Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Written in the Stars Review

Rating: 3/5 stars

This heart-wrenching novel explores what it is like to be thrust into an unwanted marriage. Has Naila’s fate been written in the stars? Or can she still make her own destiny?
Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila’s vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif . . . if he can find her before it’s too late.

The first thing that interested me about this book was the cover and the summary. I think the cover is just beautiful. It says so much, without being too much to process. This summer I finally got around to reading the Tiger's Curse Saga and I read the Wrath and the Dawn as well. Both of these series involve cultures I am not familiar with and they taught me a great deal when it came to customs, titles, and the overall languages. But those books were fantasy, and this book was clearly set set to be realistic. Also this stand alone would give me a chance to take a break from binging on series and losing my mind.

Now for the book itself...
I expected a lot more from this book. It is not as if this book was hyped up. I heard about it from BookTube and Goodreads, but not often. For one I wasn't sure how I felt about finishing it in less than a day. Yes, those easy reads are nice but for the past few weeks I had been reading books up to 500 pages. 277 pages was child's play at that point.

I felt that the book moved too quickly. This book would have easily almost hit 400 pages. Don't get me wrong, I appreciated that we jumped right into the plot right before everything went to hell.  But I'm sure we could suffered through just a little bit of plot. Too many things were happening all at once. Yes I suppose that could display the urgency of things but I did not take kindly to it.  But you're going through everything with Naila and then... SHIT GETS REAL.  I couldn't help but reread a few chapters. The book took a dark turn I sure as hell was not expecting. And it really got me thinking about the lengths one would go to if they felt in their hearts the were doing some good.

I also think that character development was minimal at best. I still don't even know the main character that well. Luckily I never found her as whiny. She was forced to do a lot of things and she used to submit. But then she took charge and decided she would rewrite her destiny. I did admire that about her. 

Saeed writes a very real story. I believe it gives great insight into how modern day Pakistani immigrant couple would react to raising their children in America. You saw some favoritism toward Naila's younger brother. You could easily pick up on their fierce need to stick to their ways. I couldn't imagine how I would react if that were my life. You end up being happy with what freedoms you have and appreciating the knowledge you have gained


  1. This looks interesting and that cover is really pretty but It's not really my kind of read ! Great review though :)

    @ "Book Addict"

    1. Thanks! I had much higher expectations for this book