This book was sent to me from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review and participation in the blog tour for the June 1st release of this novel.
IT’S A BLOG TOUR!!!!!
I’ve participated in a blog tour before and that post did so so well, and I am so grateful to be able to participate in another one. I do want to thank my amazing friend Tracy (@trufflebooks) who I’ve probably mentioned a thousand times on this blog, as well as the wonderful PR team at Simon and Schuster for giving me this opportunity.
I enjoy blog tours because they bring people together to share and read others thoughts on a particular book, and it almost feels as if we’ve all done one huge buddy read.
The book at the centre of this Blog Tour is Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett which is a wonderfully written and lovable book that you’ll never be able to let go of.
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.
The above cover is the UK/ AUS one, which is the one I received. This cover is very simple and shiny and golden! There is also an artful US cover that is equally as stunning.
I want to begin this review by saying that this book had the freshest book smell I’ve ever sniffed. It was heavenly and made me love this copy even more, but hasn’t swayed my review in the slightest.
As usual, I want to put it in here that I didn’t read the blurb before the book, and I still haven’t read it, so all my opinions are raw and real as I didn’t go into it with any expectations.
PLOT EVALUATION/ SUMMARY:
This book begins a year after Zorie and Lennon (the main characters) friendship came to an abrupt unexplained end; in which we as the reader through Zorie’s eyes don’t know why or how only that she is now destined to avoid Lennon as he avoids her.
This whole story is written in Zorie’s point of view, which really has its way of keeping secrets from the reader until the character knows the answer; which makes the plot twists all the more shocking as they’re coupled with Zorie’s reaction.
From Zorie’s eyes, we learn to hate the cheating, homophobic, racist, and bigoted human her father is, and love the people – like her stepmother – who treat her and others around her with respect. There are secrets of Zorie’s that we learn early on which shape the kind of person that she is, which helps with understanding the conflict that occurs later on.
Everything turns when one of the teenagers pulls a silly prank at a rich people’s resort, which sends the group into the wilderness days earlier than they’d planned. Lies of all manner are spoken, and some are quite predictable, though others slap us in the face and we watch as Zorie speaks against her nature soon finding herself alone and stranded with no one other than Lennon.
The plot moves from having incorporated six teenagers on a glamping trip to only two people in direct contact with each other, and all the conflict happening in the background. The only other interaction being in the form of phone calls, texts and strangers.
The way Bennett treats sex in this book doesn’t ruin the soft feel of the novel and is addressed in an appropriate and respectful way that keeps the modesty of the characters while still strongly inferring that that is most certainly what went down.
This novel is full of teen angst, anger, love, lust, lies and family drama that leads way to a perfect through the realistic turn of events, in which both Zorie and Lennon learn the truths about each other and realise that their separation was nothing less than a painful misunderstanding; and in turn vow to endure all hardships together for as long as they live.
All the characters in this book were frustrating, loveable, pitiful, and overall interesting; some were all of these at once and it was the strangest feeling.
Brett – He was the real-life Horace Slughorn of humans. Brett was friends with people because of their social status or who they were related to – much like our dear Slughorn – and Zorie noticed this. Brett didn’t understand his privilege and took advantage of it when given the chance in the event at the resort; with his actions resulting in the glamping trip being abruptly cut short.
Lennon – The over prepared, and appropriately educated secondary protagonist (aka the deuteragonist) who is also the main problem for our protagonist Zorie. Lennon is something else. There are so many layers to him that I’d be here all day trying to tell you everything about him, from his love for reptiles, and the hearse car he owns; to the fact that his father was a major rock star and he has two mothers, one of which cannot cook.
Lennon is someone that cannot be described in words but it is as if a giant smorgasbord of different character traits from every single type of person were to be mashed into a human being, mixed in with the views of other people; you’d make Lennon. That probably didn’t make sense, but neither does Lennon, who is so simple yet complicated.
Zorie – Here we come to the main star of the book. A young girl who feels lost in her life, with a strict path, no adventure, and all the trauma in her life has left her with compulsive tendencies. Zorie is obsessed with planning. At an unhealthy level where she begins to freak out when she has to entrust Lennon with the responsibility of changing the plans and ensuring a safe journey.
