Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publication Date: April 3, 2018 by Simon Pulse
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Source: Publisher via Mail
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 received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen me freaking out about the fact that I received an ARC of Starry Eyes last week. I requested it a couple of months ago, but didn’t hear anything back, and then it showed up on my doorstep a few months later! I read (and reread) Alex Approximately last year and it ended up being one of my favorite books of the year, so when I heard Jenn Bennett had a new book coming out I immediately put in on my most anticipated release list.
“Don’t be cautious. Be careful… Cautious people are afraid of the unknown and avoid it. Careful people plan so they’re more confident when they face the unknown.”
Starry Eyes follows Zorie, a young woman who meticulously plans everything out as the summer before her senior year of high school is about to start. At the last minute she gets invited on a glamping (glamourous camping) with one of her sorta friends from school. The last minute invitation freaks her out since she doesn’t have time to plan everything out, but it gives her an opportunity to spend time with the guy she’s crushing on. What she doesn’t realize, is that her ex-best friend Lennon is also going on the camping trip. Some mishap ensues, and Lennon and Zorie are stuck in the wilderness together and have to work together to get back to civilization.
Before I even started the book I new I was going to love it, and Jenn Bennett did not disappoint. Zorie is such a funny character, she makes so many funny side comments and has so many hilarious thoughts. She’s also obsessed with astronomy, and constantly geeking out about constellations and going to a star party. And don’t get me started on Lennon, I love him so much. He’s not your typical YA love interest, I was surprised when he was first introduced. He’s this cute goth guy who wears knee high boots and paints his fingernails black.
“Grief is sneaky. Sometimes you think you’re over something, but you’ve just been lying to yourself. If you don’t face up to it, grief will hang around until you do, whittling away small parts of your life. You don’t even know it’s happening.”
As the story begins, we learn that Lennon and Zorie used to be best friends, but then “The Great Experiment” happened and they became enemies. It was so sweet reading about Zorie hating Lennon, but not actually hating him. I loved seeing how their relationship changed when they went on the camping trip together. They’re so sweet together, I have so many pink sticky tabs in my book because I love them so much.
Not only was the romantic relationship amazing, but family relationships were also portrayed well. Jenn Bennett always writes amazing family dynamics. Lennon has a wonderful, funny relationship with both of his mothers. It’s so sweet to see them interact with each other, because they get along so well and you can tell how much they care about each other. Zorie also has an amazing relationship with her stepmother. Even though the two women aren’t biologically related, it’s so easy to see how much they care for each other.
“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.”
I love Jenn Bennett’s writing, and was not disappointed with Starry Eyes. I definitely recommend reading it because it’s so, so good. I love Jenn Bennett’s newest work, and I won’t stop talking about it and recommending it to everyone I know!