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3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  833 ratings  ·  151 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
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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...more
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...more
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...more
Samantha Haviland
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
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...more
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...more
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
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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?
“Everything is the same as when I was twelve, except Wish is beautiful.”

Gwendolyn “Dough” Reilly is a typical small town girl, living on the island of Cellar Bay, New Jersey. Her best friend is also her boyfriend, who lives in California, who she has not seen in 4 years. While her boyfriend has blossomed into a stud, she has grown into a 234 lbs. young woman. She worries what her boyfriend and best friend will think when he moves back to live with his father in a week – much too short a time to...more
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...more
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
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...more
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...more
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...more
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
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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
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...more
The Gist
Gwendolyn Reilly just got the worst news of her life. Her boyfriend is coming back from California. The problem there? He has gotten incredibly hot since she last saw him three years ago, and she has gotten - well - fat. Her nickname, Dough, is accurate. Wish, her boyfriend, has no idea that the girl he left as a best friend and starting dating over email has gained seventy pounds and is ostracized at school for being poor and fat. It doesn't help Dough that her mom owns a bakery, and sh...more
I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book, but when I started reading, I immediately forgot all my doubts. Cyn Balog with an addictive prose, brings us a funny and realistic story about a girl who has weight problems.

Gwen, also known as Dough, receive an email of her boyfriend, Wish, who lives in California. He is coming back and that is when Gwen's life turns upside down. What is she going to do? Her boyfriend hasn't seen her since he moved to California, and she has gained about 70 pound...more
Sarah Gruffydd
I absolutely love this author and her quirky, loveable style of writing. Each of her books is so unique and memorable for the vivid quality of the characters, the originality of the plot and the relatable prose.

This book is no exception. I was hooked from the very first page, and continued to be intrigued through to the very end. It's not often the main protagonist of a young adult novel is portrayed as being overweight, or anywhere far from near-perfect. I found it particularly refreshing that,...more
let see where to start how mortifing your long distance hot boyfriend you haven't seen in forever who just happens to be insanely hot tells you he will be back in your small town in just a few days. Now to top that off you have gained weight and don't feel your at your best and afraid he's going to take one look at you and run.WOW! Now I can totally relate to Gwen (Dough) and how she feels. I loved all the jokes that Gwen would throw out (i think all of us can relate) but wished she had a little...more
First impressions: Gwen/Dough is a fantastic narrator. She shows us who she is from the moment we meet her. She's funny, sarcastic, a bit down on herself, but able to handle anything thrown at her without losing sight of the big picture. There's no unnecessary drama here.

Lasting impressions: The realistic elements of the story were more meaningful than the paranormal Luminati stuff. I wish the astrology part had been introduced sooner so it didn't seem like it was tacked on to the back end of an...more

From Delacorte (Random House):

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-dis...more
Katie Stout
I loved how original this book was! That had to be my favorite part. The paranormal element to the story is a lot different than other thing I've read about, and the heroine herself is nothing like all the other girls in books. This is mostly due to the fact that Gwen or "Dough" weighs over 200 pounds.

At its core, this book is about body image. Dough is made fun of every day at school, and she's hyper-aware of how she looks. She constantly compares herself to her younger, thinner sister, and sh...more
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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
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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.” 20 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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