Book Reviews · Books


Cover Spread Starfish.indd Starfish
by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Released: 5th April 2018 (UK)
Keywords: YA, Contemporary, Mental health, Romance, Family

A half-Japanese teen grapples with social anxiety and her narcissist mother in the wake of a crushing rejection from art school in this debut novel.
Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.
But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

I picked this up because it was getting quite abit of hype and sounded like a book I’d really enjoy, and it was! Saying that it is a really hard hitting YA and deals with alot of important topics like racism, anxiety, mental and sexual abuse. The mother and uncle characters in this book made me extremely angry to the point where it was hard to read at times. I was really drawn to the main character and felt her pain, it was nice to see the personal progression in her and for her to come out stronger despite the abuse and suffering physically and mentally.

Her love interest and mentor characters where nice to read and I feel like this is a really important book for everyone to increase awareness of so many issues that kids and adults are dealing with daily. Beautifully written.

My rating: 5/5 stars

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