Book Review: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Book: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Published April 2018 by Simon Pulse|421 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

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?

I liked this one!  It’s cute, and there are a lot of things I liked…but also some things I didn’t like.

So, I liked the non-traditional families in this book, particularly with the relationship Zorie had with her step-mom.  I loved that even though Zorie wasn’t her biological child, she still considered Zorie her kid, and they had such a good relationship.  It’s a nice change from the evil, horrible step-parent who hates the kid from the previous marriage.  As for Zorie’s dad, I wasn’t a big fan of him.  I hated that for the entire book, he hated Lennon, and it was just so weird to me.  I mean, he’s a kid, and though it wasn’t explained for most of the book, something obviously happened for the dad to want Lennon stay away from Zorie.

We do learn what that moment is, and I was a little let down by it.  I understand why her dad was upset, but obviously, appearances mattered more than anything else, and I was glad when he was no longer part of Zorie’s life.

I really liked the maps throughout the book, and it really seemed to fit with the book and the journey through the wilderness.  Zorie and Lennon do suit each other, and they had a lot of chemistry but I also wasn’t into the romance, for some reason.  It’s sweet and cute, and there’s definitely some miscommunication that gets worked out.  The setting worked really well, and it was a good background for them as they figured out what went wrong at Homecoming.  Also, camping and hiking isn’t something that comes up in YA contemporary.  It made it seem a little more unique, but I am slightly disappointed that Zorie’s love of astronomy didn’t really come into play as she and Lennon were hiking to a different park.

Overall, though, I was bored at times.  The camping/hiking descriptions were cool, but I didn’t really get why Zorrie and Lennon were on the trip when one of the girls just wanted to get rid of Zorrie, and Lennon only seemed to be there to keep an eye on Zorrie.

I also didn’t like the references to Homecoming, and how that changed things for Zorrie and Lennon.  There was a lot of build-up to it, and I did feel a little let down by what really happened.  I already wasn’t a fan of her dad, and that made me really hate him.  I’ve already talked about it a little bit, so I won’t add anything else but I definitely wasn’t thrilled with her dad.

3 stars.  I liked Starry Eyes, and the setting was really cool.  I liked the relationship Zorie had with her step-mom, but I’m having a hard time giving it anything higher than 3 stars.

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