Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Published September 26th 2017 by Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
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.
Thank you, HarperCollins and Edelweiss, for sending me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Trigger warning: sexual abuse, racism, mental abuse, and suicide attempt.
Hello friends, and welcome to my first blog post for the year! (yaaaassss) This has also been the first book I finished this year, and listen, I loved this book so much this is my default recommendation so far! I LOVE IT HECK.
Our main character is Kiko Himura, who is Japanese-American. She LIVES for art, and she hates being the center of attention. She’s the middle child, and she and her siblings live with her mom. She and her mom don’t really have the best relationship, and is often the source, or what feeds Kiko’s insecurity.
She feels stuck with her life overall, and as a reader I really felt her struggle. She eventually decides to take control of her life though and try to find a way out of this. The book talks a lot about family and the relationships within, dreams, passions, and realising one’s self worth. It shows great insights for art and for life in general.
What I absolutely loved about this, was Kiko’s amaaazing character development! When it started happening I was just cheering for her and rooting for her so hard. Kiko was a character I actually cared about.
I really recommend this book. It’s beautiful, and the meaning of the title was just, omg, I was shook!