Hot Best Seller

Star-Crossed

Availability: Ready to download

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 spe 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.


Compare

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 spe 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.

30 review for Star-Crossed

  1. 5 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    2.25 Stars Nick has always lived his life by the stars. By stars I mean, astrological stars. Every decision he makes is determined by what his Horoscope tells him to do. Nick and Justine were best friends when they were kids and both felt “something.” Now, reconnecting in their late twenties, Justine feels “it” again. She works for the local paper and it’s there that she finds an opportunity to make Nick rediscover that they are the perfect match! She has this idea, this unbelievably 2.25 Stars Nick has always lived his life by the stars. By stars I mean, astrological stars. Every decision he makes is determined by what his Horoscope tells him to do. Nick and Justine were best friends when they were kids and both felt “something.” Now, reconnecting in their late twenties, Justine feels “it” again. She works for the local paper and it’s there that she finds an opportunity to make Nick rediscover that they are the perfect match! She has this idea, this unbelievably zany idea and yes, she goes through with it. Justine decides to tinker with each month’s astrological predictions for Nick sign (he’s an Aquarius) thinking that he will, of course, follow the path she sets for him. Easy peasy, right? Initially, Star-Crossed” held a lot of promise. If only it had delivered. Unfortunately, I found the writing style to be sluggish and clunky and also felt that the storyline was a bit far-fetched. So much of my time was spent frustrated by the characters actions that I had a hard time connecting and while I so desperately wanted to love this rom com, it just didn’t happen. Most other reviewers loved this novel thus I encourage readers to check out other reviews. This was a buddy read with Kaceey. Thanks for reading this with me Kace! Thank you to NetGalley, Crown Publishing and Minnie Darke for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 4.28.19.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Minnie Darke writes a lovely piece of romantic contemporary fiction set in Australia. Justine Carmichael and Nick Jordan's mothers are best friends and the two grew up together in Edenvale until Nick's parents moved away. Sagittarian Justine, obsessed with making sure words are spelt correctly, works at the Alexandria Park Star, general dogsbody and runner for 2 years, dreaming of becoming a journalist and securing a cadetship, but the current writers have been in post for a long time, and her p Minnie Darke writes a lovely piece of romantic contemporary fiction set in Australia. Justine Carmichael and Nick Jordan's mothers are best friends and the two grew up together in Edenvale until Nick's parents moved away. Sagittarian Justine, obsessed with making sure words are spelt correctly, works at the Alexandria Park Star, general dogsbody and runner for 2 years, dreaming of becoming a journalist and securing a cadetship, but the current writers have been in post for a long time, and her prospects look bleak. Justine bumps into Aquarius Nick for the first time in years, he is an actor, struggling to succeed in his chosen career, recently broken up with glamorous model girlfriend, Laura Mitchell. A smitten Justine sees possibilities for her and Nick to be together, and whilst she is a sceptic when it comes to astrology, for Nick, he is far more open, addicted to reading his stars in Justine's news magazine. Justine sees the opportunity to tinker with reclusive Leo Thornberry's astrological predictions for Aquarius with a view to smoothing the path to her and Nick becoming an item, even though it threatens her professional position. Her meddling has unintended consequences for numerous Aquarian characters with life changing decisions, often resulting in a comedy of errors, but some have considerably more serious consequences. For Justine herself, she finds that her path to true love with a confused Nick is strewn with obstacles as he often fails to interpret his stars in the way that Juliet so desperately wants him to, as he makes decisions that drive her to despair. Will the star crossed lovers ever find their way to each other? Darke writes a smart and funny novel that will have you rooting for Justine and Nick, whilst at the same time getting caught in the various Aquarius characters that are affected by the repercussions of Justine's tampering with the horoscopes. Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet motif is strong throughout the narrative with two productions of the play, where Nick plays Romeo in one of them, his last ditch attempt to make it in his chosen profession. There were occasions when I was faintly exasperated that Nick and Justine just could not just be straightforward and upfront with each other, but then this delightful novel would not have been written for us to savour. No doubt for many readers, it is written in the stars that they are destined to read this book. Many thanks to Random House Transworld for an ARC.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kaceey

    2.5* Nick and Justine grew up together from toddler into early teens. Destined to be together until Nick's family decides to move, not just across town – but across the entire country. Leaving the teens to grow in different directions. A chance meeting in a market re-ignites long hidden sparks between the two. (Well at least for Justine). Justine is trying to work her way up to the position of copy writer at a highly popular news magazine, the Alexandria Park Star. This, whil 2.5* Nick and Justine grew up together from toddler into early teens. Destined to be together until Nick's family decides to move, not just across town – but across the entire country. Leaving the teens to grow in different directions. A chance meeting in a market re-ignites long hidden sparks between the two. (Well at least for Justine). Justine is trying to work her way up to the position of copy writer at a highly popular news magazine, the Alexandria Park Star. This, while poor Nick is floundering in the world of acting. Never landing the right leading role. Nick is an Aquarius whose sole focus is following the stars. Who needs to settle down when you have astrology, right? After all, it is his guide in life. Justine...well she’s of the opinion that you create your own destiny. But when Justine has the opportunity to make a tiny “tweak” to the latest astrology posting in her news magazine, little did she realize the repercussions that would follow. When a character holds an inner dialogue I just love it! Feels it adds so much to the character. It’s usually humorous and quirky. Unfortunately, in this case, it just came off awkward . Justine and her “brain” chatting. Oh I wanted to love this one! I really did! And I would read snippets that I thought were taking me down that road only to find that it was a road to nowhere. And yet again...I was left disappointed at a missed opportunity. A buddy read with Susanne! Thank you to NetGalley, Crown Publishing and Minnie Darke for an ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emer (A Little Haze)

    I thought this would be a very light, fluffy story with a tiny hint of astrology and that the characters would laugh about the silliness of it all... But instead I found this book to take astrology far too seriously and in many ways attempted to bestow it with credibility. Astrology has been proved to have no scientific validity and therefore is categorised as a pseudoscience. And therefore I found it hard to relate to any of these characters that believed so strongly in it. Perhaps if the book I thought this would be a very light, fluffy story with a tiny hint of astrology and that the characters would laugh about the silliness of it all... But instead I found this book to take astrology far too seriously and in many ways attempted to bestow it with credibility. Astrology has been proved to have no scientific validity and therefore is categorised as a pseudoscience. And therefore I found it hard to relate to any of these characters that believed so strongly in it. Perhaps if the book had contained more humour or some crazy laugh out loud moments I could have found something to empathise with. But sadly this book just turned out to not be to my personal taste. I would recommend the book only to people who placed some merit in astrology as any one else I feel would find themselves as frustrated as I was with this story. *An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher, Bantam Press / Random House UK Transworld Publishers, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

