Starry Nights

Starry Nights - Daisy Whitney I'm going to come right out with it and let you guys know that this book was just not for me. I was originally sucked in by the cute cover and the idea of a YA mystery book meets Night at the Museum but for me it just didn't work. I'll explain my reasons below but I also believe that there are people who will love this book. If you are into art and Paris and museums and HEA, I think this one would work really well for you. So just make sure you keep all of that in mind while you read the rest of this review. Also, there are some *spoilers* here.My main problems with this book are 1) the instalove and 2) the MC's voice.Sometimes, I can get behind instalove in books when it feels like there's some kind of justifiable instant connection between two characters but unfortunately, this was not one of those times. Julien falls in love with a girl in a painting. He hasn't even talked to her and he's fallen for her. Then, magically, as soon as she comes out of her painting, she falls for him, too. None of it made sense for me, even in a magical realism world, how a teenage boy would fall in love with a girl in a painting and give up all real girls for her. He knows nothing about her, where she came from, who she is, or if she's even real and going to stick around. But it doesn't matter, he saw her in art and he loves her. And Clio, the girl in the painting, has literally been trapped in a painting that was in someone's basement for a hundred-something years. She knows nothing about Julien, nothing about the current world, hasn't talked to anyone since she was trapped, but she sees Julien and that's it. She gives up all other potential guys and her life's work for the first boy she sees. I just don't get it and can't support a "romance" like that. But if you like really cheesy romances, you might really like Julien and Clio.On a similar note, Julien never really felt real to me. He's supposed to be a teenage boy and while I understand that he is in France and I'm not accustomed to French teenagers, his voice never felt natural or teenage boy to me. He was a nice enough character and smart and all the things you'd think you'd want in a perfectly nice character, but he just never screamed "I'm a teenage boy!" Though, honestly, he never actually really screamed anything to me. With all of his niceness, he was also a little boring. The only times he really seemed believable to me were the times he was with Emilie, a real girl ballerina. He seemed much more natural and not I was really hoping the two of them would get a chance together, but Julien barely even thinks of her with Clio in the museum.Overall, the fact that I couldn't connect with the MC and the instalove that gets really cheesy (At one point Julien says, "She tastes like a song.") it just didn't work for me. I wasn't sure about the magical realism at first, but that part actually worked just fine for me. I did really enjoy some of the secondary characters; Bonheur and Sophie add some interest and Simon works as a loyal sidekick. The plot does get a little weird towards the end with the progression of the mystery and the addition of a character who's trying to get Clio's painting. But overall, there just isn't much to the story that I really connected with. It's a very light, somewhat younger YA that might work if you're a big art fan or really into magical realism. *I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*