Minnie Darke: Star Crossed
Published by: Bantam Press
Buy It: here
What The Blurb Says:
Destiny doesn’t happen by accident . . .
When Justine Carmichael (Sagittarius, aspiring journalist and sceptic) bumps into her teenage crush Nick Jordan (Aquarius, struggling actor and true believer) it could be by chance. Or it could be written in the stars.
Justine works at the Alexandria Park Star – and Nick, she now learns, relies on the magazine’s astrology column to guide him in life.
Looking for a way to get Nick’s attention, Justine has the idea of making a few small alterations to the horoscope for Aquarius before it goes to print.
After all, it’s only the stars. What could possibly go wrong?
What I Say:
If I read my horoscopes, and it says wonderful things – of course I am in awe of the wisdom of the Astrologer. If it makes no sense at all, then of course it’s a load of rubbish and a waste of paper too. How many of us sneak a peek at what the stars have in store for us, and tell others that we behave in a certain way because of the Star Sign personality we have. By the way, I am a Scorpio, so that’s fiercely loyal and very protective thank you, and of course I read my stars regularly.
Minnie Darke’s exqusitely different novel asks us, what would happen, if someone altered the horoscopes to make a person fall in love with them. Justine works at the Alexandria Park Star magazine and does not believe in horoscopes at all. Nick, her childhood boyfriend and aspiring actor believes in them passionately. When they meet by chance (or is it?) one day, Justine realises that she still has feelings for Nick, but is too scared to say anything – and after all, he now has an impossibly beautiful and picture perfect girlfriend.
As Justine watches Nick move further away from her, and with access to the magazine’s horoscopes, she decides just to alter Nick’s horoscope, Aquarius, so that when he reads it, he realises that Justine is the woman for him. The thing is, and as we all know, life is never that easy…
What follows is a brilliantly imaginative story, that looks at how we may think we are able to determine our fate, but that maybe letting the stars determine them is far more fun. Each chapter of Star Crossed is a different star sign, where we learn a little about astrology, but also, it gives us a glimpse into the lives of other people who have read the same horoscope as Nick, and how that impacts the choices they make too. What we also see is that the same statement can be read in a thousand different ways according to who is reading it and what they are going through at the time.
What is also a clever plot device, and you probably guessed it from the title, that Nick is starring in a production of Romeo and Juliet – the original Star Crossed lovers, and it is a theme that runs throughout the whole novel too. Justine helps Nick to learn his lines and interviews the young actress who plays Juliet, and Nick inadvertently crashes another production where he has to stand in as Romeo.
This is one of the many things I loved about Star Crossed. It is just so different to anything I have picked up recently, and it is a joyous celebration of the power of love and that you may try and fight it, but apparently our fate is determined by a higher power whether we like it or not. The story moves along quickly and at a cracking pace, and Minnie’s plot is a thing of beauty as it starts stories, ends them, you wonder why this character has been introduced, but as the novel gains momentum towards the end, it all finally makes sense. I loved how each story also brings new characters into the novel, but it never felt forced or superfluous to the main plot.
At the heart of Star Crossed is the story of Nick and Justine, and how really, they were always meant to be together, but they just didn’t know it. They are two really likeable characters, flawed, unsure and relatable, and I defy you not to read Star Crossed and shout at them to just get together and start the rest of their lives (I may have done this once or twice!). That is why this novel is so unique – as fate conspires to keep them apart, we understand that they need to go through all this heartache and missed opportunities to truly acknowledge what has been right in front of them from the first time they met
Star Crossed is just the novel I needed to read at the moment. Sometimes I just want to read a novel that brings me joy, doesn’t upset me, and that in the end, shows that love conquers all (the fabulous dog Brown Houdini-Malarky was a brilliant addition to the plot too!). Minnie Darke has written a truly wonderful novel, which is filled with characters I loved, a belief in the power of love, and is just simply heart warming to read. It would also be absolutely perfect for a film adaptation- just in case by any strange luck there are any film-makers reading this blog…
I really loved this novel, and I hope you do too.
Thank you so much to Hannah Bright at Transworld for my gifted copy of Star Crossed, and for asking me to be part of the Blog Tour.
You’ve read what I thought, now follow the rest of the other Bloggers to find out what they thought…