Wow! This New Year's Resolution is getting real hard! I expected this to be a super easy resolution, but now that I'm on Week 32 (possibly 33, I've lost track), I think I'm getting a little book burnt-out (Is that a thing?).
But, anyway, here's a new review comin' at ya. If you need a refresher on why I'm doing a weekly book review, check it out here!
This week's book was one I just picked up randomly, and I'm so glad I did! It was a sweet, little feel-good novel, full of astrology and writing, so like all the things I like. So, with no more ado, here is my review of Star-Crossed by Minnie Darke!
Star-Crossed begins on the day Nick Jordan, an Aquarius, is born. Soon after, Justine Carmichael, a Sagittarius, is born. The pair become childhood friends. The novel jumps forward to Justine, now 26, working at a newspaper in Alexandria Park, Australia. She is a copy-runner, running errands for the staff writers. In a chance meeting, she runs into Nick again, now a struggling actor. Nick reveals his obsession with Leo Thornbury, the astrologist, at Justine's paper. Soon, Justine is promoted to Contributions Manager, where part of her job is copying Leo's "stars" into the paper.
Tired of seeing Nick doubt himself, and a little bit because she likes him, Justine changes the reading for Aquarius, causing Nick to reunite with his model ex-girlfriend.
But, her changes have wide spread effect, changing not only Nick's life but the lives of the paper's other readers. In interspersed chapters, the reader gets to see the lives that are changed by Justine's meddling with the horoscope for Aquarius.
As events keep moving in their lives, like Nick being cast as Romeo, and Justine getting to write her first real article, Justine continues to change the horoscope for Aquarius, hoping to guide Nick's life choices. After Nick gets an audition with a prestigious company, but turns it down because his girlfriend wants him to have a steady job, Justine is promoted to a full time writer position, meaning she can no longer change Nick's horoscopes.
Soon, Justine begins sleeping with the new Editor-in-Chief but agree to keep the relationship professional. But Justine isn't happy with Daniel.
When Daniel learns she's been changing the horoscopes, and that she was changing them for Nick, Daniel places Justine on suspension, and the pair end their relationship. The novel ends with a New Year's Celebration where Nick is set to propose to his girlfriend, but gets waylaid by a dog, and all the disparate parts of the novel collide. The novel ends with Justine back to work, and happily with Nick, and their "new" old dog Brown.
I sincerely loved this book! It was a sweet little book, an easy read, and just all around enjoyable to read. I found Justine to be very relatable, and a fun character to experience. I liked how the novel didn't focus on Justine alone, but on the numerous people her horoscope changes helped! It really added a different level to what would have been a generic rom-com book otherwise.
I also liked Darke's style. She had a fun tone throughout the novel, making it read very easily, but also had some truly beautiful passages. She quoted numerous authors and poets in her horoscopes, which I loved! I think her style was a little plain but all the other components of the novel totally make up for it!
I liked Nick and Justine's relationship. While it seemed like they're relationship was going to be a generic rom-com relationship, Darke added other elements to them to make them a little different. I like that neither of them really changed for the other (which is a popular trope in the rom-com industry), and that they had a very realistic seeming relationship. They felt real, as opposed to rom-com love.
The only thing I can think of that I didn't like about this novel is all the Australian slang that was used. While this did an excellent job of placing the reader in a typical Australian neighborhood, it was occasionally confusing for someone who doesn't know the vernacular. But I liked Google-ing the Aussie slang, and learning what they mean, so it hardly counts as something I didn't like!
All in all, I give Star-Crossed by Minnie Darke a whole-hearted 5 out of 5!