Monday, 25 June 2018

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 353
Publisher: Simon Pulse 
Released: 26th of September 2017 

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.

What I Have to Say 

This book touched me so much. It went beyond a question of identity and showed how it feels to be a girl who is pretty much completely ignored by her mother. A girl who's entire life has been living in a household where half of her identity is completely ignored. Having divorced Kiko's father, her mother refuses to engage in anything Japanese. The idea of living like that touched me so much. 

So of course, it was good to see Kiko exploring her Japanese side. I loved watching her come out of herself. Seeing for the first time that someone who looked like her could exist in the world and was just as worthwhile as her white mother and the faces she sees in magazines. It was also interesting to see how her and her brothers coped with their mother's neglect so differently. 

I also loved the art theme of the book. The way that art was really essential to everything. The pictures that Kiko saw leading her to an artist who can help her explore her identity and change her life forever. 

My thanks go to Simon Pulse and Netgalley for providing me with this copy for review. 

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