BriefINK Review: ‘Starry Night’ by Isabel Gillies

Starry Night by Isabel GilliesThis is the story of Wren, her relationship with her best friends, meeting the love of her life, and learning how to deal with growing up.

Normally, I don’t read reviews before I write my own. I don’t want to be unduly influenced by someone else’s experience with a book. However, when I was marking this book as “read” in Goodreads, I saw that there were many one-star opinions. That surprised me. While it’s true that there wasn’t a huge crescendo to dizzying heights and culminating in THE BIG PROBLEM, I found Starry Night to be very, very true to life. Now, I have read plenty of books that noodle along at a slow pace, leaving the reader to keep asking “When is something going to actually happen?” I never felt this way while reading, as I was enjoying the story around the story too much.

There’s a lot going on, from Wren’s little sister who is famous because she has her own cooking show; Wren struggles with learning issues; one of her best friends is having an inappropriate fling (among other sub-plots). Of course, Wren’s relationship with Nolan is in the forefront, but all of these background issues give the book a solid base and make it more than just a first romance kind of story. Because I think it is about waaaaay more than that.

This book, to me, is more about a girl’s journey to maturity; how she handles it, the inevitability of what happens to most high school romances. It’s about trusting someone with no evidence to support whether this person is trustworthy, whether they are a friend or boyfriend or family member. But one the main themes is how once you’ve made a decision, sometimes, there’s just no going back. Anyone who has ever been in a relationship has, at one time or another, chosen something based on that relationship. Think about it: how many have gone to a college or moved to a city because of who they were dating at the time?

And while I still haven’t decided whether I liked this or not, the author does not hide the outcome of the relationship at any point in the book. At all.

So while there weren’t any mountainous moments in the book, the story was real, warm, bittersweet and definitely worth reading.

Starry Night by Isabel Gillies was published September 2, 2014 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux Books for Young Readers. Ink and Page picked this book up from the library all by herself.

Rating: 3

Genre: Young Adult Fiction Contemporary Romance
Ages: 13 and up
You Might Want to Know: Some mature themes regarding sex, drinking and drugs.


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