Updated: Dec 6, 2019
I wanted to shake things up a bit and do a book review on my recently new found love for Jenn Bennett’s novels. Though I have only read three of her novels, so far, I can already tell I will always fall madly in love with her characters, plots, and adventures that fill the pages of – Starry Night, Night Owls, and Alex, Approximately. These are the kind of stories that make my imagination run wild and my excitement for the characters heighten with each page! I honestly can’t wait to read more of her novels and I am glad I own these three incredible ones! Who knew stumbling across a book in Target could lead to so much happiness? Every reader ever!
First off here’s a little bit about Jenn Bennett, her Author bio:
She is an award-winning author of young adult contemporary romance books, including: Alex, Approximately; The Anatomical Shape of a Heart; and Starry Eyes. She also writes romance and urban fantasy for adults (the Roaring Twenties and Arcadia Bell series). Her books have earned multiple starred reviews, won the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award, garnered two Reviewers’ Choice awards and a Seal of Excellence from RT Book Reviews, and been included on Publishers Weekly Best Books annual list. She lives near Atlanta with one husband and two dogs.
Anywho, I have never written a book review, per se, but I do always tell everyone what I think about the said book so here goes it, enjoy!
Teenage feelings, what could go wrong? Wait, have you forgotten that teenage hormones are crazy messy and hard to figure out? Because these two characters, Zorie and Lennon, take readers on a roller coaster of emotions. Fair warning – strap in, hold on, and get ready for an awesome time!
Zorie and Lennon have some bad blood, but somehow faith is determined to make them face each other and in all places, it had to be the woods. But, I am getting ahead of myself. Let me back up and tell you a bit about Zorie and Lennon.
Zorie Everhart is a girl that loves plaid and matching her colors – geeky retro style, maybe? She knows what she likes and plans it out accordingly and doesn’t like when plans change (me either, girlfriend!). I appreciate how nerdy she is about, well everything, but specifically her Astronomy club, where she takes photos of the night sky! So, you could say that Zorie is pretty awesome! Anywho, her dad is a massage therapist while her mom is an acupuncturist at their family business, Everhart Wellness Clinic. Zorie fills in at the front desk as a receptionist. That’s your lowdown on, in my opinion, one of the coolest characters in this book! Trust me – that’s only a third of her characteristics!
Lennon Mackenzie is a graphic novel, black clothes wearing, and reptile-friendly kind of guy, plus he is pretty mysterious. His personality is hard to figure out and especially hard for Zorie as she sorts through their bad blood and her feelings towards him or lack thereof (which is it, find out in the book!). Anyways, he is a guy I could easily fall in love with, not only because he is mysterious, but because he seems like a caring human being. Raised by his two moms and dad, he’s pretty well-rounded and worth a read.
I couldn’t put it down! My sister and I had started Sister Night’s (movies, shopping, frozen treats) a few months prior and I think one of those first trips I took a photo of this book cover, saving it for another Target run, well that next time came. We always end up in the Target book section and I, again, stumbled upon this novel with its captivating cover art and title – I was intrigued! I couldn’t wait to get back to my comfy chair, prop my feet up, and read this interesting novel that, yes, I brought that night! Let me tell you, I didn’t waste time reading it either, I fell in love with this story. From the beginning, I was rooting for Zorie and Lennon to solve their bad blood and just be there for each other, I really wanted them to be happy. Reading keeps me occupied and happy, so to have such good company (the cast of characters) to take an adventure with, I was totally enjoying every second of reading.
I should have known this story would draw me in when the main character referenced to an eighties song on the back cover – that’s my kind of personality trait! But, it is never that easy, especially when you are following a teenage girl’s train of thought who may or may not overthink about situations (I relate so much on that one!), alas she is a great navigator. Be prepared for some pretty heavy blows and topics coming your way, remember to take a deep breath and follow along with Beatrix Adams, she’ll get you through it all.
