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Body of Stars

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  27 reviews
An exploration of fate and female agency in a world very similar to our own--except that the markings on women's bodies reveal the future. A piercing indictment of rape culture, a read about what happens when women are objectified and stripped of choice--and what happens when they fight back.

Celeste Morton has eagerly awaited her passage to adulthood. Like every girl, she
Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: March 18th 2021 by Dutton Books
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  • Body of Stars by Laura Maylene Walter
    Body of Stars

    Release date: Mar 16, 2021
    Enter for a chance to win one of fifteen early hardcovers of BODY OF STARS! From debut novelist Laura Maylene Walter, it's a bold and dazzling explora ...more

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    Giveaway dates: Feb 15 - Mar 03, 2021

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    Average rating 3.91  · 
    Rating details
     ·  55 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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    Anna Luce

    If you fancy some flowery misery porn that offers a vision of the world similar to The Handmaid's Tale, Vox, The Water Cure (ie women are oppressed) you might end up appreciating Body of Stars more than I was able. Purply prose aside I just did not buy into the whole in this future/reality women have freckles all over their bodies that predict their futures (from how many children they will have to their career). Seriously? Definitely not my cup of tea.

    ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange f
    Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    I devoured this book in one sitting and I can sum up my feelings by telling you I was desperate to highlight lines but didn’t because I felt like I was holding a book that was going to make history in my hands. This is one of the most stunning metaphors for rape culture and the lack of agency women have of their own bodies I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I was simultaneously engrossed in the story and also constantly aware that I was reading a book that really meant something. I was hor ...more
    Thais • tata.lifepages •
    Body of Stars is a very original dystopian novel, that takes place in a world where all women have their bodies marked as a map for their future life. I loved the drawings of the marks included in the story which made it even easier to visualize. We are presented to Celeste, a teenage girl who’s life is completely predicted in her marks, and her brother Miles. I kept wondering if those predictions of the future were a gift or a curse? To me it seems a little bit of both, since from the beginning ...more
    Bertie (LuminosityLibrary)
    Review to come! I'm not sure what to rate this one so you might see it going up. This was an interesting look into a dystopian universe, with a strong focus on misogyny and especially rape culture. However, it also left me unsatisfied. The story revolved so strongly around the brother, and I didn't care for him, so a lot of the emotional impact of his involvement wasn't there. ...more
    Feb 09, 2021 rated it did not like it
    BODY OF STARS by Laura Maylene Walter just wasn’t for me at all. I had seen this one on Dutton Books Instagram as a read now on NetGalley and from their caption I was interested. If I had known it was a dystopian fiction then I wouldn’t have even decided to read it in the first place. This book further confirms that I don’t enjoy dystopian books. I had read a couple last year and they were alright but this one pushes it to the extreme and I just powered through reading it. I wasn’t at all curiou ...more
    Amy Burt
    Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
    This book has a really interesting premise, with girls having marks (freckles essentially) on their bodies that predict and determine their futures, these are monitored and recorded, with women tasked as interpreters who mark these against a number of things like their career, their love life/future family, even losses they may face. All girls will wake up one day and suddenly are ‘in between’ girl and womanhood, where they will be at their most desirable (and most at risk), a time incredibly da ...more
    Body of Stars follows Celeste a young girl awaiting her passage into adulthood.
    All girls are born with markings upon their body that sets out their future path and their family's. Every girl is born with her own markings to predict the future but once they move into adulthood their markings change and a new set of predications confirm their fate. During their transition into womanhood the 'changeling period' they become irresistible to men, which puts them in danger of abduction and having to s
    Merissa (Archaeolibrarian)
    BODY OF STARS is the debut novel by this author, and she dives into the world of women's rights, consent, male toxicity, you name it.

    Essentially, women are born with one set of marks on their body that is mapped out by interpreters, but is also open to interpretation as they grow. This proves that fate can be altered, but only to an extent. There is a time when a girl becomes a woman when she is called a changeling. This is a dangerous time for a woman, as she becomes irresistible to men, and a
    "Body of Stars" had an interesting premise that immediately drew me in. The idea of girls with marks on their bodies that predict their future is one I haven't read about before, so I was really intrigued. It is beautifully written, too, and Walter definitely knows how to build her own world, fill it with details and tidbits to make it come to life.

    In the end, though, this book turned out to just not be for me. It talks about serious topics, which I usually enjoy in dystopian fiction, but it was
    Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: 2021, ya
    The genre of feminist dystopia is still going strong. but it's becoming harder for stories to differentiate themselves from their peers. Coupled with a growing fatigue towards "trauma porn," how many more books about women trying to survive under the weight of the patriarchy can we take?

    "Body of Stars" certainly stands out for its fantasy-bent plot: in another world, quite like ours, girls are born with marks that when interpreted correctly, predict the future. Their marks are much like baby te
    Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Firstly, I would like to thank Hodder & Stoughton and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read an ARC copy of this book.

    “No future, dear reader, can break a woman on its own”

    In the world of Laura Maylene Walter’s debut novel, all women and girls have a map of the future on their skin (in the form of freckles and birthmarks) and during puberty when girls get their permanent “markings” (which will predict their true futures- if they’ll marry/have children or even what career they’ll have),
    Feb 13, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.


