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Starfish
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
52 posts | 33 read | 58 to read
A gorgeous and emotionally true debut novel about a half-Japanese teen who grapples with social anxiety and her narcissist mother in the wake of a crushing rejection from art school. Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what shes thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesnt 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 doesnt 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.
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blurb
VioletBramble
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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#7Days7Covers #Covercrush Day 4
Post a cover you love each day for 7 days. No explanation needed.

Jas16 Beautiful cover! 4mo
37 likes1 stack add1 comment
quote
Sunshine131
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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“Hearts aren't meant to be broken an infinite amount of times.“-
From Akemi Dawn Bowman's Starfish, one of my favorite realistic fiction books of all time.

Not much of a digital artist, obviously, but I thought I'd give it a try. Beautiful quotes deserve half-decent formats (;

Thanks to gustavorezende for the heart!

2 likes1 stack add
review
traceydrewbooks
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Pickpick

I can not say enough good things about this book! Kiko is a Japanese American girl who suffers from anxiety. Kiko lives with her 2 brothers & their mother (a stereotypical blue eyed blonde all American girl) who is a bullying Narcissist who dismisses her children‘s feelings while seeking validation from them.
Kiko dreams of being an artist, of going to art school, of being enough.
Starfish is beautiful. I devoured it & recommend it to everyone.

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edennugget
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Pickpick

Stunning writing + beautiful message + art art art + cute childhood friend to couple + relatable protagonist + brilliant message + mental health representation + diversity = YES.

Read this please!!

Lauram I 💜 your review! (edited) 12mo
edennugget @Lauram Thanks! ❤️ 12mo
2 likes2 comments
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edennugget
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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'Because sometimes, when the world doesn't make sense, it just feels better if there's someone around to make it a little less lonely.'

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edennugget
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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'We all have to dream our own dreams. We only get one life to live - live it for yourself, not anyone else. Because when you're on your deathbed, you're going to be wishing you had. When everyone else is on theirs, I guarantee they aren't going to be thinking about your life.'

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edennugget
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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'Maybe that's just part of growing up - things aren't black and white, hot and cold, happy and sad. They're complicated.'

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edennugget
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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edennugget
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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'She's colours and candy; I'm pencils and smudges.'

review
alisonrose
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
Mehso-so

Glad to see a stark representation of anxiety, especially w/a young WoC. Appreciate the challenge to erroneous thinking about what anxiety is like/about, & pushback on toxic ideas about what qualifies as sexual abuse. The book is quiet but strong at times, and I cared about Kiko a lot. But I felt like the mom was cartoonish at times, & too much telling rather than showing. Often heavy-handed, & had a bit of “romance solves problems” feel. 3/5 ⭐️

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alisonrose
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman

We all have to dream our own dreams. We only get one life to live — live it for yourself, not anyone else. Because when you‘re on your deathbed, you‘re going to be wishing you had. When everyone else is on theirs, I guarantee they aren‘t going to be thinking about your life.

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alisonrose
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman

I live my life in the small space between “uncomfortable” and “awkward.”

[It me.]

Eyelit Yes to this 13mo
alisonrose @Eyelit 🤜🏻🤛🏻 13mo
33 likes2 comments
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alisonrose
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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I want this cover as a lil‘ wall art. (Also, we need a starfish emoji. And a jellyfish too, why not.) #nowreading

UnidragonFrag Pretty! 13mo
44 likes2 comments
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rachelsbrittain
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Needy cat is needy 🐱

(and also this book is giving me all sorts of emotions wow)

kate_reads LOVE this book with all my heart ❤️ 1y
rachelsbrittain @kate_reads it was so gorgeous and heartbreaking 😍💔 1y
GondorGirl I loved this book so much! 😍💔 1y
rachelsbrittain @GondorGirl I read her other book first and adored it so I knew I had to read this one too. Have you read 1y
45 likes1 stack add4 comments
review
Susanita
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Pickpick