So, why would someone reference an eighties song, especially a teenager, well let me clue you in (without ruining the story)? San Francisco at night, what a delight it is and somewhere you can bump into new friends on a bus called the Owl. Jack and Beatrix happen to take the midnight train, er uh, I mean Owl bus after a long night out, but they didn’t plan on making a friend with a fellow artist. But first, let me tell you a little bit about Beatrix Adams and Jack Vincent.
Beatrix Adams is a peculiar girl with an interesting art talent that I never knew exist until I read this novel. I knew people drew faces from bones to identify skulls, but I didn’t know Cadaver (Anatomy) Drawings existed. Bex is very talented at drawing bodies which I think is her biggest character appeal, she’s different and interesting. She lives with her mother and older brother, who is three years older than her.
Jack Vincent, an insanely talented graffiti artist – reminds me of the guys in Grease – black leather jacket and a rock ‘n’ roll vibe radiating off him. He has many layers, which you’ll unfold as you read Night Owls. Jack keeps many secrets so I am sticking to that and letting you seek him out on your own, you’ll thank me later. Anyways, he is super smooth, kind, and talented – an absolute hunk, in my opinion. Throughout the book, readers meet his family, little by little, and the surprises keep coming just like his ever-surprising charming personality.
This novel is incredible, thrilling, and exciting the entire time! Once I got into it, I didn’t want to stop reading, I had to know more about what was going down in the story! I was glued to the page and ready to find out every juicy detail. Oh, the characters, they are incredible and so well-rounded. I felt their emotion and dreams – I understand their feelings and rooted for them to be happy in the end. I truly fell in love with these characters. Jack’s outgoing versus his shy and timid side – Jenn really dug deep into a human’s natural response to every situation in this story with Jack’s personality. He drew me in – I couldn’t quite figure him out and I loved it. Then, there’s Beatrix, wow I love her! She doesn’t miss a beat with anything and completely has me wanting to understand everything – a truly incredible soul!
Film geeks, literally the coolest type of people and that’s the teenagers that guide us on a summer meeting to remember. This story will make readers do a double-take, at least I did. It makes knots in your brain as you try to unravel everything Bailey Rydell knows in real life versus her online chat world – trust me, read carefully and pay attention to the tiny details. She will definitely throw you for a loop, more than once during her time in California. Let’s meet the leading characters first, Bailey Rydell and Porter Roth.
Bailey Rydell, a born to be movie buff, she knows her old movie trivia like the back of her hand and even I, a movie bluff (of other genres), am impressed! Even though she has trauma in her life, which causes her issues at times, she is a fun and hilarious storyteller throughout this adventure. After all, she is a film geek with top-of-the-notch knowledge about old movies, which in my book makes her brilliant! She moved from living in DC with her mom to California with her dad where all the real fun begins!
Porter Roth, a surfer with knowledge of old films and a fan of sci-fi movies, he’s a natural hunk. He is the type of guy that will make you swoon but not at first. When readers meet Porter, this description will confuse you, but like Jack Vincent’s character, Porter has many layers. As the book goes on, Bailey continues to discover more and more about him because he is the type of guy to share his deepest feelings (swoon). I dig a guy who is open about his feelings and struggles! I can honestly say that Porter kept surprising me until the very last page, he is magical.
It took me a little to get into this book, but only because I wasn’t in a reading mood. Once I was in my groove, I read like I had a deadline. Thursday morning (recently read this one) I picked the book back up and opened to page 30 – once I started, I didn’t want to stop. I read until I couldn’t hold my eyes open anymore, put my book face down on my bed (thinking I’d just close my eyes), I woke up four hours later. Apparently reading all day wears a person out, who knew! Finally, yesterday evening (Friday) I was able to lay down and read again. Picking back up at page 311, I dived right back into the chaos and didn’t want to put it down until I finished the book – I didn’t. I was completely glued to the drama and action within those pages. I was kicking my feet and squealing with glee as the plot continue to thicken around the characters. I literally couldn’t stop giggling and feeling every emotion Bailey and Porter did. I really didn’t want their story to end.
I definitely recommend these beauties to any and all readers, it is not just for young adults, these stories can speak to anyone – you’ll see!