AWAKENED ARE THE STARRY-EYED
The Starry-Eyed Series Book 2
by Christine Doré Miller
SPOILER WARNING: Parts of the plot are discussed in the following review. Direct quotations from the book are used.
This is the second book in The Starry-Eyed Series. If you remember our review of the first in the series, Forgiven are The Starry Eyed, we loved the depiction of teen dating violence (that sounds weird to say, but it was an accurate portrayal of what some teens experience and that is what we loved), but we had this criticism about the ending “Our only complaint is that we wish Andrea wasn’t focused on another guy and that she could to learn to love herself through her own eyes.” Guess what Book 2 is about?
Andrea is not magically healed just by leaving Josh. This is so important to point out because way too many people say to “just get over it” and it is not that simple. Someone doesn’t just move on and forget everything that they have lived through. Memories and trauma live inside the body. “Ever since my relationship with Josh ended, everyone thought the worst was over and was thrilled that I was “free.” So I let them. That seemed more comfortable for everyone to get on with their lives than to know the truth, that this was a life sentence, even if I never saw Josh again.” Her therapist is awesome and tries to help her see how important it is to take care of her healing process, “there’s no graduation here. We don’t just wake up, and everything feels good again. We only have a daily reprieve, and we have to be willing to work for it. Anxiety and PTSD are very real and can be very serious if we don’t take care of our mental health. You wouldn’t ignore a physical disorder. Like if you had diabetes or a heart condition, you’d take your medicine and see your doctors, right? It’s the same thing with our mental health. Just because it’s less visible doesn’t make it any less real.”
Andrea does not take the route of healing and dealing. She prefers to hide the worst of what Josh did to her and therefore she doesn’t believe therapy can help, “so my mentality had shifted from fixing it to burying it.” She hopes that moving away to college will help her move away from her trauma and move on to a brighter future.
However, she was not going to move away without her everything, her new boyfriend, Carter. She expects him to drop his life and his band to move with her to Chicago to give her the support she needs. His bandmates are not happy with that, but their happiness does not matter to Andrea, “they didn’t realize how much I needed him. My sanity depended on his reassurance. His perfect hair and signature half-smile were life-affirming, and his constant attention gave me purpose.” And although she is consumed by Carter, she is also constantly in fear that she is not good enough for him and he will wake up and realize that and leave her.
Her friends are not happy with the arrangement either and tell Carter how they feel, “Look, it sucks what happened to Andie last year, okay? Nobody denies that. Josh is a f***ing a**hole. I hate him more than almost anyone. I lost my best friend for a long time, and she lost herself in Josh. But instead of dealing with it, she just turned around and lost herself in you instead. And yes, Carter, we all know you’re very pretty and very nice, so nobody else will tell you this, but Jesus, you’re not helping her. She’s clearly not okay, and you’re just letting her disappear all over again. But because you’re nice to her, we’re supposed to just let her go? I’m sorry, but I can’t do that anymore.”
How does it all work out? Does Carter give up everything just to help Andrea? Does Andrea open up and actually start her healing journey? Will Andrea ever know her self-worth?
We love the twists and turns this story has. It continues being a real depiction of life after abuse. Every survivor has a different journey and outcome, but Andrea’s story takes a reader through accurate sentiments and themes from survivors that we know to be true. It also shows the perspective of friends and family, how it can get frustrating and confusing but you never give up on someone you care about.
We enjoyed reading this book. It was a quick read, but it may be because we couldn’t put it down.
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