Book review of Blame the Stars by Heather Buchanan

Book review of Blame the Stars by Heather Buchanan

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Spurred by illustrator and “accidental astrologer” Heather Buchanan’s popular Instagram account @Horror.Scoops, Blame the Stars: A Very Good, Totally Accurate Collection of Astrological Advice is a hilarious journey through astrology, a subject that is, Buchanan writes, “stuffed to the glittering gills with practical, utilitarian functions.” But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun with it. “In such a bizarre universe,” she writes, “the most logical response is to get bizarre right back at it.” 

With colorful, offbeat drawings and handwritten captions, Buchanan gives classic signs silly names and outrageous descriptions: The corresponding animal of Splattitaribus (Sagittarius) is “a skunk haunted by the ghosts of her past;” a Lehbrah (Libra) is “the last push of breath that blows up a pool toy.” Buchanan is a joke factory, but Blame the Stars never feels mean-spirited. She balances out her playfulness with a palpable admiration for each sign, and, despite the absurdist claims, traditional astrology buffs will recognize kernels of wisdom. The book really shines with absurdist journal prompts: “What if everyone who hated cilantro had their teeth turn into cilantro? . . . Discuss.” 

Blame the Stars is beautifully constructed with quality paper and a well-thought-out jacket that manages to include illustrations of all the signs without feeling too busy. That impressive attention to detail continues throughout the book, with art included on almost every page. If you’re a lover of astrology, or if you’re perhaps looking for some silly direction among the stars, you’ll certainly find solace, laughs and maybe even some inspiration in these pages.

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