ARC Review: And The Stars Were Burning Brightly





An emotionally rich and current story of suicide, mental health, bullying, grief and growing up around social media.

When fifteen-year-old Nathan discovers that his older brother Al has taken his own life, his whole world is torn apart.
Al was special.
Al was talented.
Al was full of passion and light…so why did he do it?
Convinced that his brother was in trouble, Nathan begins to retrace his footsteps. And along the way, he meets Megan. Al’s former classmate, who burns with the same fire and hope, who is determined to keep Al’s memory alive. But when Nathan learns the horrifying truth behind his brother’s suicide, one question remains – how do you survive, when you’re growing up in the age of social media?

CW: Bullying, depression, suicide, loss of a loved one, racism, homophobia, grief


Black mc, gay side character



5 stars 



A brilliant book about grief, mental health and bullying, And The Stars Were Burning Brightly is one of the best books I’ve ever read

I read this book on the last day of March and didn’t review back then because I knew if I thought too deeply and tried to analyse this book I’ll be bawling at 1am. That is how good this book is.

And The Stars Were Burning Were Burning Brightly is a story told in dual POVs, following Al’s brother and best friend, Nate and Megan has they deal with their grief after he dies by suicide.

So I know there’s no way I’ll write this review without crying. This book has one of best representations of grief and how odd it truly is. How you think you’re over the loss of someone and something happens or you lose someone else, and you don’t how to separate your pain and grief and you don’t know whether you’re mourning for now or then. The depression and bullying rep too is perfect, so because of how brilliant this book is I’ll put myself through pain.

Nate and Megan had different ways of handling their grief. For Nate, he wanted to know what happened to his brother, because the Al he knew was brilliant as the stars he loved and it didn’t make sense to him. And Megan wanted Al to be remembered for what he really was, a brilliant artist and a wonderful person. Reading from both their perspectives and seeing tiny snippets of who Al was made this book even more beautiful and heartbreaking.

ATSWBB does a brilliant job exploring the duality social media and cyberbullying. Al’s bullies used social media to torment so bad he gave up and his best friend, Megan uses this same vast network to ensure he’s remembered for the star he was.

ATSWBB was an amazing book also because of the writing. Danielle Jawando’s writing is honest and poignant, and her style of writing is simply amazing. I love when Black authors write not following the rules of standard English, but how the language styles of their communities. I was a little shocked when I came into the book, but the writing style helped me connect with the book even more.

Characters like the stars…

The characters of And The Stars Were Burning Brightly were amazing. I found them really relatable and so dear to me.

They were as messy, angry and vulnerable as teenagers can be. I love them so much and I could say something more constructive, but I don’t quite have the words.

An always recommend…

And The Stars Were Burning Bright is a book I’ll recommend to anyone and everyone. It’s a beautiful book about grief, depression, escape and life in the age of social media.

1000% recommend and don’t forget the tissues.





Book Depository



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6 thoughts on “ARC Review: And The Stars Were Burning Brightly

  1. your love for this book really shows and im just 😭😭😭
    this sounds like a very contemplative (and painful) book and if you love it so much then im looking forward to reading it someday. thank you for bringing this book to my attention!

    Liked by 1 person

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