Monday, June 6, 2011

REVIEW - Starstruck

Starstruck by Cyn Balog

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Description from Goodreads: 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:
This is a book about self image and the images that we project to those around us.

Gwen (nicknamed Dough) is a plump girl who lives above and works in a doughnut shop.  She has major self esteem issues and is ignored by her peers at school.  She has a boyfriend who is nicknamed Wish.  They have been best friends since elementary school and when he moves to California, she eats for comfort.  The problem is that Wish is moving back to the East Coast and Gwen is horrified that he will see what she has become and that will end their relationship.

Wish is pretty much worshiped.  He is incredibly good looking and the girls are very impressed.  For some reason he still likes Gwen.  He still wants to be with her.

Overall I found this book to be about appearances.  The images that we have of ourselves and the images we project to others.  I related to Gwen at the beginning of the novel.  I carry a few too many pounds and worry that my husband will not find me as attractive.  I think that it is a universal theme with women.  We wonder how we compare with others and think the men in our lives will find us lacking if we do not look like the models in the pages of the fashion magazines. At times I found her self descriptions/ self talk  to be a little overboard and I wasn't very comfortable with them.

Wish goes to lengths to increase his good looks.  I won't go into this because it is a major part of the story.   I found it a good commentary on self acceptance and the realization that we as people can be accepted for who we are, not what we think everyone wants us to be.

As a warning to parents there is underage drinking, not a ton.  There is talk about sex, but not any actions.

I received this book to review with the Once Upon A Twilight Book Tours.  This books scheduled publication is July 12th.


  1. Good review - especially with all the upheaval re: YA lit these days. Sounds like it might be worth a look.

  2. Yeah. YA has been a hot topic. I think the commentary is overblown. But... you will find whatever you are looking for in any of the genres of literature.


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