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3.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  981 Ratings  ·  165 Reviews
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 wan ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by Delacorte Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 04, 2015 Jude rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't finish this book. There's a couple of reasons why, the first one being this - and i'm quoting directly from the book

"His eyes are like pools of chlorinated water"

The book was really stupid. I'm not saying it was all bad, but come on, certain descriptions or actions of characters where just so incredibly dumb to the point where I was laughing and I wasn't sure if it was for real. I was so taken aback by so many things that were happening, like this one guy that dressed like a goth and se
Oct 30, 2011 Kendra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ugh! I can't believe I actually read this book! It was pretty bad, but I had to give it a second star because I will admit that I couldn't stop reading the first half. Then I had to force myself to finish the second half once the storyline got completely ridiculous.
First, I couldn't stand the main character. Gwendolyn (aka Dough) is full of self-loathing which, while perhaps not completely unrealistic for some teens, got really old, really fast. I felt like the constant self-deprecation and rid
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
3.75 stars

A YA romance with a paranormal element.

I liked that this was the first book I've read with an overweight heroine where she doesn't have to lose weight or change herself to win the guy - she starts out the book already winning him just as she is. She just has to realize it.

Gwendolyn, "Dough", is overweight, from the wrong side of the tracks, works in her mom's bakery (where it's easy to grab a white cream donut or 2 or more), has a stick-thin twig of a younger sister, lots of snark, an
Nov 05, 2012 Greta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-challenge
Brief summary:
Gwendolyn "Dough" is in a panic. Her long distance boyfriend, Wish, is coming back to live near her again. She's changed, though. She's gained a lot of weight, is pretty much invisible at school, and is worried what he'll think of his "loser" girlfriend. When Wish arrives, it is obvious he has changed too. He's rock star beautiful and he is instantly the most popular guy around. And yet, he wants to be with Gwen?! The new guy, Christan, working at Gwen's family's bakery thinks he
Samantha Haviland
Mar 08, 2015 Samantha Haviland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fairytales-read
I picked up Starstruck because I loved Cyn's previous books, Fairy Tale and Sleepless, and I was not disappointed. The story is light but carries depth, and the supernatural element enjoyable and not overplayed. The humor was impeccable and the timing spot on. Dough was such an engaging character and her reactions to different situations were completely realistic. Simply put, I loved it. Wish did get on my nerves a few times, but what guy doesn't? Again, an engaging and realistic character. Oh, ...more
Annie McElfresh
Feb 26, 2011 Annie McElfresh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars
The beginning of this novel reads like a contemporary YA story. There really isn't any hint of supernatural elements until you get about 100 pages in, which is a lot considering this novel is only 256 pages long. The ONLY hint you will get is that Wish has somehow morphed into a head-turning hottie since the main character, Gwen, saw him last.

Gwen was a breath of fresh air. She's a girl with a bit of a weight issue, who wears her insecurities on her sleeve. That really drew me in. It made me wa
Feb 16, 2011 Nely rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog-tour
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.

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 r
Mary (BookHounds)
Do looks matter? Are they worth compromising your life in order to appear as something you are not? These ideas are explored in Starstruck. I read this one straight through and really enjoyed it. I thought Gwendolyn "Dough" is very likable and sympathetic although she doesn't make you feel sorry for her. She knows she has gained weight and doesn't look like she did when her best friend, Wish, moves to California. Wish has his own secrets and feels as unloved as Dough does, except he has a secret ...more
Feb 06, 2012 kari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2012
3.5 stars
I like the voice of the narrator, Dough, in this book. Her sarcasm was funny and her thoughts seemed very real. Her constant negativity did get somewhat irritating after a time though. She's already said she's overweight and unpopular so I did start to feel that it was a little too much when she kept repeating that.
There are some things I was confused about. She seems to have been a normal size girl when she last saw Wish. A typical twelve year old girl would weigh about one hundred pou
Jul 17, 2013 Spark740 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh glory. Yet another novel that fits onto the category of almost-long-enough, chic-flick-paranormal-crossover-wannabe shelf.