  5. 4 out of 5

    Theresa Smith

    This was an utterly delightful novel. If you’re a fan of movies such as Love Actually, New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day – as I am – then this is the novel for you! It’s both smart and funny, it doesn’t take itself too seriously but still manages to captivate and delight. And even though the story revolves around astrology, you don’t have to actually know anything about, or even like, astrology to love this novel. Justine is a journalist who has been slogging away as a copy runner fo This was an utterly delightful novel. If you’re a fan of movies such as Love Actually, New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day – as I am – then this is the novel for you! It’s both smart and funny, it doesn’t take itself too seriously but still manages to captivate and delight. And even though the story revolves around astrology, you don’t have to actually know anything about, or even like, astrology to love this novel. Justine is a journalist who has been slogging away as a copy runner for a few years while waiting in the wings for a promotion at the magazine she works at. She has an awesome memory, works hard, and is a stickler for accuracy, so much so, she carries around a sharpie so she can correct the many misspellings and errors that appear on signs and menus and programs and pretty much any other thing she spots while out and about. I can’t tell you how much I loved this! I could feel Justine’s pain at seeing all of these errors, and I totally admired her confidence in the need for accuracy that drove her to correct everything she ever came across. She was a classic over-thinker, another aspect of her personality I could relate to, even though we are not actually the same star sign! To give you a taste of Justine, here is a little extract I loved that showcases her to perfection: But even now, as she stood in the semi-dark of her living room, hands on hips, Justine understood that, henceforth, her curtains were going to be an issue. The curtains in question, pale green and damask, were a relic of Fleur Carmichael’s occupancy of the Evelyn Towers apartment, and although Justine knew that she should just fling them open – in the normal careless way that she always did at around this time on a weekday morning – she found it wasn’t that simple any more. What if Nick thought she was looking in on him, or inviting a conversation? Maybe she should wait, until, say, seven-thirty? Evenings were going to be equally problematic. To close, or not to close? When to close? And then there were the weekends. If she shut her curtains at an unusual time, Nick might think she was doing something weird behind them. But if she didn’t close her curtains, he might think that she wanted him to see whatever she was doing – weird or not. Justine wondered if there was, set out in a reference book somewhere, a standard opening and closing protocol for curtains: some kind of code, the adherence to which would ensure that her curtain behaviour could be in no way construed as strange or inappropriate. When Justine bumps into her oldest friend, Nick, after years apart, their friendship is renewed, and for Justine, so are all of those old feelings that she ended up developing as an angsty teenager. Nick is mad about astrology, basing many of his decisions on what is written in his stars, and is a huge fan of the astrologer who writes the monthly column at the magazine Justine works for. Justine thinks it’s all rubbish, but when she gets promoted to contributions manager at the magazine, a part of her job is to transcribe the monthly astrology column, and that’s when the games begin. Justine begins to alter the monthly entry for Aquarius, Nick’s star sign, engineering the messages in a way that she hopes will steer him in her direction. “What I want to know is, does someone really love you when all they ever want to do is change you into something that you’re not?” It had worked, Justine realised. Her horoscope had absolutely worked. Cocooned inside Nick’s oversized woollen jumper, she was hardly able to believe that it had really, actually, properly worked to set off some doubts that were already there, lurking in his mind. While Nick doesn’t always act in the way Justine anticipates, she keeps on meddling, upping the ante to force his hand her way. What she doesn’t realise, is that so many other people are also reading the Aquarius column and making decisions based on her bogus entries. This is where the novel wings its way into Love Actually/New Year’s Eve/Valentine’s Day territory, with these multiple stories of people with connections to each other. This was all so perfectly executed, and as the novel progresses, the many connections become more and more apparent. It was really lovely, and very clever. As you can expect, all goes very wrong before it ends up going right. But this story is in no way formulaic, it’s fresh and original, and always entertaining. Yes, she had made an idiot of him, but even worse than that, she had taken something from him. She’d spoiled it: his one little sprinkling of magic in an otherwise pragmatic world – a harmless handful of stardust and mystery, once a month, on the page of a magazine. I loved the arrangement of this novel, with the chapters following the astrology year, beginning and ending with Aquarius. Within each chapter, time was devoted to Justine, and then to all of the other characters whose lives were being affected by the dodgy Aquarius entries. The prose was delightful, with this old world style of storytelling narration that put me in mind of Jane Austen and William Makepeace Thackeray, where everyone was introduced via a witty bio (see below for the author’s own bio as a sample of this) with the continuing narration peppered with comic banter and random incidentals. I really enjoyed Minnie Darke’s writing style and look forward to reading more books by her. She’s a fantastic writer, so witty and smooth, the storyline of Star-crossed so clever and with such brilliant on point character development. I also really enjoyed the magazine setting, with the daily workings and the interactions between Justine and her co-workers. The journalist in me got a real kick out of it all. This is one novel I can’t recommend highly enough, there’s a lot to love about it. I’m going to be gifting this one to more than a few people this year, you can be sure! Thanks is extended to Penguin Random House for providing me with a copy of Star-crossed for review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anna (The Bursting Bookshelf)

