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Early Review: Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller + I'm Back!!!

August 26, 2013
Title: Where The Stars Still Shine
Author: Trish Doller
Publication: Bloomsbury USA Children | Sept 24, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Source: Publisher for Review (Thank You!)
Goodreads | Purchase
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.
Review

    Oh boy, lets just get it out first: Where the Stars Still Shine had a very on-the-surface storyline, even though I enjoyed the book and loved some of the characters, I wasn't emotionally invested in it like I wanted to. The story was very similar to this book, but it wasn't dark, gritty or addictive in any way, I would go as far as to say that Where the Stars Still Shine was a light, fun, summer read. It is perfect for someone who wants to try an issue book without going through too much heavy emotional drama. 

     Callie was kidnapped by her mother at the age of 5 and for the next 12 years, she lived a life of a drifter until one fateful night when her mom was stopped by a local police officer. Through little chain of events, Callie's mom's lies were uncovered and Callie was finally reunited with her father and his traditional big fat Greek family. The family part was my favorite! I adored her relationship with her father, it was very awkward in the beginningbut I loved how Greg was always there when Callie needed him. In the new town, Callie comes across a boat guy who instantly intrigues her and that's where all my problems began. Callie was a very sexually active person, she would sleep with random strangers and that made me very uncomfortable. My reasons were plain and simple, I didn't get where Callie was coming from; for a person whose whole life has been a mess, Callie acted like everything was normal. Someone did point out that she might be in the denial zone but I don't buy that. I loved Callie in the beginning, I felt her pain and even understood why she wanted to help her mother when clearly everyone was against it, but other than that Callie was a very double sided, confusing character. I liked her but then I didn't half the time, and don't even get me started on the insta-love. That was ridiculous! She looked at him (the boat guy, Alex) and felt a connection, a longing and possibly love. Barf! Though I do have to point out that Adam started off as a very interesting character and I did fell for him, but his character was so underdeveloped that by the end I was doubting his presence in the story.

      I know my review is filled with all the negatives, but there were some positives as well. To name a few: Grey and his little boys, Callie in the beginning, Callie's grandma and some other secondary characters that I'm probably forgetting. All in all, Where the Stars Still Shine could have been such a great book if it was focused on only one issue or 50 pages longer because I wasn't a fan of that ending. One word: Abrupt! Anyway, I think this was an okay book and good for a one time read. I've heard great things about Trish Doller's other series and I'm really looking forward to reading that.



Note: It feels so good to be back! I had a great break, read some awesome books (Eleanor & Park!!!), and had a lot of free time for myself. Thank You to everyone who stuck around and commented while I was gone. You guys are too sweet :) I'll be visiting soon. BTW, did you check out the "Author's I Fangirl Over" graphic in the sidebar? I had so much fun making that and yes, they are my auto-buy authors! You should check them out too! I'm loving all these different colors and you might see more them from now on.
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25 comments:

  1. That button/widget is too cute;) I'm so glad you had a great break and good to have you back, hon! I'm so sorry you didn't love this one. It seems like a great read and I loved Rachel's thoughts on it which made me want to grab this pretty immediately. I'm sorry you weren't able to enjoy Callie a little more and didn't like the insta-love (which I'm soooo scared of). Anyhow, I can't wait to read this and see what my feelings are. I hope your next read is/was better for you:) Lovely review, sweetie!

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    1. Aww thanks :) Yeah, I wasn't a fan of this one and it's sad because it wasn't a bad book. It's just that I've read a much better book than this one and WTSSS failed to outshine. I hope you like it more than I did!

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  2. I also haven't noticed button before but it's really cute! I love the colors and some of the authors are on my auto-buy list as well! :)
    I have seen this book around but haven't read any review till now. It sounds like a story with interesting plot and characters but lacking in emotions. It happens often with my reads too and it's such a shame. I'm glad you enjoyed it overall. Great review :)

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    1. Thanks, I had a blast making that and yeah, I did forget some of the authors. Oh well.
      Right? The no-emotion thing is happening with me too often and I'm not liking it at all. It just puts me in a bad mood. I want to either love a book or hate it, the middle thing is not very appealing.

