Author: Akemi Dawn Bowman
Publisher: Ink Road/Black and White Publishing
Published: 5th April 2018
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
THIS BOOK WAS JUST BEAUTIFUL. I mean just look at the cover as well, gorgeous! I don’t normally review books that I don’t receive to review, not sure why. But I just had to do one for this book.
Starfish is just so beautifully written with an amazing story to tell. It’s about a half Japanese, half White girl called Kiko Himura, who struggles with being able to express how she feels and what she’s thinking. Kiko’s mother, who I have more harsh words for that I cannot really say here, is just a horrible person. She undermines her own daughter and she has to be in the spotlight no matter what the issue is. She makes Kiko feel completely insecure about herself as a person therefore Kiko tries to keep to herself, stay small and hidden so no one notices her.
She dreams of being accepted into the art school, Prism, so that she can finally escape her mother and truly become the person she was meant to be. However she was rejected from Prism and her abusive uncle moves back in with her family and her mother doesn’t care and refuses to acknowledge what her Uncle did to Kiko when she was a child.
Kiko’s childhood best friend Jamie suddenly turns up again after so many years of not seeing each other and they become friends again, boundaries have been crossed at home and Kiko has finally had enough, she drives to Jamie’s cousins house where she and Jamie suddenly go back to California to his home so that she can get away from her mother and uncle. While she’s there she tours the art schools trying to find another dream, and because she’s now free from her mother she’s finally learning how to be herself.
This story was so beautiful and it actually gave me chills when I was reading it, I highly recommend it and I have to say that this is probably my second favourite contemporary read, the first being Eliza and her Monsters. This book is Akemi’s debut novel and I look forwards to her next book, Summer Bird Blue which is out this September!