Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Review: Starstruck by Cyn Balog

Name: Starstruck
Author: Cyn Balog
Age: Young Adult
Publisher: Random House Children's Book
Release Date: July 12th 2011
Source: RandomBuzzers
Buy the Book: Amazon

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?

I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book, but when I started reading, I immediately forgot all my doubts. Cyn Balog with an addictive prose, brings us a funny and realistic story about a girl who has weight problems. 

Gwen, also known as Dough, receive an email of her boyfriend, Wish, who lives in California. He is coming back and that is when Gwen's life turns upside down. What is she going to do? Her boyfriend hasn't seen her since he moved to California, and she has gained about 70 pounds.

This is the first time I read a YA book that has a main character who is fat. (Something I think should be more in YA books) She doesn't has a stunning red hair, or an amazing body, or a lovely face. Gwen can be a normal girl, like any other that has real problems, real problems like overweight, or being ignored by the rest of the school. Also add a great personality, funny situations and comments and you will be able to see her clearly. But of course, her character is also complicated. She feels bad about her shape, and she is trying all the time to find something in her body that is nice, like her toes. Specially when she finds out that her boyfriend is coming back. You can see her worried and sad, and trying to look better. 

I had the opportunity to read some reviews about this book, and I found a few of them saying that Gwen spends all the book complaining about her shape and she was annoying. In my case, I didn't find her annoying. I found her realistic, and I identified with her, even thought I don't have weight problems… well…not anymore. : S

What I didn't like about this book was the Luminati thing. The book was perfect without that, specially because all that Luminati thing came almost at the end of the book. I thought it was a joke, or something like that. The book was really short for making things more complicated with supernatural themes.  Also, I didn't enjoy too much the end. What I understood about it was that Wish needed to be plain and normal to be with her… and hey, a girl has right to dream, right? Why not a hut guy? Why he didn't stay in the way he was?

Well, like I said before, this is a light and funny story, good for spending a nice time. But also, among jokes, you will find how cruel can life be when we are not a magazine model, and how cruel people can be for the same reason. Recommended!  

I really liked it! 

Cyn Balog is a normal, everyday Jersey Girl who always believed magical things can happen to us when we least expect them. She is author of young adult paranormals FAIRY TALE (2009), SLEEPLESS(2010), and STARSTRUCK (2011). She lives outside Allentown, Pennsylvania with her husband and daughters. Website


  1. Yay, finally! This sounds like such an original story, with the protagonist being overweight and the whole Luminati thing (whatever that is). And I just can't get over how pretty the cover is! I really need to give this book a go, I'm getting pretty sick of protagonists always being stunningly beautiful and thin... Thanks for the review!

  2. I keep seeing this cover and wanting to know more about this one; I love your review! Now I can't wait to raed this one :)

  3. When I first saw the cover, I seriously thought this was a contemporary YA book, bur apparently it has a paranormal/fantasy aspect. Hmmm...

    Not sure if I'm interested in the story, but I do like the fact that the protagonist is full-figured, shapely gal and not a beauty queen. However, Dough is a horrible nickname!

    Thanks for the review!


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