Reader reviews and comments on Girls Burn Brighter, plus links to write your own review.

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Girls Burn Brighter

by Shobha Rao

Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao X
Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2018, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2019, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Grace Symes
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renem

Unforgetable
I have read novels in the past that were about India, it's people, and all it's complexity, but never have I read one that touched my heart as much as this debut novel by Shobha Rao. Girls Burn Brighter is a tragic story that pulls at your heart-strings, hard. The love and strength of the two main characters is what keeps you reading to the very end. My only disappointment was the abrupt ending. I wanted more! Maybe a sequel in the future?
Celia Phillips

Sad but True
Two girls in India become friends. They hope that if they can depend on each other that each can rise above the poverty and discrimination. In this story it does not happen. The girls are wrenched from each other and both endure horrible mistreatment.

I am hoping that the above description can be used as a warning and not be considered a spoiler.

The girls, Poornima and Savitha, are both very good and ALL the men are VERY bad.

The book is well written and has many poignant phrases. No woman in this book is treated well. And the harmful behaviour towards them shows.

"And it was when Poornima saw this gaze, this indifference, that she understood: the girl had lost her sense of light. But it wasn’t an outside light they’d lost a sense of, Poornima realized. It was an interior one."

I cannot say that I enjoyed this book. I CAN say that for a debut effort it was quite good. I did finish and plan to make lots of comments on Bookbrowse, from which I received a free copy.

But I can't recommend it to just anyone. The potential reader has to have a thick skin that can protect against all this sadness and cruelty.
Power Reviewer
lani

a gut wrenching read
Being born a girl, and into a poor Indian caste, is the unfortunate fate of two girls who meet when Poornima's father hires Savitha to help weave saris after the death of his wife. With Savitha, Poornima finds a love and sisterly bond that totally encompasses her life and makes her narrow existence less confining. However, Savitha runs away when an atrocity is committed against her, and Poornima's world turns into a laser beam focus to try to find her friend. This search will take her within India and to the United States, focusing on an underbelly of society that represents the scorched earth of humanity. However, what rises above all of this is the steadfast belief that the two of them are stronger together and that their fierce love of one another will have some meaning in this world. Warning though..this is not for the faint of heart. Told in brutal stark truths, yet with an underlying simplicity , this novel of friendship, power vs impotence, will burn deeply in your soul.
Tired Bookreader

May the men stop winning
The book is extremely disturbing in its discussion of the way women are sometimes treated by societal norms. Whether it's religious beliefs, societies (most of them originated by men), or men's lack of self control, the end game is to make women feel unimportant and that their own worth is based on what they do for others. It is this very attitude that has caused the metoo movement and the decrease in church attendance. Men are equal creatures on the earth and women need to gain the strength to reach their potential.

It was easy to sympathize with the main characters and feel for their life's journey. It would have been nice if the author actually finished the book...I was looking forward to the reunion.
Robyn Rands

Abrupt ending
This will be short and sweet. The ending of this book was so disappointing. We went on this long journey and drove over a cliff. It was like the author got tired of the story and just ended it.
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Book Club
Book Jacket
Girls Burn Brighter
by Shobha Rao

An extraordinary and heart-rending tale of two girls with all the odds against them.

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