adding to the mystery, Venus’s developmentally challenged younger brother, Leo, goes missing.

More than five years la
...more
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published February 27th 2018 by The Dial Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about My Name Is Venus Black, please sign up.
Recent Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,063 ratings  ·  569 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of My Name Is Venus Black
Deanna
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

4.5 Stars!!

I was pretty excited to read this novel. I actually started to get nervous at how excited I was. I thought that if I built it up too much in my head that I might be let down. But I wasn’t.

In my opinion, this was a phenomenal read!!

Venus Black is a high school student. Her teachers often told her mother how wonderful it was to have Venus in their class. Her mother wished that Venus was “ such a pleasure ” at hom
...more
Meredith
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 stars

Heartfelt, moving read about friendship, family, love, and forgiveness. My Name is Venus Black is about a broken family struggling to put the pieces back together after 13- year-old Venus kills her stepfather. This isn’t about the how and the why Venus killed her stepfather, it’s about how actions and reactions don’t always have the desired outcome and how the right choices are not always the easy ones.


The book opens in 1980 with 13-year-old Venus Black being taken to juvenile dete
...more
Larry H
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley


Yes, me, too, Tom! This was such a great book!

One night in 1980, 13-year-old Venus Black's life, and the life of her family, changes dramatically when she commits a crime. She doesn't want to talk about it, but the media can't get enough of it. It's a surprise to many who know Venus well, because she is a straight-A student who dreams of being an astronaut. Her crime, and her subsequent refusal to talk about that night, or the events which led up to it, strains her already-difficult relationshi
...more
Angela M
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Stories from the perspective of children always get to me because the children are almost always so honest and many times so much more astute than the adults . I certainly felt this way as I read this book. It’s hard to read at times because some sad and awful things happen. If not for these child characters, this probably would not have appealed to me when my friend Esil recommended this book . There are crimes committed - murder and then a kidnapping, some suspense - usually not my k
...more
Julie
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Berit☀️✨
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley, 2018
All The stars and planets for Venus Black🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This book definitely put a BIG smile on my face..... this is an absolute character driven book with some extremely likable characters and some a little tougher to like.....


Venus is sent to juvenile detention when she is 13 for killing her stepfather.... shortly after Venus is incarcerated her little brother Leo is taken.... Venus spends her five years in juvenile detention bitter and angry with her mother... and worried about and missing her little
...more
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
3.75 stars

I've backed off from young adult books lately...because they all seem to fall into a couple of categories.



or



Because magic penis fixes everythang. So when I pick up a book and the main theme is not like that I get a bit excited.
This book starts when Venus is thirteen years old. She has killed her stepfather and is facing the consequences. Then to top off the bad life she is having her mentally challenged brother Leo goes missing.



Later on Venus has finished serving her tim
...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
4 emotionally engaging stars to My Name is Venus Black! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

I was enthralled with Venus’ story from the start. She seemed to be the perfect teen- smart, worked hard in school, but she committed a crime, and it must have been a big one. Why did she wake up in a detention center, and why was her mother visibly shaken?

Heather Lloyd’s characterization of Venus, her mother, and her brother with developmental delays, Leo, was impeccable. How would Venus come to terms with what she had done? How d
...more
Esil
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This one gets 5 stars for full emotional engagement.

The book opens with Venus Black, then 13 years old, charged with a terrible crime. What we know is that she is furious with her mother and worried sick about her 7 year old brother Leo who has an unnamed condition that is likely autism. What we also know is that Venus’ crime tailspins into another terrible crime. The book then jumps ahead a few years to when Venus is released from the youth detention centre as she tries to find her place in the
...more
Mary Beth
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


4.5 stars

Venus is only 13 years old and kills her stepfather, but we do not know the reason why. She blames her mom and is very angry at her. It tears her family apart and it creates a national media firestorm. She is sent to juvenile prison for 6 years.

Her brother, Leo is kidnapped a few days after her arrest and disappears without a trace. Her brother Leo is autistic.
At the age of 19, Venus is released from juvenile prison.

She is so worried about her brother. She now has a fake identity and
...more
Elyse  Walters
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent debut novel......
It grabs your attention from the start with 13 year old Venus sitting in the police station. She admits committing a crime.
Although the crime wasn’t spelled out to us at the start, my 99.9% certainly of what the crime was turned out to be correct. I’m guessing most readers know right away too.
I don’t think it would have mattered one way or another to know the specific reason why Venus went to jail for 5 years in the beginning.
It’s the AFTERMATH of the cri
...more
Diane S ☔
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
3.5 Venus is thirteen, her younger brother, Leo is seven and mentally challenged, when a terrible event tears this small family apart. Venus cannot forgive her mother, Inez, for not believing her, and will despise her a little more each day, after Leo goes missing.