    A review copy of this book was provided by Crown Publishing in exchange for an honest review. When I read about this book on NetGalley I was thrilled - it seemed right up my alley. A cute romance between two childhood sweethearts, one who doesn't believe in astrological signs (which I find very relatable) and one who lets the stars guide his life choices. While the concept was sound, I couldn't bring myself to enjoy the book due to some issues in the storytelling. One of the classic A review copy of this book was provided by Crown Publishing in exchange for an honest review. When I read about this book on NetGalley I was thrilled - it seemed right up my alley. A cute romance between two childhood sweethearts, one who doesn't believe in astrological signs (which I find very relatable) and one who lets the stars guide his life choices. While the concept was sound, I couldn't bring myself to enjoy the book due to some issues in the storytelling. One of the classic romance tropes is one character meddling in the love life of another character. This can be a fun trope, especially when you see characters having to pay for their actions and earn their happy endings. In Star-Crossed it didn't really feel like any of the characters grew or earned their happy endings, they just went through the motions. Justine and Nick stayed pretty one-dimensional and didn't develop throughout the book. I found Nick in particular to be wishy-washy and I couldn't understand his motivations. Going into this book, I expected to relate a lot with Justine because I am a staunch disbeliever in astronomy, but I was surprised to find she was pretty easily convinced to believe in her horoscope. I didn't find Justine and Nick to have a lot of chemistry - which made it hard for me to root for their happy ending. I also had a hard time believing that every character in this book believed in and put weight into horoscopes - I just couldn't relate to any of the characters, nor could I suspend my disbelief long enough to enjoy the book.  This novel fell apart for me when it came to the main plot - even with the supplemental stories it was stretched thin and lacked content. It felt to me that had this book been shorter, it would have a bit more cohesive and had better pacing. The main story was pretty typical rom-com: Justine reunites with Nick and develops a crush. When her crush is not reciprocated, she begins to meddle with Nick's horoscopes to try to sway him into dating her. There wasn't much more to it than that - the rest of the plot points were pretty predictable and it made for a bit of a boring read. The main plot was supplemented by side stories of characters who had read the horoscopes from Justine's magazine and had made decisions in their lives based around them. The fun part of these vignettes was that most of them were interconnected and some even connected to the main plot. It was a fun way to show the butterfly effect of Justine changing the horoscopes at first, but after a while they just detracted from the already simple main story and felt like a crutch. I also found myself forgetting names of characters in the side stories and having to go back to figure out how the stories were connected.  Overall, I was disappointed by the lack of content in the main plot and how predictable it was. It felt like it should be a novella, not a full novel. I would recommend this book to people who love to read their horoscope or who enjoy stories about the butterfly effect that one simple decision can have. 1/5

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

    *www.onewomansbbr.wordpress.com *www.facebook.com/onewomansbbr **4.5 stars** Star Crossed by Minnie Darke. (2019). When Justine (Sagittarius, aspiring journalist and sceptic) bumps into old friend Nick (Aquarius, struggling actor and true believer), it could be by chance or maybe it's written in the stars... Justine works at a magazine which includes a horoscope column that Nick uses to guide *www.onewomansbbr.wordpress.com *www.facebook.com/onewomansbbr **4.5 stars** Star Crossed by Minnie Darke. (2019). When Justine (Sagittarius, aspiring journalist and sceptic) bumps into old friend Nick (Aquarius, struggling actor and true believer), it could be by chance or maybe it's written in the stars... Justine works at a magazine which includes a horoscope column that Nick uses to guide his life. What better way to get his attention by making some alterations to his horoscope before it gets printed; what possible harm could it do? This is a very enjoyable, light-hearted read. Well written and easy to read, it was an absorbing novel that I quickly got lost into. Our two leads, Justine and Nick, are very likeable and I was rooting for them to get together the whole time and have their happy ending. There is a whole cast of minor characters that don't seem to be connected at first glance but it all comes together in the end; I quite liked these little side characters and their respective mini stories. This book would be comparable to one of those feel-good romantic comedy type films that many love to indulge in - and yes, I think this novel would make a fab movie. A thoroughly entertaining as well as quite humorous in parts novel that I'd happily recommend for those looking for a light easy read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    MissBecka

    Why so many side story characters? Most of them I found unnecessary and just made the book convoluted. I would have enjoyed this more if the focus had been maintained on Nick and Justine. I did really enjoy Brown Houdini-Malarky's inner monologues and would have loved a final chapter through his eyes. Thank you NetGalley and Crown Publishing for my copy.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

    *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com 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! St *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com 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. *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

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer (JC-S)

    It’s only the stars – what’s the big deal?’ Have you ever picked up a novel, hesitantly, because you don’t really expect you’ll enjoy it, and then found it to be one of the most enjoyable reads you’ve experienced? I picked up this book based on a review by someone whose judgement I trust and loved it. It’s funny, it’s light-hearted and it’s clever, without taking itself too seriously. Sometimes the stars align perfectly, and sometimes they don’t… Justine Carmichael is an as It’s only the stars – what’s the big deal?’ Have you ever picked up a novel, hesitantly, because you don’t really expect you’ll enjoy it, and then found it to be one of the most enjoyable reads you’ve experienced? I picked up this book based on a review by someone whose judgement I trust and loved it. It’s funny, it’s light-hearted and it’s clever, without taking itself too seriously. Sometimes the stars align perfectly, and sometimes they don’t… Justine Carmichael is an aspiring journalist. She’s been working as a copy runner at the Alexandria Park Star for a few years, waiting for a break. She’s also a Sagittarian and a sceptic. One day, Justine runs into her old friend Nick Jordan, a struggling actor. Nick is an Aquarian and, as Justine discovers, believes in the stars. And it just so happens that Nick relies on the astrology column of the Alexandria Park Star for guidance. The fates conspire, and Justine gets a promotion to contributions editor at the Alexandria Park Star. One of her duties is to transcribe the monthly astrology column which its reclusive author sends to the magazine each month by facsimile. Justine would like to get Nick’s attention. Perhaps a tweak or two to the Aquarius horoscope might help? Alas, Justine should have known that all actions have consequences. After all, her attempts to correct incorrect spelling on signs and menus with her sharpie have not always been appreciated. Accuracy is not always valued. But meddling with the stars? Some consequences are unintended: Nick doesn’t always interpret his horoscope quite the way Justine intended. And there are other people caught up in Justine’s astrological web. Just how many things will go wrong before the stars realign? Thank you, Minnie Darke, I really enjoyed your novel and hope I don’t have to wait too long for the next one. Jennifer Cameron-Smith

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mandy White

    I really wanted to love this book but I was just bored. Started off well but just not for me

