Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett ARC Review

Photo from @beautifulbookland on Instagram (not my finest work lol)

Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Release date (UK) – 17th May 2018

This is my first book by Jenn Bennett, despite wanting to try her books for quite a while now. And I am officially Blown Away, because her writing is straight up addictive. Her characters fabulously realistic, the dialogue is witty, and the romance is just plain sigh-worthy.

What It’s About

Astronomy-loving Zorie is a planner; she hates change, and needs to feel like she’s in control of things. So when a camping (or glamping, whatever) trip with a group of her sort of friends is proposed, she’s less than thrilled, but agrees to go, despite not really being interested in camping. And then when she finds out Lennon is going? Lennon, who used to be her best friend, but stood her up at a homecoming dance? Who now goes out of his way to have as little to do with her as possible?

That’s just the icing on the cake.

And it only gets worse when the rest of the group leave Zorie and Lennon alone in the wilderness after an argument that got out of hand. Now, they can’t avoid each other – they need to rely on each other.

The Characters & Relationships

This a friends-to-enemies-to-lovers romance, and honestly? Totally here for it. It was SO well done and well paced – it wasn’t too rushed, but it wasn’t so drawn out that it left you feeling unsatisfied.

Zorie and Lennon are both brilliant characters, even by themselves, but together? They’re fabulous. They bounce off each other, they understand each other completely. Once they start communicating properly, once they break down their walls, they’re everything that a relationship should be. It’s completely beautiful.

While the romance is obviously the a massive part of the book, Zorie also has family issues to deal with. After losing her birth mother when she was younger, Zorie has become extremely close with her step mam, Joy, so she’s absolutely devastated when she finds out that her dad has been cheating on Joy. The cheating is also one of the things that pushes Zorie to go on the trip, and she carries the weight of that secret with her.

I absolutely loved Zorie’s relationship with Joy. So many YA contemporaries have the typical Evil Stepmother (hell, sometimes they’re just the Evil Parents as a whole), so their relationship is like a breath of fresh air. I love seeing characters who have a strong relationship with their parents. I understand that not everyone is blessed to have a fab family, but I hate the constant demonisation of parent figures.

And not only does Zorie have a loving stepmother, Lennon also has two loving mothers. They run a sex toy shop next to Zorie’s parents’ clinic, they have regular pop culture battles in the hopes of winning a cupcake, and they’re absolutely fabulous.

The Verdict

I’m absolutely in love with this book; the writing, the pacing, the characters, the romance all blew me away. I’m definitely adding Jenn’s other titles to my tbr.

*Thank you to Simon & Schuster for sending me an ARC*

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