Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “And The Stars Were Burning Brightly” as Want to Read:
And The Stars Were Burning Brightly
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

And The Stars Were Burning Brightly

(And The Stars Were Burning Brightly #1)

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  36 reviews
An emotionally rich and current story of suicide, mental health, bullying, grief and growing up around social media.

When fifteen-year-old Nathan discovers that his older brother Al has taken his own life, his whole world is torn apart.
Al was special.
Al was talented.
Al was full of passion and light…so why did he do it?
Convinced that his brother was in trouble, Nathan begins
...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Expected publication: March 5th 2020 by Simon & Schuster Children's Books (first published 2020)
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 And The Stars Were Burning Brightly, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about And The Stars Were Burning Brightly

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  53 ratings  ·  36 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of And The Stars Were Burning Brightly
Liz Barnsley
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh what a beautiful, heartbreaking novel this was, every layer of it hugely authentic and genuinely devastating.

Nate has lost his brother to suicide- through the grief, anger and self blame he starts to dig into Al’s life in the hope of finding answers. Through this quest he meets Megan, mourning not only loss of life but the loss of chances- together, maybe, they’ll find a way to move on.

This was beautifully written, Nathans voice is quirky, honest and strong, taking the reader into his heart
...more
Annette
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookboxarc
And this, this is the reason I have the Book Box Club and refuse to let go of it. The books they include are always outside my comfort zone and are nothing like the books I usually pick, but the girls have great taste. I got this as one of the possible 10 ARCs we could get and I couldn't be happier that this one crossed my path. It was an amazing, impressive, heavy and lovely read.

The story is as heavy as the blurb makes it sound. The theme is far from easy and watching the characters deal with
...more
Karen Barber
Beautiful.
Set against a backdrop that many find less than pleasant, this story covers so many emotional highs and lows...and forces us to confront some pretty unpalatable truths about people.
Our main focus is Nathan, the younger brother of Al. Al was a straight A-grade student who killed himself. Nathan found him. Nathan is also having to come to terms with the guilt he feels over ignoring a call from his brother on the night he hung himself.
Alongside Nathan we have Megan, a friend of Al that
...more
Ben Oliver
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to read an early version of this novel, and I can honestly say it's going to be massive, it deserves to be massive!

It's an important, thought-provoking, heart-breaking but hopeful book about loss, mental-health, suicide, bullying, and growing up in the age of social media.

The first thing that struck me was the voices of Nathan and Megan, the main characters. So vivid and real, and the language used by Danielle Jawando to bring all of the characters to life is beautiful.
...more
Leo
I read the sampler and sobbed the whole way through it .

The only thing I’m worried about is the relationship between the two POV main characters... please don’t make them fall in love but fall in friendship!!!!
...more
Gemma F
Oct 7, 2019
Got a surprise ARC in the mail today!
...more
sabrina (thereaderdevotee)
And The Stars Were Burning Brightly is a story about loss and grief. The moment I receive this book, I instantly feel that this is going to be a hard read. Stories like this are meant to be read in an uncomfortable way, because in no way that these subject are bearable for the readers to read. Raw stories makes us realize that we have to do so much in order to help those who are in need.

I've read many stories about loss and grief, and this book is definitely one of the most powerful and moving
...more
The Artisan Geek
30/11/19
This sounds like a book that is much needed in the book community.

You can find me on
Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website
Karen Whittard
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beautiful, poignant, earth shattering, healing, family, finding yourself again, deceleration, heartache, happiness, love and forgiveness feature heavily in the fantastically written ya book. Not just to be read by ya but everyone.
Chantelle
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.
Adiba Jaigirdar
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And The Stars Were Burning Brightly is a powerful book about grief. It follows Nate, who is determined to find the reason for his brother Al's suicide. He's convinced that finding answers to all his questions is going to help him deal with his grief. The other main character in the novel is Megan, who is also dealing with grief after Al - her friend's - suicide. Convinced that she didn't do enough to appreciate Al while he was alive, Megan is determined to be a better friend to him now, and to ...more
Joe Thomas
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on how many books I read a year, I’d say I’ve probably read more than 1000 books in my lifetime. A lot of books, right?

