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Where the Stars Still Shine [Kindle Edition]

Trish Doller
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up–Readers who appreciated the gritty realism tempered with romance in Doller's Something Like Normal (Bloomsbury, 2012) will welcome this book about a 17-year-old struggling to move beyond a traumatic past and find redemption. Callie was kidnapped at age five by her mother, Veronica, and both have been on the run ever since. Rootless and bouncing from place to place, the teen has become accustomed to loneliness. But when Veronica is finally arrested for her daughter's kidnapping, Callie's reunion with her father, Greg, is bittersweet. Left to her own devices all those years, she bristles at his attempts to establish a stable home environment and draw her into his close-knit family. He is part of a large Greek-American community in which everyone seems to know everyone and she is overwhelmed by it. Callie's competing loyalties to both parents prove trying as she grapples with creating friendships and fulfilling family expectations. Terrifying flashbacks also reveal that Callie was sexually abused as a child. She seeks solace in the arms of Alex, a local boy with a “ladies' man” reputation. Soon, their relationship develops from something steamy into enduring tenderness. Adding depth is the novel's stark contrast between Callie's itinerant, heartbreaking former life and her new one, suffused with warmth and Greek traditions. Doller gracefully handles complex issues including mental illness, parental neglect, and trauma in a respectful manner that will ring true to readers. A highly suitable choice for teens who enjoyed Erica Lorraine Scheidt's Uses for Boys (St. Martin's, 2013).–Lalitha Nataraj, Escondido Public Library, CAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


“Heartbreaking and powerful.” -- Melina Marchetta, Printz winning author of Jellicoe Road

Product Details

  • File Size: 428 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 161963144X
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; 1 edition (September 24, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DF3OOY2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,473 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Story of a Girl Grown Up Too Fast October 15, 2013
As befits a teen "problem novel," Callie's mother has drinking problems, money problems and relationship problems. Callie has pretty much raised herself, she doesn't attend school anymore. Truth be told, her mom is probably mentally ill. By Chapter 2, Callie and her mom are picked up the by a sheriff who discovers that Callie's mom doesn't really have custody, and her father has been looking for her for years. Her father has remarried, Callie has two half-brothers, and this new family lives in a close knit Greek community a plane-ride away.

Author Trish Doller does an excellent job of portraying Callie's wariness with her new and (an outside observer might say) "better" family. But despite the abundant love, the financial security and the clean clothes, Callie misses her mom and feels uncomfortable in this new family-intensive life. She is used to fending for herself and being on her own. Nothing unfolds as expected, as the rich and sometimes flawed characters do the best they can to adjust to new circumstances. Callie is sexually active, and her relationships are portrayed lovingly and realistically for a young woman grown up too soon. Probably best for high school readers, due to some mature situations.
About me: I'm a middle school/high school librarian
How I got this book: advance reading copy given to me at a conference
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly enjoyed it September 27, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I've never read a book by Trish Doller before, but I was thoroughly impressed. I requested a copy from Netgalley because of the premise and gorgeous cover. And I'm so glad I did because I enjoyed this book so much! It was slow and raw and heartwarming and sweet, and shows so much how you absolutely can find love no matter who you are, what you are, what you've done or where you're from.

Callie was a great narrator. She was real, even though she had been on the run with her mom for twelve years. She's hesitant about going back into a normal life, but I mean, who wouldn't if you've never had any semblance of a normal life for over a decade? I wanted to feel sorry for her, but she's a tough girl. She can handle her own, as she's been doing the past twelve years, even if some things in her past do continue to haunt her. And the fact that she's so resistant to her father and his family makes it hard for her to see how much they love her. Her new (well, technically it's `old') family is loving and welcoming, but Callie can't accept their love. She feels like she's betraying her mother, whom she still loves. But eventually, her family worms their way into her heart, and Callie knows that she'll do anything for them, and that they'll do anything for her. They teach and give her the unconditional love she never really had, and it was so touching and uplifting to read.

Greek culture is a pretty big part of the book, which was refreshing. The town Callie's father lives in is a Greek tourist-y place, and Callie finds work selling Greek-like souvenirs with her cousin Kat. I never really read books that feature Greek culture, so it was a good kind of different to read about the food, the people, the language. I loved the Greek touch to the book!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't stop hating the main character October 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I feel like such a black sheep among my blogging friends. So many people I know LOVED Where the Stars Still Shine but I didn't. I didn't totally hate it, but I didn't love it.

I have a lot of issues with the book, but I think the biggest one is Callie and my lack of sympathy for her. We learn a lot about how Callie was sexually abused as a child and mostly ignored by her mother. Naturally, that has caused Callie to have a few problems of her own. But, when that happens in books, usually the author makes me sympathize with the character. That way, when the character acts weird/b**chy/annoying, I feel for her and I have thoughts like, "It's not her fault; she can't help it" etc. That way I don't hate the character for being weird or mean, instead I feel bad because I know that something awful caused her to be that way. This wasn't the case for me in Where the Stars Still Shine.

