Girls Burn Brighter

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 13 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

Shobha Rao does an amazing job getting readers invested in the fates of Poornima and Savitha.  This well-written page turner had me rooting for these two friends to the very last word.
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This novel turned into much more than I bargained for. I did not anticipate the amount of tragedy and turmoil I was going to do through as a reader. Though at times I struggled to continue with the story, I thoroughly enjoyed the girls stories.
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A stunning debut that examines the enduring power of love, friendship, hope, and perseverance. Evocative without being manipulative, Rao writes the story of two best friends with a sure hand and a powerful voice that doesn't go quietly into the night but rather shouts from the heaven the atrocities that befall them and the amazing tenacity and willpower that allows them to survive. A bittersweet story that is a stunning tribute to women and feminism as through the lens of misogyny and poverty that will break your heart a million times but leave you oddly satisfied in the end. One of my top reads for 2018. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Rao in the future.
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A beautifully written novel of poverty, trauma, and loss. Covering the lives of two women born into poverty and forced to make a life for themselves in deeply patriarchal, rural India. The circumstances of their flight and eventual re-location to the US would seem unrealistic if we didn't read about similar tales in our newspapers every day. A difficult but important book. 
I will be writing a full review at my site crookedroadbooks.com
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This book was so good but also so hard to read at times. I couldn't just sit there and read it, I had to take it in chunks. The things that these women face is just unreal, but I also know that it IS real. Which just hurt even more.

The writing in this was beautiful and I really liked that we got both of the girls POVs. 

I just was a little disappointed by the ending. After everything these two went through, to end it where it did just felt like it was cut off. I was surprised when I turned the last page and found nothing more.
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Wow. I had no idea this book was about human trafficking. This gut-wrenching story of two young Indian women covers discussable topics ripped from today's headlines in a brutal and very real way. Although the lives of these two characters are constantly challenged by cultural horrors including mutilation for a 'better price' as well as disfigurement caused by an 'angry husband', they never waiver in their search for one another. Their individual drive and collective strengths, their willingness to defy what's expected of them, bring them to a final somewhat rewarding place. Meeting societal and cultural wrongs head on, Girls Burn Brighter is not for the faint of heart.
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Oh my! This one took my breath and my soul. A heartbreaking yet somehow ever hopeful story of the humiliation and abuse of two young women with no one or nothing to depend on but their love for each other. Although the story begins in India, it continues in the US as does the disregard for the value of the lives of these two women. Read at your own peril, as this book will not let you remain unmoved. I will not soon stop thinking of Poornima and Savitha and the real women like them who suffer ungodly abasement because of poverty and their sex.
I thank the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this title.
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One of my goals this year is to not only read new-to-me authors but also authors who write about different places, cultures and people to expand my knowledge. This was my choice for last month and it was a good one. Rao created vivid characters in Poornima and Savitha. They came alive for me and I felt both their strength and also their heartbreak. Women are more commodity than people in India and it broke my heart. I also sat in awe of their strength, their faith and their willingness to find their way to back to one another and a better life. It was an eye-opening read, although sometimes very bleak, and yet a triumphant showcase of the human spirit.
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This book. The things these girls go thru were so difficult to read about; that they stayed determined to find something better was amazing. Good read.
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If the cover doesn't set your world ablaze, the story certainly will.
Girls Burn Brighter is tragic and beautiful, a nearly snapped thread of tension. I like intense books like this.
Poornima and Savitha live deeply in poverty, doing whatever they can to survive. Steeped in love, friendships, loss, and, ultimately, survival, it was so hard to put down.
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Shobha Rao’s Girls Burn Brighter is an intense story of survival and sisterhood.
And so much more.

Set in India against a backdrop of a strict caste system, arranged marriages, and harsh poverty, the two main characters of Rao’s poetic story develop an unlikely friendship that proves to be an enduring constant on which they build the strength needed to endure the violence and powerlessness they experience. This alone is reason enough to read the book but I knew it was important to push myself past the initial awe at this story of strength and resiliency. When I did, I experienced an even deeper story of multidimensional characters navigating their lives and attempting to balance...

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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 India to the United States, chapters alternate between the girls as they tell their story. Will take us from arranged marriages, human trafficking, and the plight of those used for cheap labor in the United States. Not an easy book to read, so many...

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Initially I thought I was going to love this book about female friendship and the depth and strength of the bonds. My heart BROKE from the abuse and violence these two women endured. Then it became repetitive, plot-wise, the abuse, loneliness and longing to find each other and I skimmed some parts. The ending made me furious because sometimes you just want a solid conclusion not a choose your own. The writing is gorgeous, though.
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This was beautiful! The characters are complex and drawn in such a way that it is impossible to read without getting emotionally caught up in Poornima and Savitha's lives. A great book club book.
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Harrowing, but I couldn't put it down. Certainly not for the faint of heart, but the determination of these two protagonists is incredibly compelling.
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Thanks go to Net Galley and Flatiron Books for the review copy, which I read free and early in exchange for this review. This book is for sale to the public now.

This story is billed as one of matchless friendship, and it is that, but the misery and despair are so stark and ever present as to destroy all hope, and this ambivalence is the reason for my slowness and frankly reluctance to review.

Our story is set in India, and our two protagonists are Poornima, whose struggling father runs a small textile factory that makes saris, and Savitha, one of his workers. They become friends and uphold one another through the desperate struggle for survival. Poornima’s mother is gone, and the...

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This was a really intense book, at times devastating, but I’m glad I read it. Just know that it isn’t an easy read.

It’s the story of two girls who meet in Indravalli, India who meet as teenagers. Both are poor, uneducated, and forced to work to support their families, although even in poverty there’s a huge gulf between the two. Poornima’s mother is dead and her father cares only about marrying her off (although it’s not clear why when he has to pay her dowry, and when her work actually earns him money). Savitha comes to work beside Poornima, on her father’s two looms. The girls become close friends, but are separated when Poornima is promised in marriage.

This is a story of...

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Girls Burn Brighter is a book about two girls, Poornima and Savitha that live in a rural Indian village. Their lives are intertwined as Savitha takes a job helping Poornima's widowed father make saris. Poornima, who is more reserved and demure, is instantly drawn to Savitha's strong will, and they quickly become friends.

After a horrible act that is committed against her, Savitha runs away from her home and becomes trapped in the sex trade. Meanwhile, Poornima is forced into a loveless marriage where she is abused by her husband and in-laws. Deciding to leave her marriage once and for all, Poornima embarks on a mission — spanning years and even countries — to find Savitha.
...

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A great read with compelling characters that evoke great empathy. It is a beautifully descriptive work about the power of hope.
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3.75 stars rounded up to 4. I received an advance copy of this book in exhange for an honest review on Netgalley.

Girls Burn Brighter is the gripping tale of Savitha and Poornima-two girls from Indravalli India who come of age together in varying degrees of impoverishment. Saddled with the burden of being a female in an extremely patriarchal society, the girls are thrust together through circumstances in their weaving community.
While both poor, Savitha is poorer-and becomes an employee for Poornima's father-spinning thread and weaving saris to earn money to help feed her siblings because her own father is unable.
The girls become bonded and quickly form an incredibly intense...

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