Book Review: She Dims the Stars by Amber L. Johnson

Title: She Dims the Stars
Author: Amber L. Johnson @whereisjakeryan
Reviewer: Grace
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.25 stars


Who is Audrey Byrd?

Ask her ex-best friend, Cline Somers, and he’ll tell you that she’s the girl who inexplicably stopped talking to him when they were fifteen years old, leaving him with nothing but questions and bitterness for the better part of the next six years.

Ask his roommate, Elliot Clark, and he would say that Audrey is the enigmatic girl who randomly showed up outside a window one day and turned his whole world upside down in a matter of moments.

Ask Audrey herself and she’ll tell you that she has no idea who she is, because her entire life is a lie. However, the older she gets the more she needs answers about who she really is.

What she discovers is a tangled web of secrets better left in the dark.

Some truths do more harm than good.

***Recommended for readers 18+ due to sensitive subject matter, language and situations.

Grace Review

Reading the synopsis to this book, I fully expected an angst fest.  Yes, there is angst, but this was a lot lighter than I expected.  And yes, it deals with some heavy issues, but the banter among the three main characters, provides a lighter approach to the subject of mental stability.

Audrey is an interesting character.  She has this quirkiness about her that catches your attention.  Her early interactions with Elliott are random and brief.  But even that minimal interaction is enough for them to be intrigued.  The title actually comes from her behavior, as Elliott believed that she has a loud and bright energy about her that would dim the stars.

There are a lot of warning signs about Aubrey’s mental state.  For her POV, we get her insecurity and anxiety during confrontational moments.  We also get Elliot’s POV, where he notes the constant fidgeting, excessive amounts of prescriptions, and general unease in her own skin.  While he doesn’t handle her with kid gloves, he isn’t confrontational towards her, giving her time to confess things on her own.

“Let’s run away.”

I loved the weird commentary between Audrey, Elliott and Colin.  Elliott seems to have Audrey’s back, someone he just met, over his BFF/roommate.  Despite Colin’s insensate complaints, the three embark on a road trip of discovery, as Audrey tries to find out more about her family.

It takes a while for Audrey to confess to Colin why she did what she did years prior (see synopsis), and once it was revealed, I’m not sure why she was so scared.  Any person who wouldn’t understand is clearly not a good friend.  Looking back, similar to Elliott, I think it is even better that Colin let her do so on her own terms.  Pushing her for the reasons, would only have pushed her further away.

How do you  explain to the person who has known you the longest that they know absolutely nothing about you at all?

Although the road trip didn’t give Audrey what she was looking for, I think the trip was good in that she repaired one friendship and found another person who cared for her, more than she ever felt she deserved.

“I cannot be held responsible for the things my body does in the night or in the morning if your hands wander outside the safe zone.”
“Jesus take the wheel.  This is going to be a long night.”

This story has a great message about self-worth and believing in yourself.  Audrey deserved to be loved.  To get that love and fully appreciate it, she had to learn to love herself.

– Grace

*An ARC was received for an honest review.




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