It's never quite what it wants, or seems, to be.
POSITIVE elements:
1) it's funny. The whole fat girl approach makes for some cute and hilarious situations, admittedly at Dough's expense.
2) the main character is very original compared to modern ya literature.
3) not much swearing or sexual content.

NEGATIVE elements:
1) three quarters chick flick, one quarter paranormal. Chron
Jan 23, 2011 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Starstruck by Cyn Balog left me cold. I was not at all impressed with this mediocre story.

Synopsis: 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
I have reached the skip-mass-portions-of-text reading phase of this book, starting with page 63. Yet another feel sorry for the poor, misfit, self-loathing fat girl story. More ridiculously bad luck is visited upon unlucky, unplucky "heroine" Dough in a single afternoon than can realistically be expected to happen to anyone in a month...IF that. Nobody is that unlucky--NOBODY. (On top of that, if I have to read one more paragraph of excruciating detail of obesity and self-hatred, I may scream. I ...more
Jul 31, 2011 Nian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I read Cyn Balog's Sleepless before, and was pretty bummed out about the direction the story went. Likewise, I experienced the same frustration with this novel.

The Luminati story could definitely have been explored deeper. I was promised something supernatural/paranormal, but all I got was a mere mention of tattoos and astrology perfecting people's lives. Ummm, what? Care to explain some more, Balog? The Luminati are probably supposed to be mysterious and awesome, but I find them lacking and bo
Apr 02, 2011 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mermaids....Werewolves, Zombies...Vampires...this book tackles a supernatural figure I have YET to read about, the Illuminati, who are people who can take energy from the stars and use it to manipulate their appearance with dire consequences. IN this book, Gwyndolyn "Dough" is a heavy girl who gets picked on at school becuase of her weight. Her boyfriend Wish, has been away for a while, and when he comes back, everyone is shocked that he is interested in her. He is MOVIE STAR gorgeous. Does he R ...more
Sian Lile-Pastore
i really enjoyed reading this - liked the characters and the setting. the supernatural element was slow building, interesting and then really quickly resolved. that bit was weird. Also felt i needed more... is there another one of these coming out?
Feb 18, 2015 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
3.5 stars, but I'm rounding up based on Gwendolyn's character arc.
****Some Spoilers****

Fantastical elements always appear in Balog's work, but in a more off-the-beaten-path than her peers. We essentially have a boy moving back to New Jersey, (which points for a setting few books I've read tackle), after butterflying his way through puberty with the help of a star cult.

What's really at the heart of the book, however, is our narrator Gwendolyn, (called Dough), and her battle with her weight and se
May 21, 2014 Crystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read Cyn Balog's Fairy Tale and Sleepless and knew that I would love Starstruck just as much. I was right; Balog never disappoints. Her originality, easy writing style, and the way she channels her characters so well makes her one of my absolute favorite YA authors.

Gwen, or "Dough", and Philip Wishman, or "Wish", have been more than just best friends since grade school and they remained that way even after Wish moved away from their small New Jersey island town to California three years ea
Courtney Stoker
Oh, this was just lovely. I thought for a bit that it would be a "fat girl realizes she's beautiful because some boy tells her she is," but that's not really what happens. And the main character is fiercely funny, awkward, and believable; I laughed out loud and cringed right along with her when she embarrassed herself.
This was really more like a novella than a novel and while I liked it, I felt as though it could have been a bit longer. Sometimes I find some books are too long and much could be edited out. With this one I felt like there was more meat to this story to be explored. The resolution to the problem is over with one real conversation between Gwen and Wish, and I was left feeling a little gypped. With what Wish was dealing with THAT was all it took, and a few references to his "struggle" in the last ...more
Jun 08, 2015 Morgan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book definitely touched on the subject of appearances and that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, and that people are a lot different than they seem. I think that Gwen was trying to fit in since her boyfriend came back, but soon realized that looks aren't the most important thing and that true love and friendship is. I think that this books went off into something more fantasy like with the whole Luminati aspect, but overall was okay.
I didn't really enjoy how it ended with Gwen and he
Aurora Filippi
La protagonista non è bella, non ha nulla di speciale. Pesa centosei chili, lavora d'estate con la mamma in un panificio/pasticceria e per il resto dell'anno studia. Ha una relazione a distanza con il suo migliore amico. Si sono fidanzati per email, si sono resi conto di quanto il loro rapporto fosse speciale solo quando lui ha dovuto lasciare Cellarbay in favore di Los Angeles.
GWEN è ingrassata, lui è diventato uno strafigo.
Lui adesso sta tornando e Gwen vorrebbe sparire dalla faccia della terr
Ally Langenkamp
Gwendowlyn, aka "Dough" is overweight, and friendless with the exception of once dorky, now gorgeous long distance boyfriend Wish. She hasnt seen him for three years and etc, but I want to remark upon the supernatural aspect of this story.
Spoiler Alert!!!

