As much as I’m not the type of person who reads my horoscope religiously, I am someone who is married to the type of person who reads his horoscope every day. As far as I can tell, he doesn’t base any major life decisions on what the stars are telling him, but I’ve learned a lot about compatibility and star signs since we’ve been today, and I know there are people out there who deeply rely on astrology. It is because of my fascination with it that I was really excited to read Star-Crossed by Minnie Darke. I wanted to see how a romantic-comedy-type story could really be influenced by astrology, and whether it would affect how the plot played out.
Sometimes even destiny needs a little bit of help.
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.
I’ve got to say, I’m writing this review about a week after I finished the book (and I haven’t started a new one yet), and I can barely remember what happened—which can’t be a great sign. I really love the premise, though, and I love how Darke incorporated astrology into every part of the story.
I really liked Nick’s character. I got a really good sense of his personality and why he made the choices he did. I had a hard time with Justine, though, because I actually relate to her in many ways, and there is no way, in any universe, that I would have done what she did just to get Nick’s attention. I know this is fiction, obviously, but they should have maybe given her another motivation? I’m not sure. I just didn’t click with her. Although I loved the astrology spin on things, I wish it would have played out differently between the two main characters. I felt like we were meant to read more into it than was necessary.
The cusp chapters, where we see how Justine’s choices affected the world outside of her little bubble, were fantastic. I could have almost read a whole book about how people make decisions around their horoscopes (as I’m sure there are many). That would have been so fascinating, and I’m glad we got a little bit of it throughout. That is why I’ve bumped my rating to 3 stars, because those parts were rewarding for me.
If you are really into astrology, you’ll probably like this story. You’ll probably also get really frustrated with Justine, but don’t let that stop you. It was a cute, light read that I would recommend, though it definitely won’t be on any of my must-read lists.
“He had so many unanswered questions. For example, did it necessarily follow that if you set your course by a false guide, you would end up at the wrong destination? Or, did fate have complicated ways of making sure that you ended up where you were supposed to be, anyway?” —Minnie Darke, Star-Crossed
Thank you to Anastasia Dulgier on Unsplash for the featured photo of the astrology globe.