Published by Crown Books for Young Readers on May 10th 2016
Source: Author Review Copy
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
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Fans of Jennifer E. Smith and Jenny Han will fall in love with this heartfelt and humor-laced debut following one girl’s race to find the guy of her cosmic dreams.
When zodiac-obsessed teen Wilamena Carlisle discovers a planetary alignment that won’t repeat for a decade, she’s forced to tackle her greatest astrological fear: The Fifth House—relationships and love.
But when Wil falls for a sensitive guitar player hailing from the wrong side of the astrology chart, she must decide whether a cosmically doomed love is worth rejecting her dead mother’s legacy and the very system she’s faithfully followed through a lifetime of unfailing belief.
This book was undeniably cute and full of sweet moments. There were also many hilarious (and quite embarrassing) scenes that had me giggling the whole time! All in all, this light, fluffy contemporary is such a lovely read that’ll definitely give you all the fuzzies. The characters were absolutely endearing and the romance was absolutely delightful.
Ever since she was little, Mena has believed in the astrological signs. It’s no wonder, since her mother was an astrologist. She’s always strictly followed her astrological chart throughout life, which was pretty unique. I don’t think much of these charts myself, but it was really fun to read about a character who has such an interest in astrology and the stars. Mena spews these random, adorable star facts and had so much personality! The only thing that frustrated me throughout was her dependence on her star chart. As a person with a practical personality, I didn’t approve of how much she limited herself because of it. But I could also empathize with the reasons why she did so, and I thought the author justified it quite nicely.
“‘Our astrological chart holds the key to all the answers. But you must listen to this wisdom, Mena – especially in matters of love.’”
In the beginning of the book Mena meets this musician Grant, and sparks instantly start flying. Unfortunately, he isn’t the match with her astrological chart, which is apparently a valid excuse for pushing him away, in Mena’s eyes. Who knows what teenage girls thinks these days, right? (I’m one myself, and I don’t even understand what I’m thinking half the time.) Instead, his brother Seth fits perfectly into it, and they’re pretty much “soul mates.” Or at least that’s what she thinks.
So we have a lot of tension between brothers and Mena, all because she would rather follow a star chart than her own heart. One thing that did bother me throughout the book was a hint of cheating and the idea that it was okay to be doing those things when technically still dating the dude’s brother. Okay Mena, you have both supposedly very good looking brothers with impeccable manners trailing after you. Wouldn’t it be common courtesy to just straight up tell the other guy you’re not interested? (Although many character issues came in conflict with that, which I do see why she wouldn’t during that part of the story. But still.)
The main source of conflict was Mena’s refusal to get over her reliance on astrology. I really love the friendships that are covered in the book and the lesson Mena learns through a series of events. I didn’t like the love triangle at all, but tolerated it because it really helped Mena overcome her fears and develop as a character, rather than be utterly useless to the storyline. Both brothers made an impact on her decisions and her overall development. So while I still didn’t like the triangle, I did appreciate some bits and pieces of it.
The writing was really easy to get into, and Mena’s adorable personality also made her likable (despite my disapproving thoughts of some of her actions). The development her character goes through is worth the read, even if you’re wary of two cute brothers battling for one girl’s attention (like me). However, as nice as the ending is, I can’t help but keep wondering at the inconclusive state of one of the major characters of this book – especially given his role in the story. That made me scratch my head a bit, at the end.
But despite my problems with the triangle and Mena’s stubborn reliance on stars, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book and thought it was cute beyond belief. There’s a love of vintage, classy dresses, baking bits, and awesome friendships mixed in as we get to see Mena find herself – and this time, without the use of her astrological chart.
If you’re pragmatic like me, then be prepared for a bit of frustration while reading about the main character Mena. However, you’ll find that her overall character growth was quite tremendous, and it never hurts to add two cute guys in the mix. Hater of love triangles should stay away from this book, as it’s a huge part of it. Those that can stand them should definitely think about picking this one up, since it really does play a large role in our character’s growth. And finally, who doesn’t want to read about a girl who learns where her destiny lies, after so many years of sticking to her star chart?
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Thank you Brittany at Brittany Book Rambles for the review copy!