Friday, September 20, 2013

Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

ARC (Advance Reader's Copy) provided by NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA
Release Date : 24th September 2013

First let me start by saying tons of thanks to Netgalley and Bloomsbury USA for providing me a copy of Where the stars still shine by Trsih Doller. I, first came across this book on Goodreads when they were doing a Giveaway. I did enter the giveaway but didn't win *sad face* . As an avid reader, I try to find every possible ways to read book and that is how I found Netgalley. I found this book on Netgalley and immediately made my request. It was a day long wait until I got an email from the publisher that I have been given access to read Where the stars still shine *throws confetti*. I couldn't put this book down, I just whipped through the pages. I have fallen in love for Doller's flair. I have read many contemporary novels with cliched concept, but never read a such a refreshing contemporary in a very long time. A poignant, refreshing and extremely heart-breaking novel. It is near impossible to write a review for the novel you love. I would try to do some justice to this adorable book.

Let me start by introducing the characters in this book. Protagonist Callista or Callie,Veronica Quinn- Callie's Mother, Alex-Callie's swoon-worthy boyfriend, Kat-friend/family member of Callie, Nick-Kat's boyfriend, Greg-Callie's Dad, Phoebe-Callie's Stepmother, Tucker and Joe-Callie's half-brothers, Georgia-Callie's Grandmother.

How would it be being stolen away from a large, loving family and not having a normal life for more than ten years for a seventeen year old girl? Well, our protagonist Callie has the experience of being stolen from her loving family by her mother, Veronica. I can see you gasping. The story begins with Callie and her mother moving from one place to another. Callie has never stayed in one place as long as she can remember. Callie has not been to school since kindergarten. Her education comes from libraries and sale books. Callie enjoys reading books. Callie has been molested by one of her mother's boyfriend. Since then her view on men has been totally different. She feels dirty and tainted. Doller's writing is so beautiful that she puts Callie into the reader's mind and make sense for her flawed character. 

When Callie's mother is arrested for kidnapping her, she's to live her father and his family. It's from there Callie's life takes a turn. Although Callie's new family welcomes her with love, she pushes them away because of her past living pattern knowing what she does is something unwise. Since her mother leaves her unattended for days or weeks together, she is used to being alone at night and started to hookup. Even after moving in with her father Greg, she hooks up with the hottest guy in town, Alex Kosta. What I really loved in this part was Callie's narration that she feels settled and safe for the first time in years. Where the stars still shine is about figuring out what Callie wants in life and how she deals with her new family and her decisions. 

Greg is an amazing father every girl would wish for. I adored Greg for being a protective father and at the same time being friendly to his daughter. There are certain things which can't be spoken openly between father and daughter, and I could see the awkwardness Greg faces when he speaks with Callie regarding certain issues. Doller has portrayed Greg-Callie relationship so well. Basically Greg wins by planning to build a big bookshelf for Callie. Callie's half-brothers are the cutest kids of this book. Although Phoebe loves Callie, there were moments that she acted as Step-mother. Don't get me wrong, Phoebe is not an evil character. It's really hard to put in words but the writing was fantastic to show Phoebe and Callie's relationship. 

For the first time ever Callie has a chance to make real friends and Kat becomes her best friend. Kat is little pushy but she is the right person to pull Callie out of her shell. Although Kat annoyed me a little in the beginning, she made me cry towards the end. Kat and Callie work in a gift shop near the sponge dock and  since Alex works at the sponge dock, Callie easily hooks up with him every now and then. The book is set in Tarpon Springs, Florida and I get to see Sponge diving and what types of sponges are available through Where the stars still shine. As the book progresses layer after layer is revealed. 

Where the stars still shine deals with pretty heavy topics- mental illness, sexual abuse. But it has been handled perfectly and never overdone. It had all elements what I expect from a realistic novel. If you wish to read one contemporary this year, let it be Where the stars still shine

Trish Doller, wonderful story and phenomenal writing. 


  1. Love the cover.It sounds like a Sarah Dessen novel.My initial reaction was to go request it in Netgalley,but then I never turn in reviews in time since I am really lazy when it comes to reviewing and I already have a pile:)Great review,anyway.

  2. Fantastic review, Ini! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one and I especially love what you said about Greg and Callie's relationship. Doller did such an amazing job of really capturing the complexities of all relationships in this novel, so I can't wait to go out and buy myself a finished copy this week!(:

  3. Congratulations, Ini! I have nominated your blog for the Liebster Award. I think you really deserve it and hope you'll accept it. Here's the link to the nominations and questions

  4. Hi Ini, I also nominated you for the Liebster award :-). If you would like to accept it just check out this post

  5. Great review! Also, I nominated you for the Liebster Award! Check out my post for more information :)

  6. I just heard about this book the other day and added it to my wish list on Thriftbooks!!


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