Starstruck By Nicole Ciacchella
Published March 30th 2014 By Sweenix Rising Books
Disclaimer: I received a review copy c/o the Publisher via Netgalley.
Summary: Lex Harrington is living a stranger’s life. After high school, she and her boyfriend, superstar quarterback Brad Wakefield, headed off to college, secure in the knowledge of their brilliant future. Then an injury ended Brad’s football career, and he convinced Lex to drop out of school and return home with him, where everything fell apart.
Because the glossy surface of their relationship concealed a dark truth: years of emotional abuse culminating in Brad’s walking out on Lex and their infant son. At twenty-three, she’s a single mother with no future prospects, struggling to make ends meet while dealing with the aftermath of her destructive marriage.
When Jaron Richards left for college, he vowed he’d never look back. Brad laid waste to his friendship with Lex, leaving nothing to bind Jaron to his hometown. But his unrequited love for Lex has never faded, even as his star has begun to rise, making him Hollywood’s hottest new actor.
Now Jaron is back in town to film his latest movie, and his presence stirs up everything Lex would rather forget. Can they find a way to pick up the pieces and build a future together?
Starstruck had a strong beginning, only for it to fall short.
Starstruck is one of those “it’s not you, it’s me” books. New Adult has always been something that is a hit or miss for me and sadly this book wasn’t for me.
I requested this book seeing how the description looked really good. The regular person/celebrity premise reminded me of Jennifer E Smith’s This Is What Happiness Looks Like which I read last year and liked. Naturally, I went in expecting a similar premise but was grateful that it was different.
Unlike most NA books I’ve read so far, this one had a straight A student who had to drop out of school because she was pregnant at 19. What made it even more interesting was that her then boyfriend turned husband was abusive. The flashbacks of the abuse and the life she led before was certainly much more interesting than the present life though I did appreciate that we get to see the aftereffects of such mental and verbal abuse.
There were several issues I had with the book, one of them being that I had difficulties relating to the characters. Lex bothered me a lot. Though I understand her difficulties in trusting people post-abuse, I felt that she was a little petty with Jaron and the way she behaved confused me considering they were the best of friends before this. Comparing the two, I felt more for Jaron; he was more trying than Lex and pushed his pride aside for the sake of their friendship. He acknowledged his mistakes, which was a trait I really could respect.
Secondly, I felt that the book may have dragged on for a bit too long. The book does go back and forth with flashbacks, some contributing to the story while others felt a little repetitive. Nothing much actually happened until the last 60 pages where the two characters decide to act upon their feelings. To me, it didn’t feel like there was a “climax”, only a series of problems and denials which kept building (and excruciatingly slow to be resolved) and ended with the climax. It was very telling and somewhat a predictable ending which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but I wanted more out of them rather than just petty arguing and avoiding their feelings.
The star if the book was definitely without a doubt Owen. He was an intelligent boy and made me laugh with the things he did or left me in awe of how wonderful he is.
Starstruck discussed an important topic above all which is abuse and how it affects the abused which is something that needs to be discussed more often. It really puts things in retrospect as you get into the mind of someone who was abused and understand her fear of getting close to others.
While this book may not be for me, it may interest others who want to learn more about the after effects of abuse or are interested in a NA book that is slightly different from the rest.