Star-Crossed by Minnie Darke
Maturity Level: 5
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When childhood sweethearts Justine (Sagittarius and serious skeptic) and Nick (Aquarius and true believer) bump into each other as adults, a life-changing love affair seems inevitable. To Justine, anyway. Especially when she learns Nick is an astrological devotee, whose decisions are guided by the stars, and more specifically, by the horoscopes in his favorite magazine. The same magazine Justine happens to write for. As Nick continues to not fall headlong in love with her, Justine decides to take Nick’s horoscope, and Fate itself, into her own hands. But, of course, Nick is not the only Aquarius making important life choices according to what is written in the stars.
Charting the ripple effects of Justine’s astrological meddling, STAR-CROSSED is a delicious, intelligent, and affecting love story about friendship, chance, and how we all navigate the kinds of choices that are hard to face alone.
Here it is! Finally! THE ROMANTIC COMEDY I’VE BEEN SEARCHING FOR!!!
Reading Star-Crossed was exactly like watching a classic RomCom. It was sweet, and funny, and had just the right amount of mischief.
What I think made Star-Crossed stand out, though, was the large cast of side-characters whose stories all align with Nick’s and Justine’s, but not until right at the last moment. I saw someone make a Love Actually/Valentine’s Day comparison, but it isn’t like that, really. The story follows Justine almost exclusively. however there are these nice interludes between each chapter where you see the affects of the horoscopes on others. And these interludes were just as heart-warming as the main story. I loved them.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I loved Nick and Justine’s story too. They were really cute together, and I loved how clueless Nick was about his feelings. This isn’t a white-hot-chemistry book, but rather one that gives you all the feels. And Nick and Justine’s relationship isn’t just about romance. They have been friends their entire lives, and so their friendship is as much about life as it is about love. While Justine is finally starting to rise in her career, Nick is struggling to decide what to do in his.
Justine and Nick are polar opposites, and they play nicely off each other. Nick is dreamy, star-following, while Justine is a practical skeptic. Nick is creative and goes with the flow, while Justine is organized and detail-oriented. Justine knows exactly what she wants, while Nick has no idea. And yet, they have so much in common. They both prefer Vegemite over caviar, they both enjoy a good laugh.
I don’t follow astrology, myself, but reading this book made me wish I did. I loved how Drake interwove it into every element of the story. It’s a plot point, but it also helps you glean insight into the characters. Astrology is ever-present, and it feels as though this book is as much about the stars and fate as it is about Nick and Justine. I was enchanted.
The end! I loved the end! Everything sort of comes together all at once right in the middle of the classic scene of Harry running down the street as the clock is counting down to midnight to tell Sally he loves her. Everything gets wrapped up with a big little bow in the best possible way. I couldn’t put the book down, desperate to see how everything could possibly work out, but knowing without any doubts that it must. Gah, loved it!
My only complaint would be that Nick and Justine never faced any real consequences. They both make some extremely questionable career and relationship decisions, and yet they come off more or less Scott-free. Since they’re both (Justine especially) already more or less perfect, it would have been nice to see some less than perfect things happen to them.
Note, the level-5 maturity is for language only, as the f-word is used freely (although, strangely, there are no other swear words). There is NO sex in this book. PG-13 on the romance front.
Overall I adored Star-Crossed, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys RomComs.