Rating: 4 / 5
The Popsugar Reading Challenge for 2019 included a challenge to read a book during the season in which it is set. Summer is the season where I tend to read what I think of as ‘season appropriate’ books. I wound up selecting STARRY EYES by Jenn Bennett. What can be more summery than getting out on some trails, doing a little camping and making some s’mores.
STARRY EYES follows Zorie, a young woman who believes in organization and planning and who is about to have all her plans thrown off track. Zorie is working part-time at her parents’ wellness clinic when she is sent next door to retrieve a misdirected package. The neighbors who received the package happen to be a sex toy shop run by the mothers of her former best friend. Not only does she have to enter a sex toy shop, she also has to see Lennon, the boy who was once her best friend and is now her mortal enemy after a badly failed experiment to move their relationship into the romantic arena.
As it turns out, the package that Zorie retrieves contains a photo album addressed to her mother which clearly documents her father’s infidelity. A well timed invitation to go glamping comes up and while it isn’t the well planned adventure Zorie would have put together, she can’t turn down an opportunity to sleep in posh cabins, eat gourmet food and procrastinate making a decision on how to handle the photo album.
Things start to go wrong for this camping excursion very quickly. It turns out that Lennon was invited as well (of course!) and that there is a lot of drama involved when a bunch of teens go camping without any adult supervision. In the end, Lennon and Zorie are left alone in the wilderness with few options but to hike their way back out.
This was a fun friends-to-enemies-to-lovers YA romance (definitely on the mature end of the YA spectrum). It was a quick, lighthearted read, but it also tackled some serious issues. (Trigger warnings for infidelity, homophobia and suicide.) Zorie’s father is not an ideal parent (the basis of those infidelity and homophobia trigger warnings), but Zorie’s adoptive mother and Lennon’s moms are definitely loving, supportive parents.
This was the perfect light summer read to get me back to flipping pages after a small reading slump lately – I made it through this story in a single afternoon. If you enjoy a fun YA romance, I would recommend this book for your summer TBR!