Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Starry Night” as Want to Read:
Starry Night
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Starry Night

3.06  ·  Rating details ·  895 ratings  ·  195 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, tha ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Starry Night, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
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 int…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)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  895 ratings  ·  195 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Starry Night
Apr 01, 2014 marked it as to-read
Okay, book, I'll give you a chance, even though you used the phrase "root-beer-brown Michaelangelo eyes."
Lark O'Neal
Sep 17, 2014 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
Jul 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
Solid 3 stars

So going into this book I didn't have high expectations (I actually expected to dislike it) because the reviews weren't all that great and it was truly a cover buy.

But I do have to say, I enjoyed it more than I expected to, especially considering that I don't usually like most contemporaries.

What I didn't like:

-I had some issues with some of the characters and how they were used and portrayed in the story (like making a character gay just because they have yet to show any romantic
Jul 25, 2014 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
May 23, 2014 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
Jun 09, 2014 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.
Dec 22, 2015 rated it did not like it

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
Jen Ryland
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 -
Nasty Lady MJ
Dec 03, 2014 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
Feb 23, 2020 marked it as to-read-or-not-to-read  ·  review of another edition
"And for Wren, that something wonderful is Nolan. With his root-beer-brown Michelangelo eyes, Nolan changes the way Wren's heart beats."

Psst, Isabel. If you butcher the person who wrote that, cut them into little pieces and stuff them in the glove compartment you won't go to jail. No judge or jury would think it unjustified.
"Root-beer brown Michelangelo eyes" is definitely a slaughtering offence.
Jan 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2014
DNF. Stopped at about 50 pages.

Alas, I should really stop buying books based on covers.
Tiffany (About to Read)
This review first appeared on About to Read. Visit for fairytale fashions, reads, and reviews.


Sometimes it’s hard to write reviews for novels you just didn’t like.

I had sooo many problems with this one it’s hard to even know where to begin. I suppose all of my complaints can be summarized in four categories:

The Language
Many of the sentences were overly descriptive and that really got on my nerves. I’m all for flowery language, but this was really over the top. I was having
Michelle Wrona
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
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
Inkish Kingdoms
Oct 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: meh-books
For a full review, commentary, or point of view on this book, feel free to go to

This book is for the fangirling girl's generation that worshiped Twilight. It gives me the idea that the author wanted to create the new Gossip Girl kind of girls... *sigh* I will be honest, the part that I liked most about this book was the house. Jesus the description of the house what a picture. A new yorker, persianish, and artfully 5-story house. I can imagine the opulence a
Ellie Robison
Jul 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book is literal trash. I want to burn it for all the reasons. It was a slow read, and I kept thinking: "It'll get better! The end will be worth it!" But it was not and it didn't get better. There was so much cheating. The timeline was wonky and the thoughts were unorganized. Definitely won't read any more of this author's books.
Anna  CS
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
A weak story with weak points. Terribly cheesy in a bad way.
Hajirah Jawaid
May 29, 2020 rated it did not like it
I want my money back. 😭
Jordan Holt
Jul 05, 2016 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 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,
Esmeralda O
Sep 30, 2015 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 automatica ...more
Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
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 30, 2015 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 for making me want t ...more
Jan 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-star


This book had SO many problems I don't even know where to start.

I'm just gonna jump right in. There were so many times when I had to stop reading and complain/scream/die inside about something that I had just read. I had to make a list of everything that I didn't like so that I would remember it for this review.

SPOILERS (but does it matter? I wouldn't recommend really this book)

1) WREN. She's our main character.

-She's immature, she's easily peer-pressured by a
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 rated it did not like it
Shelves: family, artsy, romance, female
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
Brooke Smith
Nov 06, 2014 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
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Defunct Group: Would you like to pilot Isabel Gillies' Starry Night? 1 2 Oct 05, 2014 09:17AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Dirty Rush
  • Four Days of You and Me
  • Throw Like a Girl
  • Rosebush
  • Breathe, Annie, Breathe
  • Jesse's Girl (Hundred Oaks)
  • The Unexpected Everything
  • Things I Can't Forget
  • It's My Life
  • Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5)
  • How She Died, How I Lived
  • Take Me On (Pushing the Limits, #4)
  • Jinx
  • Love Me, Love Me Not
  • 25 Days 'Til Christmas
  • Embrace (The Violet Eden Chapters, #1)
  • Simplemente Tini
  • Twilight (The Mediator, #6)
See similar books…
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 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.

News & Interviews

Whether it’s magic schools, dystopias, paranormal love stories, or contemporary explorations of important real-life issues, young adult books a...
111 likes · 112 comments