  12. 5 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Peta Hardiman If astrology and friends-to-lovers tropes are your jam, or if you’re a bit of a sucker for a romantic comedy, then it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Star-Crossed by Minnie Darke. When Justine Carmichael (Sagittarius, grammar nerd, and journo) bumps into old childhood friend Nick Jordan (Aquarian, aspiring actor, and very much a true believer in all things stars) after more than a decade, she finds herself saddled with a crus/>If Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Peta Hardiman If astrology and friends-to-lovers tropes are your jam, or if you’re a bit of a sucker for a romantic comedy, then it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Star-Crossed by Minnie Darke. When Justine Carmichael (Sagittarius, grammar nerd, and journo) bumps into old childhood friend Nick Jordan (Aquarian, aspiring actor, and very much a true believer in all things stars) after more than a decade, she finds herself saddled with a crush she thought she’d gotten over years ago. While reconnecting, Nick reveals that he still guides his life according to the astrology section of the magazine where Justine just so happens to work. At first, Justine finds this information an amusing throwback to the boy she knew as a teenager. But when Nick fails to call her, she uses it to her advantage and begins to tweak the monthly Aquarius predictions to open up Nick’s eyes, and his heart. But as we soon discover, Nick isn’t the only Aquarian who uses The Alexandria Star to influence their decision… If I could describe this book in one word, it would be ‘cute’, followed closely by ‘sweet’, and, well, you get the idea really. Star-Crossed was fun, soft, and decently interesting, and to be honest, it was something that I didn’t entirely expect it to be: smart. Darke managed to find a decent line between science and pseudoscience to balance on and the humour, dry and sarcastic, kept me amused while I read. Authors can tread a fine line when writing romance novels, and to me, keeping that bit of bite in amongst all the inevitable sap, kept Star-Crossed from becoming tooth-achingly sweet. Star-Crossed follows mostly Justine’s POV and we spend about a year in her life (as told by star signs), following her quirky and refreshing personality as she navigates the long-buried crush she has on Nick, her working life, and her other interpersonal relationships. However, what makes Star-Crossed a little more interesting than average are the ‘cusp’ sections, which is where we get insight into the lives affected by Justine’s meddling. It’s an interesting change to an otherwise fairly stereotypical storyline, and while eventually, we see the cyclical nature of these ‘cusp’ stories, and how they all wind together, what makes these sections shine is that not all the people we read about are changing for the better. Justine as a main character is incredible relatable, I enjoyed her sarcastic nature, and the fact that she has an ongoing war with a fruit and veg vendor at the local market. But what makes Justine so incredibly real as a character is the fact that over the course of the novel, we watch her struggle with love, family, her career and being a twenty-something that doesn’t have it all figured out. It was super refreshing to read from the perspective of someone who finished work and makes a Vegemite sandwich for dinner because she’s too lazy to do anything else. Nick as well follows along these lines, his chosen career path is an actor, and he’s not anywhere close to being successful at the age of 28. It speaks to the millennial mindset of dreaming big, and then having to keep on dreaming, because to give up would destroy your soul a little bit. While for the most part, I enjoyed the plot, if I’m being honest, parts of this storyline didn’t sit too well with me. The idea of Justine jeopardising her job, and her integrity, to convince the guy she likes to give her a chance seems borderline crazy, and more than a little manipulative. While I can see why that could fall under the banner of personal preference more than anything else, at times, it did throw me out of the story, and it would take a little bit of trudging to get back into it again. In terms of writing style, Star-Crossed is surprisingly intelligent and it’s the wittiness and banter between characters that really kept it interesting. Darke doesn’t fall victim to plot line or prose, but rather, she has chosen to let her characters drive the plot forward, and it’s that feature what makes this a spectacularly easy book to fall into and read. As a little aside, I will point out that this book is incredibly Australian, both in landscape but also in language. It’s absolutely full of colloquialisms and shorthand that are bound to trip you up unless you’ve already got a solid understand of the land down under. The acknowledgements at the end of Star-Crossed say that Darke wrote this book to amuse herself, and you, the reader, and I think that perhaps nothing describes it better than that. Nothing thing about Star-Crossed is difficult to read, unless you don’t understand Australian idioms, and it is exactly as advertised: a sweet and easy rom-com perfect for a weekend afternoon read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Krista

    It's not as if the horoscopes are...real. They're all just rubbish. What's one random phrase compared to another? What harm could it do? Star-Crossed was intended as a mindless summertime bookclub pick – looking like an easy-reading rom-com outside our usual fare – but as low as that made my expectations, I don't know if author Minnie Darke even met my lowest bar for a decently written book. Not a total waste of time, but reading the disappointed reviews from regular aficionados of the romance genre, I don't know It's not as if the horoscopes are...real. They're all just rubbish. What's one random phrase compared to another? What harm could it do? Star-Crossed was intended as a mindless summertime bookclub pick – looking like an easy-reading rom-com outside our usual fare – but as low as that made my expectations, I don't know if author Minnie Darke even met my lowest bar for a decently written book. Not a total waste of time, but reading the disappointed reviews from regular aficionados of the romance genre, I don't know to whom I could recommend this. (Note: I read an ARC and passages quoted may not be in their final forms. Slightly spoilery review.) Half an hour later, Leo's latest fax was skewered to the document stake in Justine's office, and the month's horoscopes had been submitted for layout. And if, in the process of transcription, the entry for Aquarius had been slightly transformed, well, Justine considered, the risk was minimal. Twice now she'd got away with her little sleight of hand. And, if Nick Jordan's relationship with his beautiful, lookalike girlfriend was entirely watertight and secure, then the horoscope could have no meaning for him. What harm, then, could a few minor alterations possibly do? The plot: Justine is a twenty-six-year-old wannabe journalist – working as a copy-runner (glorified gopher) at a popular monthly magazine and waiting for her break – and outside of work, she's in a lonely funk: living away from her family, her best friend has moved away, no love prospects, etc. One day Justine runs into Nick – an aspiring actor, recently broken up with the gorgeous model girlfriend who wanted him to get a real job – and as the two had been childhood friends (and briefly sweethearts) before Nick's family moved away, an easy rapport is rekindled between them. When it is revealed that Nick looks to the astrology column in Justine's magazine before making big decisions (“After all, Leo Thornbury knows everything”), the nonbelieving Justine sees an opportunity to steer Nick's heart in her own direction: If she makes just a few coded changes to his Aquarius entry, surely he'll see that she's the girl for him? Alas, as is the way with such plots, the more Justine meddles with Nick's horoscope, the more he believes that the infallible astrologer Leo Thornbury is telling him to give up acting and return to his ex-girlfriend. In addition to this main thread, Darke adds a large cast of secondary characters: Fellow Aquarians who make life-changing decisions based on Justine's fake horoscopes (and as if to acknowledge that the stars are never wrong, the seemingly unrelated actions of these characters will eventually steer Nick onto the path that Leo had originally laid out for him). I guess my biggest problem with the plot is credibility: If there's one thing we know about Justine, it's that, after two years as a dogsbody at the magazine, she wants to be promoted to staff writer. Would she really alter a famous astrologer's column (which took a lot of sneaky skulduggery, even if Justine constantly told herself, “What's the harm?”) and risk her professional future? My biggest problem with Justine herself is that she's an annoying grammar Nazi – carrying a Sharpie to the farmer's market to fix the spelling on produce signs, amending sentence structure on restaurant menus – and to the degree that I think we're supposed to actually find this an admirable trait, I have to conclude that this is Darke's own pet peevery showing through; and grammar pedantry is no more attractive in a novel's plot than it is on a comment thread. (Related: When Justine's father calls her to explain how he had worked through the hardest clue in her magazine's cryptic crossword for the month, I got the feeling that the exchange was only included to give a history of the phrase “hoist by one's own petard”, and then make the overt connection that by meddling with the horoscopes, Justine had thusly hoisted herself; there's nothing subtle or clever about it and I think it was just Darke wanting to work the phrase in without trusting her readers to understand.) And my biggest problem overall is the handling of the astrology elements – it's hard to tell if Darke is a believer (Justine does not believe in horoscopes but her actions are always connected to her Saggitarian nature, except when influenced by her Virgo rising), and the plot elements shift between everything being random and all being fixed in the stars. Even Nick – who doesn't make a move without reading his horoscope first – has a weird initial reaction when he discovers what Justine has been up to: Yes, she had made an idiot of him, but even worse than that, she had taken something from him. She’d spoiled it: his one little sprinkling of magic in an otherwise pragmatic world – a harmless handful of stardust and mystery, once a month, on the page of a magazine. I can't remember the last time I read my own horoscope for fun (so I'm not complaining that Darke doesn't take it all seriously enough), but I would have liked her to take a stance one way or the other (she populates the story with so many true believers but Justine's arguments against astrology are more credible than Nick's in favour). What I did like was Star-Crossed's setting in a southern Australian city, and I enjoyed travelling throughout a whole year with Justine as she describes her surroundings: When Halloween arrives each year, with the bones of the pagan festival of Samhain still visible through its ragged cloak, it prepares the people of the northern hemisphere to hunker down for the life-or-death test that is winter, and reminds them to make their peace with the dead. But in the southern hemisphere, where Halloween comes just before the start of the cricket season, at a time of year when sunscreen sales are on the up, the night of the dead is really just an opportunity to break out an outrageous costume and concoct brightly colored alcoholic beverages. So, I wasn't completely annoyed by this read even if it sounds like it – after all, my expectations were not high – and I'm looking forward to learning what my fellow book-clubbers made of it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Philippa

