#aww2019 · 2019 Reviews · contemporary fiction · new release · romance

New Release Book Review: Star Crossed by Minnie Darke

Title: Star Crossedstar crossed small

Author: Minnie Darke

Published: March 5th 2019

Publisher: Penguin Books Australia

Pages: 400

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

RRP: $32.99

Rating: 4 stars

When Justine Carmichael (Sagittarius, aspiring journalist and sceptic) bumps into her old friend Nick Jordan (Aquarius, struggling actor and true believer) it could be by chance. Or perhaps it’s 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 ‘Aquarius’ before it goes to print.

It’s only a horoscope, after all. What harm could changing it do?

Charting the many unforeseen ripple effects of Justine’s astrological meddling – both for herself and others – Star-crossed is the funny, super-smart, feel-good novel of the year!

Review:

I think readers will feel a little starry eyed as soon as they immerse themselves in the brand new contemporary romance novel by Australian author Minnie Darke. Star Crossed promises plenty of romance, laughs, entertainment, wit and life’s complications, as we follow the pathway to love for two childhood sweethearts. With fate and chance seizing the day, Star Crossed is one fresh new release you don’t want to miss!

Star Crossed introduces Justine Carmichael, a young woman with a flourishing career in journalism. Justine’s life changes when she is re-acquainted with her childhood friend, Nick Jordan. She begins to wonder of their chance reconnection was simply a coincidence, or something more. When Justine discovers that her new job could influence her relationship with Nick she takes a chance and she puts her heart on the line. Using the astrology feature which is Nick’s favourite past time, helping guide him in the major life decisions he makes, Justine tries to manipulate the astrology section to her own advantage. This simple act of attraction and devotion has far reaching implications for not only Nick and Justine, but for the many followers of the astrology column Justine has adapted. Star Crossed is a humorous, clever and warm hearted novel that will be sure to have fans of romantic comedies thrilled to bits.

Sometimes we need a little light and positivity in our lives, which is where books such a Star Crossed have a role to play. Having just come off the back of a very powerful but bleak novel, the contrast and joy Star Crossed provided me was simply wonderful. Star Crossed is a novel with a broad appeal. I am sure readers of any age or genre preference will enjoy Minnie Darke’s new novel.

One of my favourite movies is the romance Serendipity, starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. I recall viewing this film in the early days of my relationship with my now husband. Star Crossed reminded me of this beautiful film, it is a love story like Star Crossed that is governed by the hands of fate, chance, faith and the unpredictability of life. I could actually see Star Crossed many times transferring to the screen extremely well, it has definite screen presence!

So, there is a bonus to Star Crossed. We follow the endearing and entertaining love story of Justine and Nick, but at the same time, we observe the colourful lives of a strong body of individuals who are impacted by Justine’s love plan. Darke takes an excellent and refined approach to her characters, she is able to convey both intense feelings and diverse emotional responses. The lasting result of this great form of character introspection is that we get a firm handle on the lives of these protagonists. It makes for one really entertaining read!

Onto our leads, Justine and Nick are both appealing and I just loved the fact that these two were definitely destined for one another. Justine was sweet and I appreciated many of her traits. I also enjoyed learning about her career, which was portrayed well by Darke. Nick was a fabulous hero, I actually found it funny to begin with that he used astrology to guide his decisions in life, but each to their own! Astrology is actually a strong thread in this book, but you don’t have to be a believer to connect with the novel.

While I was reading Star Crossed I noticed little motifs of astrology symbols on the different chapters of the novel. I think what I really enjoyed about the novel, as much as the romance and characters, was the structure of the novel. It is always good to see an author venture in new territory, particularly with narrative structure. I haven’t encountered a book before that is structured around the star signs, I have to say, I thought this concept was not only original, but it worked! Combined with Darke’s embracing, snappy and introspective writing style, Star Crossed was definitely a winner in my eyes.

Star Crossed by Minnie Darke is published on March 5th 2019 by Penguin Books Australia, details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Star Crossed, Minnie Darke, visit here.

*I wish to thank Penguin Books Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

Star Crossed is book #37 of the 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge 

 

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