Title: Where the Stars Still Shine [Goodreads][Amazon]
Author: Trish Doller
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Release Date: September 24, 2013
In My Opinion: Add to cart!
One Line: An engaging and realistic contemporary with brilliant and poignant writing.
About the Book: 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.
Where the Stars Shine is a very well written book. I loved how it took a somewhat tough subject, and made it somewhat light-hearted, yet also serious and real at the same time. This is one of those times, yet again, where the writing is poetic and beautiful, but there isn’t much that happens. Not to say that it’s a bad thing, because I’ve been relentlessly bored in the past with well-written, yet uneventful books. Thankfully, the main character’s voice was intriguing and despite the lack of intense drama and action, the pace was steady and I found I rather enjoyed this one. Things were very exciting at the beginning, it did kind of dull out in the middle, but towards the end things really picked up.
Here you have a girl who was taken away from a loving family before she even knew what was going on. She dealt with a lot of troubling issues growing up like a flaky and emotional mother, no friends or any sense of normal (having never gone to school or had any proper meals or a proper home), and she dealt with a seriously traumatizing issues as a child. Callie was a decent female protagonist, and while there were times I couldn’t really connect with or understand her, especially when it came to how her and Alex started things, other times, I loved being in her head, seeing all she went through and watching her adjust to her new life.
I also really liked the secondary characters, especially Kat. And I loved the setting. Modern-day Greek culture, food, and language, what’s not to love?! I definitely didn’t know there was such a big Greek population in that part of Florida and I really enjoyed the descriptions of the town, what people like Alex did for a living, and seeing Callie’s family dynamic. Although I could see Alex’s appeal, I didn’t really care for him, but I understood his purpose during Callie’s journey to self-discovery.
While I didn’t love this like I was hoping, I still really enjoyed it and I know YA Contemporary fans will love it. I’m beginning to think I’m not much of a Contemporary fan, at least when it comes to stories like this. I feel like these are the kinds of books that are supposed to tug at your emotions and make you feel something deep and meaningful, but I think I’m missing that gene because I never really get emotional reading these kinds of books. Like Eleanor & Park, Uses for Boys, or Our Song, for example. But really, that’s just my issue. Still, I really did like this one, probably more so than a lot of others I’ve read this year, so if this sounds like you’re kind of book, then I’d definitely recommend you give it a try.