I was going to save this #underdog story for later in the year, but I saw it was available at the library and pounced on it. Kiko is a senior in high school, half Japanese, painfully shy, and she can‘t wait to get away from her self-absorbed hot mess of a mother and go to art school. But things don‘t exactly turn out as planned ... Plot/characters aren‘t exactly subtle or nuanced, but the story is sweet, & you can‘t help but love Kiko. #Booked2018

Cinfhen I still need a book for this prompt! Thanks for the suggestion 1y
44 likes1 comment
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NeedsMoreBooks
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Pickpick

Starfish is a Bildungsroman, focusing on the life of Kiko, a half-Japanese teenage girl and the complex relationship that she shares with her narcissistic mother. The story follows her relations with her childhood friend, her two brothers, and her father who has a new family. I picked the book up because of the gorgeous cover and it is an excellent debut novel. The other themes include mental health, biracial identity and the importance of family.

review
JenFowler
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Pickpick

This is a beautifully done YA book about a 17 yr. old half-Japanese girl named Kiko. She has a horrendously self-absorbed mother, a talent for drawing/painting, and a crushing social anxiety disorder. I would have to say this book has captured exactly what it feels like to have social anxiety...it honestly kind of blew me away in that regard. It was healing, somehow, to read. Kiko finds her way through her painful past, learning to accept herself.

Dragon This book is on sale for 1.99 on Kindle. 1y
JenFowler @Dragon its also on Overdrive for free! 😁 1y
blondie I'm SO excited to read this one! 1y
Dragon Thanks @JenFowler 👍😀🐉 1y
93 likes4 stack adds4 comments
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Nutmegnc
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Current deal at Amazon. I haven‘t yet read it but it seems interesting...I wish I‘d had a book like this when I was a teenager, to help figure out how to deal with big disappointments.

27 likes1 stack add1 comment
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sumaiyya.books
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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I want to follow more people on Litsy! If you have a book review account please drop a comment below - I‘d love to check out your profile!

Btw, STARFISH is my current read and I‘m loving it ♥️

missprint I do! 2y
SydBookReader Hi I‘m always looking for active Litsy members! 2y
CouronneDhiver If you follow back, you‘ll probably find lots of new contacts ... friends of friends, if you will 2y
BellaBookNook Oh my goodness that cover is stunning. I am glad you are enjoying it. I just might have to add it to my overflowing TBR! 😊 2y
52 likes8 stack adds4 comments
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Briary
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Mehso-so

I wish I could say I loved this to bits. But it was only okay for me.

It had great insights to an abusive family, what that kind of a parent can do to the people around them, that was done superly. I loved Kiko's growth, and the apparently compulsory relationship was cute and all, but some of the twists were a bit too convenient. There was a certain hamfistyness in making some points, "a wise man tells you stuff"-type of thing that's just..eh.⭐⭐⭐

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Johanna414
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Pickpick

I‘m going to regret having stayed up to finish this when I‘m on baby duty in about 3 hours... but it was really good! My only issue was with the mom‘s character- she had no redeeming qualities, she was just evil. It got annoying.

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kate_reads
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Friends! About a month ago I found out that my first ever cover blurb was going to be on one of my favorite books from 2017, STARFISH by Akemi Dawn Bowman 😊 The publisher sent such a cute package and I‘m so excited that this is the book for this milestone.

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Johanna414
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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I had to stop by work today to help my long term sub with some issues with the circulation system and the craziest thing happened - a stack of books just fell into my bag and made it home with me!

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Deborah42
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman

“We all have to dream our own dreams. We only get one life to live—live it for yourself, not anyone else. Because when you‘re on your deathbed, you‘re going to wish you had. When everyone else is on theirs, I guarantee they aren‘t going to be thinking about your life.”

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ScorpioBookDreams
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Pickpick

I absolutely loved this YA contemporary that tackles some difficult issues such as mental health and abuse. Can‘t wait for the authors next book later this year.

