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The Astrologer's Daughter

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  501 ratings  ·  147 reviews
A Kirkus Best Book of 2015
Shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards
Notable Book for Older Readers, CBCA Book of the Year Awards

“It’s going to happen,” she would tell me calmly. “I even know when. It’s a twist in my stars. It’s written there, and we have to accept it.”

Avicenna Crowe’s mother, Joanne, is an astrologer with uncanny predictive powers and a history
Paperback, 321 pages
Published July 9th 2014 by Text Publishing
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Apr 27, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
The Astrologer's Daughter was a fictional response to some terrible stories involving violent crimes against women that were emerging in the press around the time I was writing. The "real world" news is a potent trigger for book ideas. What people do to each other in real life is staggering.

I wrote the novel in memory of two young women, 18 and 20, who went hitch hiking up the east coast of Australia in the early 1970s and were repeatedly violated, tortured and bashed for hours before being tied
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Text Publishing and NetGalley.)

I really have to get this off my chest – I wish that books with non-endings had a warning on them, so that I wouldn’t read them, because I am forever going to be wondering what the heck actually happened in this stupid book. Ugh.

This was a YA mystery story, in which the mystery wasn’t solved. Can you tell that that has annoyed me?

So, Avicenna’s mother has gone missing, and
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reasons to Read This

1. I'm usually made of stone when reading books but this book made me tear up. TWICE.
2. I'm still amazed.
3. But really, this book is vastly different from a lot of other YA churned out simply by virtue of its protagonist.
4. Now I know we've heard intersectionality bandied around lots but there may be some people who don't know what it means. Wiki has handily defined it as: "the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as th
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've spent five minutes looking at synonyms for 'surreal' but none of them quite fit this novel - 'whimsical' is too flippant and 'absurd' doesn't sound complimentary and 'dreamlike' belies the sinister aspects. The Astrologer's Daughter leans towards the incredible and the extraordinary without ever stepping right over into paranormal. There are parts of it that feel not-quite-realistic. The astrology is detailed and authentic (or at least authentic-sounding - I wouldn't be able to tell). Joann ...more
A copy of this novel was provided by Text Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

This is pretty much going to be a timeline of my relationship with The Astrologer's Daughter. In an effort to bring some enthusiasm and Chiara-ness back into my reviews (sadly I have been feeling very UNenthused about my reviews as of late - BOO), I am spicing this one up a little. YAAAAAAAY.


I saw the cover on Twitter, as a fellow Australian blogger had received a copy for review. I wanted it. Desperately. I
This is one of those books that I've seen around for the past couple of years, probably because it was on the long list for the CBCA awards in 2015. And for some reason, despite a whole bunch of people telling me that it was great, it's always been one of those books that I just looked at the cover and went ""

But anyway. I finally picked it up and read it. was pretty solid. The gist of the story is that 18 year old Avicenna's mother, an astrologer, has disappeared. It's susp
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Rebecca Lim, author of the popular Mercy series, has written a thrilling contemporary mystery with coming-of-age elements and a hint of the paranormal. Avicenna Crowe will always stick out in a crowd. She's half Chinese with a large chest and a burn scar that covers half of her face and one of her ears. Mostly she's a regular (smart) high school student. Her mom, the astrologer, is the special one.

And then her mom goes missing.

Avicenna is thrown by the loss of her remaining parent. (Her father d
The Astrologer’s Daughter evoked a longing in me to wander through familiar streets.

I’d recommend this to anyone interested in a quirky and sometimes, dark contemporary YA read. Not everything is resolved by the end but I thought that was true of life.

Cont'd on the blog:
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-to-review
(I received a copy from Netgalley, In exchange for an honest review.)

I felt sorry for Avicenna at points, but I didn't love her character.

This just couldn't keep my interest unfortunately. I started to feel bored a few chapters in, and it got worse as it progressed. I really struggled to get through it.

The ending was pretty annoying, but I'm just glad it's over!
Ainsley Jade
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I used to work in a was the best job I ever had...I was surrounded by the things I loved the most, i never had a dull day, people asking if this is where they actually print books to some people being so surprised that this was what a book store looked like, while others were more than happy to grab a book and a beverage of sorts and dive straight into the pages of a book they'd chosen.

Books, so many pretty, beautiful books lined the shelves, they were stacked high on tables, lay
Mandy K
Apr 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya
Full Review

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I don't usually read mystery/crime thriller books, just because I am more of a fantasy type of gal. But I loved the cover and the premise of a story weaved with astrology intrigued me, so I requested a copy. I'm glad I did, because I ended up really liking this book. The astrology was obviously very well researched and felt authentic, and while there was a couple times where the descri
Nicole Hayes
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Just finished this novel and I feel compelled to say something while it's fresh. The world Lim creates is dark, suspenseful and mysterious. The complex tangle of murder and grief is richly drawn and the characters who populate this story leap from the page. I was both fascinated by them and, at times, appalled, for all the right reasons. I couldn't put this book down although I was torn between rushing to the end to find out what happened to Avicenna's mum, and wanting to savour every spine ting ...more
Nov 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: purchased, 1-owned
With its lyrical writing and quirky characters, The Astrologer's Daughter is one of the most moving books I've read in a while. It's a beautiful story about identity, secrets, and love, and I have enjoyed it a lot.

Avicenna's mother is an astrologer. Not a psychic, and definitely not a fraud, but a true astrologer who works out the charts of her clients and then tells them what they've come to hear (or not hear, as the case may be). She's kind-hearted and sympathetic, and from the very first sent
Tsana Dolichva
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Astrologer's Daughter by Rebecca Lim was not the book I expected it to be. This is partly because I intentionally try to forget blurbs for ARCs after I decide to read them and partly because I didn't really have a clear idea of what to expect anyway, and also that purple cover.

I probably would have been less surprised by the book if I'd read the blurb, but on the other hand, the blurb is not entirely accurate either. Avicenna's mother disappears and the story opens with her calling the polic
Isabelle | Nine Tale Vixen
I went into this without any real expectations and found myself pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Keeping an open mind was really important: although astrology plays a significant part in the narrative, you don't have to believe in it yourself to hope that Avicenna finds her mother (through whatever works), or connect emotionally with Simon. The characters are likable enough, though I do wish they were a little more developed. By which I mean they all had complex backstories, but I ...more
Eugenia (Genie In A Book)
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, 2014-release
*This review also appears on the blog Chasm of Books*

3.5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The Astrologer's Daughter is a novel where mysterious elements and fascinating protagonist with an astrologer mother come together to produce something unique, and in some ways chilling. It as if the pieces of the story are drifting in a wide sea before slowly coming back together in order to reveal the truth. The astrological elements were quite interes
Bookish Indulgenges with b00k r3vi3ws

For as long as Avicenna can remember, it has always been her and her mother – a duo. But when her mother goes missing she has to step up on her own and even take charge. The police are involved but they are asking the wrong questions and seem to be getting nowhere with their investigation. What nobody else realizes is the fact that Joanne’s disappearance has something to do with her knowledge and connected to her livelihood somehow. With Simon by her side, Avicenna is finally ready to embrace he
A great mystery novel, with a terrific narrator. It's written in the first person present tense, not easy to pull off, but combine that with the missing mother storyline and the astral chart business and it all works.

Avicenna is a flawed girl - strong, loud, clever, but also judgemental, vulnerable and when her mother disappears, she's also lost and scared.

Her journey through the next few weeks is a great mystery story, a terrific coming-of-age story and a touching love story.

Great book.
Kelly Gardiner
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this sassy, messed-up protagonist and her view of the world. I would love to read more of her adventures.
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you to netgalley and Text Publishing for a copy of this book. I actually received it over a year ago but I over-requested and have only just gotten around to finally reading it!

To start with, having just finished this book and enjoying it so, so much, I wanted badly to give it 5 stars... but my one grievance is hard to overlook because it's to do with the writing. So let's get this out of the way-- Lim writes in first person, in Cenna's pov, a MC who is constantly on the verge of a breakd
For the longest time it has always been Avicenna and her mother, Joanne. But when Joanne goes missing, Avicenna is lost. She may be eighteen but she doesn’t know what to do without her mum. Joanne is an astrologer and it seems her gift is connected with her disappearance. Her predictions are eerily precise and Avicenna is certain they hold the key to her mother’s whereabouts. If Avicenna is to find her mother and solve the mystery, she will have to use the gift she has always shunned.

The Astrolo
Text Publishing
Jul 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, fiction
A round-up of some of the top reviews for The Astrologer’s Daughter, Rebecca Lim’s disarming, intriguing and wonderfully written novel:

‘Lim (The Astrologer’s Daughter) delivers satisfying action and romance throughout, continually raising the stakes on the way toward a chilling, violent ending.’
Publishers Weekly

‘The Astrologer’s Daughter is compulsively readable. Avicenna is a captivating hero—tough yet vulnerable. This gritty and mysterious love story will stay with me for a long time.’
Cath Cro
Saruuh Kelsey
((2.5 stars))

The first 50% of this book is pretty darn awesome. The second half? Trainwreck. The Astrologer's Daughter set me up for an awesome mystery, and yeah it's pretty cool, but as soon as the book hit 60% there were ableist slurs, utter bullshit and this line: "The way he's looking at me actually makes me want to cover my body in a burqa" I MEAN???? This girl is Chinese, not any nationality where wearing a burqa is traditional, which makes it NOT OKAY. Cultural appropriation with a side n
Kelly Gunderman
Feb 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley-reads
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I don't really know how I feel about this book. It was definitely a different story- one that I know I haven't read anything like before, so that's why I felt so positive about this book. It had a great plot idea, and I love new and interesting ideas in books, so I was really excited to read this.

However, once the book started, I wasn't entirely sure how I was going to feel about it. I didn't fee
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned
I am so confused. There were a number of story lines and I kept forgetting who was who. Most of the decisions Avicenna made seemed random to me, especially regarding Simon and Hugh (he was one character I couldn't remember) I feel like I've just been sucked into a tornado of a book, and spat out holding remnants.

You know when you buy a book and recognize the author's name, but can't remember what else they've written? Totally did that with this book. It was the Mercy series, and I love those bo
Mar 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
This book is sort of a genre-bender: part paranormal mystery, part coming-of-age, part thriller. Really liked how raw and ugly and messy Avicenna's reaction to her mother's disappearance was.
Also liked the almost romance that was more about two kindred souls having gone through shit and still going through it but finding a friend in the dark. Really liked how Simon's arc was written, how Avi assumed and had the wrong impression of him.
Her relationship with Hugh was great. How he could have been
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book had me reading non-stop, I could not put it down!

Thank you Rebecca Lim I loved it SOOOO much and I really recommend to everyone READ THIS BOOK, it is fantastic and had me crying, laughing, yelling and sleepless with anticipation!

Rebecca Lim’s Mercy Series is lifechanging. Well it changed my life. So is this one. Make a movie about Avicenna, please I want more. Makes me want to study astrology and be an astrologer. I suggest you definitely read it, GREAT Read. More please Rebecca!!!
Steph Cuthbert
I basically read this cover to cover today, reluctant to put it down for anything, utterly enthralled.
The Astrologer’s Daughter was genre-bending, and captivating, with characters that I didn’t necessarily like, but was invested in. After hearing Rebecca speak about her female characters at Sydney Writer’s Festival, I was really curious to see how they were on paper, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Loved it.
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 *
As a non-native speaker, I really enjoyed being able to get a glimpse of a country and its slang that I usually don't have much contact with. I also loved both Joanne and Avicenna, mother and daughter, two strong female characters bound by love and relying on each other. I'm glad I found this book!
Jess - The Tales Compendium
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aussie, mystery
In a Nutshell: An intriguing mystery set amongst Melbourne’s Chinatown.

For my full review, please visit my website:
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Rebecca Lim is an Australian writer, illustrator and editor and the author of over twenty books, including The Astrologer's Daughter (A Kirkus Best Book of 2015 and CBCA Notable Book for Older Readers), Afterlight and Wraith. Her work has been shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards and INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards, shortlisted multiple times for the Aurealis Awards and Davitt Awa ...more

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