23 Sept 2013

Review: Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
September 24th, 2013 · Bloomsbury
Source: Author
Format: ARC, won
Page Count: 308
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.
Trish Doller made a fan out of me with her debut, Something Like Normal and ever since then I’ve wanted more so you can imagine my excitement for Where the Stars Still Shine. My expectations were sky high but I knew deep down that I wouldn't be disappointed and I was right.

I started this one night after not having read for some time but as soon as I started reading I was sucked into the story and ended up staying up for a few hours until I made myself part with it because a) my eyes were getting tired (damn you tears) and b) I needed a break. Not a I’ve-had-enough break but rather a I-need-time-to-think-reflect-feel-let-the-words-absorb. After being on the run with her mum all those years and growing up without a proper childhood (I’ll let you discover the rest for yourself), Callie’s story wasn’t easy to read at times but it was always worth it.

The thing I love most about Callie is her strength and the person she is despite everything she’s been through. She deserves nothing more than to be happy and finally settle down after so much running; of course, I was rooting for her. Love interest, Alex, is in one word: gorgeous. He has his own set of problems to deal with and I liked that they were able to lean on another, plus the connection between these two? Fireworks. Alex is quite a few years older than Callie but it worked as his character had that maturity that a younger guy wouldn’t have had and been able to offer her. As for the romance, I love how it progressed! It started off as fun but slowly became something more, making for swoony times and a delight to read. This brought a nice balance to the story and lightness which both Callie and the story needed.

I can’t go on without mentioning Callie’s dad, Greg. I loved his character and the way he was portrayed. He easily could have been bitter and spiteful, it would have been understandable, but he took the higher road and focused on what really mattered: Callie.

Trish Doller weaves her magic yet again, making this a novel no contemporary fan should miss. To sum up, I loved Where the Stars Still Shine and I hope you do too!



  1. OK, now I really want to read this! I haven't read any Trish Doller but everyone always has such great things to say about her writing. And this book sounds amazing! Thanks for the review. :)

    1. I really hope you read this soon! Or anything by Trish for that matter! Both are amazing :)

  2. This is one of my favorite books of 2013. It's everything I adore about contemporary YA. I read an ARC months ago, then preordered a hardcover immediately. I can't wait to get it tomorrow! Fantastic review, Rebecca. I think all your points are spot-on, especially those about Alex. <3

    1. One of my favourites too! And, Alex, oh, wasn't he just lovely? Trish knows how to write her guys, that's for sure!

  3. It's already the third review I read of this book and now I'm finally convinced it's worth reading. I really like contemporary books and this book sounds like something I would enjoy, with a strong main character and an interesting love subject.

    Thanks for sharing this review :)

    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl

    1. Ooh, yay, glad you've finally been won over! I hope you enjoy it :)

  4. After WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE, I'm having this unquenchable urge to go and get SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL as well, because I know a lot of people - like you, for instance - who loved it as well! Trish is a fabulous writer for being able to meet your expectations, despite how high they were. :)

    "as soon as I started reading I was sucked into the story and ended up staying up for a few hours until I made myself part with it" - This was me. Gosh, I don't remember feeling that hooked on a story! I just literally could not stop reading, and only stopped because of the same reasons you listed down. Every so often, I'd close the cover of my Kindle, gaze into space, and say, "Wow."

    Eep! So glad you liked Alex, too! He's perfection, right there. I loved that he and Callie's relationship wasn't flawless. He had his own issues, she had her own issues, and they were there for each other when no one else was. The romance was definitely a major plus for the book. I also found Callie's reactions and mindset really believable, which made everything all the more emotional for me.

    GREG. I 100% agree with this: "he took the higher road and focused on what really mattered: Callie." - Such a great dad. In fact, Callie's entire family, though they weren't as heavily portrayed as I'd expected, supported her immensely. It was so touching to read about them all.

    Lovely review, Rebecca!

    1. High five, fellow STARS fan! As you can tell, I loved this book so it's so nice to see so many others loving it too, and it's only just released into he world! Seriously, I think it's VITAL you read SLN. Another superb story with the BEST male POV I've ever read. Plus, if your having Trish withdrawals, it's a win-win :)