Where the Stars Still Shine – Trish Doller

15826648Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
September 24th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: eGalley via NetGalley

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.

This is a magnificent story about a girl experiencing friendship, love and family all for the first time. Callie was taken away from everything by her mother at a young age. Together they lived on the run until one crucial day they are separated. Callie is not used to staying in one place for very long and therefore did not get to experience everyday things. She has not had the experience of a friend or family and luckily gets both in her cousin Kat. Kat is very different than Callie and helps her not only adjust to her new life but to her new family as well.

Alex was a perfect love interest. He has his own set of problems but this does not stop him from helping Callie and vice versa. It was refreshing to see two characters who are both struggling with something help each other.  Too often is there one character that has everything together that helps the one struggling. Also I loved watching their relationship grow from something very physical to something deeper and more emotional.

At times this book had a “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” feel without the wedding. This was a beautiful look at Greek culture in America and even included some Greek sayings! I love books with a little extra something. Now I can’t tell you if the Greek culture was spot on (since I’m not a bit of Greek) but it felt right and I enjoyed it.

One thing I really liked about this book was the pacing. It felt slower than other books I have read but it was not slow. The whole book I felt as if I was experiencing everything with Callie. She finds things out about not only her past but the past of her mother and father. Callie is in a new environment and therefore does spend a good amount of time absorbing the unfamiliar culture and its people. One note about this is that the ending was very abrupt to me compared to the pacing of the rest of the book. This is not saying I did not enjoy the ending, I was just left saying “That’s it?” I wish I was able to take in the ending the same way I did for the rest of the book.

I loved Trish Doller’s writing. She did a great job of handling heavy topics in a way that didn’t feel overwhelming. I will definitely be reading more from her!



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