Review: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Release Date: April 3, 2018 
Publisher: Simon Pulse 
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review 
Amazon | BN | Indiebound 
In this romantic dramedy from the author of Alex, Approximately, a teen girl’s way-too-ordinary life is driven off the beaten path when she’s abandoned in the wilderness with her worst adversary—the boy who broke her heart.

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?


Last summer I read and loved Jenn Bennett's Alex, Approximately. Seriously, if you haven't read it already what are you waiting for?! Go forth and buy a copy! Anyhow, when I caught wind of Starry Eyes, Jenn's newest book, I couldn't have been more excited. The fact that it featured one of the activities I dread most - camping-  didn't even detour me. I had faith that Jenn would make it fun, and luckily, that's exactly what happened. 

Starry Eyes is laugh-out-loud funny. It perfectly captures the adorable, the awkward, and the hair-pulling-out aspects of first love. Better yet, it introduces two of my newest favorite characters - Zorie and Lennon. I could read about them all day, every day. 

There are so many aspects I love about Starry Eyes. I don't even know where to begin, but I guess I'll start with the camping aspect. 

Like Zorie, camping terrifies me....the lack of control, the wild animals, the sleeping outside, etc. None of it sounds all that appealing; however, now that I've finished Starry Eyes I'm dying to go on a camping trip. Why you may ask? Because of Jenn Bennett's fantastic descriptions as well as the love Zorie grew for camping as the story progressed! I loved following Zorie and Lennon's adventures. From the caves to the waterfalls to the forest there was never a moment where I wasn't drooling over it all. Not to mention it kept me hooked all the way through. I was constantly wondering where Lennon would lead them next...and would they make it through the backcountry unscathed? That was one question I was dying to know an answer to! 

As mentioned above, I loved Zorie and Lennon as well! They're a large part of what makes Starry Eyes such a wonderful read. 

I liked Zorie from the moment she was introduced. She's a tad obsessive, planning out each and every aspect of her life. She's caring, protecting her step-mom from a secret that she knows will break her. She's smart if the whole astrophysics thing is any indication. She has spunk and confidence but there's also times were she feels weak beyond relief, especially when it comes to a certain boy/former best friend. Zorie felt real, and even better, her problems felt real. When the book first started, I did have one hope for her - that she would learn to live a little, to find comfort in the unplanned. As someone who likes order and routine, I could understand Zorie's fear of the unknown - been there done that/something I still deal with. Over the course of the book, Zorie willing and unwilling learns to let go, and I couldn't have been any prouder! I was cheering her on the whole way through. 

On the other hand, I wasn't too sure about Lennon at first. I couldn't get a good feel for him, and I couldn't quite gather if he was a good guy or a bad guy. However, over the course of the book, I began to like him more and more, and I could one-hundred percent see why Zorie would be so torn up over loosing him. He is a wonderful, caring guy. Sarcastic? Yes. Bossy? Occasionally. But willing to do anything to protective the ones he loves? Yes and without a second of hesitation! 

When I first read Starry Eyes's synopsis, I thought everything would be very cut and dry: former best friends fall in love in the wilderness. However, Jenn Bennett offered much more than that. There was romance, family drama/dynamics, well developed relationships, coming-of-ages, and a whole to of growing up to be found. I appreciated the focus on family here. We see two different families with Lennon and Zorie. Lennon has two moms and a dad while Zorie has her step-mom and dad. The family dynamics were rich as well as realistic. I loved Lennon's moms. Not only were they adorable together, but they also had some of the funniest lines. I also loved the relationship between Zorie and her step-mom. Additionally, I loved that Jenn through some surprises in as well, especially in regard's to Zorie and Lennon's falling out. My jaw dropped more than once to say the least! 

While I could go on about this book all day, I won't bore you with that. Instead, I'll leave you with the following: 

Starry Eyes releases April 3, 2018! Pre-order it. Mark it on your calendar. Write its title on a sticky note. Do something, because this book is one you don't want to miss! Jenn Bennett is quickly becoming one of my go-to YA contemporary romance authors (right up there with Sarah Dessen and Stephanie Perkins!). 

5 stars!! 


  1. Wow, this sounds just amazing Lauren! Lennon seems like a great guy, and I like the spunky one so Zorie would be one I could definitely root for. Great review!!!

  2. I love that this book spotlights a good stepmother/stepdaughter relationship! And the camping aspect is fun - I used to go camping a lot as a teenager.

  3. I am such a Bennett fan. This book was all sorts of wonderful for the the reasons you mentioned - amazing characters, a story filled with feels, and their glamping adventure was so much fun. Great review!


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