Genre: Adventure, Contemporary, YA
Publication date: April 3rd, 2018
by Simon Pulse
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?
-A copy was provided by Simon Pulse for review-
I’ve been reading Jenn Bennett for half a decade now and she’s been one of those authors I basically just read anything by. I don’t need a summary or acclaim, I JUST NEED BOOKS BY JENN BENNETT. This book had the added advantage of having an enemies-to-lovers/friends-to-lovers romance trope and an survival-esque story so like… yeah.
Unsurprisingly, I loved this book but I also got to buddy-read it with a close friend which made my experience reading it all the more better. But as anyone knows, loving a book doesn’t make writing a review any easier. It probably makes it a lot harder.
Zorie and Lennon used to be the best of friends and were on their way to becoming something more when something goes wrong. Now they go out of their way to ignore each other’s existence. Somehow though, they end up on a camping trip with the same group of people and now they must either play nice or continue trying to snip each others heads off. When their (obnoxious, imho) group packs up and leaves while they are sleeping, Zorie and Lennon are left alone to deal with their complicated feelings about each other and the WILDERNESS. THE GODDAMN WILDERNESS.
I’ve loved a good adventure/survival story since I was in elementary school and combined with a growing romance, Zorie and Lennon’s story is truly just incredibly charming and fun to read.
Like Bennett’s other stories, it also deals with more complicated issues than just first love. Before Zorie goes on her camping trip, she finds out that not everything she knows about her family is true and her dad is a cheating asshole. She might also just be the last person to find that out?
But, also like Bennett’s other stories, it comes with a slew of amazing secondary characters who hold our characters up and are there for them when things are not going so great. Zorie’s mom is amazing and both of Lennon’s moms are amazing. Even if we have one shitty parental figure, there are so many other ones to look up to.
Starry Eyes, like other novels by Jenn Bennett, is an ode to sweet, adorkable first love. It is also a heartwarming story of families, friendships and just following your dreams. If you don’t at the very least like it, there is a chance I will think something is seriously wrong with you.I cannot recommend it and everything else by Jenn Bennett enough and hope you will pick it up.