What I most liked about this was the fact that she was able to – after some self-exploration – overcome this compulsion, which we learn, developed as a coping mechanism after she lost Lennon as her best friend, a year before the story’s start.
We also see Zorie change. Not only to become more in control of her life but gain the extra courage she needs to confront her step-mother and father about the scandal; and by doing this accepted the repercussions that things would be different and changes will happen, but it will be for the best.
Regan – Agh the rich kid who’s dream fell out from beneath her so she sulks and makes everything about herself. Especially the glamping trip, in which she made it clear that she didn’t even like Zorie! I really disliked Regan after it was brought to the attention that she was secretly dating Brett behind Zorie’s back; which she did purposely as she knew that Zorie lusted over Brett. It ticked me off that she continued to lie to Zorie’s face, then proceed to make the whole trip about her self, then run home sulking. She was a well-built character with a tragic story, though had that generic spoilt child attitude which made me dislike her, as I assume was meant to happen.
Zorie’s Dad – Of whom I have no want to remember the name of, and I’d rather have that say a**hole but I’m nicer than that. This man, although vile and an overall shit person, caused most of the drama in Zorie’s life, of which was all in the background and quite obviously eating at her mind throughout the whole novel. He was a strict parent on steroids. The kind of person who made other’s lives terrible to cover his own mistakes; and though I hated him as a human, he adds to the diverse character traits and overall realness of the novel.
Zorie’s Grandma – Special mentions go to this strong ass woman who single-handedly comes in like mother-effing SuperWoman and saves the whole story. She is such a strong-willed woman, who fiercely loves her daughter and granddaughter and won’t take shit from a cheating, homophobic, racist, and bigoted man. She is only mentioned in a max four times and makes two physical appearances, but I still think she deserves the “Strongest Female Character” award.
The ending was the cutest thing I’d ever read and it just showed how much Lennon loved and cared about Zorie, it made my heart melt and after not having seen my boyfriend for over a week when I read this, it made me miss him so much my heart quite literally ached!!!
Who would I want to be alone in the woods with?
Well like Lennon, my boyfriend is quite resourceful (and not in that sense you dirty minded humans); he can navigate his way around anywhere, is fearless, and spending time with him would be the most fun. Especially since spending time alone trying to overcome a challenge like wilderness hiking would be a good test of our relationship!
And now I throw the question back at you guys! Who would you – as readers – want to be trapped in the woods with???
★ Rating ★
I chose to give this book a ★★★★☆ (4/5 stars on Goodreads) because of the wonderful character diversity in the book, with not only race and gender, but opinions and morals. I very much loved how much like real life this books seemed, and none of it was questionable (well except for the part where Zorie misread Lennon’s “I’m sorry” text because if they were best friends she’d have spammed him and called him, and he’d have told her especially if they’re best friends!).
I also have the most perfectly suitable bookmark to place inside this book, and it is a Read The Stars logo bookmark from the store Read The Stars on Etsy. It perfectly matches the UK/ AUS cover of this book (shown above), with shiny silver stars and gold writing that contrast the gold stars on the book’s cover.
I did a store review post for this Etsy store and told you all about how much I adore their products! Click the link above to view the post.
About The Author!
Jenn Bennett is an award-winning author of several young adult books, including Alex, Approximately and this book; Starry Eyes. She also writes romance and fantasy for adults. Her books have earned multiple starred reviews. She’s won the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award and has been included on Publishers Weekly Best Books annual list. She lives near Atlanta with one husband and two dogs. Visit her at www.jennbennett.net. You can also follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
If your interested in other people’s views and opinions on this books, or some fun Starry Eyes related posts, follow the below link to be taken to the tour schedule which includes a list of all participants in this blog tour!
Stay Happy, Healthy, and have a Lovely Week!!
Thank You so much for reading! I hope to see you all back here on Wednesday for another storytime 🙂
© Jasper+Spice 2018. All Rights Reserved. Please do not use without permission. This post was not sponsored, the photos and graphics are my own.