Mitch I think all books should come with their own bookmarks - that should be law! 🤣🤣 2y
TrishB Lovely ❤️ 2y
ScorpioBookDreams @Mitch definitely! 😂 2y
See All 8 Comments
LeahBergen @Mitch I agree! 👏🏻 2y
BiblioLitten Wow💜 2y
Christine11 Beautiful! 🐋🐡🐟 2y
Eggs Pretty photo 2y
batsy Gorgeous cover and great pic. 2y
107 likes3 stack adds8 comments
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mhillis
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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I‘ve been binging on YA and the Olympics! Finished Starfish, Love & Gelato, Come Back to Me, and To All the Boys I‘ve Loved Before. Still reading American Panda and Under the Lights. #currentlyreading
🥇Starfish wins the gold🥇

tonyahoswalt Starfish has a beautiful cover. The story was good? 2y
mhillis @tonyahoswalt Yes! I would recommend it! 2y
tonyahoswalt @mhillis I'm quickly piling up books, and need to catch up, but I'm adding it to the list! 2y
67 likes1 stack add3 comments
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thewallflower0707
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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#nowreading! I finally finished A Quiet Kind of Thunder and immediately moved on to Starfish. #coverporn #winter #itssobloodycold

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missevievelyn
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Pickpick

Finished my first book of #24in48! 😊 this was so so so good!

57 likes2 stack adds
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missevievelyn
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Starting book 1! 00.00.00 at 5:30AM 😊#24in48 #24in48readathon

Allkat Love the cover. 😊 2y
56 likes1 comment
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CoffeeK8
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Pickpick

This books was lovely, and heartbreaking and honest. It‘s a book I would love to give to my socially awkward teen self.

robinb Nice review. 😊 2y
52 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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bentchbites
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Reposting this here in case any of you want to win goodies (just retweet on Twitter, no other things needed. 😊) and also bec i ❤️❤️❤️ this flatlay photo of the book! It‘s simple and it doesn‘t take your focus away from the gorgeous book cover! I hope to have flatlay skills even close to this someday. 😂 #giveaway

Chachic You can do flatlays like that, I'm sure! 2y
bentchbites @Chachic I is Trying Hard. Lol 2y
Chachic @bentchbites Kaya mo yan, bes! Bigyan kitang tips pag nagkita tayo?😂 2y
13 likes3 comments
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woman_king
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman

This book just caused a small implosion in my chest, nbd

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ScorpioBookDreams
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Beautiful #bookmail today!! Starfish has been on my wish list for months 😍😍😍

TommieMarie74 It‘s on mine as well. Can‘t wait to hear what you think! 2y
TrishB That Mistborn one is a lovely version 💜 2y
hermyknee Those books are gorgeous! 2y
See All 7 Comments
Christine11 The Starfish cover is so pretty! 2y
ScorpioBookDreams @TrishB it‘s the tenth anniversary edition. It‘s quite a compact size too. 2y
RebL I feel shame for never having read Sanderson. 2y
ScorpioBookDreams @RebL he‘s on my TBR list for 2018 as I‘ve heard such great things. 2y
105 likes2 stack adds7 comments
review
specklife
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Pickpick

Excellent portrayal of social anxiety and narcissism. Loved Kiko and how she grew throughout the book.
“I did not go North, South, East or West. I went Forward.”
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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kate_reads
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Will I️ ever stop singing the praises of this book? Nope.

After I read the ARC, I️ immediately went to B&N to preorder a hardcover. Starfish is so brilliant and I️ was/still am genuinely touched.

20 likes1 stack add
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Kelly
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Everyone keeps raving about this. Can't wait to dive in.

32 likes2 stack adds
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LauraBeth
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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I‘m opting to go with the first sentence of my current read, because I‘m all in if there‘s going to be some mother-daughter tension. Thanks for the tag @BarbaraBB #firstsentence

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BiblioNyan
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Check out how stunning this book is!! 😍😍

#starfish #diversebooks #litsygram #bookmail

review
GondorGirl
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Pickpick

Kiko is a seventeen year old painter whose dreams come crashing down when she isn't accepted to art school. Her mother is a narcissistic wreck and her father mostly absent. After reconnecting with a childhood friend Kiko travels to California to try to reconcile with her past... and discover her future.

