On paper (no pun intended), this book sounds really interesting. Set in the 1920s and later decades, it looks at gender inequality and the treatment of LGBT individuals. But once I started reading it, despite this important topics, it just fell a little flat for me. I'm shelving this as a DNF, but technically I skimmed the second half.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is Swearing off Stars by Danielle Wong. Thanks so much to BookSparks for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

The story mainly follows 20-year-old Lia when she first attends university in London. There she meets a group of students who are working together to allow female students the ability to graduate. She is also drawn to Scarlett, a young woman who is leading this equality movement. As the weeks pass, their relationship changes and their feelings deepen. Years later after the Second World War, Lia goes searching for her lost friend, now a movie star and will stop at nothing to get her back.

I think this novel had a lot of potential to be an important story. Unfortunately, there were too many things that didn't work for me to fully enjoy this story and appreciate the themes and messages.

Firstly, the relationship between Lia and Scarlett felt extremely rushed and didn't seem to have much of a connection. This is such a short book that by page 50 something, they were already exchanging "I love you"s. While I really wanted to see the connection and their relationship develop, there wasn't enough to create a solid base for the rest of the novel to stand on.

I also kind of felt that for a book that deals so much with feminism and gender equality, the focus was only really on that for the first little bit. After the big part with allowing women to graduate, there wasn't really much more talk about it. There was an occasional moment where a character would call out sexism but the gender issue kind of fell by the wayside after the LBGT issues.

I'm not sure how historically accurate some of the concepts were as well. There isn't really a specific moment I can think of but this just felt like a contemporary facsimile of a historical novel. Between the language used and some of the historical signifiers, this book just felt like there wasn't a lot of research put into it.

All this being said, it was an interesting sounding book about a really important time period - the execution just fell a little flat.

If you are looking for a similar story - lesbian romance, historical fiction, movie stars, etc., you should check out Taylor Jenkins Reid's novel The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I promise you will be much better entertained!

Overall, not one I would recommend.