Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Review & Giveaway: Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller


Where the Stars Still Shine
Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Publisher: Bloomsbury
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.

My Thoughts:


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.


Giveaway


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.
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

37 comments:

  1. Oh I remember seeing this books around but this is actually the first review for it that I'm reading. Anyhow to start with feelings, this book sounds like it has plenty of feelings and I love that. Also the series sounds so good as well as characters. For the open endings, well I can live with a little bit openings, but not a black hole where my thoughts would drive me crazy. Great review Rachel and thanks for the giveaway :)

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  2. I love the book cover and I like that the writer wrote it in a way closer to reality, something to which a person can relate to. Honest review and Thanks for giving the chance to win this book.

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  3. I really really want to read this, but after your review Rachel.. HOLY WOW I need this. LIKE STAT. I can actually sort of relate to this book, but never really got that far as Callie did. (My mother tried, but my dad called the cops an hour after my mother was supposed to bring me back, crazy right?) I think maybe that's why I was originally drawn to this book. Anyway, I think from your review I'm going to be hit with a bunch of emotions! I definitely look forward to seeing how her life was with her mom and the transition to being with her dad. I'm very interested in how Callie with handle all that. I didn't think there would be a romance in this since the subject matter is already heavy, but I'm pleased that there is. That quote you shared is especially swoony and I'm so sold I wish I had this book in my hands now! lol :) Amazing review all around!

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    1. Oh, wow, Jessirae! I'm so glad your dad was able to avert that crisis! I've never known of someone who had to go through something like that! It did feel very realistic though, and I think you'll really relate to this story. Thank you! I hope you enjoy this story and good luck in the giveaway. :)

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  4. I love the book cover and this book is going on my to read list.
    This book also sounds interesting and something that somebody can relate too.
    Honest review and Thanks for giving the chance to win this book.

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  5. Great concept, I don't know why I was reluctant to read about this book, probably cause I like the cover, but this actually seems like a great read! Thanks for blogging about it and for the international giveaway, of course;)

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  6. What a fascinating idea for a story. It is a gorgeous cover.

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  7. I'm happy that you ended up enjoying this, Rachel. I was a little scared that it wouldn't be for you after chatting the other day, but I'm glad you enjoyed it.
    Callie was definitely a hard character to connect at first, but she does end up growing up a little more throughout the book. And I did really feel for her.
    For me, it was the family that made this book for me. They were such a joy.
    I personally wanted to know a bit more about the love interest. I felt like we didn't get to know much about him, but it didn't bother me as much.
    Lovely review, Rachel! :)

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  8. I absolutely loved this one too, Rachel! I was so impressed by it and really wound up feeling so much for Callie. Plus, I swooned every time Alex came on the page! ;) Fantastic review, dear!

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  9. I'm easily swayed by pretty covers, too. I do love when a book challenges you to think and puts you through the emotional wringer. Poor Callie!

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  10. I'm really glad to see that you enjoyed this one. I just read Something Like Normal and I loved it so I'm really eager to read this one. Alex sounds great as do Callie and her family. This one just got bumped up the TBR pile!

    Great review!

    Katie @ Katie’s Book Blog

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  11. RACHELLLLL!!!!! I didn't plan on reading this. The cover is indeed beautiful, but I haven't read the synopsis so I didn't really know what it was about. If it wasn't for your gorgeous, thorough, haunting review that makes me pick this pretty up, it'd be the quote which caused tiny butterflies:) I want to read this now asap. Thanks for sharing! I hope I'll swoon as you promised :D heh. I'm sure I will, no worries:) Glad you enjoyed it!!!

