Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Body Of Stars by Laura Maylene Walter | Book Review

[AD/Gifted - I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

Body Of Stars by Laura Maylene Walter - 4/5
Blurb:
Like every woman, Celeste Morton holds a map of the future in her skin, every mole and freckle a clue to unlocking what will come to pass. With puberty comes the changeling period - when her final marks will appear and her future is decided.

The possibilities are tantalising enough for Celeste's excitement to outweigh her fear. Changelings are sought after commodities and abduction is rife as men seek to possess these futures for themselves.

Celeste's marks have always been closely entwined with her brother, Miles. Her skin holds a future only he, as a gifted interpreter, can read and he has always considered his sister his practice ground. But when Celeste's marks change she learns a devastating secret about her brother's future that she must keep to herself - and Miles is keeping a secret of his own. When the lies of brother and sister collide, Celeste determines to create a future that is truly her own.

Review:
Wow.

This dystopian fiction novel is set in a time where girls are born with markings on their bodies. How these markings look and where they are positioned tell them what the girls are destined for. Their futures are outlined.

The story follows 16-year-old Celeste and her 18-year-old brother Miles. Miles is obsessed with studying markings which isn't usually something a boy does. Readings and interpretation roles are usually held by women. He practices by reading his sister's markings and using the family's copy of the book Mapping the Future: An Interpretative Guide to Women and Girls.

This was a tough read given the recent news stories here regarding women's safety. In this novel, when girls are changing into women, they lose their childhood markings and develop their adult ones. They have a changeling period.

During this changeling period, it is advised that women do not go out after dark. Changelings are irresistible to men who just can't control themselves so they run the risk of being abducted. If abducted, when released after the end of the changeling period, it is the woman's fault. She is damaged. This information then goes on their official government markings transcript and universities will not accept their application.

Women's bodies are not their own. They must have their markings inspected twice yearly and women can be detained by police for an impromptu markings inspection. You also must stay with your assigned gender at birth and relationships are advised to be one man with one woman or they will receive no government support.

When studying markings, Miles makes a discovery that might be able to help girls and teams up with Celeste and interpreter Julia to help them take control of their bodies and lives.

This is a very well developed and intricately planned book. I was completely lost in this world and it is just fascinating to read about.



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