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Starry Night: A Novel

3.04  ·  Rating Details ·  589 Ratings  ·  164 Reviews
Sometimes one night can change everything. On this particular night, Wren and her three best friends are attending a black-tie party at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate the opening of a major exhibit curated by her father. An enormous wind blasts through the city, making everyone feel that something unexpected and perhaps wonderful will happen. And for Wren, ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Shirley It is a bit slow, but there are parts where it was really good. I think it left a good message and was pretty realistic. Also, the characters were…moreIt is a bit slow, but there are parts where it was really good. I think it left a good message and was pretty realistic. Also, the characters were interesting enough for it to not be boring. (less)
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New YA September 2014
66th out of 122 books — 188 voters
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Books that have Night in the title.
137th out of 291 books — 12 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Apr 01, 2014 Reut marked it as to-read
Okay, book, I'll give you a chance, even though you used the phrase "root-beer-brown Michaelangelo eyes."
Aug 24, 2014 AH rated it it was ok
Hmmm. This was a so-so read for me, about 2.0 - 2.5 stars.

I found the pacing a little slow and the focus was on fancy parties and pretty dresses and a privileged crowd in New York City. The story revolves around Wren, a talented 15 year old artist and her first love Nolan. Wren is surrounded by her friends, affectionately known as the Turtles - Charlie, Regan, Farah, and Vati. Nothing much happens. They get dressed up to go to a party, they go to school, and that's about it.

I guess this book wo
Nikki S
Jun 09, 2014 Nikki S rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
To say I'm disappointed is an understatement. I was so excited for this one because y'all know I LOVE me a story that heavily relies on the romance. But this one just didn't cut it. It seemed really young and the writing style was not very good either.
I found myself constantly having to remind myself that they were so young. Only because they were 15. And the writing style made them seem wayyyyy younger than that. The things they did (and when I say "they", I mean the three girls plus the pare
Lark O'Neal
Sep 17, 2014 Lark O'Neal rated it it was amazing
I loved this book insanely and have been haunted by it for several days, unable to start another book until I get over it. I loved the NYC setting, the insider spirit (and it's written by a New Yorker) and the magical sense of being part of a world I'll never know. It's also a very YA young adult, in that it is written for an actual young adult audience, not adults reading YA, which gives it the power and depth it needs.

Because at its heart, it is the story of falling in love for the first time
Jun 19, 2014 Jamie rated it did not like it
I picked up a copy of the ARC at BEA.

Starry Night is the story of Wren and her doomed love. One fantastic night, having finally been invited to a gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (of which her father is the curator), she meets Nolan, a new friend of her brother's. They are immediately drawn to each other, and Wren finds herself in over her head but unable to recognize it. Her and Nolan's adventures generally end up with her grounded. She doesn't spend as much time with her friends anymore.
Wow, this book is taking a bit of a beating on Goodreads. On September 1, I published an "in defense of" review on the blog. Here's an edited excerpt, and I'll link to the whole thing below.

Young characters: Yes, the characters in this book are fifteen, and it is a truth universally acknowledged among YA readers that 14 and 15 year-old YA protagonists can be problematic. Maybe it's because there is something unnerving about watching 14 and 15 year olds do things that characters do in YA novels -
Feb 22, 2015 Allie rated it did not like it
DNF. Stopped at about 50 pages.

Alas, I should really stop buying books based on covers.

Do not read this. I repeat, do not read this. Unless, of course, you like childish writing, flat characters, and the most basic and uninteresting love "story".

Jul 17, 2016 emma rated it did not like it
Shelves: owned, contemporary, nope

you've all heard me talk about how much i love characters a million times. but it's true. that's why i read so much YA contemporary--they're just 300-page character pieces.

and that's also why my relationship with YA contemporary is so love-hate--because you can't find a worse character than you can in certain books in this genre.

be they annoying, poorly written, or just plain unrealistic, they unfortunately crop up far more than their lovely, relatable opposites.

because that's
Howdy YAL
Dec 03, 2014 Howdy YAL rated it did not like it
To see full review with gifs click here.

Introduction: Sometimes, a book is so bad it's kick the puppy worthy for me to review. That's usually when I hand off the reviewing to my dog Patty.

I’ll have you know, I’m a highly educated Beagle.

While I might’ve flunked out of obedience school-because seriously, who actually wants to sit when there’s food in front of them-I do know how to read and write (obviously). And I have made a living out out of simply being cute, I bet you can’t do that.

I will say
Michelle Arrow
This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more reviews!

