Publication date: September 24th 2013
My rating: 4 stars
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.
Where the Stars Still Shine was an uplifting story that will make you angry, fill your heart with joy, and make you swoon.
Callie was kidnapped by her mother, a completely selfish woman. When faced with the prospect of losing custody because of her erratic and neglectful behavior, she takes five year old Callie and runs. Twelve years later the law finally catches up with them and Callie is returned to her father who’s been looking for her for years. While she wasn’t outright abused by her mother, Callie was never a big priority or consideration in where or how they lived.
Coming home is an adjustment and fills her with conflicting emotions: guilt over leaving her mother on her own, and anger when she begins to realize just how crappy and selfish her mother truly was. The question now is whether Callie will accept the love her father gives and believe that she’s worthy of it?
I had some doubts when I started this story, because it reminded me so much of another book I wondered if I could separate the two and resist comparisons. This is entirely my fault. When I picked this book up I didn’t read the blurb carefully because I was distracted by the gorgeous cover. (I can’t help it if I’m easily distracted by pretty things, lol!) Luckily those feelings didn’t last for long, and thoughts of the other book flew out of my head as I began to read.
Callie begins as a somewhat unlikable character, hesitant to accept the love of her father and her extended family. She also isn’t very careful with herself when it comes to boys. But gradually Callie sees how warped this is and dares to believe in a different life from the one her mother has limited her to. She lets others in and begins to care for them, too.
There were many highlights to this story for me: Greg, her father was just amazing and so very loving. He was the stability and unconditional love she needed in her life. He made Callie feel worth something which is more than I can say for that hideous excuse of a mother! Callie’s grandmother was lovely, even if she was a bit of a busy body. Greg’s wife was also supportive and their two toddler sons were just beyond adorable. All part of what makes Callie feel loved and part of something special.
Alex, the love interest was particularly dreamy in spite of what I was first led to believe about him. Their romance really made the story for me. Here’s a swoony quote for you:
“I missed you,” Alex whispers, his forehead touching mine, his fingers curled around the back of my neck beneath my hair, tracing tiny circles on my skin. “All week I’ve wanted just three things: hot wings, cold beer, and you.”*
I’m not one for open endings, especially when it comes to the romance, but I guess this was realistic. Still, I like my endings nice and tidy and wrapped up, so I was a little disappointed with this. Apart from that, I really enjoyed this story.
*Quote taken from an uncorrected proof and may change in the final copy.
I’ve decided to giveaway my ARC copy of Where the Stars Still Shine to one lucky reader. The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL, so just fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win. Good luck and thanks for visiting The Readers Den.
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