Leslie's Review: Starstruck by Cyn Balog

starstruck ARC: 244 pages
Publisher: Delacorte

Release Date: July 12, 2011
ISBN: 9780385738501

Source of my copy: publisher
Series: none
Synopsis (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?

Leslie's Review:
Gwendolyn "Dough" Reilly's longtime, long-distance boyfriend Wish is moving back to California for their junior year. Dough is happy, right? Wrong. How can she hide the 70 pounds she gained since the last time they saw each other? Or that she has not friends and no one notices her at school? Not to mention the fact that Wish has morphed into a total blonde god. But when Wish finally sees Dough, he doesn't break up with her the minute he lays eyes on her like she thought he would. Rather he thinks Dough as gorgeous as he is. Is he blind? Wish also has been acting very strange with his obsession with the sun and being freaked out by the rain. Then, Christian, the new guy working at Dough's family bakery, is convinced that Wish is a member of the Luminati--an ancient cult of astrologers that manipulate the stars to make their lives better. Could Christian be right? What will happen to Dough and Wish's love if he is?

First, the characters. I thought Dough's character was most enjoyable and I loved reading about her embarrassing moments, along with her sarcastic narration, that I found myself giggling to throughout the book. The creepy guy Christian turned out to be not so bad and I found myself liking him enough that a small part of me wished that a bit of a romance happened between him and Dough. As for Wish, besides looking like a "blonde god," he also was a good, supportive friend and boyfriend to Dough. I loved their relationship in the book because they were best friends first before becoming something more. Wish was my kind of hero and I was little jealous of Dough for having such an amazing boyfriend.

I liked the premise of this book because not only was this book about accepting yourself but it had a bit of a twist with the Luminati and the mystery of why Wish was acting weird. Starstruck was an easy read that I finished within days. The best part was Dough's first-person narration which was full of humorous sarcasm. Unfortunately, it took me about the first third of the book to really get into it. I couldn't quite get into the story and after I put it down, I wouldn't be eager to pick it back up. After I got over that hump in the beginning, the story started to grab my attention and I thought it was a good read over all.

Starstruck reads more like a contemporary novel with a touch of fantasy and magic which I thought was a nice mix. It has an enjoyable and unique plot, wonderful characters and a great message about accepting yourself. This was my first book by Cyn Balog and I'm definitely planning to read her other books soon. Suggestions? 3.75 out of 5 stars


  1. Okay, so now I'm excited! I've read all of Balog's books up until this point, and I've been wanting to pick up Starstruck, but something was holding me back. Now I can push that block aside and get to it. Thanks!

    ~ Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

  2. I don't think I've read any of Balog's books before but I really like the sound of this one. I'll have to give it a try. Great review!

  3. This book looks pretty good. Thanks for the review. I'll have to check it out!


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