I think I’ve just read my favorite book of the year. Last year I read How to Make a Wish and I instantly fell in love with Ashley Herring Blake’s writing. A simple story, wrought with so much emotion. Her latest book is no different.
What would you do if you had to choose to believe a best friend or your own twin brother? The only arc drop I carried about at YallWest in May was Blake’s newest novel, Girl Made of Stars. I had high expectations, especially after loving her last novel. Girlfriend did not disappoint. Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:
“I need Owen to explain this. Because yes, I do know that Owen would never do that, but I also know Hannah would never lie about something like that.”
Mara and Owen are about as close as twins can get. So when Mara’s friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn’t know what to think. Can the brother she loves really be guilty of such a violent crime? Torn between the family she loves and her own sense of right and wrong, Mara is feeling lost, and it doesn’t help that things have been strained with her ex-girlfriend and best friend since childhood, Charlie.
As Mara, Hannah, and Charlie navigate this new terrain, Mara must face a trauma from her own past and decide where Charlie fits in her future. With sensitivity and openness, this timely novel confronts the difficult questions surrounding consent, victim blaming, and sexual assault.
This story is not so simple. With the #MeToo movement at the forefront of news cycles these days, this novel is extremely poignant. Mara is torn between what she wants to believe is true with what she knows is actually true, no matter how much it hurts her. While she’s grappling with this terrible situation her family is in, Mara and her non-binary ex, Charlie, are trying to figure out what they are to each other: best friends or partners.
Hannah, the sexual assault victim and one of Mara’s best friends, is such a heartbreaking character. She knows how hard the whole situation is on Mara and her family, and all she wants is for everything to go back to normal. She’s so selfless in her feelings, trying to put everyone before herself. My heart hurt for her, it hurt for everyone in this book.
The prose is so beautiful and deserves all the praise. I’m throwing this book at you through the computer screen. READ IT!