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Where the Stars Still Shine [Kindle Edition]

Trish Doller
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 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 small-town 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.


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.

From Booklist

Callie has spent the past 10 years living like a fugitive, ever since her mother abducted her from her father when they divorced. During those years, their life was transient and came with a terrible price for Callie, who was molested by one of her mother’s lovers. But now her mother is awaiting trial for kidnapping and medical help for the personality disorder that caused her to bolt in the first place. Callie is reunited with her father and his large Greek family, and while they all want to welcome her back and help her adjust to normal life, Callie has no idea what constitutes normal—or if she even deserves it. A passionate (and explicit) affair helps Callie realize that she is worthy of love and capable of setting down roots. Callie is a remarkably well-adjusted young woman, considering all she has experienced. Her divided loyalty between her damaged mother and the promise of a new life with her father is realistically portrayed, beautifully written, and never feels contrived. Grades 9-12. --Kara Dean

Product Details

  • File Size: 2661 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • 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:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,872 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
(85)
4.3 out of 5 stars
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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
Format:Hardcover
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does Not Compare to Her Debut October 10, 2013
Format:Hardcover
It's hard going into a book with high expectations. I've loved Doller's previous novel so much that my hopes were set high with this one. And, unfortunately, I think that's what made this book slightly disappointing to me. Now, that's not to say I didn't greatly enjoy it. I did. But, in the end, I can't say this was her best work, in my opinion.

The story she paints in regards to Callie's struggles is strong. This girl doesn't understand relationships since all she has was her mother. She doesn't understand normality and friendship, proper food and money. Unfortunately, she does understand what it's like to be taken advantage of by a man. I think one of the most powerful plot points in this book for me was Callie's struggle with her past sexual abuse. Nobody would believe her and nobody was willing to understand, so she held everything inside until she burst. She dealt with it her own way and it led her down this path of destruction.

One of my biggest struggles with the book was her coping mechanism, which was to have a lot of sex. She got into the habit of being a sexual hit and run and relied too much on her sex drive for certain things. She internalized her problems and, at times, they'd appear when she found herself in sexual situations and she'd panic a little. I just didn't like this about her, at all. Especially because of how she met Alex. They ran into each other and there was this huge sexual charge between them after exchanging less then 10 sentences between the two of them. Then, the next time they run into each other it's completely unspoken yet entirely agreed upon that the first thing they do is have sex. This is not healthy, it's not a good way to start a relationship, and even with her past in mind the way they met bugged me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 Stars June 15, 2014
Format:Hardcover
I never read Trish Doller's Something Like Normal so I'm a complete newb when it came to her work and even though I didn't completely fall in love with Where the Stars Still Shine I did like it enough to where I am looking forward to reading more novels by her.

Okay so Where the Stars Still Shine is about Callie who was kidnapped by her mom at the young age of five years old. She never had a normal life they were always moving from place to place. Her mother suffers from a mental illness, she never went to school, or had friends and she was a victim of sexual abuse, basically a stable home life was non-existent for her. So when she is thrust back into the life she would of had had her mom not kidnapped her she has a lot of things to work through.

I could not get myself to like Callie. In the beginning of the book before she got reunited with her family I sympathized for her but after being reunited with her family her character became a little frustrating to me and I just couldn't connect with her. What really threw me off was how sexual she was. I didn't like how the insta-love thing happened between her and Alex and by the second meeting they were already having sex. Another thing about Callie that bugged me was how she treated Kat she was so mean to her for the most part when all she was trying to do was be a good friend. Then there was her mom and I couldn't stand how she kept letting her mom back in even after realizing how toxic she was.

What I did enjoy were the parts that involved her family. She came from such a wonderful Greek family who really loved her and were thankful to have her back.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
I liked this book, I really did but there are two things that bother me about it. One, I found that Callie's attitude at times was just completely uncalled for. Read more
Published 7 hours ago by Kindle Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh
Grade: C-

Seventeen year old Callie is back with her father after twelve years after she was stolen by her mentally ill mother. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Pink Amy
4.0 out of 5 stars An Honest Story
Actually quite a nice tale. Very real. *Sexual content warning*
Published 1 month ago by Kira Budge
4.0 out of 5 stars I found the story very compelling and I was glad to see Callie...
I had this book on my shelf for quite awhile and just hadn't picked it up to read. I knew nothing about this book going in except that it takes place in Florida. Read more
Published 1 month ago by T. Geo
5.0 out of 5 stars mostly because we both love books. After living a non-traditional life...
Where the Stars Still Shine is one of the most incredible books of this year. Callie's story is heartbreaking, but also hopeful; I was completely invested in it from start to... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Amazing!
Published 2 months ago by Valeria Daza
5.0 out of 5 stars If you liked Sarah Dessen's Lock and Key...
I'll be the first to admit I love romance books. I rarely read a book that doesn't have some sort of love story tied into the plot, but I'm not someone who enjoys reading books... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Lila Carthens
4.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book
I really enjoyed this book. There was some heavy stuff going on in our heroine's life, but it was written about in a realistic, compassionate manner. Read more
Published 4 months ago by BL
5.0 out of 5 stars A searing story of love and self-discovery
Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love and discovering who’s really important in your life will resonate with readers who want their stories... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Sarah
4.0 out of 5 stars Serious subject matter
I started this book when it came out, but had to put it down and read something lighter, because I was coming off some pretty dark books and needed a break. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mrs. C
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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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