Foreword Reviews

Bad Birthdays

The Truth behind Your Crappy Sun Sign

The stars see laughter in your future, and some astrological insight too.

Although astrological horoscopes can include vague warnings like “watch your money today” or “think twice about a job change,” they’re generally upbeat and encouraging. Readers delve into them to look for advice and affirmation and find plenty of both. First-time author Sarah Christensen Fu aims to change all that. Her irreverent, against-the-grain astrology guide, Bad Birthdays, brings some much-needed snark—and quite a bit of charm—to the art of sun-sign predictions.

Fu notes that she first encountered astrology as a teenager and college student studying the movement of planets and their effect on people’s moods and behavior. However, descriptions of her own sign, Virgo, tended to be dull and uninspiring. Often called “dependable” and “resistant to change,” Virgos are the control freaks of the zodiac, and she abandoned the hobby until a chance encounter at a psychic fair left her reeling.

“Why wasn’t there a book that told people the truth about their signs and their compatibility?” she writes. Reading more extensively, she became even more frustrated: “I looked at family relationships, career choices, money. I looked at how I would be as a parent, how I would relate to my friends. And everything I read was double-talk.”

That irritation led to this lively, no-holds-barred guide that’s unique in the constellation of astrology manuals. Fu believes that each sign has its own terrible qualities and flaws, and that people deserve to know them, told honestly and with flair. She delivers beautifully, renaming signs into monikers like “awful Aquarius” and “tragic Taurus.”

Much like other guides, Bad Birthdays covers love matches with other signs, as well as career and money issues, but rather than affirmations, Fu includes phrases like “jobs you won’t screw up.” Although she delivers some tough-to-hear insight at times, Fu’s acid-tipped writing works well in this format. Often, what might seem insulting turns out hilarious, particularly if the information resonates with the reader. With such a fun writing style and lively advice, it’s likely that readers will glean quite a bit of useful insight from Fu’s guide.

In the introduction, Fu says to readers, “[You will] get a chill down your spine when you find out what it means to be born on your birthday. Read on, my friends, and weep.” But with her jaunty writing style, spot-on delivery, and gentle snark, it’s likely that readers will end up laughing more than weeping.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Millard

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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