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, Feminism, Literary Fiction, Adult, Adult Fiction, Audiobook, Realistic 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...
  • 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,...
  • 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...
  • Elena
    That's the way it is: If two people want to be together, they'll find a way. They'll forge a way. Literary fiction is not the common genre I go for. It has been, though, a genre I have grown quite interested in because it is very different from contemporary or the common kind of books I read. I thought of reading something that makes you realize and analyze something so important, like this. Girls Burn Brighter introduces us to the difficulties ...
  • 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...
  • Elyse Walters
    Poor and poorer.... Poornima - named after the moon - Savitha - named after the sun - are two of the most resilient - brave - and beautiful young girls - you’ll meet in any novel you’ll read. These girls meet in the village where they were born: in India. We learn about their families - and their families expectations of them.None of the parents talked shared about the ‘heartbeat-of-life’: the incredible richness - joys - intimacy - and d...
  • Jenna
    What. A. Novel! I did not want to put this book down but nor did I want it to end. I downloaded another book to read with this, to make it last longer, and yet I couldn't read the other. I HAD to keep reading Girls Burn Brighter. It is the story of two young women from a small village in India. Savitha is from an extremely poor family and comes to work for Poornima's father. The two develop a deep and stirring friendship. When Savitha is raped, s...
  • Crumb
    A DYNAMO!Fierce, Poetic, & Courageous.A missile to my heart. That is how I felt after I finished this book. I was left with a sense of longing. I missed the characters. They burrowed their way into the depths of my soul. This novel was certainly powerful and provided a deep exploration on the human trafficking market. It also investigated prostitution and the selling of bodies in its worst sense. This story starts in South India and extends to th...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Monica Kim: Reader in Emerald City
    We girls. Afraid of the wrong things, at the wrong times. Afraid of a burned face, when outside, outside waiting for you are fires you cannot imagine. Men, holding matches up to your gasoline eyes. Flames, flames all around you, licking at your just-born breasts, your just-bled body. And infernos. Infernos as wide as the world. Waiting to impoverish you, make you ash, and even the wind, even the wind. Even the wind, my dear, she thought, watching...
  • Janelle • She Reads with Cats
    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...
  • 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...
  • ☾ h a d e e r ☽
    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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Es Summer
    *Spoilers ahead* I am disappointed.I expected so much more.It's always hard to write negative reviews about novels that are hyped and loved by many people.But let's give it a try.The novel is about two Indian girls, Poornima and Savitha. These girls live in an impoverished environment, but they find strength in each other. When they are together, they forget for a while about their poverty, arranged marriages and difficult lives. Together, these ...
  • Robert Sheard
    This one is devastating. It's my second book in succession set in India (at least partially), and both of them have been amazing reads. It's about cruelty to women, the love of best friends, the lengths to which they'll go to try to find each other after a cruel separation. Just read it.
  • RM(Alwaysdaddygirl) Griffin (alwaysdaddyprincess)
    3 stars. I will do a review down the road.🇺🇸🐾
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • Lisa
    [4+] This is a gut-wrenching, can't-put-down novel about two young Indian women and their friendship. I mostly liked Rao's writing even though she went overboard on the coincidences. Yet, I was so invested in Poornima and Savitha that I didn't care - I wanted to believe. I didn't want to leave these women. I wish I had another 300 pages of their stories to read!
  • Hayley Stenger
    This book was incredibly difficult to read. The actions taken against the two main characters was horrific. The ending of the books felt completely unsatisfying after reading through the events of the novel.
  • 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...