Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Goodreads Summary
Bloomsbury USA | Hardcover, 308 pages
Publication Date: September 24th, 2013
New Adult
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Trish Doller’s sophomore novel was one that I’ve most coveted since I’ve learned of its existence.Β It was one of the few books that I can readily admit to reading as soon as I got home from the bookstore. I had so much hope for this one and for the better part of the novel, I’d like to say that it wasn’t a disappointment.

Truthfully, I’m not quite sure how I feel about its primary character, Callie. But then again, it would take some careful consideration when you read about the ways Callie presented herself to the world. She’s very wary of people; especially those who treat her with kindness. She’s like a bear with a sore paw. She’ll pounce at the first sign of trouble even if she’s in a world full of hurt.

Kidnapped when she was merely a toddler, Callie have lived a life of a vagabond and in the care of her paranoid, disturbed mother. Their lives have been a revolving door of strange men; Callie’s heartfelt desire to grow up like a normal person and the constant fear of the unknown. Her unconventional upbringing contributed to her twisted views of the world and of men in general.

When the law finally caught up to her mother, Callie gets reunited with her father. The bulk of the book is about Callie adjusting to a new life without her mother and living with her father’s family. The close-knit but sometimes tempestuous Greek family that she was introduced to was a far cry from the more often lonely existence that she grew up with. For the first time in a long time, she’s also inherited herself a ready-made best friend. Her initial interactions with her was a little awkward that led to some hurt feelings.

Trish Doller showed tact in the way she portrayed Callie’s view of the world – and of boys in general. She’s quick to surmise exactly what it is they wanted from her and at times, she’s also quick to provide them. She sees herself very poorly and one who doesn’t deserve happiness. As a result, she ends up running in the hopes that she’ll prevent further hurt.

I do like this book. It’s everything you would expect from a New Adult novel. And yes, this is a Young Adult book but with the amount of sensitive and mature materials written in here, I am lumping it under this new genre.

Trish Doller is well on her way to being one of my auto-buy authors. She doesn’t give you perfect characters and stories wrapped in a shiny bow. It’s maddening, honest and lovely in its wonderfully flawed self.

  • Lovely review! I've heard similar remarks about Callie which is good to know going into the book. I expect to enjoy this one though. Sounds a bit like If You Find Me, which I loved. A few books are standing between me and reading it but soon!

    Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

  • I liked this one too Joy. But I think I was expecting a MM read and that's why I didn't love it as much I thought I would. It was still enjoyable and well written. Great review πŸ˜‰

  • Great review. I want to read this one so bad!

  • I loved this book too. I agree that Callie was quite a difficult character, but I got where she was coming from and I thought the author portrayed her realistically. Trish is definitely on my auto-buy list.
    So glad you liked this! Lovely review! πŸ™‚

  • I've heard really good things about this book and it sounds like a book I would probably enjoy quite a lot. I haven't actually read anything by Trish Doller yet, but one of my friends is a huge fan of hers and she always makes her books sound like the best things ever. I am not sure about the main character tho, she sounds complex and interesting, but what you said about her being wary of people and always so guarded makes me wonder if she's not going to be too, um – for the lack of a better word – emo. Characters like that can either captivate me and make me feel for them, or simply annoy me. I'm glad you enjoyed this book, tho! Awesome review!

  • I still have Something Like Normal sitting on my shelf and want to tackle that book before I read this one. I've heard good things about both of her books. I like that Doller's characters aren't perfect and her stories are real. Callie sounds like a complex character and one that would grow on me. Thanks for sharing this great review!

  • I really love self-discovery stories: there's just something magical about them. It sounds really really good. Definitely on my TBR!

    Thanks for the review πŸ™‚

  • Great review, I've seen this around the place but haven't really heard much about it, I like how you sort of described it as a NA so we know what it's about.

  • I'm really excited to read this one. I didn't know it was more of an NA book than YA, but I think I'll enjoy it anyway since I've been reading a lot of NA recently. I hope I'll like Callie πŸ˜›
    Great review!

  • I'm really wanting to read this one despite the mixed reviews. The whole plot sounds amazing! I'm concerned about liking Callie, but since I've been warned maybe I'll be okay with her. I'm glad you liked this one!

  • I have heard so much about Trish Doller, I should go out and get her book soon. This is the sort of theme Courtney Summers, Elizabeth Scott etc used to tackle and I loved reading their books. Lovely review!

  • A “bear with a sore paw.” That's a perfect description. I loved this book, too. It left me wanting to read Something Like Normal.

    I'm still confused about NA vs YA. I think it's just a matter of time until some new genre name is created that slides in between the two – “Newer Adult”, perhaps? “Not So Young Adult”? “College-Age People Having Sex, But Not Graphically?”

    Stephanie @ Inspiring Insomnia

  • I've heard great things about this book, but haven't gotten to it yet. Honestly, I'm so far on my ARCs (and getting further and further behind every day) that I know it will be awhile before I read anything but. Maybe I'll try to sneak this one in somewhere. It does sound super interesting. I love that not everything is perfect and the formerly kidnapped main character is intriguing. Great review!

  • Great review! It really made me want to pounce to the closest bookstore and buy it. I love books that are honest; I hate sugarcoated stories!


  • Unlike you, I've had this pretty much since it came out, but I have yet to find the time to read it. I'm horrible like that sometimes, and I have been looking forward to it forever. I'm glad you weren't disappointed, and your review is just he push I need. πŸ™‚

  • Ah, I liked this one, too. In typical fashion I have yet to review it though, so I'll keep an eye out for your review once I've gotten off my butt to do mine!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  • Great review Joy. <3 I'm glad you mostly loved it πŸ™‚ Not sure if I will read this book, but it does sound interesting and a bit heartbreaking πŸ˜€ Your review makes me think of If You Find Me. And I loved that book so much, so I'm not sure how this one would be for me.. but anyway, thank you for sharing your honest thoughts. <3

  • I really enjoyed this one, Trish has become one of my favorite contemporary authors and I really felt like she gave an accurate portrayl of Callie and I cannot wait to read whatever she writes next!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

  • I have yet to pick up a book by Trish Doller yet Joy, but your continuous high praise of her books, make me want to give her a try a lot sooner! Also I really appreciate authors that don't give you perfect characters or stories wrapped in a bow! Beautiful review Joy! πŸ™‚

  • Agree, loved Callie and her self discovery and meeting new parts of her family