‘And the Stars Were Burning Brightly’ – Danielle Jawando



Set against a backdrop that many find less than pleasant, this story covers so many emotional highs and lows…and forces us to confront some pretty unpalatable truths about people.

Our main focus is Nathan, the younger brother of Al. Al was a straight A-grade student who killed himself. Nathan found him. Nathan is also having to come to terms with the guilt he feels over ignoring a call from his brother on the night he hung himself.

Alongside Nathan we have Megan, a friend of Al that few people knew about. They shared an Art class. They were close, but Megan didn’t feel able to go against her ‘cool’ friends and show Al that their friendship was important to her.

There’s no doubt this story just as I’ve recounted it would have made for a tough read. However, as Megan and Nathan become friends and start to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding Al’s last moments things move up a gear.

This book made me sad, so sad. It made me angry, unbelievably angry. But it also filled me with hope.

Thank you so much to Danielle Jawando for using her own personal situation to bring to life such a compelling read, and to NetGalley for letting me read it prior to publication (expected in March 2020).