I think it was pretty obvious that the whole "controlling stars" thing was practically a metaphor for drugs. I mean seriously, its highly addictive and makea you weaker? It feels like you're controlling it, when really its controlling you? And t
This was not great. Pretty horrible in fact. Not at all what I was expecting or what I was wanting.
The beginning started off cute and quirky but then I quickly got annoyed by Dough. The way she spoke about herself and the way she let others speak to her because of her weight was disgusting - especially as someone who just recently learned to love their body. It was not a pleasant thing to read and I found myself wanting to put down the book quite frequently at this time.

The description of the bo
Cherith Elizabeth
When I first read the description to this book I thought that I would love it. It sounded humorous and unlike anything I had ever read before. Unfortunately, this book just fell flat for me.

The beginning of this book was actually quite good. It was funny and horribly awkward, and I felt like a lot of people could easily relate to the protagonist. This was one of those books where no matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t stop cringing and squealing at the awkward parts. I think it goes without
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
Aug 18, 2011 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. What drew me in immediately was the character of Qwen - her problems are so realistic but her sense of humor about them made me laugh at least five times during the book. I couldn't wait to read what she was going to say to make me laugh next. Qwen was just an awesome character all around. I want to be her friend IRL.

I also enjoyed the banter Qwen had with Christian, the winter help at her family's bakery. There was an are they or aren't they question running throug
I needed a book that I could read in one day (it was the last day of Fall Break before I had to go back to school), and this book fit the bill being around 250 pages and having a paranormal romance story line, which I can always devour quickly. I enjoyed the different paranormal twist about using the stars to influence how others see you. There isn't another paranormal YA novel that I know of that has this same story line, so I liked that it was unique in a genre that tends to follow one trend f ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa-The Book Addict
This is yet another first for me, I haven't read anything by Cyna Balog before, but I can tell you I will be reading more after this. This is the story of Gwen aka Dough. She carried on a long distance relationship with her best friend Wish. He tells her that he is moving back to there home town, and while this news would thrill most girls it terrifies Dough. While Wish has been in California he has gone from awkward to gorgeous god like hott boy. While he was making this chance Dough packed on ...more
Jul 03, 2011 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set on an island off of the coast of New Jersey, Starstruck makes for a great beach read. Though Wish’s powers are only addressed in full in the second half of the book, and is tinged with Gwen’s snarky and often sarcastic thoughts on life and the people around her. Gwen’s commentary makes Starstruck very relatable for anyone who has found themselves on the outside of the “in crowd,” especially when the in crowd seems to make up the whole school.

At times Gwen’s self depreciation gets a little gr
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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), STARSTRUCK (2011), TOUCHED (2012), and her most recent release: DEAD RIVER (2013).e. She lives outside Allentown, Pennsylvania with her husband and daughters.

She also writes under the pen name Nichola
More about Cyn Balog...

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“I'm not just one flavor. You're not either. So it all comes down to which 'you' you want to show the world.” 22 likes
“Twenty minutes later, I walk out of Melinda's hotel with a plate of finger sandwiches, a bag of prostitute clothes, and a weird wedge on my head that makes me look like you could tip me upside down and fill it with cream of mushroom.

I need another donut.”
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