Book Review: Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Title – Author: Where the Stars Still Shine – Trish Doller
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Format – Source: e-ARC – Publisher via NetGalley

Callie has been on the run with her mother for more than ten years. Moving at her mother’s whim, she’s never had a real home, gone to school, or had friends. When the law finally catches up with them and her mother is arrested for kidnapping Callie, Callie is sent back with her father to a small town in Florida. The life she would’ve had is filled with the unfamiliar: a large, loving Greek family, a best friend, and a guy who might be more than just a one-night-stand. Callie has to learn to leave the past behind and accept that she deserves love.

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I’ve read rave reviews for Doller’s Something Like Normal. I haven’t read that one yet but decided to take a chance that Where the Stars Still Shine would be just as good. I’m glad I did because this is a one contemporary you won’t want to miss.

Oh, Callie. I can’t even begin to describe how much I feel for you. Using the phrase “a troubled past” is putting it lightly. From the horrifying nightmares to the mentally ill mother to the moment when she finally told the truth about what happened to her as a child, I was just a mess. I can’t imagine that kind of life and it just broke my heart when Callie returned to Florida and saw the life she could’ve been living all this time.

That’s where Doller really excels: right in the feels. Because even though I have basically nothing in common with Callie, I felt with her through her entire journey. I understood when she said she couldn’t leave any of her few books behind. I got what she meant when she saw her twinkle lights make her place at her dad’s feel like a home. The whole book just felt authentic and real. The book deals with tough topics like abuse, kidnapping, and mental illness without being contrived or stereotypical.

I also really appreciated the ending. Things might be better than before, but it’s not a perfect situation. And though Callie has become much better at opening up and accepting that people love her, she still has room to grow.

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Where the Stars Still Shine is an emotional read filled with heart-wrenching moments and lovable characters.

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7 – really good but missing a little something – George Weasley

george

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