Title: Written in the Stars
Author: Aisha Saeed
Pages: 304 pages
Published: March 24, 2015
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.
Why did I read this one??
I am trying to read more culturally diverse books. I had heard some good reviews on BookTube about this one and decided to check it out from my library. I recently read The Wrath and the Dawn and I wanted to check out more books with strong cultural influences. Even though The Wrath and the Dawn is a fantasy it still has a strong cultural elements.
In this story, Naila's family is from Pakistan but she was raised in America. Her family allows her to do everything teenage girls do, except dating. She is not allowed to date or interact with any boys. Her parents want to be the ones who choose her husband. Naila secretly has a boyfriend and her parents quickly find out about it. They are so outraged. They decide that she needs to go to Pakistan and explore her heritage. What she does not know, is that her parents have arranged a marriage for her and she must get married to someone she does not even know.
I really liked this story! I thought it was very heartbreaking and opened my eyes to the world of arrange marriages. It broke my heart to see how her family treated her for a mistake that she made. She had no voice for this huge life decision.
I really like the characters in this book. They were very realistic. The story was very well paced and the book was super short. It is a little over 300 pages and a lot happens, but it does not feel rushed. It is a great, quick read. The story was very intense and it had me engaged through the whole book.
What I Loved About The Book:
- I loved learning about the culture. This book made you feel like you were in living with a Pakistan family. I loved all the cultural languages and vocabulary. Here are a few items that were mentioned:
|Kulfi- a dessert similar to ice cream|
|Paratha- a traditional flatbread|
- I really liked the main character, Naila. She felt like a real teenager. Her emotions and actions were very realistic.
- The setting. I loved learning about Pakistan and the village where Naila's family lived.
If you are looking for a culturally diverse contemporary book, this one is great! I definitely think it is worth the read!
If you have any culturally diverse book recommendations, I would love to hear them!
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