Review: Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Where the Stars Still Shine Trish DollerWhere the Stars Still Shine

Author: Trish Doller
Publisher: 
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Pages: 352
Source: Netgalley/Bloomsbury
Rating: 5 out of 5

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. – GoodReads

I remember reading Trish Doller’s debut novel last year, Something Like Normal, and really super enjoyed it. I was more than ecstatic to pick up Where the Stars Still Shine, and, after reading it, I can happily say that this made it to my 2013 favorites.

Laced with a gorgeous writing style throughout the entire novel, Where the Stars Still Shine was a vivid story with a very realistic setting in the small town in Florida. This particular setting really enhanced the story for me, and it was utter perfection.

Not only this, but the characters in this story were also incredibly lovable and heart-wrenching. If I wasn’t from the start, I became so attached to each and every character by the end that I couldn’t help but tear up a little when the story ended. Doller has that affect on you: the one where she creates such authentic characters that you sometimes question why they ended up in a fictional book, and not in reality. Callie, the deeply wounded main character, progresses slowly throughout the story, since she did not live a normal life through her growing years. I have to say that I didn’t agree with all of her decisions, but they were all understandable in her situation. While she doesn’t fully recover by the end of the story, Doller leaves the reader knowing that things do get better for her, and it’s an overall beautiful feeling.

The romance. Oh, the romance. At first, I wasn’t even sure this particular guy in the story was the love interest, but I couldn’t have asked for a better guy for Callie. The romance starts off as a pure insta-lust kind of love, but Doller really dives into the nitty-gritty of it all and it really becomes a romance that is swoon-worthy, genuinely flawed, and real. Have I mentioned that this guy is swoon-worthy? YUM.

I’m not sure if I can go any further to convince you to pick this book up, because seriously, this contemporary is magnificently written with unbelievably real characters and a die-hard romance. Where the Stars Still Shine will make your heart unfold their wings and soar– I bow down to you, Trish Doller.

rating-system-5-out-of-5

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