There are no spoilers in this review.
Starry Eyes, Jenn Bennett
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 was the last Jenn Bennett young adult contemporary I had to read and I think it might be my favorite of them all… though it’d be hard to pick one. All of Jenn Bennett’s books are such fun, quick, relatable contemporaries I end up devouring in just a couple of days and I love that so much.
- Once again, I found myself falling for the main character in this story. Zorrie always likes to have a plan, to be in control, she’s organized and anxious and smart and I don’t know, I just really really loved her.
- Starry Eyes has now one of my favorite tropes. Actually, it’s a mix of tropes and it’s so well done, filled with unresolved feelings and history and I’m all here for that. Childhood friends to lovers to enemies to complex feelings? YES I’m here for it all.
- I loved the history between Lennon and Zorrie and Lennon was such a great character – completely different from Zorrie, an adventurer, sarcastic and I found that their interactions and relationship was wonderfully done, too.
- While I’m on the topic of relationships, I need to mention that all of Jenn Bennett’s books, and Starry Eyes is no exception, are sex positive and it’s refreshing and healthy and needed in books aimed at teens like that one, I think.
- Family issues! I loved how the parents were involved in this story and how the family dynamics changed as secrets were discovered, too. I loved Zorrie and her step mom’s relationship, too, so much.
- The setting! Loved loved loved the originality of the setting, too. We’re discovering National Parks in California and hiking in the forest and meeting bears and waterfalls and sleeping in tents while there’s a big storm and…. I loved how different it was, it definitely brought a little something more to the story.
I HAD A HARD TIME WITH…
- I think the only tiny little thing I wish would have been explored more, is the friendship between Zorrie and one of her childhood friends. I just feel like it took a big place at the start of the story, and then the romance and other family issues took over, leaving this aspect of the story a little bit too much to the side.
I’m a fan of Jenn Bennett’s books and will read everything she writes, honestly. Her stories, her characters, the way she crafts romances, always makes me crave for more, more and MORE. I adore her books and will recommend them to everyone I know okay.
Final rating: 4,5 drops!
Trigger warnings: homophobic remarks, death of a parent, mention of suicide, cheating.
Diversity: Korean side characters. f/f couple side characters.
Did you read Starry Eyes? Do you want to?
What was the last contemporary book you read and enjoyed? Let me know in comments!