For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Thursday, April 12, 2018

review: starry eyes by jenn bennett

IMG_20180402_113522_341Ever 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? ~
Goodreads

Source: Finished copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Review:
So you know all those obnoxious bloggers who say this book was EVERYTHING, and you wish they wouldn’t because because you hate book hype and no book is EVERYTHING.

Well I am going to be THAT BLOGGER because Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett was my everything.

I’ve had a pretty good reading run lately but those OMG - 5 star books that leave me smiling and on a week long book high are few and far between.

Bennett is an auto-buy author for me, so I already had a pretty good idea I would enjoy Starry Eyes, but it exceeded all my expectations.

Okay….okay…I’ll get to some actual reviewer type stuff lol

Zorie’s mom convinces her to go on a glamping trip with a group of popular kids from her school. Zorie is a planner (spontaneity gives her hives – literally) and is skeptical about the whole thing but goes anyway to; please her (step)mom, get away from from making a decision about something she’s recently discovered about her dad and maybe get a shot at her crush Brett, who is also going. Bonus – at the end of the trip she can go on to meet her astronomy club nearby to see the Perseid meteor shower.

She researches and makes her lists and is pretty sure she handle the change to her summer plans until her sworn enemy – Lennon - shows up to join the adventure.

Zorie and Lennon were best friends until “The Great Experiment”, where they secretly dated but turned enemies after a disastrous homecoming night that left them both feeling abandoned. Since that night, their families haven’t spoken other than when necessary. Her father convinces her to stay away from Lennon and his moms who own the sex toy store next door – which he blames for his massage customers turning away in droves, even though Zorie's acupuncturist mom isn’t having the same problems with clients. 

So best friends to more – to enemies – to stuck on a camping trip together. Family secrets. Glamping. Excitement!

Once the group is at the glamping grounds, bad decisions are made, tempers boil over, and Zorie and Lennon are abandoned in the woods by the rest of the gang. Luckily, Lennon has become an expert camper over their time apart. Something that surprises Zorie but there’s a lot of things she’s missed about Lennon's life since they stopped talking.

They decide to take the trek to the star gazing party anyway and Zorie learns to let go of her lists and plans while she and Lennon find out what actually happened that fateful night.

Zorie and Lennon have a lot to work through and they do. It’s so refreshing to see two characters talk open and honestly.

There are still tougher issues with her father to deal with once Zorie gets back home I was thrilled with how the issue was resolved – letting Zorie make peace with things without having to compromise her own feelings and needs.

As always, Bennett’s characters are real and quirky, the California wilderness setting was immersive and her portrayal of (unconventional) families is perfection.

Starry Eyes is about giving up control and let the unexpected happen – even if it’s scary – even if it might hurt. And love, family and acceptance aren’t always what you think it should look like but are family just the same.

Add in a series of hand drawn maps from the trip and of Zorie and Lennon’s path to love and sa-woon!

Starry Eyes made me laugh, cry (with happiness) and left me with a book high that will be hard for any other book to follow.


32 comments:

  1. Ahhh this is the bajillionth raving review I've read for this book! I am DEFINITELY buying it the second I see it at our local bookstore. I love how you mentioned that the characters are open and honest to each other -- that's pretty rare in YA, if I do say so myself. Awesome review, Karen! ♥

    - Aimee @ Aimee, Always

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    1. I know!!! I almost hate writing reviews like this because by the time other people get to reading the book the expectations are SKY HIGH but it was everything I love about YA.

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  2. Awwww u squeeeed!
    It was lovely. So lovely

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    1. I did. I squeeeeed! lol It's been awhile.

      It was so good! I'm glad to see you loved it too!

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  3. Pretty sure I need to read this one. So many people are raving about it, and it just sounds wonderful with great characters, which I LOVE. Like Aimee, I'm glad that the characters actually communicate in the book.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  4. I've never read anything by this author, but this sounds amazing! I don't read much contemporary, but maybe I'll add this to my TBR list for next time I'm in the mood. Thanks for sharing! :D

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    1. If YA contemp isn't your cup of tea, she also writes UF and has a roaring 20's series. I do think she does YA really well though.