Venus will be nineteen before she can confront the world she left behind, new name, no mother, and s beloved brother still missing. We hear many different sides of this story, and it is a story told from the prospective of a child, lat
...more
Liz
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This book grabbed me from the start. Thirteen year old Venus murders her stepfather, but we’re not told the reason why. While she’s incarcerated, her seven year old developmentally challenged brother goes missing.

Venus was bright, the kind of child teachers love. Not the kid you expect to end up in juvie. Leo needs everything just so. There are right colors and wrong colors. After Leo goes missing, he meets Tessa, another pre-teen who takes him under her wing. And then there’s Piper, another ch
...more
Susanne  Strong
2.5 Stars* (rounded up)

Venus Black is in Juvvy. What got her there? Well, she committed one heck of a crime. One she refuses to talk about. And boy, is she angry. At everyone under the sun, but especially at her mother. Her actions, created equal and opposite reactions, and now, her younger brother Leo, who has autism, is missing. Now things are bad bad bad. Five years later, Venus gets out, having obtained a fake identity, which she hopes will help her stay under the radar even though she is ex
...more
Kendall
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ah.... Venus Black you have swooped my heart up! 4.5 stars ladies and gents ;).

Heather Lloyd what a wonderful character driven novel. You have knocked this debut novel out of the park lady! :).

The novel starts out with one of our main characters Venus who at the time is 13 and has been sent to juvenile detention due to killing her stepfather. Shortly after Venus is incarcerated... her little brother Leo has been kidnapped. Venus as you can imagine spends five lonely years in juvenile detention h
...more
Cheri
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, arc, netgalley
!! NOW AVAILABLE !!

4.5 Stars

”Sometimes I wonder where I've been,
Who I am,
Do I fit in.
Make-believing is hard alone,
Out here on my own.

“We're always provin' who we are,
Always reachin'
For that risin' star
To guide me far
And shine me home,
Out here on my own.”

-- ”Out Here On My Own” – lyrics by Lesley Gore, Michael Gore


Beginning with the epilogue, dated the 12th of September in 1980, you are aware that Venus Black has committed some act that changes the trajectory of her life, as well as t
...more
Carol (Bookaria)
An excellent book about new beginnings, family relationships, and forgiveness.

When I first started listening to this audiobook, I did not expect to end up loving it. As the novel progressed I became irrevocably engaged with the characters and their stories.

The book begins with Venus being released from prison and follows her journey as she tries to start a new life for herself while at the same time wondering what became of Leo, her younger brother who has been missing for years.

In prison, Ven
...more
Debbie
3.4, as I ride the bus home from high school....

At first I said a middle schooler would love this book, but I’m changing my tune a little. I’m thinking this is more for high schoolers. But saying I thought a middle schooler would like it wasn’t totally off the wall. For four years, I’ve been tween-sitting two kids who are now 11 and 13. I honestly could see both of them liking this book. But the subject matter—a 14-year-old kills her stepdad—might be too heavy for a teenager of any age.

The 11-y
...more
Marialyce
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
4.5 totally intriguing stars

This was quite the story of family, love lost and regained, and the proof that love exists not because of blood but because of kindness, goodness, and concern from those around you.

Venus is thirteen and lives with her mother Inez, a step father, and a beloved younger brother Leo who is mentally handicapped. For all intents and purposes, Venus is Leo's caregiver, she adores him, understands him, and keeps him close. He looks to her for guidance, for patterns, for routi
...more
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
2.5 stars. The writing was good, but the storyline didn’t work for me.

I am definitely the outlier in saying that I couldn’t connect with this novel. The writing was simplistic, but enjoyable. The storyline and characters, however, were all over the place for me.

The novel follows Venus Black, a thirteen-year-old straight A student in juvenile prison for a crime committed in her family home. The narration skips between Venus and others. The switches in narrators felt jumpy and confusing, often t
...more
Karen
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a somewhat dark coming of age story of Venus Black 13 yrs old, who commits a gruesome crime at the beginning of the story, and you don’t really find out the details till much later in the book.
It’s a book about family, forgiveness, and love.

I struggled wanting to pick this book back up each time to continue reading. I just don’t know why.
The reason that I am giving it four stars instead of three is that the author really made me love many of the characters.. the 7 yr old autistic brother
...more
Lisa
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A grabbing and poignant family drama about love, forgiveness, redemption and moving on.

