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Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman (Non Spoiler Review)

April 26, 2018 No Comments

Amazon Description:

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 as 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 transformative truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

A luminous, heartbreaking story of identity, family, and the beauty that emerges when we embrace our true selves.


My thoughts:

Wow, so this one really messed with my emotions, I really enjoyed this book, it’s probably one of the best contemporaries I’ve read in quite some time. As someone who has struggled with anxiety, I thought that Kiko’s social anxiety was written extremely well, really well represented and I instantly connected with her as a character.

The story was hard to read at times –  specially the scenes involving Kiko’s mother. Only because it felt so raw, that’s just how good the writing is, it makes you FEEL ALL THE EMOTIONS.

Something I also really appreciated was the descriptions of Kiko’s art, which represented how she was feeling in that chapter, I could visualise them so clearly and thought that it added a cool element to the story.

I’m also a sucker for a slow burn romance and the situation here was no different, I love that they were friends first & she learnt that love doesn’t fix everything. Kiko wanted to stand on her own two feet and be herself.

This book dealt with a lot of important issues, including: Anxiety, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, racism, suicide + and I thought that again it was written really well.

Raw, realistic, relatable & beautifully written.

Highly recommend!

“Beauty isn’t a single thing, beauty is dreaming – it’s different for everyone, and there are so many different versions of it, that you mostly have no control over how you see it” ♥️

^ one of my favourite quotes from the book

Also just going to quickly mention, because I can’t not, how beautiful is that cover?! I’m obsessed. There just simply isn’t enough purple books.

Can’t wait for Akemi’s next book, which I will be looking out for.

Thanks to Ink Road Books for sending me an early copy of the book for review.

Make sure to check out the rest of the blog tour!



UK Book blogger, mostly Young Adult, Fantasy/Thrillers.

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my place on the internet to write and chat about books. I post reviews, recommendations and hauls across a variety of genres.


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