Book Review | Starry Eyes
Title: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Published by: Simon Pulse (April 3rd, 2018)
Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.
But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.
What could go wrong?
With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.
And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?
What I Thought
I’d been seeing quite a bit of buzz about Starry Eyes, so I knew it would only be a matter of time before I picked it up. Well, I finally picked it up from the library a couple weeks ago for Bookshelf Tee’s Book Club July pick, and I am so glad I did!
This was my first Jenn Bennet book, so going into it, I didn’t really know what to expect. That being said, it was so much more than I expected, and I was pleasantly surprised to see the depth that was in this novel. Yes, it is a fun, summery, romance novel, but it’s actually a lot more than that. It’s about family, friends, honesty, self-discovery, and so much more. I can easily say that it’s been one of the best books I’ve read this summer, so far.
One of the things I loved best about Starry Eyes was the setting. I absolutely loved the whole camping vibe. I’m not someone who is into wilderness camping at all (my idea of camping is in a trailer with a television and internet in a campground with a pool and a restaurant, lol), but, despite that, the descriptions really made me want to go camping and hiking! I loved reading about Zorie and Lennon’s journey, and everything that led up to it.
Another thing I loved were the characters, especially Zorie and Lennon. I’m a sucker for a good enemies and/or friends to lovers romance, and boy did Starry Eyes deliver! Everything was so cute and well-paced and I loved it. As someone who is a bit of a perfectionist, I really found myself relating to Zorie and her desire to have everything planned out. As Zorie learns, life isn’t always able to be organized and planned, and this book was a great reminder about why that’s a bad and good thing.
I do want to add, though, that there is quite a bit of sexual content in this book that may not be suitable for younger teens. At 24, I was okay with it, but at 14, I would have been really uncomfortable with all the teenage sex, as well as the fact that Lennon’s moms own a sex shop.
Overall, I really enjoyed Starry Eyes! It’s filled with sassy and well-developed characters, with a plot that is so full of romance and adventure. I really want to read Jenn Bennett’s other novel, Alex, Approximately, now. I would definitely recommend this book to older teens or anyone looking for a fun and adventurous, summer romance – especially if enemies to lovers tropes are your faves!