August 26, 2014
Review: Starry Night
Starry Night by Isabel Gillies
Grade: D- (or maybe even an F)
Release date: September 2nd, 2014
This e-galley was provided by NetGalley and FSG Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Sometimes one night can change everything. On this particular night, Wren and her three best friends are attending a black-tie party at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate the opening of a major exhibit curated by her father. An enormous wind blasts through the city, making everyone feel that something unexpected and perhaps wonderful will happen. And for Wren, that something wonderful is Nolan. With his root-beer-brown Michelangelo eyes, Nolan changes the way Wren’s heart beats. In Isabel Gillies's Starry Night, suddenly everything is different. Nothing makes sense except for this boy. What happens to your life when everything changes, even your heart? How much do you give up? How much do you keep?
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: As of reading Starry Night and writing this review (back in June), I had a streak of really awful books. There were good ones interspersed, but three of the books I'd read for review had been just disgraceful. This one joined those ranks. From early on, the writing style bothered me, and the protagonist, Wren, sounded much younger than 15 years old. There were weird metaphors like "I laughed at my own expense to fit in with everyone else, but it felt like someone had just made me swallow a clementine." (quote from loc 209 of my e-galley) Within the same night they met each other, Nolan and Wren are "in love" (Wren literally says that "in one day, I was in love."), and it's the ultimate insta-love cliche. There's also an extremely inappropriate relationship between an artist and one of Wren's friends, and yet the resolution of it was awful. For so long, that friend was resisting her friends' efforts to get her to see the light and in one night, she suddenly does? Then Wren's friend, Reagan, does something unthinkable and she doesn't seem truly sorry, and yet Wren still wanted to be friends with her to some extent. I'm sorry, but if I were Wren, I wouldn't be able to look at Reagan ever again. Also worth noting is that it's revealed that Wren's friend Charlie is gay. I felt like it was very cliche for his character to be gay because all his friends are girls and he'd never thought of said girls as more than friends, so of course he has to be gay. Finally, there was no real plot, apart from Wren obsessing over Nolan, obsessing over her brother's relationship with another friend of hers, or obsessing over that friend mentioned above who was having an inappropriate (and I'm pretty sure illegal) relationship.
The ugly consists of: all of the adults swore with such ease around the teenagers. It was appalling. The teens swore, too, and talked about sex a lot.
The Verdict: I was really looking forward to this book, but it honestly isn't worth your time. (I won't even be including buy links for this book because you'll just regret buying it.)