Star-Crossed by Minnie Darke

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Justine is an aspiring journalist putting in her time at a small publication in Australia, a Sagittarius with an intense attention to detail and healthy skepticism of astrology, and … a newfound interest in her childhood best friend, Nick. Nick is an actor, an Aquarius, and an astrological devotee. Will the stars bring these two together…. or pull them apart?

I picked this up one weekend while I was in the middle of an extremely heavy book because I was hoping for something light, fun, and romantic. This book is possibly all of those things, and I could see a certain audience enjoying the concept. However, it’s not a great book in my opinion. The plot is all over the place and the tone in particular, while whimsical and cute for five minutes, gets deeply annoying after about 100 pages. I also spent much of this book trying to understand why any of the characters were acting the way they were acting because genuinely it made no sense. No sane person would do what the main character does over and over again and the cutsie tone disguised how terrible she honestly kind of was. Most glaringly, I personally thought the book took astrology very seriously and didn’t leave a lot of space for a majority of the population (including me) who don’t base their life decisions on their astrological sign to relate.

For context, I am definitely not an astrological devotee like the male lead, Nick. I am a proud Leo and, while I do identify with the traits of my star sign and I even have a tattoo of it, I don’t read my horoscopes or place any real worth to the pseudo-science of star reading. That said, part of the reason I really couldn’t get behind this book is because the character’s acted so oddly about their stars. The character’s were constantly trying to guess things about others based on their birthdays and every character fit perfectly with their star sign. It was very on the nose. There seemed to be a lot of space to be silly about astrology or to approach it as a normal person would in this book, which is with interest but not giving it full power over their lives. It was just a bit heavy handed to me.

Additionally, the chapters were laid out in terms of the star sign months with chapters in between called “cusp.” These cusp chapters are what really lost me in the end. They each focused on very small side characters who were strangers to the main characters. One of them … was a dog. In the end some of them tied up in nice bows but I found them to be a distraction from the story at hand and I actually even skipped a number of them.

Overall? A cute idea that failed in execution for me. However, if you really love astrology and also a calamitous-turned-happy type of romance, this may be worth a shot for you. For most people, I’d say skip it.

Thank you to Crown for sending me a copy of this book! All thoughts are my own.

PUBLICATION DETAILS: Crown; May 21, 2019; 368 pp; Fiction -> Contemporary Romance.