‘Stars in Your Eyes’ by Kacen Callender Book Review

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Stars in Your Eyes by Kacen Callender is an uplifting story and a challenging read. Trauma features as prominently as love in this novel, but that’s what makes it so powerful: its affirmation that trauma does not disqualify anyone from love.

Logan Gray is a former child actor from a legacy Hollywood family. Now grown into an actor who is simultaneously acclaimed for his work and loathed for his drug and sex-fueled escapades. Matthew “Mattie” Cole is an up-and-comer, adored as Hollywood’s sweetheart.
When the two are cast as co-leads in a romance, the initial buzz surrounding their pairing is snuffed out when Logan gives an interview declaring Matthew talentless. The movie’s executives hatch a plan to stem the bleeding – Logan and Mattie will fake being in a relationship, with every encounter carefully timed and scripted.
Although the fake romance trope is one we’re all familiar with, in Callen’s hands. It becomes something more – daring to challenge one of romance’s underpinnings, that being in love is a cure-all.

Intrigued by the novel and wanting to know more about the author, I found this blog post on Kacen Callendar’s website:

The story was based in my own experiences, and was an answer to my realization that many romance novels (even ones I adore) don’t often have characters like me or Logan, people who have struggled to feel safe in their bodies and with others; people who struggle to connect, and have been told that we aren’t complete until we fall in love and are loved in return. I wanted to share the authentic experience of a survivor in a romance book to validate that childhood trauma survivors are worthy of love. In a story that frames us as complete without a partner.

Find a copy of this LGBTQIA+ Romance from your favorite retailer.

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What Other People Are Saying About Stars in Your Eyes

“National Book Award winner Callender (Felix Ever After) investigates shame and trauma in a deeply emotional queer romance. That’s more rom-dram than rom-com despite its fun fake dating premise. The drama is tempered by the genuine love and affection that arises between the leads. At least until the phony nature of how they first got together is leaked to the press. “Isn’t it more satisfying, then?” Mattie wonders. “To see a happily ever after that fought for in the end.” Callender makes the answer to this question a resounding yes. Readers will be hooked.” – Publishers Weekly
“Overall, I loved Stars in Your Eyes. I could probably talk about this book all day and have barely scratched the surface of my thoughts. This story was such a masterful representation of the impacts of chronic relational trauma. And it approached the topic with great care and nuance. Therefore, I rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars.” – Biblio Nerd Reflections
“Wow, just wow. What may sound to some to be a fluffy fake-dating romance is so, so much more.” – Nerd Daily

About the Author –Kacen Callender

Kacen47.jpgKacen Callender is a bestselling and award-winning author of multiple novels for children, teens, and adults, including the National Book Award-winning King and the Dragonflies and the bestselling novel Felix Ever After.






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