Forgiven Are the Starry-Eyed by Christine Dore Miller

Forgiven Are the Starry-Eyed by Christine Dore Miller
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Sixteen-year-old Andrea Cavanaugh is elated when Josh, a bright-eyed piano prodigy, becomes her first boyfriend. But the closer she gets to him, the more she realizes that he’s not the boy she first fell for. In its poignancy and emotional darkness, Forgiven are the Starry-Eyed takes you deep into the delicate and devastating web of shame that spirals from the depths of dating violence when dreamy teenage love turns dark. Andrea must find not only an escape, but a belief that she is even worthy of freedom.

Love isn’t supposed to hurt.
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I appreciated the way the author showed the audience the many warning signs of an abusive relationship through multiple examples in the storyline itself. This was so much more effective than sharing a list or having another character spout them off once Andrea was more deeply involved with Josh. It also gave the audience a chance to think for themselves, especially when it came to the small moments of discomfort the main character felt on her first date that can so easily be brushed off.

There were some pacing issues in the beginning that I found distracting. What made them even more noticeable was that one scene from a faster-paced section was included out of chronological order early on. This was the only thing I wish had been written differently about this tale. Everything else about it was so accurate, interesting, and sympathetic that I wish every teenager would read it before they jump into the dating pool for the first time.

The ending was perfect. I often wondered how Ms. Miller was planning to resolve everything, especially since this was a fairly short novel and there were still so many loose ends to tie up by the time I got to the last ten pages or so. It was delightful to see where she went with the plot at that point. It was satisfying but also left room for a sequel if she ever decides to write one. I, for one, would love to know what happened to Andrea next!

Forgiven Are the Starry-Eyed was a timely, educational read that I’d recommend to teen and adult readers alike.

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