Rating: ★★★ (3/5)
Written in the Stars is a familiar tale that goes unspoken. A story that is real life for thousands of women who find themselves facing it every day. Naila’s parents have always given her a choice, but when it came to marriage, it was simple: they will choose her husband. Naila’s already fallen in love, and when her parents find out, she is has whisked away to Pakistan under the pretence that they are visiting family. But the truth is darker, and Naila doesn’t have a say in the matter.
Written in the Stars was such an engaging and compelling read. From the very beginning to the very the end, everything goes high-speed for Naila and towards the end, you’re left thinking, will she make it?
Naila is a great protagonist. I loved her hopefulness, her love for Saif and her faith in believing she will make it back home. There are moments when you think there’s no going back for her, but she fights back. The writing style is simple, but it works here. It was straight and simple to the point, so we’re not distracted by everything that happens to Naila. We, as the reader, are aware of her marriage from the very beginning, but to Naila, she’s completely clueless, and the tension rose with ever clue that popped up, unknowingly to Naila. My favourite parts were descriptions of Pakistan and its culture. Its markets, food and the houses packed to the brim with visiting family.
However, it didn’t read entirely polished, with some scenes happening too quickly and the ending could’ve definitely been slowed down a bit, considering what happens. But, nonetheless, this is a good book.
Also, the author’s note was perfect. Saeed mentions that forced marriages can happen anywhere, regardless of culture, country or religion. And I believe Saeed even wrote an article between the distinction between an arranged marriage and a forced one that many people aren’t aware of.