Kiko 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.
Page Length: 340
Publication Date: April 5th 2018 by Ink Road
(first published September 26th 2017)
Characters: Kiko, Jamie
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This story totally blew me away. I have to say that I was mainly drawn to this book because of how gorgeous the cover is, so I didn’t have any preconceived notions about the story.
Kiko is half Japanese and lives with her 2 brothers and her Mother. Kiko has never felt like she fits in and her mother reinforces this by making her feel like she is not enough. Kiko dreams of going to Prism an art school in New York but when she doesn’t get accepted she embarks on a trip to California with a childhood friend to check out art schools on the West Coast.
This book really sick you in, I felt a certain kinship with Kiko, she is not a people person and finds social situations to be uncomfortably awkward. What this book is really about is accepting yourself and for Kiko this is the biggest challenge that she faces. Her mother constantly puts her down and in general her behavior towards Kiko is abhorrent, she totally disregards Kiko’s Japanese heritage and makes her feel that the only way you can be beautiful is if you are runway model perfect.
When Kiko leaves home for California and gets away from her mother she is finally able to find start seeing that beauty comes in many forms and starts to accept herself. She get’s’ to explore her Asian side and finds a place where she doesn’t feel like an outcast.
Readin this book brought a tear to my eye on more than one occasion, it touches on subjects that lots of people go through and I feel like Kiko’s character is very relatable. Her journey of self-discovery and acceptance is bittersweet that has lots ups and downs but I loved every single page.
“I don’t have to be white to be beautiful, just like I don’t have to be Asian to be beautiful. Because beauty doesn’t come in one mold.”
This truly a great read, that I would recommend you read because if you don’t you’ll be missing out.
My Rating: 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
About the Author
Akemi Dawn Bowman is the author of Starfish (Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster) and Summer Bird Blue (Fall 2018). She’s a proud Ravenclaw and Star Wars enthusiast, who served in the US Navy for five years and has a BA in social sciences from UNLV. Originally from Las Vegas, she currently lives in England with her husband, two children, and their Pekingese mix. She is represented by Penny Moore of Empire Literary.
Starfish is out on the 5th April 2018 pre-order your copy HERE!
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