*3.5 star rating*

Books that make your heart feel guilty of wanting more and that fluttering feeling with cuteness come and go. No for real—they simply just come once in a while, and never seem to go. Starry Night left me with a glitter-filled mind, where I was wishing for a romance so artistic that van Gogh would've given a huge approval for. Gillies did this so amazingly that I kept searching for more in a
Rebecca (Unbound Pages)
This review is also on my blog, The Library Canary.

***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***

Um where do I start? This book was a disaster. I honestly don't know how or why I finished it. Here's the thing. I wanted to know what was going to happen. I wanted to hear how all of this was going to crash and burn. But I was cringing the whole time rea
Rachel Marie {The NerdHerd Reads}
Nov 26, 2015 Rachel Marie {The NerdHerd Reads} rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
This book was almost like a bad train wreck--kind of horrible, but I couldn't look away. I was so looking forward to this one, but I ended up so disappointed.
The narrator was annoying. I had problems with most all the characters, as more often than not, they seemed much younger than 15. I felt like I was reading about 12-year-olds. Everything felt unrealistic. And the insta-love between Wren and Nolan was awful. There was no substance, no rhyme or reason to anything the kids did.
I'm not even go
Jordan H
Jul 05, 2016 Jordan H rated it it was ok
Alright, alright, alright time for a review where I will try to restrain myself from ranting too much about the things that really irked me about this book.

First, let me begin by saying that this book has some of the most immature/childish characters I've read about in my life. The ages of the main cast of characters in this book ranges from 15-18 and may I just say that it seems as if the author studied eight year olds for her inspiration for these characters. There was no forethought as to if
Sarah Phipps
Dec 14, 2014 Sarah Phipps rated it did not like it
I was so disappointed in this book. You know that the love story doesn't end well in the first chapter, but you hope for this spectacular love story, then a satisfying "moving on" act that finishes you up. The final act didn't quite happen. Instead, you get a kind of "500 Days of Summer" moment with a "here's Autumn." This short little blurb at the end. You are left with heartbreak, and it's over.

The conflict with the other characters doesn't quite get wrapped up. A comeuppance wasn't delivered,
Dec 26, 2014 Jasmine rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Esmeralda O
Oct 26, 2015 Esmeralda O rated it it was amazing
In my opinion, Starry Night is an amazing novel. The whole Wren/Nolan relationship had me hooked from the beginning. This was not because it was a “beautiful” or “touching” love story, though. It’s because it was so frustrating to read on while Wren continued to alter her life to suit this boy she just met. Although frustrating might not sound like a positive adjective one uses to describe a book, I am using it in the best way possible. Isabel Gillies created Wren in such a way that I ...more
Apr 06, 2016 Rebecca rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
I really wanted to like this book. I really did.

First off, these kids are TOO YOUNG. The story would've been better if they were, say, 17. I am actually a 15-year-old, and none of my friends or I are doing what these girls did.

The writing seemed kind of amateur-ish and all over the place. I get that Wren has learning disabilities, but it was just too much.

Nolan and Wren's romance didn't seem real at all. There weren't enough emotional bonding scenes. It just seemed like teenage infatuation--o
Books are TARDIS
DNF at 33%. A hundred million miles ago, I could have liked this book. The Lizzie McGuire loving very-young-me could have connected with the story. But sadly, all that is the vestige of a bygone era. This book has a distinctly middle grade feel to it, which isn't a criticism, just an observation. And I do occasionally sample middle grade reads, but this one just didn't turn out to be my cup of tea. Maybe at another time, or in another life? #ITried
On the bright side, this is what my Lizzie McGui
Aug 17, 2016 Coraline rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
I really loved this book! I've read the other two nonfiction books by the author and find her style of writing to be soothing and fun. This was fun for me because I live in NYC and love reading books based in NYC. I'm also a mother of tweens, so I loved that aspect of the book. They're not quite ready to read this yet, but soon I'll recommend it to my daughter. I'm the kind of person who looks up every soap, store, or restaurant mentioned in books and Ms. Gillies has a knack of making me want to ...more
DNF at 16%

I NEVER I really mean NEVER not finish my books. But this was just so so boring, I'm crying right now. It maybe because I'm super busy right now and don't have time to be emotionally attached to a book but you know what, I'm rereading Harry Potter and feeling every emotion right now so this book is just no.

