I received this book as an ARC copy in Book Box Club December’s Fireside Favourites box. They had ten different ARC books they were sending out all with different release dates this year. And The Stars Were Shining Brightly is released in March this year so I will keep it spoiler free! There are a few trigger warnings for this book so you may want to skip this is you are affected in any way by the topics of bullying and suicide.
The author explains that she herself had a similar experience with bullying as a teenager and attempted suicide. A lot of it is based around social media and the internet which makes me really glad that the internet and social media wasn’t really a thing when I was at school. I was miserable enough at school with bullying I can’t imagine what it would be like if it was also happening through things like Facebook and Instagram.
Some parts did annoy me. The writing style grated on me after a few pages. There’s only so many “wot”s I can stand before the teacher in me comes out. Other people might be fine with the purposeful bad spelling. I think it was mainly my problem because, working in a school, we are constantly having to correct spellings.
Also I felt some of the characters could be a bit harsh. Especially when Megan first meets Nathan and then for the next few chapters keeps referring to how rude he’d been. No, he hadn’t been rude, his brother had just died, he is grieving. Leave him alone please. And this happens every time he shows the slightest bit of emotion, the other characters then tell him how rude he has been.
Overall I think this was a great read. It’s one that will stick with me for a while as the topic is so raw and current. It makes you realise how hard life can be for teenagers at the moment. I felt myself really feeling for the main characters and feeling sad for them, which is what a book should do. I like to feel emotions when I read! I will definitely look out for the author’s other books.