Book Reveiw: Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Hi there, Realmers, Marshmallows, Extraterrestrials!





(If you’ve read the book, the above actually makes sense!)

GUYS.  I. CAN’T. STOP. FANGIRLING. This book was so, so, so good!!!!! It’s inspiring, the rep was spot on, and KIKO JUST MAKES ME WANT TO PICK UP A PENCIL AND DRAW MY HEART OUT!

So…ahem…on with the review!



29456598.jpgKiko 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.


5 STARFISH!!! see wot i did there THE COVER. AHHHHHHH!!!!!!! Even though it has a giant jellyfish on it, it’s still SO BEAUTIFUL and I JUST CAN’T EVEN. And the blurb-I HATE HATE HATE blurbs that give to much info and practically spoil the book, the blurb did say that she doesn’t get in to Prism, but in the actual book, that part comes up very quickly so it’s not that much of a spoiler.img_1439


KIKO is such an amazing character! I love how the author portrayed her anxiety, and I can relate to her a little bit. And how she paints…I want to draw every single one of her beautiful and meaningful paintings that they mention in the book.

JAMIE IS SO AWESOME OKAY????? He is always so supportive of Kiko and loves her fiercely and HE IS JUST AWESOME!!!!!!!!

HIROSHI is this super-wise painter/mentor person and is a huge part of the story. I love how he encourages Kiko to never give up and to paint from the depths of her soul!

KIKO’S MOM…I!! hate!! her!! Her split personality, narcissism, and her overall EVILNESS makes her the best-written antagonist alive.


Five Starfish again!! This book is so amazing and has such well written characters!



Most of the chapters were pretty short, but some of them were fairly lengthly. The book is written in first person from Kiko’s POV, and in the present tense. (I used to hate books that were written first person/present tense but now I actually prefer these books??) The ends of the chapters were my favorite part–they all had these amazing descriptions of Kiko’s paintings. (To!! Die!! For!!) I also really enjoyed the ‘what I want to say’ and ‘what I actually say’ sections. Those were really interesting to read!


Another five Starfish!! This would have been a regular old chapter book if it wasn’t for the painting descriptions at the ends and the ‘what I want to say’ and ‘what I actually say’ sections, but those added things gave the book the perfect amount of uniqueness and individuality! I appreciate that for a book themed like this, because the whole book is about accepting who you are!




Yet another Five Starfish! Who would’ve guessed?

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is experiencing self-doubt or anxiety, interested in art or Asian culture, or anyone who loves a good book!

Ice Cream Party


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