The Book Report

‘Star-Crossed,’ In Review

More stories from Jenna Clausing

The Book Report
December 9, 2019

Photo by Submitted

Justine Carmichael, a twenty-something living in Australia, is working at the bottom of the line for the local magazine, the Alexandria Park Star. She has been working as a copy-runner for years, waiting for a position as a writer to open up. 

Unfortunately, working at the Star is so great that no one ever leaves. Justine remains in her position running around, making copies, grabbing coffee and delivering mail.

One day, on one of her journeys out of the office to get coffee for her coworkers, Justine happens to run into Nick Jordan, a family friend from her childhood. While catching up, Justine learns of Nick’s infatuation with astrology and with reading his horoscope in the Star’s astrology section.

As the novel continues, Justine and Nick have many more run-ins, but never get in touch intentionally. Justine waits for Nick to call, but he never does.

One day, Justine receives a position as contributions manager at the Star, and she is able to see horoscopes firsthand before they go into the final publication of the magazine. 

While awaiting Nick’s call, Justine decides to take matters into her own hands. She edits the horoscopes slightly in order to manipulate Nick’s thoughts in a slight way. 

While Justine does this, we see that Nick is not the only one affected by Justine’s slight changing of the horoscopes. In addition to the main story line, there are five other smaller stories of characters who read Justine’s edited horoscopes and made decisions based off of them. 

Nick and Justine end up reconnecting and slowly but surely reignite the flame that was present back when they were children. 

“Star-Crossed” by Minnie Darke was a novel that brought with it the promise of a wonderful read. Unfortunately, it did not live up to this.

A novel about childhood best friends reconnecting and reigniting a relationship all due to the stars sounds amazing in theory, but in practice, did not go so well in “Star-Crossed.” 

The storyline throughout the novel was incredibly confusing. Darke kept introducing new characters and different storylines in addition to Nick and Justine’s, and none of them really had much of a connection until closer to the end of the novel. 

These storylines were not separated well, sometimes they were separated by chapter, other times just separated by a symbol on the page. There was not enough background information given about these side characters in the beginning to make them significant. They just seemed to distract from the main storyline of Nick and Justine. 

One thing the novel did well was emphasizing the strong theme of astrology. Each of the chapters that focused on Nick and Justine were titled after different star sign, depending on when that particular chapter took place, which was clever and very fitting.

The novel was just generally slow-paced and a little bit conflicting. There was not a lot going on with the plot and individual storylines, but with all of the storylines combined there was almost too much going on, creating a book that was difficult to read. 

Overall, this promising book did not live up to its expectations. Had Darke eliminated the other storylines and just stuck with following Nick and Justine’s blossoming relationship, the novel would have been a lot stronger. 

Reviewers on GoodReads granted the novel 3.5/5 stars, and reviewers on Amazon gave the novel 3.6/5 stars.

Clausing can be reached at [email protected].