Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on September 24th 2013
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
This book completely floored me.
Painfully Realistic and oh so beautifully written.
Callie, our protagonist in this story, has been on the road with her mother for as long as she can remember. Constantly on the move, never having the chance to take root anywhere. In the early course of the story, Callie is taken from her mother and placed back in the care of her father, the same care that her mother took from her all these years ago by abducting her.
While Callie is trying to adjust to her new surroundings, she is battling the loss of life as it was before. Her new life offers so much possibilities but with everything so foreign to her, I can’t help but understand her feeling off loss and confusion.
Callie’s life has been everything that a girl never should have to go through, yet she never truly loses herself. She is such a strong protagonist and very easy to admire more and more as you get pulled deeper into the story. There wasn’t a single moment that this story felt unreal to me. Every moment of reading remained painfully -while other moments beautifully- realistic. Making friends doesn’t come naturally, since she never had the possibility to make them. Romantically, Callie has no way how a relationship works, the only side she knows is the sexual side. In her new life, she has to learn this step by step and her problems don’t just magically disappear. This ads to the fact that the character development in Where the Stars Still Shine is immense. There where just so much layers that I found myself peeling back again and again.
The romance between Callie and Alex builds slowly. They don’t magically fall in love, but they learn to trust each other as they go. Besides that, I found that Alex Kosta, appealed so much more to me than most guys in YA books. He had this maturity to him and his character was well-developed as well. He is one of the layers to this story. There was just so much more to him then meets the eye. He has his own reasons for being how he is and as the story progresses Callie and Alex find the trust to confide in each other.
Another thing that made this story just so beautiful is the way it ends. There is no fairy tale ending. It’s as realistic and brutally honest as the rest of the story. Most of the time I don’t really like open endings, because I feel as if at the ending there are so many things left unfinished, but there simply was no better way to end this story. In the end, nobody knows where to the future will go, but Callie does end up in a place that is way better than the place she was during the early events of this book.
This read is definitely on of the best reads I’ve had this year. Trish Doller has pulled me in with her beautiful and realistic way of bringing a story across, and because of that, she has now landed herself a place among the list of my favorite authors!
This being said, there is just one more thing I would wish to share with you. This is one quote that I noticed and wrote down right away the first time I read it. It sums up Callie’s personality in just one sentence and perfectly brings across why I loved her as a protagonist. You’ll have to see if you continue reading to see the quote, but if you haven’t read the book I would strongly advise against, as it may spoil the ending for you. Because honestly, I want for you to have the same experience while reading as I had.
Hope blooms on the surface of my sadness. It's improbable that our relationship will survive the time and distance. Except improbable is not impossible. There are so many maybes in life, but sometimes you just have to put your faith in possibility