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Written in the Stars: A Novel

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Aisha Saeed’s Written in the Stars follows the story of Naila, a Pakistani-American teenager whose parents have always told her that she is free to be who she wants to be; she can choose what she wants to study, her profession in the future, what she wears and how she does her hair. But when it comes to marriage- when it comes to choosing a husband, her parents will make that decision for her. But here’s the problem: Naila’s madly in love with Saif, a fellow Pakistani-American student in her high school. When their relationship is discovered by Naila’s family, they make the decision to take her to Pakistan so she can connect with her culture and roots. But this trip is more than just a vacation, and Naila gets caught up in vicious, grueling web almost impossible to disentangle herself from. I am giving this four stars because I am not it's intended clientele. I'm gay but I don't enjoy romance or erotica in literature. And this book has them in spades. I really did like this book though. It stood out despite not being my preferred genre. I have gone on quite the tangent here and for that I do not apologize because that whole excessive paragraph shows you how much this book impacted me and how much it just made me think about real things in the world. I hate to say this, because I am such an advocate for Young Adult literature and I believe that it's all worth the same as general "adult" literature but.....It's really nice to find a YA book that was able to provoke so much deep thinking, especially about the actual, real world around me. There are a lot of very good YA books out there that are fun and have great writing and have such rich and alive characters, but rarely do I find a YA book that makes me think about our world. I don't think there is an abundance of YA books that are commentary on things that go on in our country, in different countries and cultures. A lot of YA is fluff. And you know what? I love fluff. But I love books that make me think too.

it honestly pains me to not give this book 5/5 stars. i wanted to love this book more than i actually did and that was a bit disappointing for me. i liked this book a lot, but i felt less and less engaged with the plot as the book reached the end. Some things they’re just written in the stars. You can try but you can never escape what’s meant to be." Goodbye, book slump! This was so so so adorably fun. Elle might be my most favorite fiction character to root for, ever. Super easy read with a few scenes that made me blush and loads of meet-cute moments that made me smile.The terror, anguish, and loneliness. It was handle with so much heart and realism. I ache everywhere. Author's Note: When I was twenty-two years old, I married the love of my life. Both Pakistani-Americans raised in traditional families, our wedding was semiarranged by our parents. We met only once, surrounded by family, before getting engaged, and only a handful of times before our wedding day... but, anyway, the chemistry! the sexual tension and smut are impeccable, the romance is lovely and sparkling, and the emotions are big and intense. it's refreshing that the book doesn't shy away from any big emotions - the good or the bad. For generations my family lived in this village. People looked up to us. They came to us to resolve their disputes. And now? The respect we built up over the generations, you are trying to ruin all of it!” Life is full of sadness. It’s part of being a woman. Our lives are lived for the sake of others. Our happiness is never factored in.”

Such a lovely romance that was sweet and sizzling in equal measure. I absolutely loved both of the main characters. Elle, who believes in star signs and destiny, and Darcy, who seems emotionally closed off and cynical about love. Probably my only gripe is that the miscommunication went on for one or two too many rounds for my liking. Still a gorgeous romantic read.Elle was technicolor chaos and the feelings she inspired in Darcy were a hazard straight out of Pandora’s box.” The novel is set in rural Pakistan within the boundaries of an ultra-conservative family. All aspects of a village culture- the lifestyle, dressing, food, beverages, et cetera are brilliantly covered. My parents knew it was a good match, and they were right. You’ve seen others, your third cousin Roohi, who chose not to listen. Look at her now, divorced with young children. Her parents can’t even leave their home without hanging their heads in shame. Who wants to marry her now?” Plot: The semi enemies-to-lovers trope was really well done! However it seemed like a lot of points were rehashed over and over (yes, we get it, Darcy thinks falling for Elle would be a bad move, and Elle doesn’t want to mess up her business deal with Brendon). There was also noticeably repetitive language. Although, my copy was an ARC, so keep that in mind I love this book so much. I love the characters, I love the talk of astronomy and astrology and I just related so hard to Darcy and Elle for different reasons. I’m a Capricorn like Darcy, so I related to her soooo much in that sense.

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