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Starry Eyes
Contributor(s): Bennett, Jenn
ISBN: 148147880X     ISBN-13: 9781481478809
Publisher: Simon Pulse
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: April 2018
Annotation: When teens Zorie and Lennon, a former couple, are stranded in the California wilderness together, they must put aside their differences, and come to terms with lingering romantic feelings, in order to survive.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Survival; Fiction.
Friendship; Fiction.
Dating (Social customs); Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2017025646
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 5.75" W x 1.25" (1.08 lbs) 417 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by PW Annex Reviews (Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews)

Bennett (Alex, Approximately) combines a romance with a survival story in a slow-paced novel featuring multilayered characters but grating subplots. Seventeen-year-old Zorie Everhart is an aspiring astronomer who intends to spend her last few weeks of summer working at her parents' wellness clinic and participating in astronomy club. Then her mother persuades her to join a camping trip in Northern California with some of the most popular kids in her school. Much to Zorie's chagrin, her former best friend Lennon, a goth boy with a knack for drawing maps, is also joining the trip. After Zorie and Lennon fall out with the rest of the group, they are forced to face dangerous obstacles together and address their unresolved feelings for each other. Despite some tender moments between both characters, the subplot concerning Zorie's parents' crumbling marriage receives undue focus and distracts from the book's central themes of survival and romance. Bennett attempts to draw out a poignant message about embracing the spontaneity of life, but doesn't allow readers to draw their own conclusions ("Planning can't save you from everything. Change is inevitable and uncertainty is a given.") Nevertheless, Bennett writes with an appealing blend of dry humor and tenderness, while providing the story with a cast of diverse characters. Ages 14–up. Agent: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary. (Apr.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 February)

Gr 9 Up—Zorie is a typical high school nerd who is defined by quirky glasses that match her outfits and her love of astronomy. The summer before senior year is going just as she planned in her bullet journal. That is until she is invited to go glamping—glamorous camping—with her friend Reagan. Zorie's careful plans are demolished. She has also found out an awful secret about her father. To compound the situation, boys are going on the trip too, including her former best friend Lennon and her crush Brett. It turns into an awful situation when Zorie and Reagan get in a huge fight and Reagan leaves Zorie and Lennon stranded at the resort. Zorie is devastated about her night with Reagan and about missing the meteor shower party she was supposed to attend near the glamping resort. In addition, Zorie does not want to go home and deal with her family issue. Luckily, Lennon the hiking expert convinces Zorie that the meteor shower party is not too far from where they are and that it would be easy to hike there. Vivid plots, and endearing characters make this novel impossible to put down. The plot is fun and relatable, and the love story is compelling. Bennett uses the wilderness, away from cell phones and Internet service, to create a perfect setting for Zorie's coming of age and budding relationship. VERDICT A fabulous read for YA shelves.—Nicole Detter-Smith, Homestead High School, IN

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.