Friday, December 11, 2015

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

Love is a powerful thing. Love makes us do silly things. For the majority of us love is ours to choose. But what if it wasn't? What if we were told who to love? Where to love? When the wedding was going to occur? What if our parents were the ones to decide who we spend the rest of our life with?

For seventeen year old Naila this was the hard reality.

Naila is not one to keep secrets from her parents. She lives by their rules, is an excellent student. She doesn't attend after school activities, and has never even had a sleepover. The only defiance she has committed is having a boyfriend, who is even from Pakistan like her family. But since her parents didn't arrange it and don't approve of his family, it's kept a secret. All will be good in a couple of months because Naila is about to go off to college and she can do as she pleases (as long as her parents don't find out of course). Before she heads off to college Naila's parents decide that the family needs to make a trip to Pakistan to visit their extended family. After being there for a month her parents decide to extend their trip for another week. Naila's bags are packed ready to go when the extra week is up. Again her parents inform her that their trip has been extended. Fearful she is going to miss college orientation (and the start of her new life of freedom) Naila decides she is going to get herself home. Only her passport is missing, along with the money she had hidden away. Naila's life falls out of her hands before she realizes it and after it's too late.

Written in the Stars is a book that you will not be able to put down. Tears are shed from chapter to chapter as Naila comes up against different obstacles. You'll begin to cheer for her courage and then cry alongside her when things go (horribly) wrong. The most haunting part of the book is the author's note at the end, Aisha Saeed tells readers how real situations such as Naila's are. That arranged marriages are real around the world and how that women are still "sold" into families. Written in the Stars is an amazing story, however due to several scenes I would recommend this as a read for older teens.

Enjoy and let us know what you think!

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