    Witty, mischievous, intelligent and delightful.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Toya

    I think the premise of this book sets up a dreamy romance that is written in the stars. Unfortunately, the reality of what is actually delivered in the plot is far more lackluster. Nick and Justine have known each other since they were toddlers. There parents even fantasized of them one day falling in love, but after Nick's family moved away, they lost touch and moved on with their lives. They run into each other in the middle of a farmer's market one day when Justine is trying to correct the sp I think the premise of this book sets up a dreamy romance that is written in the stars. Unfortunately, the reality of what is actually delivered in the plot is far more lackluster. Nick and Justine have known each other since they were toddlers. There parents even fantasized of them one day falling in love, but after Nick's family moved away, they lost touch and moved on with their lives. They run into each other in the middle of a farmer's market one day when Justine is trying to correct the spelling of a vendor's sign when Nick catches her red handed while dressed as a fish. Sparks immediately fly (at least for Justine), and she wants to do anything to rekindle what they had. Nick has always based his important life decisions on what his horoscope predicts for the month. Justine realizes that she has an opportunity to tweak the monthly horoscopes for the magazine that she works for in order to steer Nick in her direction. In all honesty, I thought that this book would be a light hearted read that maybe had a bit of astrology thrown in since I do find it a bit entertaining to read my horoscope at times. However, this book is entirely based on astrology to the point that Justine's tweaking begins to interfere with the decisions of other random strangers that have nothing to do with the plot whatsoever. It got to the point that I just wanted it to be done. I understand that some people live by astrology, but this was too much for me. Another issue that I had with this book was the inner dialogue that Justine had with herself. Typically speaking, this does not bother me and I quite welcome the insight that we get into an MC's innerworkings. However, whenever the conversations were Brain, Justine, Brain...I just couldn't do it. It's not like there was anything profound taking place. It was just another opportunity for Justine to drool over Nick rather than use her words and actually say how she felt. Wow, so this came off a lot more negative than I intended, and I do apologize for that. This book was just not my cup of tea. It may be for others, so I do still ask that you give it a chance if you like romance stories. I would definitely try another book by this author. This one just completely missed the mark. Thank you to Crown Publishing and Goodreads for the giveaway win. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nomes

    Clever, fun and light-hearted with the kind of ridiculous and cute twists that appeal to my whimsical side. This reminded me of those movies like Love Actually (New Years Eve, Vanlentines Day) where a smaller cast gradually come together around the main protagonist in a criss-crossing/fate/chance climax (beautifully done! I grinned my whole way through the ending). It also reminded me of I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan, where smaller POVs are intermingled into the main story (even the POV of a Clever, fun and light-hearted with the kind of ridiculous and cute twists that appeal to my whimsical side. This reminded me of those movies like Love Actually (New Years Eve, Vanlentines Day) where a smaller cast gradually come together around the main protagonist in a criss-crossing/fate/chance climax (beautifully done! I grinned my whole way through the ending). It also reminded me of I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan, where smaller POVs are intermingled into the main story (even the POV of a dog - who I definitely fell in love with) to give a omniscient narrator feel at times. At first the side character POVs seemed a little random, but they come back into play in awesome ways. 5 stars from me because of all the smiling, some really cute and swoony meet-cutes, a spectacular and wild climax, and for whisking me away into a fun and unexpected literary world ~ a reading highlight of 2019 for me.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Genevieve Trono

    This book really appealed to me because it seemed like a very unique idea for a romance novel. I enjoyed the astrology aspect because it is such a great reminder that we are all interconnected. I find the idea of how small choices we make can have huge consequences, both positive and negative, for other people to be completely fascinating and I loved the parts of this book that focused on that. Some of this book got a little wacky and went off on little spurts which were distracting for me as a This book really appealed to me because it seemed like a very unique idea for a romance novel. I enjoyed the astrology aspect because it is such a great reminder that we are all interconnected. I find the idea of how small choices we make can have huge consequences, both positive and negative, for other people to be completely fascinating and I loved the parts of this book that focused on that. Some of this book got a little wacky and went off on little spurts which were distracting for me as a reader but overall it was a cute and quick read. A big thank you to NetGalley and Crown Books for a copy of this book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    OLT