Less than 10 of those books have made me cry and it’s been a while since my last bookish weep. That was, until I read And The Stars Were Burning Brightly, a beautifully moving exploration of grief from debut YA author Danielle Jawando.

I was lucky enough to hear Danielle talk about the book at Simon & Schuster’s #BigBookBrunch in December, and between the power of her
...more
The Bookish Faerie
And the Stars were Burning Brightly is a misleading book title yet fitting. You might think when you read the title that this is some sappy love story about two dreamers. NO, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Nathan is a teenager who feels that he is the runt of his family, he wasn’t smart at his classes, he wasn’t handsome, he wasn’t talented nor was he gifted. One day, after coming home from school, Nathan discovers that his older brother AL had taken his own life by using his school tie as the
...more
legenbooksdary
This is a story about grief, of finding out the reason why the person you thought you knew and understood killed himself and trying to look forward and moving on with life. Because that's just how it is, life carries on no matter what happens. That even though he may be gone for good, there's still a part of him that will always burn brightly in the memory of the ones who loves him.

Even though this is kind of a depressing story, most of the time it is anyway but there are hopeful messages that
...more
Lois (thecarrotstories)
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If I’ve ever felt intense emotions before, reading other books, this book is definitely even more intense than all those books.

Hammering hard on bullying, suicide and anger issues, the author brings to light in her debut, the happenings behind these disturbing problems that have been destroying lives. Reading this book not only brought me awareness but it also caused me to re-evaluate my own actions. Do my jokes and teasing make someone feel small and hurt? Where do I draw a line when I tease
...more
Giulia Colma
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And the stars were burning brightly is a book about hope, friendship, and family.

The two protagonists are Megan and Nathan, two very different teenagers brought together by a tragedy: Al's death.

Al is the weird kid everyone picks on at school, just because he was obsessed with stars and poetry and didn’t fit in. He’s also Nathan's brother and Megan's friend and the continuous bullying brought him to kill himself.

Both Megan and Nathan blame themselves because they could have done more. Megan
...more
Giulia Colma
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
And the stars were burning brightly is a book about hope, friendship, and family.

The two protagonists are Megan and Nathan, two very different teenagers brought together by a tragedy: Al's death.

Al is the weird kid everyone picks on at school, just because he was obsessed with stars and poetry and didn’t fit in. He’s also Nathan's brother and Megan's friend and the continuous bullying brought him to kill himself.

Both Megan and Nathan blame themselves because they could have done more. Megan
...more
Dawn Woods
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
The book starts with Nathan rejecting a phone call from his brother who was distracting him at the time, but returning home to discover his elder brother hanging by his school tie, and Nathan unable to save him. Nathan is convinced Al had wanted to tell him something, and picking up a drawing by Al, he knows it is significant.
Although he knew Al had plans for his future, Nathan discovers he knows little about his brother’s life inspite of living in the same house. He doesn’t know why Al and his
...more
Ben Oliver
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to read an early version of this novel, and I can honestly say it's going to be massive, it deserves to be massive!

It's an important, thought-provoking, heart-breaking but hopeful book about loss, mental-health, suicide, bullying, and growing up in the age of social media.

