Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Review: Written in the Stars by Ali Harris

Title: Written in the Stars
Author: Ali Harris
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publishing Date: June 5th 2014
Length: 450 pages
Keywords: Adult, romance, chick lit, alternate future, London
Source: Publisher

Bea Bishop is horrible at making decisions. Forget big life ones, even everyday choices seem to paralyse her. She's learned to live with this because experience has taught her that it doesn't matter what you do, no one has the power to control destiny. Anyone who believes they can is a fool.
But as her wedding day approaches, her years of indecision are weighing heavily on her, and she can't help but wonder, 'What if, what if, what if….'
What if she hadn't upped sticks and moved to London? What if she hadn't grabbed the first job that came along and settled down with the first guy who showed an interest? But all of her questions are silenced when she slips while walking down the aisle and is knocked unconscious. In this split second her life splits into two: in one existence, Bea flees back down the aisle and out of the church. In the other she glides blissfully towards her intended.
But which story will lead to her happily ever after?

Summary by Goodreads

Knowing WRITTEN IN THE STARS would explore two different future scenarios, I was sure I wanted to make Ali Harris' new book one of my summer reads this year. And I didn't have to wait long until the present line of action slipped into the two possible future scenarios. It's Bea's wedding day and she is a beautiful bride, happy with her life. Or is she...happy? When her teenage love Kieran shows up in church, Bea slips and everything goes black. It's at this point that something changes and her life parts into two alternate strings of possibilities.

One path would be her walking down the aisle to marry her intended Adam. What would their life as newly weds be like? But what if she decided to be the runaway bride and find out that not Adam is her perfect match but Kieran? It's about the past and the future. The two men in her life. Adam or Kieran. The one who left Bea for eight years when he promised to be back in one. And the one who promised to spent the rest of his life with her and never left. In the big picture Bea's story is about who she belongs with. 
   Depending on her choice at the altar, every other aspect of her life is under the influence of fate. Bea's job, her friends, her love life, the past of her family and her missing her dad are all factors of importance. Mentions of tragic events in Bea's past made me so deperately want to find out what happened back then to Bea and Kieran. Maybe you think judging from the tone the story was told, you might know which path Bea picks or which guy she'd end up with, but you don't. I was surprised at how her story ended. 

Sometimes when the perspectives changed from one chapter to the next, it was a bit tricky to differentiate between the two and there was an initial confusion. Am I reading about Bea Hudson (married to Adam) now or Bea Bishop (still single and figuring out her relationship to Kieran)? But Ali Harris did her best to give us hints in form of social media status updates in the beginning of every chapter. Really liked that contemporary social media detail to Ali's new book. 

As mentioned before, Bea's past and her relationship to her father is one key element factoring into her decision in front of the altar. Usually, I'm very into stories with strong focus on familiar bonds, but I just couldn't stand the parts of the story that had to do with Bea's father. Of course there was meaning behind his disappearance when she was only a child, but the whole explanation and his letters to younger Bea in between chapters were just too tedious and absolutely annoying.

Readers fluent in the language of flowers will be delighted that Bea has a green thumb. Ali Harris has a thriving imagination and I was amazed about all the floral metaphors she could think of. I'm really into gardening and was delighted by Bea's passion for everything green. I especially enjoyed the garden planning projects Bea described, like her very own relaxing rooftop garden in London. Bea's new drive in her career life is purely motivational for every reader, too.

4/5 **** WRITTEN IN THE STARS -  An invigorating and cosmic new chick lit novel that promises a warm and flowery reading experience.

WRITTEN IN THE STARS is the first book by Ali Harris that I read. She's become an author I don't want to miss a single future book of. In the acknowledgements Ali Harris tells us that writing her new book was so hard. As it is a story that works with many parallels and alternate outcomes of even small decisions. It's a very complex book and a story that shows how much thought and creativity went into plotting WRITTEN IN THE STARS. 

"I'm not sure what is happening or where I am, but I feel like I can see the ghostly white shapes of my future and my past grappling with each other in some ethereal fight. One is on my shoulder, like an angel, desperately pulling me forward. The other is dragging me back. Two loves, two possible lives but which one is mine? Which path am I meant to take? I can't decide. I drop my head back against  the tiles and begin to see stars. Then there's just black." p. 14-15

WRITTEN IN THE STARS you might enjoy THE TIME OF MY LIFE by Cecelia Ahern about Lucy who has a date with her own life. CHASING HARRY WINSTON by Lauren Weisberger is the story of three girls who want to change one thing in their lives in one year, relationship status included. And WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW? by Claudia Carroll is about newly weds Annie and Dan and how their life changes with marriage.

* Have you read THE FIRST LAST KISS?

* Click here for an excerpt of WRITTEN IN THE STARS.

* Check out Ali Harris' advice for writers.

* For more information about Ali and her books visit

* Thanks to Simon & Schuster UK for sending me a copy of WRITTEN IN THE STARS for review!

1 comment:

  1. This one sounds cute and I like that the ending was unexpected.