REVIEW: Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Title: Where the Stars Still Shine
Author: Trish Doller
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Pages: 352, Hardcover
Source: Purchased

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.

  • Callie's story was a difficult one to experience. She was raised under unthinkable circumstances with a selfish and neglectful mother then suddenly thrust into a normal life with a man she barely remembers. But she doesn't know the first thing about normal. She's resistant to this new life. She doesn't know what to think or feel. She scared and confused and her actions reflect as much. I felt for her.

  • Callie's strength and maturity was admirable. She made mistakes, as one would expect, but she didn't make excuses. She didn't run from confrontation or apology. She was honest with herself and others. 

  • I really liked Alex, the love interest. He was kind to Callie and gave her the outlet she needed while she worked through everything else in her life. But he also had his own story to tell. And it was just as heartbreaking to me. 

  • It took me some time to warm to Callie. I didn't always understand her actions but I've also never been through what she has been through. This was a bit of a hurdle for me, but my only criticism. 

  • I can't help but make a comparison to If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch and if I am being honest, I like If You Find Me more. But that's not to say this isn't a wonderful book. They are both wonderful books. 

I highly recommend Trish Doller's books to anyone willing to listen to me. She writes stories that aren't often heard. She challenges the way you think, gives you a new perspective, and makes you feel new emotions. She is a force to be reckoned with and Where The Stars Still Shine is just another example of her amazing talent. 
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