Starry Night: A Novel

Starry Night: A Novel

by Isabel Gillies


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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, that something wonderful is Nolan. With his root-beer-brown Michelangelo eyes, Nolan changes the way Wren's heart beats. In Isabel Gillies's Starry Night, suddenly everything is different. Nothing makes sense except for this boy. What happens to your life when everything changes, even your heart? How much do you give up? How much do you keep?

Starry Night by Isabel Gillies is a tender, romantic young adult novel about first love.

“A love story set in New York's Upper West Side, Starry Night follows Wren through her first heartbreak.” —VOYA

“There is much to recommend about this touching story of first love, betrayal, and friendship.” —Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250068224
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication date: 10/27/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 1,131,561
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 5.50(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Isabel Gillies, known for her television role as Detective Stabler's wife on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, has published two memoirs, Happens Every Day (a New York Times bestseller) and A Year and Six Seconds (both Scribner). She graduated from New York University with a BFA in film. Isabel lives in Manhattan with her family.

Read an Excerpt


I don’t think you fall in love for the first time until something—or someone—feels dangerous. I don’t mean dangerous like going to jail, I guess I mean just different, really different. Different can feel dangerous, right? Like, I think it feels dangerous when your heart pounds so hard you are sure it’s visible beating under your shirt. Or when you can’t sleep, or catch your breath, or concentrate or listen, or when you turn a different color just thinking about his face, or when your relationships with your friends get all screwed up, or when you fight with your parents. When you change direction or your mind, or when tears fall and fall from your eyes for hours, when your whole life gets put in a Cuisinart—all because of a single person.

For me, it started at the Metropolitan Museum of Art—and it ended there too. I am not sure why the person that I was in love with ended up not wanting to be in love with me anymore. A part of me thinks it was my fault. That does not sound strong, but sometimes I don’t feel strong. What I hear is that we are very strong, we girls. Girls can do anything. We are leaders, we are intuitive, we are brave, we are smart, and we kick ass. “If women ran the world there would be no war.” Don’t you hear that? Maybe it’s true; I’m certainly not going to say it’s not. But if it is true, then how come it can all feel so impossibly fragile? How come you can feel like you are getting it entirely wrong?

Maybe boys don’t feel strong all the time either. I don’t think van Gogh felt strong, and look at everything he did—look at The Starry Night. Maybe you can feel fragile and still paint The Starry Night. Or maybe you can paint it because you are fragile. Maybe you can be strong and still be vulnerable, like a tree. Have you ever seen a tree filled with birds? There seems to be one on every branch, and then all of a sudden something happens, possibly from the atmosphere or the surroundings—or maybe not, maybe it’s something having to do with the tree itself, the branches, the leaves, or even the roots—that causes the birds to fly away in unison. And the tree is just left there—maybe strong, but left.

The air felt loaded in New York City. It was one of those days that you feel not only that the temperature will drop but that something tremendous is going to happen. It was a Monday in November and the sky was so blue it was violet, uninterrupted by clouds. The sidewalks reflected the shining sun, making us squint. Mostly, I remember this crazy wind. It was so forceful you knew the meteorologists were talking about it on the news. It was pushing us around. Our hair whooshed over our heads, twisting and tangling. Sometimes a gust would come and push us a few steps faster than we would have usually walked. This made us squeal. We were suited up in fall sweaters and jean jackets over our dark blue, pleated school uniforms and black leggings, scarves wrapped multiple times around our necks. Fall clothes are the best ones—I feel so much safer in a cardigan and boots than in some flimsy dress and sandals. But even in our chunky sweaters, we weren’t dressed for the sudden change in weather; we weren’t at all ready for it. The three inches of leg between where the stretchy legging fabric ended and my ankle booties began were red with cold, and that was just the beginning. We were not protected. We should have been wearing parkas, heavy ones.

