Starfish – book review

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by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Realistic Fiction
* * * Stars (Pretty good)

Kiko Himura (half-Japanese) is hoping to get into the art school of her dreams – Prism – in New York.  She can’t wait to leave home, where her self-obsessed mother makes her and her siblings miserable.  But she doesn’t get in.  And her uncle, who sexually abused her, is moving in with them.  As she grasps at the straws of her future, Kiko reconnects with her best childhood friend, Jamie, and together they decide she should come out to California with him and check out art schools there.  After taking this leap, the most phenomenal opportunities open up for Kiko, giving her the strength she needs to break away from her toxic mother, and the confidence to bring her art to life.  Frustrating at times, because of Kiko’s anxiety and fears, readers with some patience will want to see her succeed and will follow her journey with rabid interest.  The descriptions of Kiko’s drawings and paintings are amazing and art lovers will want to see them realized.  Worthwhile realistic fiction exploring families, relationships, and art.

Reviewed by YA Librarian