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Where the Stars Still Shine Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (September 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161963144X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1619631441
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

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.

Customer Reviews

The beautiful writing, complex characters, wonderful character development, the setting, and the story.
Waiting For Wentworth
All these people helped Callie grow and open up in some way, and knowing that they are in her life gives me hope that things will only continue to get better for her.
woven
The romance is great, but I felt like the romance, and really the whole book went off script by the end and wasn't quite sure what it wanted to be.
Maggie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Knapp on 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 By Lacey @ Booklovers For Life on 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 By Ashley Evans on 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 By Shelleyrae TOP 500 REVIEWER on 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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