Book Reviews, YA book reviews

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett – ARC review


My Rating ~ Five stars


RELEASED: 3 April 2018

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Format: e-Book

Source: Received from Simon Schuster Australia via NetGalley



In this romantic dramedy from the author of Alex, Approximately, a teen girl’s way-too-ordinary life is driven off the beaten path when she’s abandoned in the wilderness with her worst adversary—the boy who broke her heart.

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’d like to thank Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with an e-ARC of this book, through NetGalley.

Zorie and Lennon were best friends until an incident a year ago turned them away from each other. To make it worse, tension between their families is high, since Lennon’s parents opened a sex shop next door to Zorie’s family’s massage and acupuncture business. Zorie’s dad is convinced they’re driving all of his customers away.

Zorie reluctantly agreed to go on a camping trip with friends from school (the deciding factor being Brett, a popular guy she’s been lusting after for a while) Unbeknown to her, Lennon is coming along for the ride. Zorie likes life to go to plan. She does not like surprises. Things need to follow an itinerary and match up to what’s written in her scheduler. When the entire camping trip throws the plan out the window, Zorie and Lennon are left stranded in the wilderness. All alone, they start to unravel the mysteries of what went wrong in their friendship and how they feel about each other.

I rarely ever read YA contemporary books and I decided I’d like to change that this year. Starry Eyes was one of the first few I’ve read and I absolutely loved it. Before I dive into the rest of my review, I just want to mention this book includes the CUTEST MAPS EVER at the beginning and end! I adore them and will absolutely need a physical copy of the book just to stare at the maps some more!

Zorie is me. Everytime she opened her mouth I related to everything she said. The inbuilt need to plan and control life is as strong in me and it was in her. The mishaps and changes they had to endure didn’t give me hives like they did Zorie, but I suffered plenty of anxiety with her along the way!

I often find myself shying away from YA contemporary because the issues the main characters face are often such non issues from an adult perspective. The relationship and life dramas are relatable when you’re a teenager, but not so much from The late side of 30. But the issues faced by Zorie and Lennon were difficult issues. Their relationship struggles and attempts to understand their feelings were raw and relatable to almost anyone.

This was a beautiful story with so many elements. I was anxious and afraid, I laughed and I might have even had something in my eye towards the end. Ahem.

Made with Repix (

Photo via my Instagram account – Bookbookowl


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