Star Crossed

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View 1 comment. 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.

star-crossed

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.

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May 24, MissBecka rated it liked it Shelves: books-i-read , netgalley-books-read. 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. Star Crossed introduces Justine Carmichael, a young woman with a flourishing career in journalism.

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. 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.


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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 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. 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! 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 picked up this book based on a review by someone whose judgement I trust and loved it. 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. 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? Just how many things will go wrong before the stars realign?

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Jennifer Cameron-Smith I really wanted to love this book but I was just bored. Started off well but just not for me. View all 4 comments. 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.

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.

Urban Dictionary: Star-Crossed

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. 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. 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. As a little aside, I will point out that this book is incredibly Australian, both in landscape but also in language. 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.

It's not as if the horoscopes are 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 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.

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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.

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. 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.

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.