Author: Aisha Saeed
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Pages: 304 pages
Dates read: March 27-28th, 2015
Goodreads synopsis:Rating: 4.5/5 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.
I'd hear a lot of buzz about this book prior to its release. And that cover is just so breathtaking. The synopsis grabbed my attention right away so, when it was released last week, I was obviously very excited. I was so not disappointed. Written in the Stars is a beautifully written book about fate and love. I could just go on and on about how much I loved this book.
What I liked the most about Written in the Stars is that it presents an aspect of a culture that we don't necessarily hear about that much. It was so interesting to see the way life is lived in Pakistan. I love reading about different cultures, so this is something that I loved reading about in Written in the Stars.
Next to that, the writing is the best part of this book. One, it was seamless. The chapters flowed so well, from page to page. I couldn't put it down. (It was midnight and I was debated whether or not I should finish it - I had twenty chapters left. Alas, sleep won but I did not want it to). Second, the book made me feel things. I was frustrated at Naila's situation, and frustrated that forced marriages like that are still happening today. It's a book that made me want to reach out and act - and that's a mark of really efficient writing. I think Aisha Saeed is now on my auto-buy author list.
The characters were also interesting to read about, even the antagonists like Naila's parents and her uncle. Even though I hated them for what they did to Naila, I could understand their actions because that's how their culture made them. The characters were interesting to read about, not boring at all. I could've read an entire book about each and every single one of them.
Also the romance between Naila and Saif was so sweet. It wasn't insta-love and it wasn't in-your-face like certain ones. I was sweet and subtle, enough to make you love it and see that they were good for each other.
Basically, Written in the Stars is beautiful. It's perfect. It teaches readers about a different culture, its faults and its plusses and it does it, from the reviews I've read from people from the Pakistani culture, in a respectful way. This is a book that I think everyone should read. I would recommend it to anyone.