    Body of Stars is a dystopian world where girls and women are marked by moles. These moles predict their futures. Women are treated awfully. They may know their futures but they belong to everyone - their families, their communities, the government etc. It's a really interesting concept and perhaps should make us think about how we currently treat women's bodies. If you have moles that say you'll be a house wi
    Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    Kindly provided to me for free by netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

    This is an incredible and important book about female agency and objectification. While there are many dystopian/fantasy stories that tackle this topic, this one stands out to me for many reasons.

    The tired tropes of the genre fail to emerge. There is no romantic subplot. There is no hard takedown of a corrupt government/system. Consequences are real and felt.

    The world building is wonderful and believable and is close
    Veronica Marshall
    Dec 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Body of Stars by Laura Maylene Walter is a strong written book. Which feels like a dystopia but the people it feels are in a unique Utopia.

    The Women in this area and girl to women life style you are called changelings. You are born with marks that predict your life, career, lifestyle and more. The in between change is where things can happen such as abduction where you will be in ruin. ( Kidnapped, raped, forced assault) even if it isn't your fault they deem it is.

    The Government has a Humanitari
    adventuresinabookshop Jo DM
    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing my with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

    In a world where a girl’s future is foretold by the markings on her skin, Celeste feels secure knowing that her fate is mapped out for her. As she approaches her Changeling period - when she will wake up one day with her adult markings in place and becoming briefly irresistible to men, she starts to question the way that girls’ bodies don’t seem to belong to them, and the rules that she is exp
    Amy Savvides
    Feb 01, 2021 rated it liked it
    I finished this book a few days ago and have spent some time thinking about it before I review it.

    I'm not sure it's an official genre, but apparently this is considered feminist dystopia. Obviously I read the description and thought I would really like this book, much like I liked The Handmaid's Tale and The Power.

    This book,, however, felt flat to me. The allegory for rape culture felt flimsy and not well thought out - it felt like it relied on magical realism to make it's point, and not just
    The idea was interesting, but the characters were on the shallow side. In this alternative reality, girls are born with birthmarks that suggest what their future will be. Then, when they are about 16, their birthmarks change into their final adult future-determining form. Also at this time they go through a period of several weeks when they become overwhelmingly beautiful and their senses are heightened. Many girls, during this "changeling" time, are kidnapped, drugged and trafficked for sex, an ...more
    Jan 12, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Celeste Morton is born into a world where girls are born with an individual skin pattern mapping their destiny. Now on the cusp of womanhood, she is excited, but fearful of the dangers of this changeling period. Extracts from the Office of the Future manual, Mapping the Future, interlace Celeste’s story.

    Mapping the Stars examines the objectification of women and their power. The novel opens as an intriguing fantasy, becoming much darker as it progresses.

    Walter has crafted a beautiful and origina
    Feb 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    The concept of Body of Stars is this: when girls are born, they have a series of marks on their body which predict various life events - their family, career, health and so on. Different countries treat their women differently and we are given glimpses of that, but mostly the story focuses on what is essentially America. It’s simultaneously about women’s bodies and their choices in life. A fascinating idea for a book, let down slightly by its pacing and ending. It’s a slow burn and then suddenly ...more
    Kate Sawyer
    In an alternate reality, where women's fates are imprinted on their skin as they transition to adulthood, there is little a girl can do to change her future, or is there.
    This is an exploration of fate, of how much we can do to both predict and shape our futures. The book also raises questions about rape culture and culpability.
    I really liked the concept (I'm always up for alternate realities) and the questions that are asked. It was left quite open ended, which I know is a lot of people's jam, b
    Tess Lloyd
    Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I love a dystopian novel, so I was really excited to read this. It is an interesting concept and I was instantly drawn to the characters. Celeste and Miles have always been close but as Celeste approaches adulthood a rift starts to develop between them along with events that will change their lives forever.
    Jan 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
    This was simultaneously wonderful and deeply frustrating - not because of the writing (which I really enjoyed), but because of the all too believable world this inhabited, with the limits and shame of women defining their existence.
    Stacey Bookerworm
    Body of Stars is a superb debut by Laura Maylene Walter.

    Read more of our review here:
    Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: fiction, net-galley
    Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC of this title. This was a beautiful and thought provoking speculative fiction novel. It felt very easy to grasp the main concept of the novel and be able to focus on the story itself. So much care and detail went into the author's creation of diagrams and language around the main concept, and it was a very compelling read. ...more
    Dan Bassett
    Nov 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Celeste Morton has eagerly awaited for passage into adulthood. Like every woman, she holds a map of the future on her skin, every mole and freckle a clue to what lies ahead like a living, breathing galaxy of what is to come.
    However, when puberty hits, also does the changeling period - when her final marks appear, those that solidify her fate.
    This is also a dangerous time for women, as people who seek to take control of their futures abduct changelings, which leaves Celeste hoping it won’t happen
    Catherine Taaffe
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    My debut novel, Body of Stars, is forthcoming from Dutton/Penguin in March 2021. My work has appeared in Poets & Writers, Kenyon Review, the Sun, Ninth Letter, Michigan Quarterly Review, Tampa Review, Portland Review, Chicago Tribune Printers Row, and many other publications. My short story collection, Living Arrangements (BkMk Press 2011), won the G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize. I’ve been a Yaddo Fell ...more

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