Written in the Stars is the gay Pride and Prejudice retelling we all need

Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur. Image courtesy HarperCollins Publishers
Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur. Image courtesy HarperCollins Publishers /

Written in the Stars is a cute AF Pride and Prejudice retelling you’ll want to add to your TBR pile.

I have never typed so fast as when this book came up for review. A gay Pride and Prejudice retelling where the two love interests are women? Yes, please! I’ve made it my goal to read every Pride and Prejudice retelling out there and I’ve been waiting for a good gay one for at least a year. My view is that everyone should have their own version of Pride and Prejudice and Written in the Stars is one for queer girls!

Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur can only be described as sweet, hot AF, and complicated. Sweet because the relationship between Elle, who is the Elizabeth Bennet in this scenario, and Darcy is sweet as pie. They are so utterly lovely together that I smiled at the computer multiple times while reading. They break into an observatory and look at the stars! It doesn’t get cuter than that.

It’s hot AF because there are two sex scenes that will have you fanning yourself but also have you reading faster than you thought possible. Just pretend you can see me raising my eyebrows in a suggestive way.

And it’s complicated because Elle and Darcy aren’t one-dimensional characters. Yes, they clearly care about each other deeply but they have baggage and worries and hang-ups about themselves, about past relationships, and about their families. They are so well-developed.

Ok, before I get carried away, let’s do a quick synopsis. Elle and Darcy are set up on a date by Darcy’s brother who Elle is working with. He runs a dating app and she and her best friend, Margot, partnered with his company to offer astrology matches to people looking for “the one” on the app. Elle and Margot also run an astrology Twitter account called Oh My Stars.

The first date with Elle and Darcy… does not go well. The restaurant is super expensive, Darcy does not really want to be there, and Elle is late and ends up spilling wine on Darcy’s very nice dress. Embarassed AF, Elle leaves before Darcy can come back from the bathroom.

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How do they end up getting together? Well, they both have families that will not get off their backs about dating and finding “the one.” Brendan, specifically, will not leave Darcy alone. He’s honestly quite annoying about it. At first, I hated him, but he gets better over the story. Trying to get him to leave her alone, Darcy lies and says she and Elle are dating. A little lie won’t hurt anyone, right?

Welp, Brendan mentions this to Elle and she ends up at Darcy’s apartment wondering WTF is going on. Cue the fake dating trope we all know and love! They begin fake dating to get both their families to lay off the love talk.

At first, it seems to work. Brendan and Elle’s family totally buys it. But once they realize there’s much more than just a spark between them, they decide to date for real.

That’s what’s different about this book. Usually, with fake dating, the couple doesn’t realize they’re perfect for each other until the very end. Elle and Darcy stop fake dating about halfway through the book which was a very pleasant surprise. And ugh, their dates together were so utterly cute and charming. But also very real. You won’t be puking up rainbows or anything.

The best parts of Written in the Stars were Elle and Darcy’s interactions. Even when they were not clicking on their first date, I was riveted. The book is also very funny. Elle is hilarious and Darcy has a couple of great jokes as well.

I also loved their very specific descriptions of each other. Elle is obsessed with Darcy’s freckles and Darcy is in love with Elle’s eyes. I don’t know how else to describe how they see each other other than saying it felt like when you watch a movie and you know the director is ensuring what we’re seeing is through a female gaze. Which…may seem obvious in this case since both characters are women, but this level of detail is not in every romance book.

There were several moments when I wanted to punch Brendan, Darcy’s mom, and Elle’s mom but as that is kind of the reaction you’re supposed to have to those characters, it’s not really a criticism.

Also, as this was written before JK Rowling’s recent comments about trans people, there are a few Harry Potter references, but if you need to skip over them, you won’t be missing anything.

In terms of representation, Elle is openly bisexual, Darcy is openly gay (but her sexuality is not stated outright), and Margot, Elle’s best friend, is pansexual.

Written in the Stars is the gay contemporary Pride and Prejudice retelling I’ve been looking to read for forever, and I so hope everyone who needs to read this book finds it. Elle’s openness and positivity and Darcy’s guardedness and skepticism and how they come together is a joy to read. Please check this one out. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur is currently available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats.