Thursday, May 31, 2018

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Title: Starry Eyes 
Author: Jenn Bennett
My Rating: A

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Main Characters: Zorie and Lennon
Release Date: April 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
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?

Mom's (Christi) Review:
This is a first for me on the blog here...for this book, I'm doing a joint review with my eleven year old daughter. We spotted this book in Target and I was a HUGE fan of Jenn Bennett's adult books, so I bought it for my daughter and she read it before me. As a result, we decided to try something new and fun on the blog a few YA joint reviews this summer. This is the first of what I hope is to become a regular thing. 

She absolutely adored the book and couldn't wait for me to read it.

I agreed with her...I absolutely adored it, too.

But in the nature of full disclosure...if I had read it before her, I probably wouldn't have let her read it. There are a LOT of really mature themes running throughout the book...themes that I would think would be too much for my eleven year old despite her high level of reading comprehension. But then I think back to the Harlequins and other books I read when I was in junior high (anybody remember VC Andrews?) and accept the fact that she ADORED the book so much...and is now going back and reading Jenn Bennett's backlist. I think this train has already left the station, so now I'm just making sure we have a VERY open dialogue over any questions she might have. 

But I digress...let's get to my review.

So, this book takes place in the summer between Zorie's junior and senior year. The last year has been kind of rough. Her next door neighbor, Lennon, used to be her best friend and was becoming something more until Homecoming last year. Now they don't even speak. Throughout a lot of the book, the reader isn't aware of what happened to break them up, but mostly that's because Zorie doesn't truly know what happened. 

But a camping trip gone wrong forces the two of them to confront everything that happened...and gah, some of those scenes were so painful but still beautiful to read. 

The whole book is simply gorgeously done. It's almost entirely set in the beauty of the mountains, with lots of talk about the stars (Zorie's passion) along with her need for control. Zorie is a planner and she lives by her lists and paper planner (I LOVED this girl so much!) The past year has made that need for control to ratchet even higher, so being thrown into this camping trip, where she's already uncomfortable, and finding Lennon along, too is about the height of her own personal nightmare. 

Zorie is anxious and unsure and in so much need of a hug. The book is told from her point of view which made it so that I definitely related to her more (plus she seriously is a lot like a teenage me). But there are moments with Lennon that I literally wept with his pain. While none of the book is in his POV...gah, you can't help but feel for this guy when it all comes out. Jenn Bennett did an absolutely gorgeous job of illustrating the depths of his pain. He needs a good long hug, too.

This book was beautiful to read and there was an amazing moral to the story, too (which goes back to that planning that I'm such a fan of). It was a truly incredible read. I adored the book and HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!!!!

Starry Eyes Review (Kat):

 Ok first off I have to say that when I saw this book I immediately fell in love with it. Just the whole look and feel of the book made me get it, and when I found out  Mom loved the author I knew I needed to get it to read. 

Ok ok, enough talking let's just get onto the review. 

This book is about a girl named Zorie who is just a shy girl who loves to keep things organized and make sure that things always go according to plan. She’s really just trying to survive high school. But when she is sent to go get a letter from her ex, Lennon, for her mother everything changes. (You’ll want to remember Lennon.) 

She decides to say yes to a camping trip with her former friend and a few other people. When she finds out Lennon (her ex) is coming along it’s already to late to back out so she ends up going on camping trip with him. Afterwards they get kicked out of the camping compound, abandoned in the woods by themselves, and almost get killed multiple times. 

Will Lennon and Zorie be able to survive without strangling each other ? I’ll let you find out that for yourself. 

Anyway I LOVED this book! It was absolutely incredible! There was so much detail and the story was so captivating from moment one! I highly recommend this book! Anyways that is all I have to say about this book, and I hope you go and buy this book for yourself!

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