Thursday, September 19, 2013

Review: Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Where the Stars Still Shine
by Trish Doller
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Publication Date: September 24th 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781619631441
Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary
Source: Netgalley

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Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true. (Goodreads)
Where the Stars Still Shine is the very first Trish Doller novel that I have read. I have heard nothing but good things about this author, so I was super excited to read this book. Let me just say that this book definitely did not disappoint.

** This book contains mature situations.

Seventeen year old Callie has not had a normal life. How much of a life can you have, living on the road, from one town to the next, with her mother? But all that changes one fateful night, when Callie discovers the truth about why they live the way that they live, and the family that she has never known.

Callie was such an interesting character. Yes, she is a teenager, and we see a lot of that through her. Sometimes she frustrated me to no end, not listening to rules that her father set for her and on a few occasions putting herself in danger. But despite that, and despite all that she had been through, she was a really good kid. You couldn’t help but feel for her situation. It was interesting following Callie through this book, and watching her find herself, and change into a completely different person than she was in the beginning of the book.

The love interest in the story is Alex, who is the town’s resident bad boy. Or so it seems. I actually really loved the relationship between Alex and Callie. He is exactly what she needed, even when no one else thought the same. They were absolutely perfect for each other. (Although, I wish they hadn’t started their relationship off the way they did.)

I loved almost all of the secondary characters in the book as well. Callie’s father, Greg, was such a wonderful dad to her. Even when he had no idea what he was doing, he was so great. As was his family, his great big Greek family. (I adore those types of families!)

The storyline is probably part of every parent’s worst nightmare, having a child taken from you, and not seeing them or knowing where they were for years and years. I can’t even imagine. While the kidnapping is what the story revolves around, except for some flashbacks, the story is written after she is returned to her father. There will be many times that the story is absolutely going to break your heart, or at least it did for me. I felt like I had closure at the end of the book, even though I am super curious to see what’s next for Callie and Alex and the rest of the characters I’ve grown to love in this book. If there was ever a sequel written for this book, I would totally buy it.

Overall, this was my first read by Trish Doller, but it definitely won’t be my last! I seriously flew through these pages in no time at all. If you enjoy Young Adult Contemporary books, you will definitely enjoy this book.

Happy Reading!


  1. Fantastic review! I loved this book too. I did have issues with how Callie's relationship with Alex began but I guess it helped to illustrate what she thought was normal and her low expectations for herself.

    It was hard to read about the abuse and to see her defend her mom sometimes but I loved how welcoming her dad and his family are. There are a lot of great secondary characters.

    Like you, this is my first Trish Doller book that I read and I am planning to pick up her debut novel sometime.

  2. Love this cover -- so pretty. And it sounds like what's inside is pretty, too (always good when the insides and outsides match, isn't it?). I think I'd like to meet Alex and Callie!

  3. I haven't read anything by Trish either, but this one looks like a good place to start. I like that it seems like you really connected with Callie and that the romance is one of those perfect for each other couples. I always enjoy those.

    Thanks for the great review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  4. Upon reading your review I'm now going to grab myself a copy as it sounds like a good read :)


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