The first thing that struck me was the voices of Nathan and Megan, the main characters. So vivid and real, and the language used by Danielle Jawando to bring all of the characters to life is beautiful.
...more
Jessica B
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It took me a while to work up the emotional courage to read this book and it was every bit as devastating as I thought it would be, but it was also incredibly beautiful.
It deals unflinchingly with grief, suicide, bullying and guilt. It forces us to look at ourselves and admit that we have all been guilty of ignoring things we knew were wrong. It reminds us how powerful and hurtful words can be, and how fragile our mental wellbeing really is when faced with trauma.
Yet somehow, despite this
...more
Latkins
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a heartbreaking novel about a teenager, Nathan, who desperately sets out to discover why his older brother Al killed himself, at the age of 17. Along the way, he meets Megan, a friend of Al's who is also upset at his death and wants to honour his memory by creating an art show of his work. The story is told alternately from Nathan and Megan's point of view, with small excerpts from Al about art and science. This is not an easy read, with themes of suicide and bullying, but it is very ...more
Payal
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
A touching, heartbreaking story about the nightmare that adolescence can be. This could not have been an easy book to write, particularly given the author’s own history. The story is told through the perspective of Nate, the dead boy’s brother, and Megan, his friend. What I loved were the tight, loving family that Nate lived in; equally, the storyline with the bullies was horrific. Jawando has captured the toxic world of social media-fuelled teen existence absolutely right. The only
...more
Jessica B
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to work up the emotional courage to read this book and it was every bit as devastating as I thought it would be, but it was also incredibly beautiful. It deals unflinchingly with grief, suicide, bullying and guilt. It forces us to look at ourselves and admit that we have all been guilty of ignoring things we knew were wrong. It reminds us how powerful and hurtful words can be, and how fragile our mental wellbeing really is when faced with trauma. Yet somehow, despite this ...more
Amy Beashel
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And The Stars Were Burning Brightly is a tragic yet brilliantly written novel with an underlying call for kindness, which also instils it with hope.

If it weren’t for the author’s letter at the beginning of the book, I would perhaps have doubted teens could be so devastatingly unkind to each other. This is not to undermine Danielle Jawando’s utterly convincing writing, more to reveal my own privilege of never having been exposed to such vitriol. That the story stems from her own experience makes
...more
meg chia
3.5

check out my full review here!

This is an emotional and compelling read that provokes and reflects the candid truth about how serious physical bullying as well as cyber-bullying can have such a huge impact on people. The story starts off with Nathan losing his brother to suicide, but Al was just the kid everyone loves and admires, he was going places in the future, yet Nathan did not know why he committed suicide. And so this story follows Nathan, as well as Megan as they piece together clues
...more
Jemma Geary
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Heartbreaking read - I really enjoyed the 2 perspectives, you really gets beautiful view of Al and the effect his death has brought on his friend and family. As the story went on, I couldn't put it down. I needed to know how this ended and I honestly was in tears when the reason comes out; simply devastating. Really brought home to me the effects bullying can have on a person, but also how cruel people can be. Beautifully written, haunting story - this one will stay with me for a long time. ...more
Jamie Coudeville
Wow, this was quite an intense read. I had trouble getting into it at first but after the first 50 pages, it became very had to put down. Suicide and bullying are very heavy subjects in this book. It's hard to believe things like this actually happen, that someone can do something like that to another person. I definitely recommend reading this one. In fact, I feel like this should be required reading in high shool.
Brenda Davies
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh what a beautiful, sad, moving piece of writing.
It covers a difficult subject that is so important to understand, the damage that bullying can cause is immense, the suffering horrific.
This book will make you cry and make you angry but it will also fill you with hope for all the love that does exist.
It should be read by all school children.
Joseph Elliott
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A startling and brave debut by an incredible new talent. The author sensitively explores the complex themes of suicide, bullying and the darker side of social media, making this book an extremely important read. It is also filled with hope, and wonderfully truthful characters. All teenagers should read this book. I loved it
Melissa
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’d forgotten how big everything seems as a teenager - and how big everything is. I was never seriously bullied - but the internet has made this so much bigger / worse than it was before. This book is heartbreaking, hopeful, important and timely. Be kind.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Scars Like Wings
  • Foul Is Fair
  • Fight Like a Girl
  • Blood Heir (Blood Heir Trilogy, #1)
  • Yes No Maybe So
  • Jackpot
  • Deeplight
  • Thorn
  • Somebody Give This Heart a Pen
  • Loveboat, Taipei (Loveboat, Taipei, #1)
  • Havenfall (Havenfall, #1)
  • The Places I've Cried in Public
  • So Lucky
  • The Last Paper Crane
  • Chinglish
  • Jemima Small Versus the Universe
  • The Strangeworlds Travel Agency
  • The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
See similar books…

Other books in the series

And The Stars Were Burning Brightly (2 books)
  • Untitled (And the Stars Were Burning Brightly, #2)