    This debut contemporary romance by Tasmanian author Minnie Darke has really impressed me. It's mostly a fun and frothy romance and has so many secondary and tertiary characters that we veer off from the main romance many a time. Yet, in spite of the numerous people populating this ensemble-cast story, Darke has the ability to sketch each one in just a few sentences and provides more depth to all of them than I would have thought possible. I really enjoyed the intelligent and clever wr This debut contemporary romance by Tasmanian author Minnie Darke has really impressed me. It's mostly a fun and frothy romance and has so many secondary and tertiary characters that we veer off from the main romance many a time. Yet, in spite of the numerous people populating this ensemble-cast story, Darke has the ability to sketch each one in just a few sentences and provides more depth to all of them than I would have thought possible. I really enjoyed the intelligent and clever writing here, with beautifully-crafted sentences and an understanding of human nature that I would not have expected in such a young author. (Oh-oh, did that sound reverse ageist?) I'd like to put a few excerpts of Darke's writing here but I'm having trouble deciding on just which examples to choose. Well, try these, maybe: "Watching Nick on stage, Justine remembered, had always been like watching a seal plunge into water: an ungainly animal suddenly making sense. The stage was Nick Jordan's element." (p. 91) Or this: "...the smile he gave her was vintage Nick Jordan. It could easily have been straight out of grade two: the sort he would deploy when she still had a Freddo frog in her lunch box and all he had left was a bundle of carrot sticks." (p. 128) And this: "She felt as if she were living inside a playback of a sequence of time-lapse photography; no sooner was she getting out of bed in the morning than she was getting back into it at night..." (p. 185) Well, perhaps I've chosen quotes badly, but I've always had a problem choosing when there's too much to choose from. Suffice it to say that the writing in this book is the kind that appeals to me. As for the plot, which is often secondary to the writing for me when reading, it is basically a romantic comedy. Childhood friends Justine Carmichael and Nick Jordan were separated by the Jordan family's move to another area when Justine and Nick were young teens. Now, at the beginning of this story, Justine is 26 and she runs into Nick again. She gives him her phone number but for some reason doesn't ask for his, and, alas, that appears to be the end of it when he does not call. Justine works for an Australian magazine, ALEXANDRIA PARK STAR, and hatches the scheme to subtly reach out to Nick via the horoscope column of the magazine. Nick, a huge believer in astrology, reads that column assiduously, so Justine, recently promoted to contributions manager at the magazine, is able to alter the Aquarius horoscopes (Nick's sign) without anyone finding out (she hopes). She hopes these alterations will be hints to him that She is The One for him, not his famous model girlfriend, and that he should be true to his calling as an actor, to counteract the girlfriend's attempts to dissuade him from it because he hasn't yet made it big. This has unintended, and often unfortunate, consequences, not only in Nick's life but also in the lives of several other people who also follow the STAR's horoscopes to guide their lives. Those are the ensemble cast you'll find here. There's even a stray dog named Brown Houdini-Malarkey who gets into the action. All these incidental personal stories are fun and everything ties together at the end. This is a fun look at love, fate, meddling and trying to influence people and change fate, the randomness (or not) of life, and how one makes life decisions. It's fluffy and frothy but perhaps with a bit more depth than an average rom-com. And, as I said before, Darke's writing abilities are outstanding, IMO. And, even though astrology is not my thing, she managed to make me enjoy a book revolving around the premise that it is indeed a "thing" for many people.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    I’ve been reading a lot of mystery/thrillers of late, so I was really looking forward to a bit of fun romance and Star-Crossed sounded like it was going to tick all the boxes but… I had a few issues, for starters, with the main thrust of the plot. Our heroine, Justine, works at a magazine and decides to alter/edit the horoscopes before publication so that her friend/childhood sweetheart, Nick, will, after reading them, be persuaded by their messages so much that he'll realise he should become ro I’ve been reading a lot of mystery/thrillers of late, so I was really looking forward to a bit of fun romance and Star-Crossed sounded like it was going to tick all the boxes but… I had a few issues, for starters, with the main thrust of the plot. Our heroine, Justine, works at a magazine and decides to alter/edit the horoscopes before publication so that her friend/childhood sweetheart, Nick, will, after reading them, be persuaded by their messages so much that he'll realise he should become romantically involved with Justine. Whilst this seems to backfire spectacularly month after month, her new readings do, however, unintentionally influence a plethora of minor characters. Yes, my big issue is that I can’t really imagine anyone taking readings in a magazine so seriously. I mean, really, who takes anything they read in a magazine seriously? Yet, our leads, along with a dozen or so supporting characters, make major life decisions based on a horoscope column. The stories featuring these supporting characters are interspersed throughout and unfortunately they did not have as much of an impact on me as I felt they should. Most were a little bland; I never laughed out loud, nor did I well up with tears. Each short story was okay but that was all. In fact, when one of the most interesting characters is a dog (especially when I loathe fiction written from an animal’s point of view), you know you’ve lost me. The main characters, too, were not as likeable as I would have liked and Nick and Justine really lacked chemistry. When Drake threw in another character, effectively creating a love triangle, I must admit I wasn’t sure who was going to win out in the end. I did like Drake’s descriptive passages. I liked the pacing of the interspersed stories, effectively giving them a rom-com movie feel. Maybe it would work better as a movie though because I did sometimes get mixed up with who was who. Maybe the characterisation was not as great as it should have been; or the plots were too weak. Drake also tried to add in too many twists with the supporting stories. Maybe less could have been more? The same could be said for much of the book. It’s definitely too long. Maybe 100 pages less and some of the boredom I felt could have been skipped. Then there was the repetition of the which character was which star sign, and which rising sign, and how their personality was influenced by these signs and what reading was relevant to them etc etc etc. It got a bit much. I will say I believe in the stars; definitely in the personality traits that are assigned to a person once they’re born under a certain star. Even as a believer, I struggled. If you think it’s all a load of rubbish, you will be in real trouble. So, Lee, Capricorn, who should have guessed a book which gives such prominence to an Aquarius would never be her thing, gives Star-Crossed 2 and ½ [Scorpio rising] stars.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy! I found this contemporary romance completely delightful. As Justine meddles (of course), she gets more than she bargains for. Nick never responds to her fake horoscopes the way she thinks he will, and he's not the only one who reads them, after all: she sets off a domino effect among Aquariuses. It had everything I could have asked for: a cast of off-beat but lovable characters, a just-this-side-of-believable plot, and a Thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy! I found this contemporary romance completely delightful. As Justine meddles (of course), she gets more than she bargains for. Nick never responds to her fake horoscopes the way she thinks he will, and he's not the only one who reads them, after all: she sets off a domino effect among Aquariuses. It had everything I could have asked for: a cast of off-beat but lovable characters, a just-this-side-of-believable plot, and a really earnest optimism about love and fate.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Obsidian

    Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review. Younger me would have been all over this book. A book about how your astrology sign rules you life? I loved reading all of that stuff and figuring out what aspects of being an Aquarius I had. My friends and I all loved tarot cards and fortune tellers. Heck, I had a best friend who would go on about how her boyfriend was such a Gemini which meant full of contradictions and selfishness at times. "Star-Cr Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review. Younger me would have been all over this book. A book about how your astrology sign rules you life? I loved reading all of that stuff and figuring out what aspects of being an Aquarius I had. My friends and I all loved tarot cards and fortune tellers. Heck, I had a best friend who would go on about how her boyfriend was such a Gemini which meant full of contradictions and selfishness at times. "Star-Crossed" has a lot of heart. We don't just follow the two main characters of Justine (Sagittarius) and Nick (Aquarius) we follow a bunch of other secondary characters who are affected along the way too. Not everyone gets a happy ending, but I found myself smiling and even tearing up a bit here and there. I also loved that the setting is Australia. I am all for romance books not always taking place in London and New York. The ending was definitely a great HEA. "Star-Crossed" follows Nick and Justine from the day they were born and allows how the date of their birth is nudging them along. Nick and Justine's mothers are very good friends so these two do grow up together. But after one of the family's move, the two don't see each other again until they are 15 years old. And after that, almost another 10 years goes by. And when Justine runs into Nick again, she finds herself thinking about him and how maybe now they could have a relationship with each other. Nick has a girlfriend though. However, when Justine realizes that Nick's favorite astrologer writes for the magazine that she is employed at, she starts to wonder if maybe fate needs a helping hand. I honestly took a little warming up to Justine after a bit though. I wasn't down for what she was attempting to do and I honestly didn't get why she couldn't just talk to Nick. That said, she leans a lot more Aquarius at times I thought with her sense of romance and how fate keeps throwing Nick in her path. Justine is sarcastic and obsessed with grammatical errors to the point I kept cracking up about it. She dreams of being a reporter and is worried that she's not going to get a real life while she watches her friends and family couple up and move on. Nick was a dreamer, but I thought at times quite pragmatic. He's trying to make a living as an actor and finding it hard going. His model girlfriend is quite tired of him being poor and wants him to give up acting for more steady work. And though he is thinking about it, he keeps getting pushed by Justine to stay with acting. The two together have a wonderful shared history and I loved their backstory. Darke also follows a ton of other characters influenced by their horoscopes and this is where sometimes you will end up laughing or be sad. I thought it was great to follow them all from the beginning of the book to the end. Heck, we even get a dog as a character in this one and I won't get into his side-plot, but I was worried for the dog for a good portion of the book. The writing takes a bit to get going along with the flow. However, once it does, the book really snaps along. I had a hard time putting this one down while I was on the road. I know a lot of people will probably roll their eyes about astrology, but honestly I think Darke does a good job of showing both sides of things. Those who rely too heavily on their astrological signs and those who focus too much on things being black or white. Darke follows the secondary characters in the Cusp sections so at first you get introduced to a lot of new people, but she circles back to them again though so you can follow the progression of their stories separately from Nick and Justine (though sometimes they do interact with the cusp characters). The ending was pitch perfect and I was sad to put this one down. I will definitely be on the lookout for future Darke books.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Heather Alderman

    I loved this book! Not only was there a fun, cute love story between the main characters, but I really loved the mini-side stories of the other characters affected by the horoscopes. The author did a great job intertwining those stories and tying them up in the end. I look forward to seeing what else this author comes up with in the future.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tess

    I really thought I would like STAR-CROSSED more than I did. It has such an interesting premise, and seems like such a cute story, but I found the writing and the plot to be a bit of a mess. I couldn't keep up with all the characters and the flow of events. The book didn't ever have the chance to grab ahold of me and therefore, I skimmed a lot towards the end (it's a really long book too!) Justine's actions -- editing the horoscopes in the magazine she copy-edits so that her horoscope I really thought I would like STAR-CROSSED more than I did. It has such an interesting premise, and seems like such a cute story, but I found the writing and the plot to be a bit of a mess. I couldn't keep up with all the characters and the flow of events. The book didn't ever have the chance to grab ahold of me and therefore, I skimmed a lot towards the end (it's a really long book too!) Justine's actions -- editing the horoscopes in the magazine she copy-edits so that her horoscope loving crush will take an interest in her -- made for a great storyline, but in the end, came off extremely selfish and immature. Also, Justine's talks with her "Brain" were irritating and uninspired. I really wanted to love this rom-com, but instead it wasn't very romantic, the writing was sluggish, and I was itching to put it down.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sarah morrissey

    I was really looking forward to this book unfortunately it really did nothing for me. I could barely get through it, small cute bits here and there but I feel like it was way to much focus on astrology. It was very in-depth in that regard and I feel like it took the focus off the characters. Shame because it could have been something special!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Diana Iozzia (Bookworm Banter)

