I am always excited to get my hands on a good queer romance, and this one has a gorgeous cover and got some really good initial reviews. While I enjoyed reading it and connected with the characters, it didn’t really live up to the hype for me. It was a really pleasant read, but I thought the premise of it being a Pride and Prejudice retelling didn’t really pan out. I also had a couple of character issues that took away from my enjoyment. I would say it’s still a great book, I think I just went in with my expectations really high due to how much friends and reviewers talked it up.
In terms of what I loved about the book, I really enjoyed Darcy and Elle. Darcy is really easy to understand, and her issues lie really close to the surface, despite how together she looks. Elle felt a little young to me, probably because her issues are mostly based on seeking external validation for her success. I also liked Brendon, he’s a good brother, although I did have a small issue with him initially.
The problem I had with Brendon was mostly that he seemed like a really caring, loving sibling, but he was essentially strong-arming his sister into going on dates and putting herself out there when she clearly wasn’t ready for that. Darcy is closed-off because of past heartbreak, and isn’t willing to open herself up to getting hurt again. Brendon seems like a thoughtful guy and it irked me that he was so clearly not reading her. Their boundaries seemed pretty loose, and Darcy really needed to tell her brother that she needed more time.
I feel like the Pride and Prejudice retelling was a little played up- basically, Elle has a family who doesn’t appreciate her success, a whole mess of siblings, and is an open, dreaming type. Darcy is buttoned up and high-end, wears designer labels and makes snap judgements. The fake-dating trope didn’t really seem like something Elle, who is an honest person, would agree to do. Still, when they got the ball rolling, that worked for the story. I don’t really think this is a “retelling” just because so few of the story beats are followed.
Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who loves romance and is looking for a good f/f read, it’s not too serious and a fun book to pick up over the holidays.
Written in the Stars is available now wherever books are sold, or at your local library.