Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Review of Where the Stars Still Shine

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Title & Author:
Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Bloomsbury Children
Publication Date:
September 24, 2013
Purchased/NetGalley (read part via e-galley, part via finished copy)

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 loved Trish Doller’s first book, Something Like Normal. It was raw and real and gritty. But my love for her second book, Where the Stars Still Shine, is seriously hard to express in words. Trust me, there is no sophomore novel syndrome here.

There was so much of Where the Stars Still Shine that pretty brutal and hard to take because Callie went through some tough shit in her life and obviously there’s no easy way to fix that. But there’s also a lot of Where the Stars Still Shine that makes you realize that even though Callie went through all of this tough shit, she’s super normal and her story has elements in it that are relatable to everyone, from not sure where you belong, to a real first love, strange new friendships, etc.

I loved all of the characters in Where the Stars Still Shine. Callie, her father Greg, Alex, a whole cast of crazy Greek relatives, and even Callie’s mother – they all made the story and I can’t imagine it being told without any one of them.

My favourite thing about Trish Doller’s books is that she doesn’t shy away from the issues – but she doesn’t necessarily shove them in your face either. She knows teens are having sex and it’s an important aspect of the story, and has a lot to do with who Callie is as a person and who she becomes, but it’s not like Trish Doller is being controversial to be controversial. It just is what it is, if that makes any sense at all.

I loved the relationship between Callie and Alex. I love how it started and I loved the place it was at when Where the Stars Still Shine ended. I could easily see the relationship between them had an effect on Callie’s growth throughout the whole story – it felt like a very natural course for both of the characters. Alex and Callie made me giddy and frustrated and sad and hopeful and just all the emotions ever.

Also, it was super cool reading Where the Stars Still Shine because I’ve been to Tarpon Springs many times and eaten at a lot of the same restaurants and seen the sponging stuff and everything. I was nerding out over Florida, basically. Trish Doller is a master at settings.

If you’re looking for an amazing contemporary, you should go pick up Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller. Because it is beautiful.

Other books by Trish Doller

Something Like Normal

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