Review: Stargazer By Laurie Petrou

I love books like this! My go to, not fantasy, summer recs are always character heavy books about slightly unhinged 20-something women.

Stargazer was pitched to me as a dark and twisty coming of age story where two girls blur the line between friendship and obsession as their relationship becomes more and more toxic.

This book is an exploration of all kinds of female friendships, and how they can be slowly poisoned by envy. Whilst Diana and Aurelle’s co-dependency is the main focus, I really loved the exploration of Aurelle’s relationship with her mother, the bitter resentment that grew between them over the course of the narrative.

The mother-daughter relationship, the family she saw from her octagonal window brought her the warm, impossible comfort of a snow globe. She took the crumbs of their love and they sustained her; she made them permanent in her sketchbook so she could feel it again and again, drawing little scenes of their lives together.

Page 17. Stargazer, Laurie Petrou.

I definitely binged this book, barely coming up for air between chapters. The heady relationship between Diana and Aurelle had me tugging at the threads, desperate for more. It’s definitely twisty, but if you’ve ever experienced a friendship that’s bordered on co-dependency before, you’ll find a slither of something relatable in this extreme example.

Diana as a character was undeniably absolutely insane, but I adored her, she was dark and twisty and kind of evil. If you love a book with unlikeable characters, this will be for you.

This book comes with a biting commentary about the nature of privilege. Both Diana and Aurelle come from exceptionally privileged backgrounds and whilst Aurelle is seemingly unaware of her privilege, wasting her time and money away on drugs, attending a college she’s not actually interested in, Diana’s character wants more, ignoring the privilege she has in favour of mourning what she doesn’t. It’s an interesting exploration of inherited financial privilege, all adding to the character’s overall unlikeability.

Petrou’s writing feels teasing, giving morsels of the story at a time, hinting at what’s going on but leaving you to wonder for much of the book. I found myself wanting to reach out and highlight a lot of metaphors within the book, her writing on the characters emotions was so visceral, it almost became tangible.

She tended to her anger like it was a pet: stroking it, feeding it, watching it grow a glossy coat and gleaming teeth.

Page 103. Stargazer, Laurie Petrou.

The characters in this book are so compellingly nasty, you won’t be able to put it down. It’s a dark, insatiable read that will leave you with a serious book hangover.

If you’re a Sally Rooney fan but looking for something with a bit more bite, this needs to be your next summer read!

Out this week on June 23rd.*

Content warnings: Drug abuse, eating disorders,

Thank you to the publishers, Verve Books, for sending me an advanced copy of this book. 

*link is affiliate.