Starstruck by Cyn Balog is the one book you can read whilst legitimately eating a donut and you know what? I TOTALLY DID. Not only did an early image of the book have a donut on the cover (I believe it was changed, presumably so it could not be blamed for encouraging mass donut eating worldwide) but our main protagonist Gwendolyn or Dough as she is more affectionately known lives in a bakery. Sounds like heaven, right? Not quite. Here’s the synopsis:
“When Gwendolyn “Dough” Reilly’s boyfriend and best friend Wish moves away in seventh grade, the only consolation she can find is in her family bakery’s donuts. Now, it’s sophomore year, and Wish is coming back. But in only three years, they’ve both changed—drastically. She’s seriously overweight, and suddenly Wish is the most popular guy in school, and girls everywhere want him. Dough has doubts that appearances don’t matter and that Wish can love her as she is, so she launches into a plan designed to keep them together. That is, until she discovers that Wish’s gorgeous looks and charm might not be all they appear to be.”
This has got to be one of the worst nightmare scenarios fate could ever throw at you EVER and I really feel for the girl. I have to say though that Dough handles the situation as best as any girl in that situation can by going on a crash diet and then giving up by eating donuts. HUGELY authentic.
There were tons of laugh out loud moments in the book and I loved Dough’s voice. I also enjoyed the fact that she’s not some skinny, beautiful girl with the world at her feet, rather she is a normal, average girl with the same insecurities that I suspect most girls have. She was definitely relatable, at least from my point of view. Wish is a nice guy and again, this made for a refreshing change. I love a bad boy as much as the next girl but sometimes it’s good to have a shout out for the NICE guy and I’m pleased to say that even though he morphed into hot stuff over the 3 years he’s been away, he’s still a nice guy. Phew! One of the things I particularly enjoyed about Wish was his e mails to Dough as he randomly capitalizes words and I do THE EXACT SAME THING!!! LOL although I like to think that it’s not so random in my case ;)
I believe Starstruck explores the theme of looks vs. Personality and what that means to us but not only that, surprisingly there is a touch of the paranormal to this book but nothing that you’ve seen before and nothing you would expect. Intrigued? You should be!
Cyn Balog is fast becoming one of my favourite authors and Starstruck is out and out fun - I enjoyed every minute of it. If you want to read something totally original and entertaining, something where everyone ISN’T beautiful, where the characters represent NORMAL people? Then, this is the book for you.
Starstruck was published on 12th July, 2011 in the US. For the UK’ers, you can buy it online or check with Foyles in London as they sometimes carry Cyn’s books. To find out more about Cyn Balog and her books, click here to visit her website. Cyn is also active on Facebook and Twitter.