I almost don't even know how to explain it properly... obviously we were given enough facts to realize that Callie was abused and her mother ignored her, but the author never really connected that to Callie's annoying and mean behaviour. So although I knew factually that her behaviour was likely a result of what happened to her, I never felt that emotionally because it wasn't reinforced in the story. All the pieces were there, but the author didn't really weave them together to create a "cause and effect" type thing.

So Callie would run out and assume that all guys want sex and thus try to have sex with them to make them happy. Now logically, I should look at that behaviour and think, "Oh, poor Callie, she doesn't know any better because she was sexually abused and her mom acted like that, so it's learned behaviour." But I didn't feel that way. The author didn't help me feel that way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shining... November 2, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Like Trish Doller's debut novel, Something Like Normal, Where the Stars Still Shine is a gritty, contemporary young adult novel favouring realism over fairy tale.

Barely able to remember her father, Callie believed her mom when she told her that their life on the run was necessary to protect them from him. So when her mother's lies are finally revealed, and her father reclaims Callie after twelve years, she is overwhelmed both by what she has lost, and gained. Now Callie has the opportunity to lead the normal life she has always dreamed of but can she let go of the past to create a future?

I really like the way in which Doller portrays Callie's conflicted thoughts, emotions and behaviour in a realistic manner. After twelve years of a transient lifestyle, Callie isn't sure she is capable of adjusting to the expectations of her father and her extended family. Callie battles feelings of self doubt, confusion and anger every day, almost afraid to hope that her life can now be different but wants to fit in despite often feeling overwhelmed by the change in her situation.

Callie also keenly feels the loss of her mother. Reconciling her anger with her love for her mom is difficult for her, not only is she now aware of what was lost when her mother took her, she is still dealing with her mother's failure to protect her from abuse. Learning that her mother is mentally ill complicates the issues of blame and betrayal.

While settling in to her new life is made easier by Callie's father's compassion and understanding and her friendship with Kat, it is her unconventional relationship with Alex that gives Callie confidence and perspective.

Where the Stars Shine is an emotional story of family, community and love and I was touched by Callie's challenging journey to find her way home.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great novel!
Trish Doller creates such amazing characters and Callie, Alex, and the others are no different in Where the Stars Still Shine. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Emily R. S.
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but could have been so much better....
I felt like there was no resolution to the ending. So many things were left hanging. Very disappointing, since I had such a connection to the characters.
Published 7 days ago by Rachel Dill
4.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing breath of air
To say that I was excited to begin Where the Stars Still Shine is a bit of an understatement. Between the gorgeous cover, and all of the amazing things I had already read about... Read more
Published 7 days ago by John Giordano
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
This was my first Trish Doller book, but I can assure you that it won't be my last. Excellent read!
Published 10 days ago by DMA
3.0 out of 5 stars Great as a Teen book
If I had know this book was going to be so teen oriented, I probably would not have picked it, but all in all it was a nice, quick read. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Elizabeth Beck
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching Story
I really liked this. It was a touching story and one that too many young people could relate too. A good book to discuss with teens.
Published 29 days ago by linda braun
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
heartbreaking and wonderful, it is a little pg-13 but even those who have not gone through such a situation can relate to Callie and that is something that makes a story... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dessellee Blair
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!
I picked up this novel on whim when I read the synopsis–it reminded me very much of one of my favorite novels, If You Find Me, so I just had to read it, and I was pleased to note... Read more
Published 1 month ago by A Book Vacation
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh my goodness.
This book is lovely. I fell in love with Alex,and was devastated by the way it ended. I need more. haha I'm quite unsure on what to do with my life now.
Published 1 month ago by Kimberly Manning
5.0 out of 5 stars Judging a book by its cover
I haven't read this book but I do think this is one of the most beautiful covers I've ever seen. Covers do count for something so I felt it appropriate to say so.
Published 2 months ago by Navie Dunne
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More About the Author

I've been a writer as long as I've been able to write, but I didn't make a conscious decision to "be" a writer until fairly recently. For that you should probably be thankful.

I was born in Germany, grew up in Ohio, went to college at Ohio State University, got married to someone really great, bounced from Maine to Michigan and back to Ohio for awhile. Now I live in Florida with my two mostly grown kids, two dogs, and a pirate. For real.

I've worked as a morning radio personality, a newspaper reporter, and spent all my summers in college working at an amusement park. There I gained valuable life skills, including counting money really fast, directing traffic, jumping off a moving train, and making cheese-on-a-stick. Also, I can still welcome you to Frontier Town. Ask me sometime.

These days I work as a bookseller. And I write.

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