Starry Night by Isabel Gillies | Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Starry Night initially captured my attention based on the cover art which, I know, isn’t what you are meant to judge a book on. But isn’t it just so pretty? It was difficult not to want to snag a copy and I was very thrilled to see an ARC waiting on my doorstep one day.
Although the writing and characteristics may be weak in comparison to other novels in its genre, Starry Night may still stand out for teens looking for a realistic tale of first love and friendship in the setting of New York City. Rightfully so, there will be comparisons to the Gossip Girl novels for the light reading and web of romantic entanglements that will certainly appeal to fans of books as such.
It certainly helps that Gossip Girl’s writer, Cecily von Ziegesar has given the novel her seal of approval with a blurb on the book itself.
That being said, I was expecting quite a lot from the story and was immediately let down by its lacklustre plots and writing that had wasted potential. Everything Starry Night promised to have going for it seemed mediocre and overall lost my attention on many counts. It’s been a while since I’ve taken so long to read a simple book, but I kept having to put my copy down for days at a time and procrastinated finishing it.
I’m not sure how a novel with so much promise managed to remain realistic (although the characters themselves lacked that something special, the way they interacted was undeniably real and teenage-ish) and completely dull all at once. Each of the characters seemed to be only ‘there’ and not very full of life. We are often told but not shown — and it just felt grey.
But even still, there were moments that screamed of potential that I could perhaps see it being adapted for the screen. It may be one of those stories that would be this much better if brought to life elsewhere. Starry Night is a story filled with almosts.
The main romance was almost real and lively. Our love triangle was almost believable and almost had closure for one end. Friendships and characteristics were almost filled in. There were a lot of blank spaces.
It was overall very disappointing.
Then again, at my age, I may just be growing out of the young adult genre. My preteen cousin fell in love with the novel itself, afterall, so I do encourage you to read it for yourself and find out.