Book: Starry Eyes | Author: Jenn Bennett | Publisher: Simon & Schuster | Pages: 421 (Paperback) | Published: 17th May, 2018 | Genre: Contemporary YA | Rating: ★★★★★/5
What is it about?
Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best-friends-turned-worst-enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern-day 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.
Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to try to make their way to safety. But as the two travel deeper into the rugged Californian countryside, secrets and hidden feelings surface. Soon it’s not simply a matter of enduring each other’s company, but taming their growing feelings for each other. (source)
What did I think?
I enjoyed this book so much. The characters were amazing, the plot was refreshing and cute. I loved reading about those teeangers going camping and seeing how everyone deals with nature differently. There was an interesting set of characters. Zorie, the main character loves to have things planned and all mapped out. But of course, life doesn’t always go as planned and she has to learn to adapt. And she does it very well. I especially enjoyed that even though it wasn’t the main plot, Zorie’s love for astronomy and space never was forgotten, but a subtle theme during the whole book. I liked that she was an actual person, even when the whole (love) drama started.
I also very much enjoyed Lennon’s character. He is the only one who actually knows a thing or two about nature and camping. Lennon always acts like he doesn’t care, but he indeed cares a lot, especially about Zorie and about his parents. I loved seeing how the relationship between Zorie and Lennon developed, the little glimpses into the past where they were still best friends, and what came of it and the possibilities of where it could go. Their dialogues were fun, full of sarcasm and unspoken feelings that were just waiting to come up. The two of them had such a great chemistry. Also, I am weak for the enemies-to-lovers-trope so naturally that made me like the whole thing even more.
But Lennon’s parents were probably my favourite characters, even though they did not have many appearances. They are a lesbian couple owning a sex toy shop and they are just so nice and caring and funny and loving, so warm and open. They stand in contrast to Zorie’s parents – her dad and her adoptive mum. Zorie’s parents aren’t really happy and to be honest? The father is the absolute worst. The mum, who is Korean, was pretty cool and I loved the relationship of her and Zorie. It wasn’t bad stepmother or anything weird between them, it was just love. That was just so nice to read about.
And the plot. Zorie and Lennon are left in the wilderness by their so-called friends after a huge argument and have to find their way back home alone. It was just really nice and I am in such a mood to go hiking through an American national park now, wow. Jenn Bennett really managed to capture the beautiful sides of camping and hiking, but she also talks about its bad sides beautifully. The whole natural setting is just so amazing.
So yeah, if you want fun and nature and teenagers going on a camping trip together falling in love, this is the book for you. I had so much fun reading it!