Book Review: Starry Night by Isabel Gillies

Sometimes one night can change everything. On this particular night, Wren and her three best friends are attending a black-tie party at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate the opening of a major exhibit curated by her father. An enormous wind blasts through the city, making everyone feel that something unexpected and perhaps wonderful will happen. And for Wren, that something wonderful is Nolan. With his root-beer-brown Michelangelo eyes, Nolan changes the way Wren’s heart beats. In Isabel Gillies's Starry Night, suddenly everything is different. Nothing makes sense except for this boy. What happens to your life when everything changes, even your heart? How much do you give up? How much do you keep?

Release Date: September 2, 2014
Age Group: YA
Source: Review copy from publisher
Reviewed by: Madi B

I was a bit skeptical when I started this book just like I am with all books that tell you the ending on this first page. (Pretty dang bold if you ask me.) Although the start wasn’t grabbing enough to make me wait a day to read Isla and the Happily Ever After, (I had been waiting for A YEAR AND A HALF!) it was good enough to keep me from doing ANYTHING BUT READ today. Alright, IT’S LIST TIME, BABY!
Stuff I liked:
  • I loved how New York was the setting. I don’t realize why people don’t realize how important the setting is. We unconsciously like pretty places better than those set in ugly places. (It’s science! Kind of.) So New York was perfect.
  • I liked Wren’s little friend group. Even though it was tough getting their names straight at first, I loved the sense of camaraderie that existed because of them. (Vati was my fav)
  • I loved how realistic Wren was as a 15 year old. I was reading the comments on Goodreads about this book and there were a lot of negative comments about how immature Wren was. I found that I disagreed. Wren was barely 15 and naturally insecure (As most fifteen-year-olds are) so it makes sense that that would translate into her decisions. This would explain why she fell so fast for Nolan. (More on that later)
  • I really liked the ending. It was unexpected and a bit risky and I can respect that. (No spoilers, I promise. Yeah I know I’m treading dangerous waters here so I’m just going to move on.)
  • I absolutely loved the art theme. I had just read Isla and the Happily Ever After where art is also a theme so I was (Okay am) on an ART THEME HIGH!! And I absolutely LOVE Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh! (hence the title)  So to have a protagonist obsessed with it?!? Awesome. Just awesome. 
Stuff I didn’t like:
  • I didn’t love the writing style. It just seemed a tad bit underdeveloped.
  • I never really trusted Nolan. Maybe it was his long hair or maybe it was his earring, I don’t know beats me BUT HE NEVER HAD MY FULL TRUST. Though he did do some totally swoon worthy stuff, (Awwwwww yeah) he also did some stuff that raised some red flags. (I kept thinking “Warner wouldn’t say that” Tahereh Mafi you have ruined me. #shattermeforever) Not cool.
  • I didn’t like how Wren fell for Nolan super fast. Like super fast. But Wren would constantly compare herself to her friends and her siblings so it makes sense she would fall for the first guy who made her feel special.
  • I know this is really small but it bugged me how there were small details in the summary. Talking about the weather in the synopsis? Not necessary. There were also small grammatical errors throughout the book, (Yeah it was a ARC but still!)
  • At the beginning of the book there was a lot of background info told in flashbacks. It wasn’t chronological; it was a bit confusing, and generally uninteresting. But trust me, the book did get going, just not immediately.
Overall Starry Night was a pretty good book that I don’t regret reading. It had some good characters and an interesting plot.


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