Monday, October 7, 2013

Review: Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Where the Stars Still Shine 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.

My Review:

I was very excited to read this book since it is the sophomore novel of Trish Doller, author of Something Like Normal, my favorite book ever.  While this book does not surpass Something Like Normal, it is still an awesome book that did not disappoint me.  I loved the characters and the storyline of this book.  


Callie is a great character who certainly hasn't had an easy life.  She's been moved around from place to place by her mentally unstable mother who kidnapped Callie when she was five years old.  Her mom gets arrested while they are traveling to another place, and Callie is taken back home to her dad, and back to a life that she had forgotten about.  She is thrown into this strange place where she has an entire family that cares about her.  I thought the book showcased her feelings for her mother really well.  Even though her mom had kidnapped her, she still loved her mom, since her mom was all she had known for the past twelve years.  It wasn't easy for her to just accept that her mom was in trouble with the law and could be going to jail.  She felt guilty for allowing her mom to get arrested.  She felt like she needed to save her mom.

In this book, Callie finds out about many more family members that she didn't even know she had.  She comes to live with her dad, Greg, who is very welcoming.  He has wanted to find her for twelve years, so he is glad that he finally has his daughter back.  Since his divorce from Callie's mom, he has remarried a woman named Phoebe and had two boys with her, Tucker and Joe.  Tucker is three, and Joe is a year or two younger than Tucker.  They are sweet little brothers to Callie.  Phoebe is worried about having Callie around the boys at first since she fears that Callie could be mentally unstable like her mother, but her feelings change as the story progresses.  Callie also meets her cousin, Kat, who she was best friends with when she was a little girl.  Kat expects them to immediately be best friends again, but Callie doesn't really remember her.  She's never had friends, so she doesn't really know how to have a friend and be a friend.  She does become friends with Kat, but she sometimes says or does things that make Kat mad at her.  

Then there is Alex Kostas.  He is the boy that Callie meets in this book.  He doesn't know at first that she is the kidnapped girl, so he doesn't treat her like she had been kidnapped.  The romance between these two moves quickly, but it is also very sweet.  Callie has never been with a guy who has treated her well before.  All the other guys she's been with have seen her as something to be used and then discarded.  Alex helps her realize that there are good guys out there who don't just want to sleep with her and then leave her.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


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