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.I was really excited when I heard of Cyn Balog's Starstruck. I originally read Ms. Balog's Fairy Tale and I absolutely loved it. So needless to say I was excited about the chance for an early reviewer's copy.
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? [via GoodReads]
I found the synopsis intriguing and unique since you rarely read a book where the heroine is obese. The fact that it had some fantasy elements made it even more seductive for me. And while I did like some of these elements, I really had a hard time reading this book. For starters, you are reading through Gwen's perspective. Gwen, whom although has these great inner dialogues, does nothing to stand up for herself, takes major verbal abuse from her classmates, goes from one humiliating situation to the next and spends most of her time comparing herself to her younger, much prettier and thinner sister. To be honest, she made me feel as depressed as she was. I truly tried to like her, but I just couldn't get out of the funk that she put me in.
Then there was Wish. I thought the plot revolving around his membership in the Luminati would lighten the story for me, but I just found him as boring as Gwen was. He was mediocre to say the least. Not to mention the whole Luminati thing didn't really start until half way through our book. The first half was just Gwen complaining about her weight, comparing herself to almost every thin girl in school, stuffing her face with all the donuts that crossed her path, and wondering why Wish doesn't break up with her from the first moment he lays his eyes on her. I found the whole thing stressful.
Sadly, I just couldn't get into this one. I tried to like Gwen and, there were moments when she made me laugh with her dark humor and witty comments, but sadly those were few and scattered too far apart.