Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Summary:Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.
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?
Starry Eyes has been high on my to-read list since I read the summary, and it didn’t disappoint. It is a cute, entertaining story.
When aspiring astronomer Zorie is invited on a camping trip with a group of friends, she is quick to go so she can escape the her drama-filled family life. What doesn’t realize is that her ex-best friend Lennon has also been invited. When Zorie and Lennon are separated from the rest of the group, they must work together to find their way home.
Zorie is a realistic and relatable character. Her spunky and intelligent personality made the book extremely engaging to read. Her passion for astronomy was engaging to read about as well.
The romance is refreshing as well. I’m a huge fan of enemies-to-lovers romance in YA, and this did not disappoint. The chemistry between Zorie and Lennon is well-written and believable. If you enjoyed Magnolia, the relationship here is quite similar.
If I had one critique about the book, it would be the way California was stereotyped. As someone who lives in the Bay Area, I found the representation of the Bay Area here inaccurate. California is such a large state, and when most people think of California they think of Southern California (Hollywood, Los Angeles, and gorgeous beaches). However, the Bay Area is very different from this stereotypical view of California. It’s the head of the tech industry – where the headquarters of Apple, Google, Netflix, Yahoo, and Facebook are located. It’s an extremely diverse and expensive area (the average price of a house costs $2 – 3 million). According to the US Census website, only 32% of the people living in Silicon Valley are white, so the constant stereotyping of white, blonde Californians was extremely inaccurate. (Again, that’s more Southern California). Additionally, it was hard to believe that the main character’s parents could afford living here as massage therapists (in fact, I don’t even think we have massage therapists here for that very reason).
Overall, those who have a passion for camping, astronomy, or simply a satisfying enemies-to-lovers romance will enjoy this well-written and entertaining story.