5/5🌟

42 likes1 stack add
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GondorGirl
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Tommy ?: "Look, mom! I'm helping!"

Librarianaut 🤣🤣 2y
rubyslippersreads 😻😻😻 2y
Ms_T 😻 2y
62 likes3 comments
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GondorGirl
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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My grandma had a stroke today and isn't doing well. I had a little breakdown over it in the flower isle at the market (grandma gave me my love of plants) and ended up buying myself a bouquet to feel closer to her. My plans for the evening include wrapping myself in the blanket she made me and starting this book. Sometimes being so far away from the rest of my family really sucks.

Libby1 (((Hugs))) 2y
AlaMich I'm so sorry to hear about your grandma!! Sending positive thoughts your way...💕 2y
Sace I'm so sorry. 2y
See All 20 Comments
DarcysMom I am sorry to hear about your grandma. You and your family are in my thoughts. ❤ 2y
cobwebmoth Big hugs to you! 2y
KVanRead So sorry...it is so hard to be far away...💜 2y
Scurvygirl So sorry about your grandma.💜 2y
[DELETED] 206653737 I‘m so sorry thoughts and prayers out to you! 💐 (edited) 2y
Pogue I am so sorry. 2y
Jas16 I am so sorry. Sending you lots of love. 2y
Cortg ❤️ 2y
Natasha.C.Barnes I'm so sorry. We're all thinking about you. ❤️ 2y
DebbieGrillo I remember being far away when my Nana got really sick. It's a helpless feeling. 2y
CareBear Thinking of you 💕 2y
CoffeeCatsBooks I am so sorry. 2y
xicanti I'm so sorry. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage I'm so sorry. I hope snuggling and reading helps. 💞 2y
Sarahandhella Sorry to hear about your grandma. ❤️ 2y
KirstieE Sorry to hear this , sending you all the love 💕 2y
Ms_T 😔x 2y
49 likes20 comments
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GondorGirl
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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I'm so excited for this book- the buzz has been all positive. And the great swag the author sent me doesn't hurt either. 😉

review
kate_reads
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Pickpick

This beautiful book was released today and I can‘t say enough wonderful things about it 💜 One of my favorite reads of 2017–I can‘t wait to get an “official” hardcover copy.

15 likes1 stack add
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Liberty
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Dewey's Readathon countdown, Day 27: Today's prompt is "snacks!" These are a few of my favorite (vegan) things to eat. (Er, not the laptop. Last time I ate one, it gave me heartburn.) #readathon #30DaysofReadathon ??

kate_reads I loved Starfish with all my heart—I hope you enjoy 😊 2y
Darth_Kaders I am addicted to that popcorn on an extreme level... 2y
CaseyCassidy Can't wait for Starfish!! 2y
165 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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bookloaner
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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This book was heartbreaking, beautifully written, and an unforgettable portrayal of anxiety. Kiko has been emotionally abused by her mom and sexually abused by a family member. She escapes into her art and reconnects with a long lost friend. She reclaims her life throughout the novel and you'll root so hard for her. I am now a huge fan of Akemi Dawn Bowman and will read anything she writes.

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howlinglibraries
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Pickpick

This contemporary was beautifully sad, yet hopeful. Kiko is living life with a narcissistic mother who doesn't believe Kiko's story of abuse and scorns the Japanese side of Kiko's biracial makeup, when her childhood best friend shows up to reunite and take her to the west coast to go college shopping. She meets an incredible painter who takes her under his wing, and learns how to accept herself.

26 likes1 stack add
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theshrinkette
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Pickpick

Excuse me while I sit here having too many feelings. Please pick this up when it comes out.

TW: Suicide attempt, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, parental abuse, racism

34 likes2 stack adds
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theshrinkette
Starfish | Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Late night reading. Also, how gorgeous is this cover? #ARC #AsianLit

UnidragonFrag That cover 😍 2y
swishandflick 😍😍 2y
39 likes1 stack add2 comments