Starstruck by Cyan Balog - Review

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Title: Starstruck
Author: Cyn Balog
Hardcover, 256 pages

Expected Publication: July 12th 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Special Note: ARC Review from Book It Forward ARC Tours


Gwendolyn "Dough" X doesn't think she has much going for her—she carries a few extra pounds, her family struggles with their small bakery in a town full of millionaires, and the other kids at her New Jersey high school don't seem to know that she exists. Thank the stars for her longtime boyfriend, Philip P. Wishman—or "Wish." He moved away to California three years ago, when they were 13, but then professed his love for her via e-mail, and he's been her long-distance BF ever since.

At the beginning of her junior year, though, Wish e-mails that he's moving back to Jersey. Great, right? Well, except that Dough has gained about 70 pounds since the last time Wish saw her, while Wish—according to his Facebook photos—has morphed into a blonde god. Convinced that she'll be headed for Dumpsville the minute Wish lays eyes on her, Dough delays their meeting as long as she possibly can.

But when she sees Wish at school, something amazing happens. He looks at Dough like she's just as gorgeous as he is. But Wish is acting a little weird, obsessed with the sun and freaked out by rain. And the creepy new guy working at the bakery, Christian, is convinced that there's more to Wish's good looks than just healthy eating and lots of sun. He tells Dough that a mark on Wish's neck marks him as a member of the Luminati—an ancient cult of astrologers who can manipulate the stars to improve their lives. Is Wish and Dough's love meant to be—or are they star-crossed?

My Thoughts:

The beginning of this novel reads like a contemporary YA story. There really isn't any hint of supernatural elements until you get about 100 pages in, which is a lot considering this novel is only 256 pages long. The ONLY hint you will get is that Wish has somehow morphed into a head-turning hottie since the main character, Gwen, saw him last.

Gwen was a breath of fresh air. She's a girl with a bit of a weight issue, who wears her insecurities on her sleeve. That really drew me in. It made me want things to work out for her with Wish.

Wish seems like the perfect boyfriend. A guy who was her childhood best friend turned into a long-distance boyfriend. He's loyal, attentive and unbelievably gorgeous. He won me over because even though he's good-looking now, he still loves Gwen. That makes him a great guy in book, even if he dabbles in some supernatural, star manipulator to make people think he's hot.

I also liked Christian. The guy working at the bakery who has a troubled past. He really gets the ball rolling on the supernatural plot and I kinda wanted more to happen with him and Gwen.

All and all. I really liked it. The beginning was great and really set up the characters well, but the second half felt kinda rushed. There really wasn't a huge ah-ha moment when the truth comes out, which I kinda waited for. I would've also liked to seen Gwen maybe be tempted to change herself up using the stars or at least heavily thought about it just to add some more stakes and twists, but it didn't.

I liked this one. It read really well and I enjoyed the characters and the premise of the novel. Read it if you like stories about being the real you.



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