Sarah Ames-Foley's Reviews > Girl Made of Stars

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
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You can also find this review on my blog.
cw: rape, molestation, pedophilia, biphobia, homophobia, victim blaming, depictions of anxiety and panic attacks, PTSD

As I said in the brief, one-sentence review I managed to spin out immediately after finishing Girl Made of Stars: This is one of the most painful, difficult reads I’ve ever experienced, and it still managed to end on an empowering, hopeful note. It’s been on my radar for a while now and I just hadn’t gotten around to it yet. I was actually picking up another book from the library for a buddy read that I’m doing when it caught my eye. I spontaneously snatched it up and I’m so, so glad I did. I think it was truly the perfect time for me to read this book.

I wish I could take a picture of myself right now, so I can remember this fiery girl, hold on to her.

It’s difficult to know where to begin with a review like this. First and foremost: take care of yourselves, loves. This is about the nitty gritty of rape culture, the many ways in which women can be both assaulted and undermined. It’s about the guilt, and the uncertainty, and the grey areas of being a survivor, as well as the difficulty of learning that someone you trust isn’t as safe as you thought they were. I managed to finish it in one evening, but I had to put it down a couple times to just take a spin around the apartment to get my head out of the story. Ashley Herring Blake writes a world that feels so real and is so easy to live in, that it grips you in a deeply emotional way.

It’s changed me forever, but changed doesn’t mean broken.

Everything is handled so beautifully in this book. In addition to focusing on rape culture and survivors, the main character also deals with sometimes crippling anxiety and PTSD. She’s also bisexual, which is mentioned explicitly on-page (as a bi woman, I was extremely excited about this), and her best friend/ex is genderqueer (this is the only rep I can’t speak to personally, but I’d be happy to share ownvoices reviews if y’all have any). There are also some great scenes where actively asking for consent is demonstrated and emphasized, which I’m always a huge fan of seeing (particularly in YA).

For all the girls whose names I’ll never know.
For me.
Girls made of flesh and bone.

I can’t even get into everything this book manages to explore, but somehow it does it all without feeling like the author is trying to pack too much in. I went through the full gamut of emotions while reading this. I spent the last half an hour of reading just sobbing in bed, but that was in part because I felt so validated and loved and understood. If you can manage the content, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It was truly a beautiful, if difficult, experience and deserving of so much support and recognition.
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Reading Progress

March 22, 2018 – Shelved
March 22, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
September 13, 2018 – Started Reading
September 13, 2018 – Shelved as: favorites
September 13, 2018 – Shelved as: contemporary
September 13, 2018 – Shelved as: lgbtqiap
September 13, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
September 13, 2018 – Shelved as: i-need-to-buy-a-copy-of-this
September 13, 2018 – Shelved as: mental-health
September 13, 2018 – Finished Reading
October 2, 2018 – Shelved as: feminism
October 2, 2018 – Shelved as: mc-bisexual
October 2, 2018 – Shelved as: lgbt-non-binary
October 2, 2018 – Shelved as: lgbpq-women
October 2, 2018 – Shelved as: i-definitely-cried

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