Review | Cross the Stars by Venessa Kimball

CrossTheStars.jpgCross the Stars
by: Venessa Kimball as V. Angelika
Crossing Stars #1
Publication Date: March 8th, 2016
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

What would you risk for love? Would you cross the stars? Steal the moon?

A year shy of graduating from Georgetown University, Ella Wallace feels like she is losing direction. Having carved her own path through life, rejecting her family’s elitist influences, the last thing she wants is to waste time and prove her parents right. A happenstance summer-long program abroad offers the perfect opportunity to immerse herself in volunteer work, finding richness in family and purpose she has never experienced before.

Prince Rajaa bin Ammaar is returning home to Jordan from Georgetown University. His intent is to spearhead a refugee program meant to bring peace to his country. Amidst threats of civil war and revolt, Raj stands for his convictions, even when they challenge his family and the very culture he is preordained to uphold.

A chance encounter at a crowded party in D.C. brought Ella and Raj together for one fleeting moment – two people never thought to meet again. But it’s not until their diverse worlds collide in Jordan that they realize the power of their connection. With the refugee program as their reuniting bond, they must cross the stars and defy their clashing cultures to protect their forbidden love.

With the culturally rich Jordanian backdrop, Cross the Stars will take you on a journey into the  geographical and cultural Middle East, the resilience of people amidst turbulent civil unrest, the parallel unrest of two lovers’ clashing fates,  and the diversity they must challenge with every breath to keep their love alive.

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Review

My rating: 2 stars

Cross the Stars is a story about star-crossed lovers, Ella and Rajaa. Ella Wallace is the daughter of a congressman who has been trying to pave her own path. Her parents have not been very supportive and when she cannot take anymore she decides to do the only logical thing – she takes up an internship where she teaches English in Jordan during the summer. She meets Prince Rajaa, the younger Prince of the Jordanian Royal Family, who is funding the teaching program for the Syrian Refugees. Sparks fly and the rest is history.

I admit I was a bit wary when I started. I may have not enjoyed it as much, but that probably has to do with some of the incorrect terms – for example Kimball kept referring the ‘veil’ as a hijab and the ‘hijab’ as a niqab (a type of covering where only the eyes are visible). I also found it a bit unrealistic that Ella was able to learn a bit Arabic in two weeks. As someone who has been learning Arabic for years (still learning), I have to say it is not easy, and I still don’t know it.

I found Ella annoying and whiny. I could not really connect with her. I did, however, like how she decided not to be a robot and pave her own way, and her fondness for the refugee students. Speaking of the refugee students I love their story, it was heart-breaking finding about their backstories, but I love how they preserved.

The insta-love was so annoying. They see each other at a party and their special gaze stirred feelings. Then they catch one another when the elevator is closing. When they finally converse they’re already really deep in their feelings for one another. I would have preferred they developed the relationship rather than them combusting. Also, Raja was willing to throw everything away for Ella, someone he barely knows. With the political tension in the Middle East, his willingness to throw everything away was off putting, especially when we were shown how much he wanted to improve Jordan’s conditions.

The premise is great and it’s why I wanted to read this, but the execution did not work for me. I don’t see myself reading the sequel.

 I received this book in exchange of an honest review.

 

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