Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao

Girls Burn Brighter

A searing, electrifying debut novel set in India and America, about a once-in-a-lifetime friendship between two girls who are driven apart but never stop trying to find one another again.When Poornima first meets Savitha, she feels something she thought she lost for good when her mother died: hope. Poornima's father hires Savitha to work one of their sari looms, and the two girls are quickly drawn to one another. Savitha is even more impoverished...

Details Girls Burn Brighter

TitleGirls Burn Brighter
Release DateMar 6th, 2018
PublisherFlatiron Books
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Cultural, India, Literary Fiction

Reviews Girls Burn Brighter

  • Emily May
    “What is love if not a hunger?” Finishing this book was so bittersweet. I both love and hate the ending.Girls Burn Brighter is a book about two young lives - that of Poornima and Savitha - and it takes us through a lot of tragic events. That being said, I didn't find it emotionally-manipulative. The author's storytelling is definitely evocative, but it is straightforward enough that the horrific events don't feel gratuitous, and the two women...
  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    All the fiery stars to Girls Burn Brighter! 🔥 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 Though desperately difficult to wrap my head around the tragic events that happened, this was a book I savored. I was emotionally invested and was lost in it completely. This is why I read. After finishing Girls Burn Brighter, I immediately wished I could have the experience of reading it all over again. I don’t want to sugarcoat things either. What happens to Poornima an...
  • paulie
    4.391 stars - - - published 03/06/18 this selection is cardiac conflagration; if these details do not alight yr inner self and its indignation for the unjust treatment of human beings then i wish you well when you resume with yr beach reads. the more i became enveloped into girls burn brighter's story the more i felt a hurt, a hurt whose kernal was this ignominious ember containing my ignorance, and to my disgust, most likely my indifference, ind...
  • Diane S ☔
    3.5 Poornima and Savitha are two teenage girls living in various degrees of poverty. When Savitha is hired to help with the family livlihood of making saris, they become close friends. So much so that they seek each other out at every turn. A cruel act will send Savitha on the run, and shortly after Poornima will run from a horrible situation she finds herself in, now turning her attention to reuniting with her friend.The story takes us from Indi...
  • Rachel
    I really thought I was going to love Girls Burn Brighter. The novel starts out with a short prologue about an old woman being interviewed by a journalist about her garden of trees. In only two pages, it was lovely, touching, and hard-hitting, everything that I hoped the rest of the book was going to be.The story then begins with two girls, Poornima and Savitha, who become fast friends in their adolescence, who work together for Poornima's father,...
  • AnisaAnne
    You can also read my reviews on WP: Burn Brighter is a compelling tale of love, friendship, and self-exploration. But mostly survival. It is the heart-wrenching story of being a girl in India and the possibilities beyond a fate. Her name, Poornima is a constant reminder of what she is not. She is not a source of income, an economic burden to her family. She is not a boy. At sixteen, with the loss of h...
  • Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell
    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestWith social media being full of Bad Men Saying Stupid and Hurtful Shit, you're probably asking yourself why I'd read a book like this, which basically exemplifies female objectification at its worst, running the gamut of topics such as sex trafficking, sexual abuse and assault, forced marriage, colorism, mutilation, and other grim facets stemming from gender inequality.Well, because these iss...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    I heard about this book from The Readers, who are considering it for their summer read. I missed it when it came out in March. I loved this story about two female friends from the cloth-eaving area of India, who are separated and look for each other. The author made me really invested in the characters and I read it in one day.
  • Tori (InToriLex)
    Find this and other Reviews at In Tori LexThis book broke my heart into crumbs and I'm still sweeping pieces of it off the ground. Poornima and Savitha find ways to hold onto each other in a country that considers their existence a burden.They are both born poor and given few opportunities. In India a girls humanity is measured by her utility. Despite this Poornima and Savitha build their friendship on trust and awe. Their love for each other emp...
  • Janelle
    Thank you so much Flatiron Books for providing my free copy of GIRLS BURN BRIGHTER by Shobha Roa - all opinions are my own.Let me start by saying that this book will not make you feel good. It is heartrending with horrific scenes that will make you cringe. BUT it’s not meant to make you feel good, instead it paints a picture of the author’s very unique perspective. And what I love about this book is the strength of the two strong female prota...
  • Donna
    This is a fictional story of two young women living in a small village in India, then in the US, who form a powerful friendship. It sustains them and fuels their spirit to survive, even when they are separated by a cruel betrayal and face all forms of oppression. And when one of them decides to finally take control of her life, in a world in which she has no control, she tries to reunite with her friend, no matter how far she must go to do it, bo...
  • Bernadette
    Girls Burn Brighter ripped my heart out, and still won’t let go. Shobha Rao’s words invaded my brain in this beautifully written story about friendship and love, and man’s inhumanity.Poornima and Savitha are teenagers who meet in their native India. Poormina is poor but when she meets Savitha, she learns that some are even more impoverished than her. Poornima’s father needs someone to help with his business of spinning cotton to make sari...
  • Katie
    The first thing you need to know about this book is that it is brutal. The second thing you need to know is that I loved it. Girls Burn Brighter tells the story of Poornima and Savitha who had the misfortune of being born poor and female in Indravalli, India. Even though their lives are hard, Poornima and Savitha find joy in each other. They are two sides of the same coin. The sun and the moon. Best friends. But after one horrible night, everythi...
  • Jessica *The Lovely Books*
    You know that moment when a books message finally clicks and you’re just left wondering how you’ll ever be the same after hearing it? Yeah, I’m in that boat right now. I knew Girls Burn Brighter would be a five star read even before I read it. The cover just screams read me and remain forever changed. Read it and see how your eyes become wide open. Here I am, an American woman, reading about how women from other countries get treated so ter...
  • Marilyn
    I received a free copy of Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao in a Goodreads give away in exchange for an honest review. In the book, Girls Burn Brighter, the reader is transported to India where two young, poor girls Poornima and Savitha cross paths and form a bond that is tested but becomes stronger as the years continued. They grew up in a culture where girls were looked down upon as inferior to men. Poornima lost her mother when she was quite y...
  • Hadeer
    I'm struggling to decide just how I feel about this book. So, first off, if you're going in completely clueless like me (why do I not read book summaries properly), massive content warning for rape. This book deals with human trafficking, so you can imagine the content here. This is kind of why I was so unsure of what I thought when I finished it, but that's no fault of the book itself - I just don't really like reading books about things like ra...
  • Basic B's Guide
    Please be mentally and emotionally prepared when going in for this read. Thankfully, friends had warned me of the content of this novel. There are triggers including rape and violence. This is a book that will tear your heart to pieces and leave you picking them up for days after. This is not a feel-good book, although there are still moments of hope even in the darkest of times.I think books like this are important reads. They take us outside of...
  • Emily
    3.5 starsI enjoyed this! Rao's writing is, as usually, simply gorgeous. It's gorgeous in its simplicity. I just want to run around hearing her words in my head all day because they're so thoughtfully put together, without every feeling pretentious. I adored the characters. Poornima and Savitha are distinct and wonderful and I love them both. As we watch them face unrelenting horrors, their strength becomes your own.I did NOT know what this book w...
  • Shannon
    I've been waiting for this new release since reading An Unrestored Woman. There was an obvious thoughtfulness in the way Shobha handled the issues that befell many of her characters in An Unrestored Woman - issues that were present for no other reason than because they are women. The challenges the women faced were authentic and the ways they handle them were varied. So when I realized she was writing about resilient women yet again, I was filled...
  • Jaclyn Crupi
    This was heart-wrenching and powerful and depressing. Set in India and America it follows two friends separated by horrendous acts of violence and depravity and the lengths they will go to to be reunited. I definitely reached the point where I couldn’t handle anything else happening to them only to have a lot more happen to them. I felt the same way when reading Beauty is a Wound. This is an electrifying debut novel though and definitely worth ...
  • Paula W
    How fitting that I finished this book on International Women’s Day 2018!Shobha Rao’s debut novel is a study in what it means to be a woman in many parts of the world. Not every woman, but a good many of them. And so, therefore, all of us. It is about the difference between bonds and bondage. It is about holding on to the good and escaping from the bad. It is about the will, the power, the urge, and the flame that are inside even the weakest o...
  • Mindi
    I received an ARC of this book in an Instagram giveaway from a fellow Bookstagramer on Instagram and the publisher.And I'm so glad I entered and actually won, because I never would have read this one otherwise.Reading this book now was something I didn't even realize I needed. I enjoy pretty much every type of fiction, with the exception of romance, but I particularly love horror. The Bookstagram community is a fantastic place to find people who ...
  • Jill
    One advance review of Girls Burn Brighter states, “A searing portrait of what feminism looks like in much of the world.” Indeed, this is one of the greatest strengths of this book—and also points to its one weakness.Make no mistake about it, this book is good. Page-turning good. Stay up ‘til midnight good. It’s a book that straddles the line between literary fiction and crowd-pleasing absorption, with the story of two girls—Poornima a...
  • Jessica Woodbury
    This book is about a deep and defining connection between two women. At first I wanted to call it romantic love, but as I did a little googling to figure out if that was really what I was looking for, I came upon the four different types of "love" according to ancient Greeks and realized that what I wanted was actually 3 of them: Eros (romantic), Agape (familial), and Philia (friendship). The relationship between Poornima, named for the moon, and...
  • Jessica Sullivan
    “Here’s what matters. Understand this, Poormina: that it’s better to be swallowed whole than in pieces. Only then can you win. No elephant can be too big. Only then no elephant can do you harm.”This gut-wrenching story follows two young friends, Poornima and Savitha, as their lives are thrust into different tragic directions.A horrible act of violence drives Savitha away from their small town in India. Savitha is taken in by human traffic...
  • Kelly
    I find this book almost impossible to rate. I expected to love it. It is the story of two Indian young women, Poornima and Savitha, who become great friends. Savitha is driven away by an act of violence against her. Shortly thereafter, Poornima enters an arranged marriage but still wants to find Savitha one day. This novel is brutal it deals with human trafficking, rape, and domestic violence. It tells a very important story and at times is done ...
  • Elizabeth S
    By some miracle, I won this book in a goodreads giveaway!Frankly, I was not totally clear on the premise of it by the time it arrived at my doorstep and I got around to finishing the books I had lined up to read beforehand. Too much time had passed, and too many other books had taken over my focus.But now that I've read Girls Burn Brighter, I'm even more delighted I won the giveaway than I was when I received the email. Rao's story isn't just an ...