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Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
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Starry Eyes

by Jenn Bennett

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17611109,391 (3.8)None
In this romantic dramedy from the author of Alex, Approximately, a teen girl's way-too-ordinary life is driven off the beaten path when she's abandoned in the wilderness with her worst adversary--the boy who broke her heart. 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?… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Pretty much the only issue I had with Starry Eyes involves the explanation/secret behind the breakup that occurred between Zorie and Lennon before the book begins. It just seemed kind of convoluted to me that two people who were best friends for so long, much longer than they were anything more than that would suddenly become so terrible at communicating, even if someone did play a part in interfering, it still seemed like a stretch, as did it seem like a stretch that life-altering news involving Lennon never reached Zorie, not through social media, not through parents, that just struck me as unlikely.

But I was mostly able to get over it and just get back to enjoying the story since for whatever reason even though in actual life I’m not much for the wilderness or camping, I love vicariously experiencing those things in fiction, the moment they hit the backcountry and I realized just how much of that would be a part of the story, I was super pleased and engaged.

Despite whatever questions I may have had about their breakup, I really liked Zorie and Lennon together, they had strong chemistry and even though technically the book takes place over a fairly short time period, the pacing of their relationship still managed to feel really right. I also liked them visually, it was fun to picture her plaid outfits and glasses and his goth style, as pretty as the cover for this book is, it’s kind of a shame that it doesn’t more strongly reflect a couple with such a distinctive look.

Lastly, while step-parents have received an extremely bad rap in so many stories, it’s refreshing that Zorie’s relationship with her stepmom ended up being full of depth and love. There came a point where I was much more concerned with their happily ever after than I was with the romance’s happily ever after. I enjoyed the romance, but I loved this mother-daughter bond. ( )
  SJGirl | May 19, 2020 |
3.5 stars ( )
  slittleson | Mar 19, 2020 |
This was an easy and enjoyable read. It has a touch of a modern day Romeo and Juliet feel - except in this instance the relationship brings healing rather than death. I loved that Zorrie and Lennon were both quirky and unique. Reading about characters like them will help young readers to feel more comfortable and confident in their own skin. I also really loved Zorrie’s relationship with Joy. It was nice to see a step-mother portrayed in a positive light - contrary to every fairy tale ever!

I also really appreciate how the story portrays that love can be heavy and messy and hard at times but that you can grow together through all of that. ( )
  NikiKropf | Feb 18, 2020 |
This was an easy and enjoyable read. It has a touch of a modern day Romeo and Juliet feel - except in this instance the relationship brings healing rather than death. I loved that Zorrie and Lennon were both quirky and unique. Reading about characters like them will help young readers to feel more comfortable and confident in their own skin. I also really loved Zorrie’s relationship with Joy. It was nice to see a step-mother portrayed in a positive light - contrary to every fairy tale ever!

I also really appreciate how the story portrays that love can be heavy and messy and hard at times but that you can grow together through all of that. ( )
  NikiKropf | Feb 18, 2020 |
There is so much angst in this tale that it spills off the teenagers’ plates onto the adults’. Zorie and Lennon were best friends, but then her father forbade her to see him. Zorie gets coerced by her mom to go on a glamping trip with some causal friends, and who should be included in the group, which Zorie didn’t know until they are leaving, but Lennon? Of course. After they arrive at the camp site, a guy in the group gets the bright idea to steal some wine from the bar there. They get caught, of course, and are kicked out, and they decide to hike to a state park their own. A disagreement escalates to a fight and the group sneaks out during the night, leaving Zorie and Lennon alone. Of course. (Cue angst music.) Now the duo that was will become the duo that is, as they cope with all the horrors that camping in the wild can bring. Luckily for Zorie, Lennon is an expert at camping and survival. (Cue angst music again.). Meanwhile, the parents are worried, and Zorie’s parents have a soap opera of their own going on. This book pretty much has it all: love, sex, adultery, bears, snakes, deceit, camping disasters, parental edicts, death, suicide, love, romance, and, of course, angst. The author does a good job developing her characters, and the story is entertaining, especially if you enjoy angst. (Cue closing angst music.) ( )
  Maydacat | Oct 20, 2019 |
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