Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett. Simon Pulse. ISBN: 9781481478809.
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?
Okay, maybe it is just the phase I’m in right now but I really loved this book! A lot of tropes are in this (former best friends “accidentally” get isolated and old feelings rise to the surface, dad issues, love triangle- sort of, and more) but they are perfect for the book and don’t make me roll my eyes the entire time I’m reading. This was such a cute YA contemporary romance and I couldn’t put it down.
Here’s a list of what I loved:
- Lennon’s moms: These two are amazing. They’re the people you see and think wow, I wish I knew them because they are just that cool. They are funny, no-nonsense, caring, and maybe best of all, own an “adult toy” shop. Although they weren’t the stars of the book, I laughed at every scene they were in.
- The forest setting: How much more perfect could a setting be for romance than a bear-infested forest? I love that Zorie had to work throughout the book as she and Lennon backpacked through parts of Northern California. She was actually sweating in front of a boy! I feel like too many YA romance books make the girl always seem perfect, so this was refreshing and very welcome.
- The underlying issues: It wasn’t just about romance. There were actual issues that both main characters were dealing with and had to face. I can’t say what they are without spoiling anything, but just know that this isn’t just a fluff book where nothing more happens than romance!
I love that Zorie is depicted as someone obsessed with planning but she isn’t boring or stuffy. She is still a teenage girl with emotions and hormones, and those help develop her character throughout the book. Lennon has the kind of dry and sarcastic humor that I love, and his other character traits helped me love him even more.
Yes, the book is cheesy and has themes that are all too common in YA books. BUT the book is also sweet, real, funny, cute, and takes its time developing the plot and characters! I’ve officially added every other Jenn Bennett book to my Goodreads “to read” list and have placed them on hold at my local library 🙂