About the Book
Author: Aisha Saeed
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Number of Pages: 304
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Date Published: March 24, 2015
Synopsis: 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.
Naila is a high school senior who is looking forward to getting out from underneath the watchful eye of her parents' when she heads off to college in the fall. Naila's parents are proud of their daughter's accomplishments and want to see her succeed, but they would be devastated to know that she has friends that are boys and has even been dating one for over a year. They have always been clear on two points; Naila is to have no relationships with boys and they will choose her husband. So when they catch Naila at the prom with Saif they waste no time whisking her away to Pakistan. Their motives aren't clear at first, but Naila soon learns she won't be returning to America anytime soon because she's going to be married. Naila knows she must escape and reaches out to Saif, but can he save her before her fate is sealed?
Written in the Stars is a brilliantly written story with such amazingly vivid detail that I felt transported into Naila's world. My heart broke as Naila was forced into tradition and belittled by her family because they believed she had disgraced them. I knew arranged marriages existed even with threats of violence, but Written in the Stars made it so much more real and Naila's sorrow was my sorrow. I found this to be a completely engrossing read from beginning to end.
I highly recommend picking up a copy.