Published by Simon Pulse on April 3, 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?
Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett ended up being so much more than I had hoped! With one of my favorite literary tropes and an author I have enjoyed in the past, I thought I’d like this book, but I didn’t realize how much I might love it!
Jenn Bennett is a well-loved author and has been cementing herself in the YA Romance realm with books like The Anatomical Shape of a Heart (2015), Alex, Approximately (2017), and now this one. I love her writing, and her story-telling is fantastic!
Starry Eyes weaves a tale of former best friends turned enemies turned lovers with family and friend drama scattered throughout. Zorie and Lennon are neighbors who used to do everything together. After last year’s homecoming, everything changed and the distance between them grew when they probably needed each other most. A glamping trip with some friends gone wrong leads to Zorie and Lennon being forced to spend a couple days together with nothing but themselves and the Northern California wilderness, and I appreciated that.
I loved the plot! I am a sucker for hate to love romances, so I thought the dynamic between Zorie and Lennon was great! Family drama played a big part in the story, and it was nice to see how the characters coped with the issues. Honestly, I learned some things, too — tips for when I want to be one with nature! But, really, Lennon’s character was very knowledgeable about the outdoors, camping, and hiking.
Lennon and his moms were my favorite! He is one of those eclectic, broody teenagers with a heart of gold, and I absolutely loved him! The kid drives a hurst and works with snakes!!! …he’s definitely unique but still completely fabulous. His moms were hilarious and super supportive, not only for Lennon but for Zorie, too. Zorie, on the other hand, is the one thing keeping me from giving this book a 5-star rating. I don’t know what it was exactly, but I couldn’t completely connect with her and found her a bit annoying.
Overall, YES I would recommend Starry Eyes. This is in my top 3 YA reads of 2018 and one of my favorite romances for the year! Fans of YA Contemporary and even some romance fans that can handle the younger characters and high school drama will enjoy this one. Needless to say, I’m already anticipating Jenn Bennett’s next release!
“There’s comfort in knowing that when your plans fall apart, you can survive. That the worst thing imaginable can happen, but you can get through it.”