Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

2018-07-06_00.30.52Summary: 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?

Review: 5 stars

This is probably one of the best books I have read this year. I want to start by saying that contemporary novels are not typically a genre I read or enjoy that much, but this novel was truly spectacular. Starry Eyes started out about a camping trip gone wrong, but wound up being a story about so much more. I laughed, I cried and felt like my heart was shattered and then put back together. I was going to put off reading this until later in the month, but I had no idea how incredible it would be.

The plot was great. I have hiked waterfalls and mountains and gone camping so many times, so I could truly relate with this part of the story. I just had no idea that it would be so funny! The story is told in first person point of view, which sometimes I don’t like, but in this case it made the story feel so real. Zorie’s inner monologue was so fresh and authentic, it didn’t feel scripted. This novel felt so genuine and I loved it ths whole way through.

The characters are all developed so well. I found myself so interested in their feelings and lives. I became so emotionally invested that this book made me cry, and it wasn’t really a sad book. I loved Zorie and Lennon. Lennon felt like someone I would be friends with in real life with his dry sense of humor and grim personality. I found myself rooting for these characters in every way. The romance was so passionate and raw. The well written characters really drove this story. At no point did I find myself bored.

I am typically a fantasy novel fanatic, but this novel was a rare find in the contemporary genre. Maybe it was because I love hiking, but I really think it was because of the writing. Filled with well written characters, an interesting plot and emotional life events it had me reading all night. I finished this book in one sitting. I can’t remember when I ever found a book that was this funny. This is one of those books that I would suggest to anyone, young or old, it’s just that good.

I received a review copy from Romance Junkies and you can also find my review on their website.

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