First Lines: Spontaneity is overrated. Movies and television shows would like us to believe that life is better for partygoers who dare to jump into pools with their clothes on. But behind the scenes, it’s all carefully scripted. The water is the right temperature. Lighting and angles are carefully considered. Dialogue is memorized. And that’s why it looks so appealing–because someone carefully planned it all.
I really enjoy Jenn Bennett’s books, but for some reason this one slipped past me. Like, I normally get hold of them pretty soon after they come out. But I didn’t hear anything about this one until it was already out for a year or two. Still, it looked like fun.
Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends Lennon and Zorie have become friends-turned-enemies. They have perfected avoiding each other, despite the fact that they live across the street from each other. It also doesn’t help that their families are the modern equivalent of the Capulets and Montagues. But when a group camping trip goes incredibly wrong, Lennon and Zorie are left stranded, alone, in the woods. With no one but each other for company, they are forced to hash out some of their issues while trying to make it to safety. But fighting off the elements and each other makes it less likely they’ll make it to safety in one piece. The longer they stay together, the more the secrets and hidden feelings rise to the surface. But can their rekindled friendship survive in the real world, or only under the magic of twinkling stars?
I really love Jenn Bennett. This story was cute and real and funny and touching. It was everything I enjoy from her.
Lennon and Zorie used to be best friends, until they tried dating and something went terribly wrong. Now they’re enemies, but Zorie doesn’t actually want to hate Lennon. She just doesn’t know how to be around the guy who broke her heart. Both of them are sweet in their own ways (Lennon has a dark sense of humor but a heart of gold) and they both have their quirks. I loved the quirks the most.
It’s the kind of premise that seems simple–and it is–but that allows the characters to really shine. Zorie’s friend has arranged a glamping trip that Lennon also happens to be invited on, setting off most of the chain of events in this story. When they get stranded, Lennon and Zorie have to spend a lot of time together finding their way home. It’s simple but cute.
And the love story was just adorable. They’re a good pair and you can really see how they fit together. I like it when I find characters who do genuinely fit together, have chemistry. But as usual with Bennett, there are more subplots than just the romance, subplots that feel real and matter. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there’s a lot Zorie’s dealing with at the moment, more than just the stuff with Lennon.
Oh, and before I forget, due to some of the content (like how some characters work at an adult toy store) and plain-speaking nature of Lennon, this book probably isn’t “appropriate” for younger tweens and teens. For as much as I enjoyed it, there’s no way I’m recommending it to my students, who are 14. Just throwing that out there.
This was a sweet read and I can’t wait to see more from Bennett.