Starry Eyes, by Jenn Bennett

librarysays's review against another edition

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I really loved this. Jenn Bennett is a master writer of teen couples with extreme chemistry and tension. And good grief can she write a swoony male lead.

Starry Eyes was adorable. It had a refreshing main plot (I don’t know that I’ve ever read a ya contemporary centered on camping) but also successfully hit on some heavy topics (infidelity, broken families, suicide, survivalism).

I have two...not criticisms, but...comments.

1. I think this exact same story could have taken place with the main characters being just a couple years older. Maybe 18 or 19 and in the first year or two of college. This would have made some of the more extravagant elements of the plot a bit more believable.

2. I don’t think Zorie’s dad needed to be the mustache twirling villain he ended up being. He was one dimensional and bad through and through. This made the conclusion of that plot line too easy.

Overall, Starry Eyes was a great read. I literally could not put it down. I just finished and immediately jumped into writing this review. It’s currently 4:44 a.m.

4.5 stars

rebecca_readitreviewit's review against another edition

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Pleasantly Enjoyable

I was worried going into this one from all the mixed reviews but I was pleasantly surprised. I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Some of the plot was difficult because it hit to close to home. The journey was a lot of fun and so where the characters. I'm glad I have it a chance.

ohanson2006's review

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funny hopeful lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


aterextal's review against another edition

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Three Stars: Good
This book was good. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it. Some things might have bothered me. It may have dragged. I can still recommend this book, even though it isn't my favorite.

archie_books's review against another edition

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Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


Best-friends-turned-enemies Zorie and Lennon have been avoiding each other for a year, with their families also not being in great terms. But when a group camping trip turns out for the worst, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. With no one but each other, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to talk through their issues as they hike their way to safety. As they travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings resurface. Can their rekindled connection survive in the real world? Or was it the result of the fresh forest air and the magic of twinkling stars?


My oh my. I seriously could not put this book down. I’m not often a big fan of contemporaries usually, but I absolutely fell in love with this one. Although the plot was predictable and didn’t hold much weight, it’s a book that I know I can go back to just for some light reading or romance. I loved the diverse mix of characters, especially Lennon’s mothers, Sunny and Mac.

I felt myself relating a bit too much to Zorie, who is this geeky perfectionists who keeps all of her daily activities logged and loves to keep everything planned. It freaked me out how I related to her so much, but that allowed me to really connect with her and her emotions throughout the book whenever things went awry. She was someone, who due to unexpected life events thrown her way, found this way of helping her dealing with her anxiety and keeping herself calm during situations in which she feels like she needs to plan ahead. But one of the things that I loved the most about this book was how the author kept throwing things at Zorie to help her realize how you can’t be prepared for everything. That’s not how life works, and it’s a reminder that I sometimes have to remember myself. I loved the message, the romance, the characters, just this whole book. It was a very enjoyable read.

Favorite Quote:

“Cautious people are afraid of the unknown and avoid it. Careful people plan so that they’re more confident when they face the unknown.”

ena's review against another edition

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“I live to give you nightmares, Zorie.”

Rating: 3.75 Stars

piperwaldemar's review against another edition

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✨ 2.5 stars ✨
Rounded to 2 stars

amaliabalash's review against another edition

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I honestly don’t know what makes this book so damn perfect to me, other than me being a sucker for friends to lovers, but having just finished my fourth read of it in less than two years, I’m still as in love as ever.

katbabyistired's review

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emotional funny lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? N/A
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? N/A


bkeha's review against another edition

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hi there. it's 3am but it's fine...
i finished this book in less than 24 hours which is something i NEVER do because i'm a notoriously slow reader.

but GOODNESS GRACIOUS i adored this book. like everything about it. it had me feeling things from the very beginning. this is just a brilliantly well-rounded YA contemporary with good writing and not-annoying main characters.

yes, it had its tropes.
but i also found it surprisingly diverse in terms of characters (this is mainly outside of the group of teenagers, though).

i feel like one of the best aspects of this book was the well-roundedness of the adults. every adult that was present was actually complex and interesting, each with their own quirks and flaws. and i appreciate that a lot. YAs don't have to be all "adults suck!!! teens rule!!! we're rebellious and independent!!!! yOu CaNt TeLl Us WhAt To dO!!!!" there was a great balance of adults who are actually loving and supportive and cautious with their kids versus adults who are deeply flawed and don't set the right example, allowing them learn even from their own children. not to mention ethnic and sexuality diversity. kudos.

another thing that made this such a fun read for me was the consistent degree of tension.
and not just sexual tension, because that honestly gets old and annoying real fast.
i'm talking about real conflict, character-driven tension. and it starts from the get-go. there's no wasting time in setting up the conflicts of the story. and it's the kind of conflict that actually pulls you in, makes you care about the characters and where they're headed. it's deeply personal conflict that is more about the development of the characters than necessarily about the development of the plot (though that is part of it, naturally). as the reader, i was constantly on edge, wanting to know what was going to happen, how Zorie was going to react to things, how other characters would react. it was exciting and fast-paced.

overall, i found Zorie to be genuinely relatable, Lennon to be satisfyingly witty yet all-around charming (like, seriously, he's so considerate and kind and the perfect amount of nerdy and quirky okay it's fine... NOT), Joy, Sunny, and Mac to be warm and compassionate and the true definitions of what mothers should be, and Dan to be... well... trash. but he better be trash that learns from his mistakes and actually makes an effort to be better for his family. but trash, nonetheless.

so yes, that is all. i'm just really glad i picked this up even though i don't delve into contemporary often. it was definitely worth it!