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  12. from your review this book sounds good, I really want to read that

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  13. I just finished this one yesterday Rachel and completely agree - it was fantastic. I had a little trouble in the beginning with Callie as well, but given the life she had to live and the poor excuse for a mother she had, I couldn't bring myself to hold any of her poor decisions against her. And oh how I loved Greg! He was trying so hard and I adored him:) You know I'm not one of open endings either - I want that HEA, but like you said, this felt real so I could accept it. Sort of:)

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  14. Sounds super emotional and I can't wait to read this one and fall for the characters

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  15. Sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

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  16. I don't normally enter giveaways but I thought I'd try my luck with this book. I want to read it so bad! Great review, Rachel. Looking forward to reading the romance, of course. :)

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  17. That IS a gorgeous cover! I have this on my list to be read soon, and I'm very much excited to read it now. I love character growth, and it sounds like Callie changes a lot in this book. However, I don't like open endings either, so I'm pretty nervous about that aspect of this book. BUT I've seen so many great things about this one and I love Dollar's first book, so I'm looking forward to it.

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  18. I haven't heard of this book before and not only is the cover beaitiful, it sounds great too! I'd love to read it!

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  19. Nice to know I am not the only one who gets distracted by shiny, beautiful covers. This does sound like a good story and it is a bit different than the usual contemps out there. I like that the dad is very involved and loving. I know what you mean about open endings. They bug me too but at least they tend to be more realistic.

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  20. I LOVED THIS ONE SO MUCH. I really loved all of the characters in this book. Callie, for her growth; Greg, for his fatherly nature; and Alex; for supporting Callie (and being swoon-worthy). I think the open-ended conclusion to this story really worked, even it's not always favorable in some cases. Gorgeous review, Rachel!

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  21. What a lovely review, Rachel. I have this one, but for some reason am not anxious to get to it. I think it's b/c I know it will be a tough read.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  22. This cover is absolutely beautiful and the review was fantastic! I have got to read this book! Thanks for the giveaway and I hope I can win!!!

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  23. When it comes to romance, especially when it comes to romance, I want my endings to be neat and tidy too. I guess I would feel the same way about that aspect here. But I'm glad you liked the rest of it, even if Callie started off as a somewhat unlikable main character. Lovely review as always! :)

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  24. I have to make a note to get this when it comes out! It's really nice that Callie's father is amazing and supportive. I think I'll really enjoy reading this. Thanks for sharing :)

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  25. I hate it when book comparisons creep up on me almost subconsciously! They definitely have the potential to affect reading experiences! I'm glad, however, that never actually happened for you, Rachel. I don't read much contemp (except recently) so this plot sounds pretty unique to me. I've heard wonderful things about Doller's debut and lots of positive advance praise for this one, so I'm definitely interested in giving this a chance. Lovely review and thanks for the giveaway!

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  26. Can't wait to read this one. The cover is sooo pretty!

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  27. I get distracted by pretty things all the time!

    This sounds really good, and I like the sound of it as I haven't read anything similar. Plus, Trish is a brilliant author :)

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  28. I cannot wait to pick this up! I have heard so many positive things about it and I just love the story concept. I can't wait to meet Callie and Alex and explore their relationship. This sounds like an emotional read, but I love those, so that doesn't really matter! lol ;p But, I agree with you about open endings. I like closure and I really don't want to leave a book second guessing anything. I'm glad you enjoyed this despite your concern, Rachel! Fab review! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

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  29. Love the cover and looks like a fantastic book! Thanks for the giveaway.

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  30. I loved Something Like Normal by Trish Doller and I can't wait to read this one. Great review!

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  31. I absolutely loved Something Like Normal, so I'm dying to read this!! Glad to see you enjoyed it--thanks for the giveaway :D

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  32. Great review! This looks sooo amazing! I can't wait to read it! Thanks for the giveaway! :D

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  33. Great review and giveaway! Lovely cover too. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  34. I loved Something like normal, so I can't wait to read this book.
    The cover is absolutely gorgeous - which for me it always helps as I love beautiful artworks and sometimes I even buy a book only because of the cover (I know, that's not always a good thing but I can't help it).

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  35. I love this cover, I've heard brilliant things about the author, and the book's premise reminds me of If You Find Me so I'm really excited to read this one! Only, like you, I'm not a fan of open endings so I guess we'll see how I feel about that! Thanks for the review and giveaway! :)

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  36. Great review! The book sounds interesting so I'm definitely going to read it in the future =) Thanks for the giveaway

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