Review: Where the Stars Still Shine

Posted July 17, 2015 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments

Review: Where the Stars Still ShineWhere the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Published by Bloomsbury on September 24th 2013
Format: Hardcover (352 pages) • Source: Library
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four-stars

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 thoughts

This was definitely the kind of story that grabs you and doesn’t let go while you’re reading. I finished it within a few hours. I really loved so many elements of the book, but I didn’t get to the same level of “oh my god I love this book” like MANY other readers. I’m not sure why, to be honest, because it’s hard to even think of flaws.

Callie was kidnapped by her mother when her parents got divorced, and they were on the run ever since. When her mom gets pulled over because of a broken taillight and finds out who they are, Callie is immediately brought to live with the father she doesn’t remember. She’s suddenly a part of a huge Greek family that has been missing her for years. She meets a cute boy and makes friends right away, which I thought was a little crazy… but I still loved it. Kat, Alex, and Greg (her father) were such great characters. I wanted them to be my friends. The romance was a bit quick, in my opinion, but that doesn’t mean I don’t ship the shit out of it.

Callie’s struggles between her loyalty to her mom and the love she feels from her new family were so heartbreaking. I feel like most characters would have acted out much more or made much worse decisions, but Callie felt REAL and believable. I’m so glad for that. She was willing to try new things, make friends, join her family, etc. – she was a bit hesitant, but she was so appreciative of them. Her father was the absolute best.

I loved the setting in Florida, where Greek culture reigns supreme. Callie struggles to figure out who she is and how she fits into this small community, and has some major character development throughout. The swoony Greek boy was also a nice touch <3

I really can’t think of any actual flaws with the book, but there was just a bit of something missing for me. I didn’t feel as emotionally attached to the story as I expected, for some reason. I was expecting to shed a few tears but I didn’t. I feel like it was more of a “its not you, its me” situation. I kept waiting and waiting for that little spark that tells me its going to be a five star read, but it never came. My rating report at the bottom helped me sort my feelings out a little bit, but the technical 4.5 rating still feels a little high. I would definitely recommend this book though; I loved the setting, characters, and entire story. There are countless people who absolutely loved this book and have reread it multiple times, so maybe it’ll hit you a little harder than it hit me!

feelings from friendss

rating breakdownplot premise four-half-stars characterss four-half-stars writing style five-stars pacing four-half-stars feels swoons four-stars addiction four-half-stars

8 responses to “Review: Where the Stars Still Shine

  1. Oh, I loved Where the Stars Still Shine! There was something about the way Trish wrote Callie’s story that really clicked with me, ensuring I was emotionally invested in her journey from start to finish. I love that the portrayal of Callie’s situation feels SO realistic; Trish really nailed that on the head for me!

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