Farah, Padmavati, and Reagan were coming over to my house after school because that night my father, who is the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was hosting the opening of a new exhibit he was curating, and—for the first time—my friends and I were invited to the party. Charlie, our only friend-who-is-a-boy, was meeting us at my house. He was probably already there because his school, St. Tim’s, is on the west side of Manhattan, where we all live. My brother, Oliver, goes there too, but he’s a senior, and we are sophomores. St. Tim’s is just for boys, and Hatcher, where Farah, Padmavati, Reagan, and I go to school, is just for girls. It’s on the east side of Central Park. But it’s not really where we met. We’ve known each other since we were born. Since before we were born really. We’re Turtles. Fifteen years ago on the Upper West Side, five babies were born all in the same month (basically) to parents in the same reading group, all because of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. It sounds like a reading group orgy—but really, it was because of the discussion of one hot scene and what happened when everyone got home.

Our parents called us the Turtles because turtles lay so many eggs at one time.

Text copyright © 2014 by Isabel Gillies

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Starry Night 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
ReviewsComingatYA More than 1 year ago
 tale of teen love is both realistic and fantastical 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everday, practically. <p> Monday- (possibly) 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. then 11:00 p.m.-12:00 p.m. <br> Tuesday- (possibly) 8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. then 11:00 p.m.-12:00 p.m. <br> Wednesday- (possibly) 9:00 p.m.-12:00 p.m. <br> Thursday- (possibly) 8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. then 10:00 p.m.-12:00 p.m. <br> Friday- (possibly) 8:00 p.m.-12:00 p.m. <p> Saturday- (possibly) 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. then 10:00 p.m.-12:00 p.m. <br> Sunday- (possibly) 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. then 5:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mon.,Wed,Fri,Sat,Sun 3:45-5:30 and maybe 6:30-9:30 Eastern Time
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel was amazing. I higy recomend it to all readers who like romance fiction.
TheIndigoQuill More than 1 year ago
See full review @ The Indigo Quill . blogspot . com Special thanks to NetGalley and Farrar Straus and Giroux for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Reviews for this book are all over the place, so I was a bit reluctant to read it. However, I know I need more YA in my repertoire and I love the cover, so I went with it. I felt like I was time-traveling into my past and looking through the eyes of my teenage self as I read this book. Wren is a young artist with ADD. She has a dynamic group of friends she's grown up with, her family is basically famous, and her brother makes friends with a dude she thinks is pretty fine. Mix in a fancy shmancy museum party, some late night mingling with attractive and successful people, and a few bad decisions among the posse and you've got Starry Night.  All of the characters are in High School and pretty much all driven by hormones and blind dreams. I think that's what made this book feel real to me. It was exploding with the quirks and follies of teenagedom and I enjoyed every moment of it. I was totally that kid. It made me laugh at stupid things I thought and did back then. It blew little issues out of proportion, because back then everything did seem like a big deal, because you just haven't experienced the real world yet and nothing is really in perspective. When you're a teenager, your main concern is the person you like and whether people like you or not. Junior and Senior year you *might* start thinking about college and the rest of your life, but that's still only your #2 concern.  This book totally brought me back to that time, and not only was I able to enjoy Wren's story and even all the heartbreak (because let's face it, most of us got our hearts broken by someone we thought was 'the one' in high school), but it also made me appreciate the fact that I went through all those things, because that's how I got to today. I don't care what they say, I liked this book. Starry Night is a light YA Chick Lit and is a perfect &quot;beach book&quot; or &quot;just for fun&quot; book. For those who enjoy books like The Selection Series by Kiera Cass or the Blood and Snow Series by RaShelle Workman will enjoy this book. There isn't really any fast-pace adventure or anything, but it is definitely a journey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looks at a cute guy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She waits.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Saturday :: 9:00 to 11:00 PM <br> Tuesday and/or Wednesday :: 6 to 8 PM
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Moonkit: friday from 5:00pmm to 6:00pm pacific. <br> Twistedtwig: monday from 10:00pm to 11:00pm pacific, as welll as wensdays from 6:30am to 7:30am pacific.