Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
Mara and her twin brother Owen are extremely close. When Mara, who is bisexual, broke up with her girlfriend and childhood best friend, Charlie, it was Owen’s girlfriend, Hannah, who supported Mara. Hannah is one of Mara’s closest friends, and when she accuses Owen of rape, Mara finds herself torn between believing that Owen could never do something like this and believing that Hannah would never make a false accusation.
The school community is largely taking Owen’s side and the Empower feminist group Mara founded has asked her to step down as leader. Mara finds herself turning to Charlie, trying to make sense of Hannah’s accusation against Owen, which also means navigating their friendship post-breakup.
As she struggles to come to terms with her parents’ unquestioning support of Owen and their expectations that she will do the same, Mara must face a painful secret from her own past that she has been keeping hidden:
“This. This is why the girl never says anything.
Because no one ever believes the girl.”
When the State decides not to press charges against Owen, Mara’s family seems to believe that everything can go back to normal, but Mara finds herself seeking the courage to tell the truth about the secret she has been carrying.
Mara’s story explores themes of sexual assault, victim-blaming, sexuality, and gender-identity. I would highly recommend Girl Made of Stars as an addition to any high school classroom library.