[ARC Review] Where the Stars Still Shine

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Title: Where the Stars Still Shine
Author: Trish Doller
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Format: Hardcover, 308 pages
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: ARC received by publisher for honest review

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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.

It is official. I have fallen back in love with Contemporary YA Fiction. It is stories and author like Trish Doller that make me want to gush and gush about a book o a friend. Although I have never read anything from Trish before, I will now. Because of the way she transformed a story into something so extraordinary, she deserves to be noticed. Where the Stars Still Shine was brilliant in every way.

A mark of a good book is the amount of feels you have while reading. And I knew the moment I started reading that I was going to need some alone time I was going to have THE FEELS.

Our narrator is Callie, a young woman who has taken care of her mother since she was small. It was that or they would starve or be homeless. She also has a devastating secret that morphs her ability to see what is right and what is wrong. It is only when she finds out that her mother stole her from her father that she realises that life she could have had, and how much she doesnt fit into the family that loves her so much.

What I loved most about this book was it utter need to be real. There is no avoiding tough topics like sexual abuse, and sexual promiscuity. Trish Doller makes you think you know a character and then in one line everything is shattered. Family life is depicted so well in this novel. Callie's family is Greek, so therefore they are many in number, so the fact that Callie feels overwhelmed and lost reads normal for me. I felt like Callie was a great character for this story because she felt real. She did not take shit and she did not apologize for the way she lives because that is how she survived all those year.

Another thing I loved was her devotion t her mother. Even after learning everything about what happened when she was small, there was a large part of Callie that yearned for the freedom she felt when she was with her, and since her Mother was the only parent she ever knew, it made sense.

The love story was not slow building. It was sudden and shocking, and since Callie is neither normal nor boring, it made sense for her love interest to be at the same caliber. Although this book does deal with teens being sexually active, and their nonchalance about it felt needed because it made sense for Callie. I know many will opose this but honestly I loved that part because it gave a different perspective on a situation that is so overdone in YA fiction. It was refreshingly shocking.

This book will change you. I know its been over two weeks since I read it and I am still thinking about. it will make you question what is normal and what is perceived as normal. And what it means to be part of a family, even a broken one. This is a brilliant read that everyone should have on their shelves.

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