Publication Date: September 24th 2013
Links: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher (Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books) in exchange for an honest review
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.
I’ve never read a book by Trish Doller before, but I was thoroughly impressed. I requested a copy from Netgalley because of the premise and gorgeous cover. And I’m so glad I did because I enjoyed this book so much! It was slow and raw and heartwarming and sweet, and shows so much how you absolutely can find love no matter who you are, what you are, what you’ve done or where you’re from.
Callie was a great narrator. She was real, even though she had been on the run with her mom for twelve years. She’s hesitant about going back into a normal life, but I mean, who wouldn’t if you’ve never had any semblance of a normal life for over a decade? I wanted to feel sorry for her, but she’s a tough girl. She can handle her own, as she’s been doing the past twelve years, even if some things in her past do continue to haunt her. And the fact that she’s so resistant to her father and his family makes it hard for her to see how much they love her. Her new (well, technically it’s ‘old’) family is loving and welcoming, but Callie can’t accept their love. She feels like she’s betraying her mother, whom she still loves. But eventually, her family worms their way into her heart, and Callie knows that she’ll do anything for them, and that they’ll do anything for her. They teach and give her the unconditional love she never really had, and it was so touching and uplifting to read.
Greek culture is a pretty big part of the book, which was refreshing. The town Callie’s father lives in is a Greek tourist-y place, and Callie finds work selling Greek-like souvenirs with her cousin Kat. I never really read books that feature Greek culture, so it was a good kind of different to read about the food, the people, the language. I loved the Greek touch to the book! Made me want to go to Greece, see some Greek boys… *sigh*
Alex Kosta is the older boy Callie meets who she instantly is intrigued with. He’s beautiful but has something inside him that makes her want to know all his secrets, and tell him all her secrets. Their relationship was slow and awkward and bittersweet. I didn’t really connect with Alex, but I still felt he was perfect for Callie. He brought out the best in her, made her feel, and made her fall in love. And Callie is different for him as well. They connect in a way that they never have with anyone else before, and they show each other that love is possible for them both.
There are so many maybes in life, but sometimes you just have to put your faith in possibility.
I enjoyed reading this book so much. The dark and gritty balanced perfectly well with the sweet and heartwarming. I definitely recommend it for those who like their books a bit slow but moving. Now I’m really looking forward to reading Trish Doller’s first book, Something Like Normal.
Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.
Also by Trish Doller
Something Like Normal: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
The Devil You Know: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
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4 thoughts on “Early Review: Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller”
I have this one from NetGalley too and need to still read it. I love books that immerse you in their environment, especially if it’s a different country or someplace I haven’t been, so I’d love the whole Greece aspect of this. Great review!
I have had this book for a long, long time on my Kindle but I haven’t yet read it. I think I should jump on it though, after reading your review!
I really enjoyed this book! And the cover is gorgeous. I hope you give it a try!