Where the Stars Still Shine — Book Review

doller_stars

The Deets

author: Trish Doller

release date: September 24, 2013

format: e-book, hardcover, paperback

pages: 352 pages

publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Read: September 10-11, 2013

Acquired: Netgalley

series name: stand alone

Book Pages: Amazon.com  • Goodreads.com •  Author’s Website  

Book Type: YA, contemporary, tough issues, realistic fiction

The Down-low

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.(From Goodreads.com)

Why You Should Buy It

Trish Doller will make you laugh through streams of tears.  Her grasp on the tough issue of kidnapping, losing your identity, and finding yourself again is beyond anyone I’ve seen in a long time.  She knows how to offer hope in the midst of tragedy, and how to poignantly put us in the mind of her characters.  This is a rare gem and one I was honored to be able to review.

My Thoughts

*I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review.*

This book grabbed my heart from the very beginning and never let go.  We meet Callie who has wandered through life quite literally, after her mom takes her away from her dad and her stable life.  Shortly into the story, the mom is arrested and Callie is sent back to the dad she barely remembers and a large Greek family who has missed her for years.

Growing up with rags, never having a stable home, Callie doesn’t know how to adjust.  She is also harboring a dark secret — one that has caused her so much pain and agony.

I felt both for Callie and her father.  As a parent, I could definitely look into his perspective — having this daughter who has been gone for all this time suddenly living with him and his family, which includes two young boys.  Of course, his new wife is worried, especially since her mother’s mental illness has been unchecked so long — she is afraid for her own children and wants to protect them while balancing welcoming Callie into their lives.  It isn’t easy for anyone and there is a lot of heartbreak along the way.

I found myself understanding and connecting with Callie.  I wanted to hug her so many times and wish I could have sat down and told her “DON’T DO THAT,” because I wanted to protect her.  However, just like my kids, Callie had to find her own way — and she did grow throughout the book.

There is romance, but it is in no way the main focus of the book.  I loved that so much.  I mean, she had a lot to deal with, and focusing solely on a swoony boy would have taken so much away from the power that this book possessed.

The strongest part of this book is the end.  SO many ‘romantic’ books get cheesy and ruin the entire story — but Trish Doller just finds a way to both be realistic and leave you satisfied.  You really can’t ask for anything more than that.  If you like books that deal with tough issues, this book is a MUST buy!

Rating

4_5stars

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