The book starts out boring... then you meet Wren who's dull as dishwater and freaks out over a freaking dress like girl, if you need a big, fancy dress to feel mature you're doing so
Dec 02, 2015 Alicia rated it did not like it
Shelves: romance, female, family, artsy
I tried and did not enjoy, though the cover is cute enough. In part, I started to warm up to the characters and their very Darling-esque ways thinking that it would be as lovely as Stephanie Perkins's series in its saccharine beauty. Instead, the book was so slow-- SOO SOO SLOW that I bored quickly and closed the book. Well, wait, I went to the last chapter, read it, and realized I didn't feel as though I missed anything in between.

It's value is in it's coming-of-age gaggle of girls focus, that
Andrea Heltsley
I read the description and thought this book sounded like a good paranormal romance. Unfortunately, it didn't end up living up to my expectations. It wasn't a paranormal romance first off.
Second, the characters were entirely too young to be having these experiences and making these decisions. Age difference was also wrong. No adult could condone that relationship with the age difference and her life being so influenced by him.
Overall, I just didn't enjoy this title, but I'm sure many people wi
Brooke Smith
Nov 06, 2014 Brooke Smith rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya-fiction, dnf
What a terrible book. Root beer brown eyes? Getting all butthurt than in your beautiful cosmopolitan life that the guy you fell hard for strung you along and ended up with your friend.

Not only that, but you give up this amazing chance to study a beloved topic in flipping France because you're 15 and in love with this boy. Oh, but it's cool, because at the end you land in Savannah in goddamned Georgia instead of FRANCE. Like that's any consolation, but you want me to believe that it is.

What a t
Abbi Bay
Jan 08, 2016 Abbi Bay rated it did not like it
WELP, i tried. i'm terrible about giving up on a book, but i'm trying not to waste my time in 2016. so, i'm putting this one to rest at about 1/4 of the way through. maybe 10 years ago i would have liked it, maybe someone 10 years younger than me WILL like it, but god, it's just not for me. the main character is (as far as i read) spoiled, silly, vapid, privileged, irritating, etc etc. at least the cover will still look pretty on my bookshelf, ha!
Chelsey Wilson
Jan 19, 2016 Chelsey Wilson rated it really liked it
Not too bad. It was pretty hard to put down due to the fact that the chapters were really short and it kept me wondering what was happening next. I loved that it had an artsy background because that's the kind of thing I'm into.
Oct 23, 2014 Kara added it
Shelves: bea2014, dnf
Oh god, my eyes. The writing. So childish. So baddd. Dnf on like page 13.
Lisa Mandina
Sep 03, 2014 Lisa Mandina rated it really liked it
Okay, I try not to read reviews until I'm either done with, or almost done with a book. And can I say that I am shocked by the negativity this book is receiving? I was very lucky to get a copy of this at BEA, and after reading it, let me say how glad I am. I loved it. And so while I normally don't post my whole reviews on Goodreads anymore, I will be copying and pasting this one to give some people who do look at reviews another opinion on this book.

I am not normally a contemporary fiction pers
Ashley Smith
Oct 26, 2016 Ashley Smith rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Okay so first off FUCK NOLAN. Seriously, I was planning on naming my future son Nolan. Now, not so much. Now that that's out of the way...this book was a breath of fresh air for me because I had previously been engrossing myself in thrillers. This takes place in the fall/winter so it's perfect for this time of year! That being said, it definitely had it's flaws. Ultimately, it's a contemporary romance. But I felt like the main character didn't get developed to her full capacity. I loved
Dec 04, 2016 Hannah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
RANT and SPOILERS! You've been warned.

This book was TERRIBLE. The main character has no backbone and quite frankly is a HUGE disappointment. Her boyfriend starts dating one of her friends while he is still dating her and her friend isn't even sorry about it. The main character doesn't even really get mad. My own sister who doesn't like to hit anyone made it clear to me that if I ever stole her boyfriend she would hit me. THAT TELLS YOU RIGHT THERE THAT THIS IS UNREALISTIC. As a matter of fact a
Lizzie Ann
Nov 06, 2016 Lizzie Ann rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Defunct Group: Would you like to pilot Isabel Gillies' Starry Night? 1 2 Oct 05, 2014 09:17AM  
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Isabel Gillies, a lifelong New Yorker and actress for many �years, is the New York Times best selling author of Happens Every Day, A Year and Six Seconds and the upcoming Starry Night (FSG), a young adult novel about first love. Her work has been published in Vogue, The New York Times, Real Simple, Cosmopolitan and Saveur. She lives in Manhattan with her �husband, kids and Maude the dog.
More about Isabel Gillies...

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