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  3. I've seen a mixed bag of reviews on this one. People seem to either really LOVE it, or it just doesn't work for them. For me, I'm not sure it would work, but I'm glad to hear there were some significant highlights, as well. Great review, Aman - and welcome back! :)

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    1. Yeah, I'm definitely the minority here, most of the bloggers I followed really enjoyed this book. But I'm glad that I gave it a try. Thanks, Melissa! It's good to be back :)

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  4. I was looking for some reviews of this book. I think the cover initially drew me in, it reminds me of the holidays or Valentine's day. But the synopsis does remind me of If You Find Me. I can't tell from your review if I'd like this one or not as this is the first of your reviews I've read, but I'm leaning away from it. I don't like that instant attraction, I don't find it believable at all. I think it would bug me all the way through the book.

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    1. It reminded me of Christmas and it made sense because that was a part of the story, so I loved the meaning behind it. Yeah, it is very similar to IYFM and I think that's where this book failed to impress me. The story wasn't that strong. Welcome to EbB, I hope you stick around :)

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  5. Oh, I love that button you made, Aman and the Dying To Read... part also looks so neat or maybe I just didn't notice it before. Anyways, all that aside, first and foremost, welcome back, dude! I'm glad you're back. We've missed you! Now on to the book. Really? I have seriously high expectation from WTSSS but it's so sad that you didn't love it as much as I thought you'd love it and that it's similar to some other book. Don't tell Janhvi about the abrupt ending! Oh well, I'll be reading this anyway. I just hope I like it. Great review!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

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    1. Dying to Read sidebar is recent too! I wanted to add a million books, but had to limit to only under 20. That was the hard part! lol Thanks Sarika! I missed you too! I had high expectations too and it wasn't like it was a bad read, it's just that I've read a better book than this one. It's really sad though. I hope you have better luck with it :)

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  6. Welcome back Aman! *does happy welcome back dance* WOO HOO!

    I think I enjoyed this one way more than you did, hehe:) I struggled with Callie at times, but overall I really liked her as a character, though I agree she jumped into things with Alex quickly. That didn't seem all that out of character for her though, so I guess that's why it didn't bother me in the context of this story specifically. This was my first Trish Doller book, and I'm definitely going to go back and read her other books as well. We can compare notes ;-)

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    1. Thanks Jenny! *dances along with you*

      Callie was a bit hard to understand but I did end up liking her, it was the romance and the ending and the lack of emotions (from my side) that made this book in an okay read. Though I'm glad that you enjoyed it more! This was my first TD book too, it wasn't impressive but I'm not giving up yet. We are definitely going to compare notes :)

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  7. Welcome back! Hope you had a great break!

    I haven't read any books by Trish Doller and if she writes mostly contemporary it'd be quite likely I won't read many.

    Thanks for your review! I don't think I'll be reading this one, since I only bother reading the really remarkable contemporaries!

    Btw, I love your "Dying to Read" graphic in the side bar, so many books I'm also dying to read!

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    1. Thanks, Pili! :) I had a great break.
      TD writes contemps and even though this wasn't very memorable for me, I would recommend her other series. I haven't read it personally but I've heard great things about it.

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  8. I hate when books end so abruptly, especially if it's a standalone. I've heard some great things about this authors work so I may try this book eventually though. Great review!

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    1. Ah, I really hated it the ending, it was a bit anticlimatic. I would definitely read her book (Something Like Normal), I love me some military men :) Thanks!

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  9. I had high hopes, but will go in a little less so and focus on the positive

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  10. That's definitely strange that this was almost the opposite of what you were expecting because of what the blurb mentions, but maybe I will like it more because I have been warned? I do hate endings that aren't all tied up, though.

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    1. True! The ending wasn't my favorite at all! I mean I love HEA and epilogue like the next person, but I'm cool with open ending as long as they're not abrupt.

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  11. I had some issues with this read as well, Aman, but I think I liked this just a little more that you. Wasn't happy with the open ending. I said so on Twitter and Trish Doller said she might right a little novella/epilogue! Can you believe it? Great review! :)

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    1. Are you serious? That's an awesome news! I would love to know what happened next! This makes me feel a little better now.
      Thanks :)

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  12. Yay glad you're back Aman! Great review! I'm sad this isn't as emotionally wrought as it could be, I do like issue books that are gritty and grab hold of you but it does sound like an interesting read!

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  13. I have this book to read and appreciate your honest review. I really like Dollar's first book, so I'm really hopeful for this one. But, I'm worried that I won't be able to connect with Callie either. Like you, I think her sexual exploits will be hard for me to read. It's not something that I ever connect well with when reading a book. But hopefully, I will believe her changes and growth. Thanks for your thoughts.

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  14. Glad to see you back! I'm looking forward to reading this. And I like how you described her father relationship. I love when family can play an important part in a book. I'm glad you were still able to enjoy it despite some hiccups. :)

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