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Blog Tour: Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman Book Review

* I am reviewing this book for a blog tour but this in no way affects my review *

Title: Starfish 
Authors: Akemi Dawn Bowman
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Ink Road Books
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Book Review Summary:

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.

From debut author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes a luminous, heartbreaking story of identity, family, and the beauty that emerges when we embrace our true selves.

Book Review:

Starfish is a book that has been on my radar for quite a while and is being raved about by all book bloggers that have read it and I agree. Starfish is a beautiful book that deals with important issues and that should be read by everyone.

Starfish follows Kiko who wants nothing more to get into her dream school, Prism, but when her dreams are dashed she has to carve her own path. This involves meeting up with her friend who she has lost touch with. 

Starfish's plot was an intense ride. Not only does it deal with Kiko's social anxiety and family issues, it also goes much deeper focusing on friendships and her sexual abuse with her Uncle. This makes for at times really difficult reading by making it unique to read about and I felt like there was a lot to do with her schooling life that I really related to. 

A lot has been said about the social anxiety representation in the book and this was something that I really loved about it. The what I wish I say bits were so accurate and I feel like I do this on a daily basis. A lot of the representation tends to focus on GAD so for social anxiety to be seen in a book was really great. 

The relationship with her family was also great and I love the dynamic between her and her brothers and that twist at the end definitely shocked me. The relationship with her Mum was the standout and shows how complicated the relationship between families can be. This is interesting as this is something that is not covered a lot. It is also the central focus of the book which is great. Her Mum definitely is not a likeable character especially how she deals with her Uncle and race but this does make her interesting to read about. 

The centre focus is also surrounding her school experience which again is something related to. With school not going your way but somehow it becomes OK in the end. 

I also really loved the characters in the book especially Kiko and Jamie and seeing their relationship blossom over the course of the story was wonderful although towards the end I think it got a little drama-filled which lessen the enjoyment of the book slightly. 

Art is also a massive part of the plot which I loved especially how it was put in writing. The writing at the end of each chapter was beautiful as was the actual writing. It was so good!

The Verdict: 

Starfish enchanted me from the first page with its raw emotions that struck a chord with me as I am sure it will with many more.  
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