Pinterest tracking pixel
Oops! The page didn’t load right. Please refresh and try again.

Quick take

A soul-nurturing love story about forging friendships, building romance, forgiving family, and finding yourself.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Romance

    Romance

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LGBTQ

    LGBTQ+ themes

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Sad

    Sad

Why I love it

I get so emotional, baby… every time I think about this book! Why YES, it is absolutely necessary to use Whitney Houston lyrics to describe how The Stars and the Blackness Between Them made this queer music-loving ‘90s kid feel.

Audre, a 16 year old raised in Trinidad, is in love with the pastor's daughter. But just as they begin to explore their new love, they are discovered by Audre's deeply religious mother, who banishes Audre to Minneapolis to live with her father. Upon her arrival, Audre is confronted with a vastly different life—one with an unfamiliar parent and a culture and place she's never known. Luckily her father introduces her to Mabel, who helps her navigate her new life in America, and before long, the two fall in love. But this beautiful queer Black-girls-in-love story takes a heart-plunging turn into the realities of life when Mabel receives devasting news about her health.

With vivid characters and a gripping story, this book was a cosmic, emotional, and musical journey. I won't be forgetting this story or MABRE (Mabel/Audre) any time soon. In fact, you can find my singing "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" while re-reading this book and shedding both happy and sad tears.

Read less

Synopsis

Trinidad. Sixteen-year-old Audre is despondent, having just found out she’s going to be sent to live in America with her father because her strictly religious mother caught her with her secret girlfriend, the pastor’s daughter. Audre’s grandmother Queenie (a former dancer who drives a white convertible Cadillac and who has a few secrets of her own) tries to reassure her granddaughter that she won’t lose her roots, not even in some place called Minneapolis. “America have dey spirits too, believe me,” she tells Audre.

Minneapolis. Sixteen-year-old Mabel is lying on her bed, staring at the ceiling and trying to figure out why she feels the way she feels—about her ex Terrell, about her girl Jada and that moment they had in the woods, and about the vague feeling of illness that’s plagued her all summer. Mabel’s reverie is cut short when her father announces that his best friend and his just-arrived-from-Trinidad daughter are coming for dinner.

Mabel quickly falls hard for Audre and is determined to take care of her as she tries to navigate an American high school. But their romance takes a turn when test results reveal exactly why Mabel has been feeling low-key sick all summer and suddenly it’s Audre who is caring for Mabel as she faces a deeply uncertain future.

Read less

Sneak peek

Check out a preview of The Stars and the Blackness Between Them.

Read a sample →
Young adult
  • Looking for Alaska
  • The Boy in the Red Dress
  • Star Daughter
  • The Kingdom of Back
  • Not So Pure and Simple
  • Frankly in Love
  • The Gilded Wolves
  • On the Come Up
  • Four Dead Queens
  • Permanent Record
  • Full Disclosure
  • Yes No Maybe So
  • The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
  • Dangerous Alliance
  • The Sound of Stars
  • Anna K
  • Oasis
  • Ink in the Blood
  • Ashlords
  • Woven in Moonlight
  • Throw Like a Girl
  • The Fountains of Silence
  • Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things
  • Where the World Ends
  • Reverie
  • The Queen of Nothing
  • I Have No Secrets
  • Song of the Crimson Flower
  • When the Stars Lead to You
  • Wayward Son
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • All the Bright Places
  • The Girl the Sea Gave Back
  • Saving Zoë
  • The Downstairs Girl
  • Color Me In
  • Hello Girls
  • Mind Games
  • Wicked Fox
  • Symptoms of a Heartbreak
  • All of Us with Wings
  • The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World
  • Past Perfect Life
  • Patron Saints of Nothing
  • This Time Will Be Different
  • The Rest of the Story
  • There's Something About Sweetie
  • Again, But Better
  • The Red Scrolls of Magic
  • We Hunt the Flame
  • Descendant of the Crane
  • Sky Without Stars
  • How (Not) to Ask a Boy to Prom
  • You'd Be Mine
  • Night Music
  • Opposite of Always
  • When the Sky Fell on Splendor
  • Shout
  • The Field Guide to the North American Teenager
  • The Deceivers
  • Enchantée
  • The Astonishing Color of After
  • Top Ten
  • Turtles All the Way Down
  • Little & Lion
  • A Million Junes
  • The Impossible Fortress
  • The Most Dangerous Place on Earth
  • Girls in the Moon
  • You Will Know Me
  • The Sun Is Also a Star
  • Salt to the Sea