THE GIRL OF INK AND STARS
Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Harsh rules, severe punishment, a changed island. Joya is not what it once was. Restrictions were put in place when the Governor arrived and took charge, and the cartographer’s daughter dreams of exploring beyond the borders. When Isabella’s friend from school dies in the Governor’s orchard, she blames the Governor’s daughter, Lupe. Lupe and Isabella are close friends, and Lupe wants to prove herself to Isabella so she leaves for the Forgotten Territories alone to find the murderer. A search party follows and what they find is unexpected…
With a real classic feel, this is a magical and beautifully woven tale of a dangerous quest mapped across forgotten lands and the path that leads to a true home. Both gorgeously written and visually stunning, it was a joy to read. A story of love and sacrifice, freedom and discovery.
June has a dark home life with a cruel stepmother and stepsister and mostly absent father. She’s trapped by fear, wrapped up in secrets. Then she meets Blister in the woods. And he becomes her secret, a piece of her life that is only for June and not controlled by anyone else. In Blister she sees freedom, a way out.
A battle of fear and hope, truth and lies — I loved this book with every piece of my shattered heart. The author writes heartbreaking situations with such a gentle touch that feels so real and completely pulls the reader in. June battled with telling others if only they asked the right question, if only they did the right thing. The words were waiting to come out, right there, but something always held them back. And it was so sad and frustrating that no one could see, that what others witnessed was a cleverly twisted version of the truth. I couldn’t stop thinking about it long after the last page. Achingly brilliant.
Also read this month:
Asking For It by Louise O’Neill
Swan Boy by Nikki Sheehan
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
(See all reviews on Goodreads here)