Review: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Title: Starry Eyes
Author: Jenn Bennett
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Hardcover, 421 Pages
Published April 2018

Summary: 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?

The first time I heard of Jenn Bennett was completely random -- for one of our bookish questions of the day over on our Twitter, we decided to ask everyone what some of their favorite romance stories were, and our friend Brooke @ Brooke Reports said that she loved Jenn's book Alex, Approximately. I told her that I hadn't ever heard of it, and she was so shocked that she immediately ordered me a copy on Amazon and sent it to my house, telling me to get reading. Not only was it the kindest gesture anyone's ever done for me in terms of books, but it turned out to be one of my favorite contemporary romances of all time. (You can read my review by clicking here!) Since then, I've been a huge fan of Jenn Bennett and have added her other books to my TBR, which is what led me to Starry Eyes. So without further ado, let's get into the review!

As the summary explains, Zorie and Lennon used to be best friends, but then their families had a very intense falling out, and they became sworn enemies. But through an awkward twist of fate, both Zorie and Lennon wind up on a camping trip that goes horribly wrong, and they end up stranded together in the woods. Zorie? She's absolutely freaking out, because she believes that everything in her life needs to go according to plan. Luckily for her, Lennon is a skilled outdoorsman that knows how to get them home safely -- she just has to get over her hatred for him and learn to trust him again first. And what happens on their adventure is definitely shocking, that's for sure! 

I really, really enjoyed reading this book -- this has already been a year of 5-star reads for me, and I'm loving it! I thought it was equal parts adorable and hilarious, as well as shocking as some points, too. I feel like I related to Zorie's character a lot -- always feeling that things need to be planned, and not wanting to deviate from any sort of schedule that I set for myself. As the story continued, Zorie learned that there is more to life than living strictly by your planner, and while I'll definitely admit I'm not at that stage yet (my planner is literally my life, guys), I can see the appeal in learning to lean into the curves and the changes that come along in life. Hopefully I'll be able to take what I've learned from this book and use it in my daily life soon, because a life leaning into the curves and rolling with the punches definitely seems like something I want to practice more this year.

My favorite character in this book was definitely Lennon. He was sarcastic and hilarious, and some of the things he said (both to Zorie and also to other people around them) made me laugh and kept me wanting to turn the page. He also seemed like a really confident, sure-of-himself character that I really respected and admired. And as the book goes on, you learn that Lennon is more than his dark, punk-attitude that he tries to put on. He's actually super sweet and romantic in ways that definitely made me swoon (and blush)! Sunny and Mac were also hilarious and delightful as well! They were definitely the kind of cool parents that everyone wants to have, and every time they were on the page I felt my heart getting so warm and happy inside.

(Spoilers here! Please skip to the next paragraph to avoid them!) Another thing that I really enjoyed in this book was Joy's strength after finding out the truth about Zorie's father, who I hated from the very beginning of the story. When everything came to a standstill and Zorie broke the news, I thought she would stay with him since she didn't seem that disturbed about Molly. However, the way she stood her ground, kicked him out, took charge of the clinic, and didn't let her heartbreak destroy her was something really inspiring and incredible. I was definitely rooting for her at the end, and was really proud of the way she took charge of the situation.

Overall, I really loved reading Starry Eyes, and I now know without a doubt that I need to add Serious Moonlight to the very top of my TBR. Jenn Bennett just has a way of creating such a heartwarming, adorable story that makes you laugh, gasp, cry, and swoon in all the right places. I'm forever grateful to Brooke for showing me Jenn's stories, and now I can't imagine my favorite genre -- contemporary romance -- without them. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of Jenn's work in the future!

1 comment

  1. So glad you found Jenn Bennett, she's one of my fave authors! I love, love, love Starry Eyes and can't wait to read it again soon. Great review!


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