    “Star-Crossed” Written by Minnie Darke Review written by Diana Iozzia “Star-Crossed” is a zany, romantic comedy, inspired by zodiac astrology. Our main characters, Justine and Nick, are meant for each other. Well, if the universe needs to be meddled with a little bit, why not try? Justine works for a popular Australian magazine. When she bumps into an old friend and first crush, Nick, her world is set on a completely different tilt. She does not share his favorite interest, “Star-Crossed” Written by Minnie Darke Review written by Diana Iozzia “Star-Crossed” is a zany, romantic comedy, inspired by zodiac astrology. Our main characters, Justine and Nick, are meant for each other. Well, if the universe needs to be meddled with a little bit, why not try? Justine works for a popular Australian magazine. When she bumps into an old friend and first crush, Nick, her world is set on a completely different tilt. She does not share his favorite interest, reading horoscopes and interpreting how they relate to his life. Justine begins rewriting the Aquarius horoscope, in hopes that he’ll come to his sense and realize that she’s the one for him. What could possibly go wrong? This is a silly, wild ride with a lot of heart, drawing upon the cute and fun tropes that are in my favorite romantic comedies. I’ve always loved the zany woman, the dog that brings everyone together, the oddball coworkers, and of course, the true loves that find their way to each other, no matter the odds. Justine and Nick are absolutely adorable characters. I feel like depending on your personality, you could easily fall in love with one or the other. They are charming, kind, and loving. Lastly, there’s a lot of cool Shakespeare moments and references, as Nick is playing Romeo in “Romeo and Juliet”! This is one of those super fun romantic comedies that we absolutely have to share with the world. There are a lot of completely unrealistic moments full of serendipity. You'll definitely have to suspend your disbelief often. This isn't a very deep book. I don't think you'll understand the meaning of life or the secrets of the universe, but it was a nice, pleasant read. I think my enjoyment of this would have been severely improved if I knew more about zodiacs and horoscopes, but I feel Minnie Darke gave enough information, so I didn't feel lost. I think this would be a lovely and cute movie, similar to the ones created by Nora Ephron or starred in by Julia Roberts. I hope you have a chance to read it and I hope you love it! I received a copy in exchange for reading and reviewing purposes.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mara

    This book was not at all what I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised by how nice the writing quality is and I enjoyed the polyphonic type voice the author used. This was less romance-y or "chick lit-y" than what I expected, and was more what I guess I would call women's fiction. The astrology angle was what hooked me in, and I think that was handled pretty successfully. All in all, well done, but didn't fully connect to my personal taste or expectations. Worth a try if it sounds appeali This book was not at all what I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised by how nice the writing quality is and I enjoyed the polyphonic type voice the author used. This was less romance-y or "chick lit-y" than what I expected, and was more what I guess I would call women's fiction. The astrology angle was what hooked me in, and I think that was handled pretty successfully. All in all, well done, but didn't fully connect to my personal taste or expectations. Worth a try if it sounds appealing to you!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tonile {My Cup and Chaucer}

    I picked up STAR-CROSSED by Minnie Drake having no idea what to expect and, after devouring it in under 24 hours, I can safely say that I will love this charming, magical, gorgeous book for a very long time ✨ When Justine Carmichael, Sagittarian grammar pedant, bumps into old childhood friend Nick Jordan, Aquarian aspiring actor, after over a decade apart, she is delighted that he has re-entered her life. While reconnecting, Nick reveals that he uses the astrology section in the magaz I picked up STAR-CROSSED by Minnie Drake having no idea what to expect and, after devouring it in under 24 hours, I can safely say that I will love this charming, magical, gorgeous book for a very long time ✨ When Justine Carmichael, Sagittarian grammar pedant, bumps into old childhood friend Nick Jordan, Aquarian aspiring actor, after over a decade apart, she is delighted that he has re-entered her life. While reconnecting, Nick reveals that he uses the astrology section in the magazine where Justine works to guide his life decisions. At first Justine, a sceptic, finds this information entertaining but as the days pass and Nick doesn't call her, Justine uses it to her advantage and starts to tweak the monthly Aquarius predictions to open up Nick's eyes, and his heart. As readers soon discover, though, Nick isn't the only Aquarian using this horoscope to guide their decisions... Justine and Nick's story is great but what really made this book shine for me were the sections where we get to see the effects that Justine's meddling is having on other readers of the magazine. This book has a very Love Actually feel to it, in that the connections between the supporting characters are slowly revealed. It makes for the most wonderful reading experience and Drake's intelligent, well-crafted writing style makes it feel effortless. I am a sucker for astrology and I love books and movies that play with the idea of fate and chance, and that show us just how interconnected we are. One small action can set off a ripple effect that reaches far wider than we could ever conceive. When we read our horoscope, or take advice of any kind, and act accordingly, how much is fate and how much is is simply 'us'? How many of the decisions we make each day affect the decisions other people have to make? This book made me laugh out loud and feel warm inside. It's heartfelt and genuinely enjoyable, and surely will be made into a movie. It's out on 5 March and it's an easy 5 ⭐ from me!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kerran Olson

    This was such a cute read! It's very lighthearted and fun, and I loved the little side-character stories throughout the book and the way they all sort of connected at the end. Justine was a likeable and realistically awkward protagonist, and I liked Nick and the other characters too. I'm not super into astrology myself, but it was a great way to tie the storylines together and explore the notion of "fate", and I did enjoy seeing how 'the stars' impacted various characters each month and influenc This was such a cute read! It's very lighthearted and fun, and I loved the little side-character stories throughout the book and the way they all sort of connected at the end. Justine was a likeable and realistically awkward protagonist, and I liked Nick and the other characters too. I'm not super into astrology myself, but it was a great way to tie the storylines together and explore the notion of "fate", and I did enjoy seeing how 'the stars' impacted various characters each month and influenced their decisions. The end was of course exactly what I saw coming but that was to be expected. Would recommend as a lighthearted, feel-good read

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    The main character was unlikable and frustrating. Her actions were self serving and obnoxious, yet because it was done under the guise of 'the girl next door' awkwardness, it's meant to make her relatable? All other characters and minor plot lines had much more intrigue. The book didn't grip me at all.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tasha Leigh

    It's just a horoscope. What could possibly happen? This novel was so cute with its little love ?square (theres 4 people so maybe a rectangle??). Its got some oblivious prior friends, a gorgeous but eternally bitchy supermodel, an old dog with an attitude and multiple people who rely upon the stars making the wrong choices. Although it was cliched, I found the icicle I call a heart melting by the end. Thoroughly predictable but also a fast and enjoyable read, I found i It's just a horoscope. What could possibly happen? This novel was so cute with its little love ?square (theres 4 people so maybe a rectangle??). Its got some oblivious prior friends, a gorgeous but eternally bitchy supermodel, an old dog with an attitude and multiple people who rely upon the stars making the wrong choices. Although it was cliched, I found the icicle I call a heart melting by the end. Thoroughly predictable but also a fast and enjoyable read, I found it a nice change to the usual rom com style romance novels of recent years

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.