Friday, April 6, 2018

Review—Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: April 3, 2018
Genre: YA Contemporary 
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 4.5 Stars

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 is why I read and love YA—it catches the nostalgia and angst from being a teenager in high school. Zorie and Lennon were the best of friends until they weren’t anymore. The fall out between them not only devastated but shattered Zorie into a million pieces. All she wanted to do was forget. Forget that Lennon was everything she’d ever wanted in a boy—forget that he just up and left her without a word. 

But things aren’t always what they seem. Zorie is a planner—she likes remaining in situations she knows she can control. Which is why she’s upset when she learns her mother volunteered for her to go on a camping trip with her friend, Reagan. It’s not just any camping trip either—it’s what you call glamping. Meaning there are hot showers, toilets, actual beds, and gourmet food. 

Imagine Zorie’s surprise when Lennon shows up for the camping trip as well. How can these two former best friends manage to be in the same proximity, when all Zorie wants is to know what really happened that night everything changed? I thought the book was cute, romantic, and fun. I loved all the scenes that involved backcountry camping. Zorie and Lennon were amazing characters that won me over from the very beginning. 

The story was one that at times was intense and serious—but not enough that it felt crushing. Lennon is seriously swoon-worthy! I liked how he took charge when out in nature. Zorie was awesome but what I loved most was how Lennon had a knack for calming her down without making her feel incompetent. Overall, if you’re into YA contemporary romance and all things involving outdoorsy goodness, Starry Eyes is the perfect read. 

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest and unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

About the Author:
Jenn Bennett is an award-winning author of several young adult books, including ALEX, APPROXIMATELY and STARRY EYES. She also writes romance and fantasy for adults. Her books have earned multiple starred reviews, won the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award, and been included on Publishers Weekly Best Books annual list. She lives near Atlanta with one husband and two dogs. Visit her at

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