Author: Cyn Balog
Expected publication: July 12th 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC courtesy of Around The World Tours
Summary: "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?"
Thoughts:For any of you who know me, Fairy Tale is one of my all time favorite reads. Ever since then, no matter what the story is about, I always look forward to Cyn Balog's latest book. When Starstruck was first announced, I jumped for joy! Cyn! New story! Awesome synopsis! Excitement! And while the story is very unique, especially considering that sometimes it feels like every possible story line in YA literature has already been touched, I still couldn't help but feel like this story just fell a little flat.
First of all, I could never relate to Dough. While I'm sure everyone (yes, everyone) at some point in their lives have felt left out, alone or lonely, I just couldn't stand Dough's constant self deprecation. Yes, we are our own worst critique but oh my goodness, it just got so tiresome and well, honestly, annoying. Even when she spoke, it was nothing more than a mumble or one word answer. Maybe it's just me, but if I don't like the main character, I can't like the book. To be fair, Dough does grow a lot in the novel, and I appreciated that. If anything, I liked her wit and humor.
After 100 pages, I was about to give up on the whole book, when out of no where, Cyn throws in this curve ball that throws me back into the game. What is this miraculous twist you ask? Well, it's a paranormal element that (as far as I know of) has yet to be breached. I was immediately intrigued in the concept behind the stars and how the author used all the elements surrounding us against us. I'm trying really hard to explain it without ruining it. I guess I could flat out tell you, but that would ruin the whole story, and it's really something you should see for yourself. Let's just say that after finishing the book, I wanted to go check my horoscope and see if the stars were in my favor.
And lastly, the romance. It wasn't sizzle, sexy nor swoon worthy, but it was sweet. I guess I wouldn't necessarily categorize what Wish and Dough have as romance. I felt like Wish and Dough had more of a "brother-sister" relationship. I wanted chemistry, heat, fire, something, but instead got bro-hugs and high fives. A little disappointing, but at least it wasn't insta-love!
All in all, Starstruck just wasn't the book for me. Before completely losing hope on it, definitely check out other reviews out there. I'm in the minority. In fact, the majority of my friends on Goodreads, who have read Starstruck, gave it 4 or 5 stars. I still think Cyn Balog is an amazing author and will still continue to read and look forward to her future books. Some books are just hits or misses with certain people and sadly, in my case, Starstruck was a miss, a strike and an out.