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  5. Hmmm I don't know if this is for me but I'm excited to hear that it's evverrrryyythingg! Also glamping sounds the most opportune moment for family secrets to come out!

    The map aspect really sounds cool. Okay, and now that I know it made you cry I'm thinking about giving it a try. Maybe audio?

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    1. The relationship between Zorie and her mom had me tearing up multiple times. I be the audio would be fun! But if you do listen - try to find a copy at the bookstore just to check out those maps.

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  6. Perhaps if it was her first book to cause squealing and sighing, but Jenn Bennett is a wonderkind for YA books so I don't mind that you're being THAT blogger. ;)

    I loved Alex Approximately so this one is definitely a must. Great review, Karen.

    Oh, and I got my second giveaway prize book, yesterday. :)

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    1. I've loved all her books but I do think this is my favorite so far.

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  7. When I find a book that I just love so much I want everyone to read it, I just want to say read it and lave it at that. lol This sounds good.

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    1. Those OMG I LOVE IT reviews are the absolute hardest for me to write. And then I think I'm overselling it and everyone will hate me for recommending it lol

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  8. Awww, I try to stay away from YA romance because I am crabby but you've made me want to read this one!

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    1. Bennett is one of the author's that I highly rec for YA. She really emphasizes family, healthy relationships and sex positivity. And her characters are always a tad quirky which I love.

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  9. A camping trip with a stop to watch a meteor shower? I think I like this one already! And I've been seeing very good reviews, of which this is the latest, so I DEFINITELY want this one. I keep seeing the term "glamping" too in reviews, and that phrase is totally new to me! I feel like maybe I'd like glamping more than camping too, but I digress... :) anyway nice review, can't wait to read this one. Plus maps???

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    1. You hadn't heard of glamping?? Well, they're *glamping* period is brief and they end up having to do camping the un-glamorous way lol

      The author drew the maps so that's an added bonus!

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  10. This book was everything I love all in one place. Gosh! I cried a ton of happy tears, and here they come again. Bennett books just make me so happy.

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  11. Millions of reviews read later and they still never get old, especially yours Karen! I have been wanting to read Bennett's books for a few months now, but I need the money (and no worries of student loans if you are a magical faerie coming to grant my wishes). I really enjoyed your take on a contemporary romance, especially when glamping takes place. I always love a good travel story! Great review, and have an awesome day!

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    1. I hope you get to it at some point. I don't get gushy too often but I do love her YA (& all her books).

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  12. You make me want to read this one despite the fact that YA is not a genre I gravitate to on a regular basis.

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    1. I think it's worth giving a try even if it's not your usual category of reading. She writes YA really well.

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  13. OMG. THE HYPE IS REAL. I can't wait to read this book! I love Jenn Bennett, so heck ya. I'll probably in the same boat as you.

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    1. I HOPE I'M NOT OVER HYPING lol

      I loved it so much though.

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  14. Replies
    1. I love all her books but I think this is my favorite.

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  15. LOL you're too funny. Book hype is a totally scary thing. Awesome it's a good one. I love the cover and still have her other one on my tbr pile. Ahh!

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    1. IT IS! Reading an over-hyped book can be depressing when it doesn't work for you and being the over-hyper and having people buy the book because of your review is just as scary.

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  16. I'm another massive Jenn Bennett fan and quite frankly I'd read her shopping list if someone slapped a cover on it. I have this one to read coming up next and holy shit I'm excited. I've seen so many reviews echo your thoughts too Karen, how incredible it is. I love that her books are more than the average teen romance, they have real heart and it's a slow burn, realistic romance too. All of her books are worth the hype aren't they, can't wait to start it too. Brilliant review Karen, absolutely loved it! <3 <3

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    1. She really writes YA in such a realistic way and I absolutely adore how she writes family. Especially in this one.

      I think you'll love it Kelly!

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