Starfish | Review

"But some people are just starfish. They need everyone to fill the roles they assign."


I can't even begin to tell you how fast I fell in love with this book. How amazing is it that we can still pick up something new and find a new love inside of it? I adore that about books.

Anyway, this, this is a tragically underrated book about emotional abuse and manipulation, of social anxiety and racism and understanding and beauty and everything everything everything.

This book showed a different form of anxiety from John Green's Turtles All the Way Down and is possibly the best representation of social anxiety that I've come across. If you have social anxiety, I one million percent think you should give this a read. Even if you don't have anxiety, you should still give this a read. It's very eye opening.

The main character, Kiko, has a very difficult home life. Her mother is psychologically abusive and most definitely racist. If I had to list all of the bad parents I've read about in books, she'd be at the top of the list. Kiko, and most definitely her brothers, never got the validation or love that they truly deserved. And once Kiko left the house to pursue her dream, her mother had no outlet aside from her younger brother, causing him to become suicidal. To think a parent could be like this... it's just heartbreaking.

And the thing that brings the racism into play, what makes it even more disgusting than it already is on it's own, is that Kiko and her brothers are biracial. Their mother is Caucasian, while their father is Japanese. Her mother spent her entire life shaming her for this half of her because it didn't fit with her form of 'pretty'.
She once told me she wished she had given me and my brothers more "traditional" names because she was "kind of over the Japanese thing." You know, because being Asian is a trend or something.
I would give this book a couple of content warnings for childhood sexual abuse, verbal abuse/neglect, and mental health illnesses. And while there was a small romantic subplot, I was so happy that it was more a background thought, something that didn't devour the entire meaning of the book. Please, please, please. If you ever read anything in your life and never read again, make it this one.

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