Take your feelings and hold them with softness, but also with power. And whenever you feel afraid, know you can ask your fear about itself.Excerpt from The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus
I’m sure/hope you’ve seen this book all over your feeds recently in people’s Pride/Read Caribbean stacks, but y’all, MORE PEOPLE NEED TO READ THIS BOOK
When I was looking for other reviews of this book while preparing to write mine, I noticed just how few posts this poetic gem of a book has even though it was released back in September. By comparison, I picked two other (White) YA books released around the same time at random that have 5 and even 10 times more posts under their respective hashtags. So it was about time I added my scream into the void to get more people to pick this up 💜🖤💜
At first glance of the cover, you might assume this is the typical teen love story, just an F/F edition. And while it is that — boy did their soft, warm love story fill my heart like no other recently — it is so much more than that. It’s about finding yourself, it’s about family and even more difficult topics (TW for homophobia, prison industrial complex, serious illness), all centered around these two wonderful Black queer girls. While the audiobook lent Mabel and Audre their own voices (narrated by the always wonderful Bahni Turpin and the author Junauda Petrus), they are distinct personalities in their own right. This story is full of the wonder of the cosmos and the mundanity of parents who love to garden; the joy of new love and the grief of injustice: the stars AND the blackness between. I only wish I could’ve lived in the pages of this story even longer.
Be sure to check out some of the great Black reviewers’ recommendations for this book, including @absorbedinpages @kalisbookishrambles and @stuckonthetipofmytongue (as well as @melanineclectic who has a review on BookTube & @bookofcinz who has one on Goodreads)
The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus Read on audio narrated by Bahni Turpin, the author and JD Jackson