Friday, October 18, 2013

Review: Where the Stars Still Shine

Title:Where the Stars Still Shine
Author: Trish Doller
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: September 24th 2013
Source: Netgalley and Bloomsbury USA Children's Books


Five stars.

Only one thing about Callie's life is constant- her mother. The mother that took her away from her family over a decade ago. Now Callie's life consists of month-to-month apartments and hotels, food that she can get from a vending machine down the street, and clothes that she gets at local thrift stores boasting that town's names and schools to help her fit in. And let's not forget the slew of less than honorable men that her mother spends time with. But that life comes to an end when Callie's mother is finally arrested for her kidnapping... And Callie is taken to live with her father, in a proper home. She has to learn all over again what it's like to be in a family, to be loved, and to learn the roots she'd all but forgotten.


I'll be the first one to admit, I was a little leery about reading this title. I'd seen so many reviews raving and praising it that I was afraid that my opinions couldn't live up to the hype that it caused. Well, all I can say is that I was definitely not disappointed. This book is worth every bit of praise that it collects.

What might be the biggest pro of this book, in my opinion, is the protagonist, Callie. She's a refreshing heroine, who is strong and relatable while still being somewhat confused in her life and unsure of where she fits in to the grand scheme of it all. I think this juxtaposition is part of what makes the writing of this story so real. These conflicting traits work in harmony to represent a character with more depth, more personality. I was rooting for her from page one until the end.

This book also features one of my soft spots- Greek characters. Callie learns that the family she was forced to leave behind as a child is a large Greek one, and they live in a largely Greek community in Florida. The exceptionally handsome love interest, Alex, is also of this persuasion. I don't know why I have a thing for the Greeks (since I myself am Polish and Irish), but I do, and so I found this added level of Callie finding about where she's come from to be a pleasant surprise.

The writing itself is well detailed and pretty, while still having a layer of grit that I can't quite explain. But the narration allows for the story to seem pure and nonfiction, despite the fact that it is a fictional piece of work. I hate to use this word, because it's rather ambiguous, but it has a good "flow" to it that makes it easy to read in one sitting- the reader can easily lose themselves in the plot.

Plus, the cover work is gorgeous. It's definitely on my list of best covers for this year.

I've read quite a few books that feature a less-than-well mother/daughter relationship. Some of these I've liked well enough, and a few I didn't care for at all. Where the Stars Still Shine is the first that has blown me away entirely, perfectly captured the complexities of the emotions involved in a dynamic such as this, and has made me so adamantly support a female protagonist.

Where the Stars Still Shine is the first book that I have read by author Trish Doller, but it will most certainly not be the last. I recommend it to fans of YA romance, contemporary novels, or realistic fiction.

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Bloomsbury USA Children's Books for my copy.


  1. The moment you said the female protagonist was relatable I was pretty much sold on this book, and the five star rating sealed the deal. I'm so looking forward to reading this book!

    1. I think you'd like it for the Greeks too lol

  2. WTSSS made me so happy! I just had a feeling that it was going to be awesome and you were right, it deserves all the praises and more. I think my favorite part is Alex and Callie. I expected it to be totally cliche but it's different then I thought it was going to be.

    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

  3. Awesome review! I'm soooo excited to read this one. It sounds like a really special book! :)