Sixteen-year-olds Gwendolyn Reilly and Philip Wishman (aka Wish) were inseparable childhood best friends. Playing “Gone With the Wind” at the New Jersey Shore where they lived, it didn’t matter that they were awkward goofball kids, as long as they were together. Even when Wish moved away to California and suddenly became hot overnight, he still loved Gwen and asked her to be his long-distance girlfriend. But when Wish announces he is moving back East, Gwen worries that he’ll dump her once he discovers that she is overweight and a social outcast.
Even after she reunites with Wish, who still seems to adore her, Gwen spends so much time waiting for the other shoe to drop that she ignores his odd behavior (he wears long-sleeved black shirts in the blistering summer heat) and the chaotic weather threatening the family bakery. When Gwen meets Christian, her mother’s newest (and strangest) employee, she learns that Wish has been dabbling in astrological magic, thus putting Gwen and everyone she loves in danger.
While the ending to this story is a bit anticlimactic (and readers will wonder if she ends up with the right guy), no one can deny that Gwen is an irresistible protagonist whose first-person narration is funny and self-deprecating. On the first day of school, she compares her attempt to find her place in the high school social hierarchy to sperm trying to break into the egg: “Thespian egg? Denied! Chess club egg? Denied! Future Homemakers of America egg? Denied! I don’t even bother to go near the really popular eggs, because that would be spermicide.” Starstruck is sure to enchant fans of paranormal romance and will find a place next to Meg Cabot on many readers’ bookshelves.