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Where the Stars Still Shine by [Doller, Trish]
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Where the Stars Still Shine Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Length: 353 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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.

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: 1314 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; 1 edition (September 24, 2013)
  • Publication Date: September 24, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DF3OOY2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,958 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I struggled writing my review for WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE by Trish Doller. Not because the book lacked for anything (because it doesn't), nor because I didn't like it (because I adore it). More-so, I struggled because I wanted to adequately put into words just how much this story means to me, both as a reader as well as someone who is highly familiar with the book's setting. Rare is it that one has the opportunity to read a book that takes place in their own hometown. Rarer still is when that book turns out to be both exhilarating and profound, something simply unforgettable. WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE is such a book.

Trish is carving a place for herself in the world of contemporary fiction as an exceptional author who writes about situations that many of us hardly even dare to imagine in our normal, everyday lives - things that we only hear about from the news. What's more is that she is not afraid to take these already stark situations to even darker places and weave her ideas into realistic works of imaginative fiction that make you think. In Something Like Normal, Trish explores how a military man with PTSD deals with returning to a house that is something less than normal. In WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE, Trish ups her game by telling the story of a young lady who was never given the opportunity to live a "normal" life, having been on the run with her unstable mother for the past ten years. How Callie reacts when she is suddenly given the family she had been denied all those years will both amaze you and break your heart.

As I said before, one of the biggest selling points when I found out about WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE (aside from the fact that I adore the author and her previous work) was the fact that it takes place practically in my own backyard.
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By Pink Amy on May 17, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Grade: C-

Seventeen year old Callie is back with her father after twelve years after she was stolen by her mentally ill mother. Scarred from the years of homelessness, physical and sexual abuse, she has difficulty relating to the family she has little memory of. Callie lies, breaks rules, and isn't very nice to her new friends and family. She finds a soulmate in a Alex, twenty-two year old sponge diver with a troubling reputation and they begin a secret romance. When her mother is released from jail on bond, Callie will have to decide whether to stay and build a life, or go back on the run.

Narrator Callie is, for the most part, unlikable and unsympathetic. I understood on an intellectual level, why she had such difficulty with people, but she behaved hurtful to people who just wanted to embrace her. Of course, the fact her father, Greg, never put her into therapy the minute he picked her up from the police station, the family didn't get counseling, and he received no direction on what to do when your daughter returns after being kidnapped didn't help. He also never had her checked out by a doctor. Was she up on her immunizations? Who knows? Although I liked Greg, he continually made bone-headed decisions. Your kidnapped daughter refuses to go to school, sure, that's ok. No problem. Too bad he doesn't ask any more questions or he'd have discovered she only had a kindergarten education. Callie was bright and well-read from frequenting libraries, but still. She wasn't homeschooled, she had no schooling.

WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE is best describing Callie's flashbacks and nightmares (in italic) which were both compelling and realistic. Trish Doller either did some great research or has personal experience with PTSD.
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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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