SUMMARY
Venus Black is 13-years-old, a normal teenager, and a good student with a love for astronomy. But she commits a shocking crime that tears her family apart and puts them all in the media spotlight. Venus refuses to talk about what happened and why, other than to blame her mother. She is ultimately sent to prison. Shortly after her arrest, Venus’s little brother Leo who is developmentally disabled also go
...more
Dianne
Coming of age can be a beautiful thing, but for Venus Black, it was a dark and emotionally tumultuous time, a time of pure hell, pain and brutal loneliness. Venus wouldn’t talk about the night she committed the most shocking of crimes, not even when she knew it would shred the fragile bonds that stitched her family together. Not even when her brother went missing, because what good would it do? She was guilty, she would pay the price, but was it really her debt to pay?

Five years later, still ju
...more
abby
Feb 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"When you stop and think about it, all of us are to blame in some way. And all of us are innocent, too. We were all doing the best we could at the time."

When Venus Black is just thirteen, she commits a very adult crime that becomes a national media firestorm and keeps her locked in a juvenile detention center for the next six years. Venus knows who is exactly to blame for this turn in her formerly straight-A, typical suburban teen life, and it's her mother, Inez. Venus goes into detention angry
...more
Cindy Burnett
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

I loved My Name is Venus Black. While I generally abhor suggesting that one book is very similar to another (if you like this one, you will surely like this other one… kind of thing), I do feel in this instance that this book is an exception. I feel confident that those who liked Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and A Man Called Ove will also like My Name is Venus Black (realizing that few books if any will rise to the genius of A Man Called Ove). Venus Black has had a tough life; my
...more
Monica
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such an amazing story! It was artfully narrated by several different main characters. Although dealing with a lot of painful issues, the hope for humanity and happy endings was crystal clear.

As I appreciate with young adult fiction, we are spared any graphic details. Some pieces of the past aren’t revealed until the ending so by that point, I felt very connected to Venus and her brother Leo.

Thanks so much to NetGalley and publishers for an advanced readers copy of this wonderful book
...more
Cristina Monica
I know that technically not every book can become a bestseller so some awesome stories are bound to remain in the dark forever, but that doesn't mean I'll ever stop trying to shed light on them. If you're looking for an intriguing story about complex family dynamics, look no further than this pretty little under-the-radar gem.
☆Dani☆ ☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆
This was an epic read with fantastic characters! The children charaters really spoke to my heart and I felt a connection with them. I could relate to the dysfunction and awful things that occurred in this book. This story wasn’t just heartbreaking, it was also powerful and a must read! This was a beautifully written story that I won’t soon forget.
Marie
This was such an emotionally engaging family drama. It immediately drew me in with a dramatic event, hungry to learn more and understand the motives. The characters are all flawed, making poor choices, that are often cringe worthy. In the end, there is some degree of empathy in understanding each other’s poor decisions and perhaps an understanding that they could move forward together.

Venus Black, a rule follower and excellent student goes to jail for murdering her step-father. Shortly afterward
...more
Kelli
Mar 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
This is a popular YA debut novel with many reviews since it basically burst on the scene with its beautiful cover and 80s setting, both wise choices to appeal to adult readers. My challenge here is to identify whether the issues I had with the book are born of its genre. I’ve decided I don’t think they are. The simplistic writing and somewhat clunky point of view changes didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story. Leo was the magnet that held me to the story, but I thought the other characters were ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Rust & Stardust
  • Jar of Hearts
  • The Library of Legends
  • Mawar Merah Patah Ujungnya (Seri Noni #9)
  • Feral
  • The Imperfects
  • Little Big Love
  • How to Walk Away
  • Tease Me (Dragons Love Curves Book 2)
  • The Girl That Vanished
  • The Girl in the Manor
  • The Girl in Cabin 13
  • El diario de Ana Frank
  • Baby Teeth
  • Big Lies in a Small Town
  • Scars Like Wings
  • All The Beautiful Girls
  • Freedom Lessons: A Novel
See similar books…
95 followers
A bit about me. I’ve worked as an editor for more than twenty years and have authored, or collaborated on, a bunch of non-fiction books (under my married name). Venus is my first novel and I’m working on a second. Fiction is my new love and I may never write a “true” book again!
My husband and I have four adult children who live in Oregon, and one who is gone but still near in spirit (we miss you,
...more

Related Articles

The must-read summer beach book is a kind of American tradition. The crash of the waves. The glare of the sun. The sand in the pages. Is t...
52 likes · 28 comments
“Never assume you can take back anything. Never assume you have time to face facts later. And never underestimate the power of a parent’s betrayal.” 0 likes
More quotes…