Girl Made of Stars

304p. HMH. May 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781328778239.
RedReviewStarGr 8 Up—Since she was in eighth grade, Mara has held onto a secret that has shamed and hollowed her. She couldn't even tell her twin brother, Owen, from whom she's been inseparable since birth. Now, in high school, this secret has even cost her a loving relationship with her best friend-turned-girlfriend Charlie. Mara's hurting, but determined to put all that pain into her work with Empowered, her feminist magazine. When Hannah, Mara's friend and her brother's girlfriend, accuses Owen of rape, the world as Mara knew it shatters. Though Owen vehemently denies it, Mara believes Hannah, in part because of the secret Mara can barely admit to herself. For the first time in her life, Mara is alone and navigating the murky waters of deeply conflicting feelings. While nearly everyone in the story is hiding something—Charlie, for instance, is genderfluid, but not ready to tell their parents—Hannah's experience is out in the open and talking about it becomes a healing catalyst for Mara. The book explores so many topics—consent, slut shaming, rape culture, what it means to move on from trauma—but the tone never veers into pedantic territory, and the pace moves remarkably quickly for such heavy and emotional content.
VERDICT A compassionate and engaging novel about what it means to tell your truth, no matter how painful it might be. A must-read for all YA shelves.

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