Contemporary, Young Adult

Don’t let it hit you where the stars still shine

Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Dollar

where stars still shine

The Skinny: 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. – From Goodreads

BFF?: When you read this book, you’ll probably think “OMG not YOU Candice!” after I say this: I really saw a lot of myself in Callie. No, my mom didn’t steal me from my family when I was little, and no, I didn’t have the colorful life Callie did, but I’m such a “boink first, date later” kind of girl. No, I don’t go around sleeping with the masses but I think on some level I get confused when it comes to dating and men and the “correct” order of things. I felt like seeing Callie going through the same things I went through, especially in college, was slightly eye-opening and greatly heart squeezing. Anyway, aside from that, Callie also was a little closed off about certain things. I don’t think her personality was closed off by any means, but more that she shut down in overwhelming situations, such as meeting her family for the first time. And her social skills were a little under par… something I can sympathize with. But I think deep down she was a hurt girl who had built up such a thick skin that it was hard to get under. She let herself go at some points, but only a little, which was great getting to see this amazing girl she actually was hidden under the shell she had created.

Readability: I was HIGHLY into this book, mostly due to the reading! Callie’s voice was engaging and strong, but still unsure and suspicious of her new life. This is the first book by Trish Dollar that I’ve read and I couldn’t put it down!

Crush Level: 7
Normally I’m not really into the town sexy playboy, but for some reason I fell hard for Alex. I also may have imagined him to look like late 90s Justin Timberlake (which I’m sure helped). Despite their “whoa, slow down there” beginning, he was majorly sexy. But there was more than just a sexy smile and a smokin bod… he was personable, he had a “history,” he was attentive and imaginative, and…. sighhhhhh…. just wonderful. Like he was someone I wouldn’t mind spending the whole day in bed with discussing all the things.

Bonus Points
Face on the Milk Carton
milk carton
Okay, so Callie wasn’t really ON a milk carton, but after being taken by her mom at an early age and then being returned later, it was REALLY interesting to see not only her reaction to her new home, but the reaction of her family and the town to her return. It made me wonder about all the missing kids who do come home and how their families adjust vs. how they adjust. I wasn’t 100% behind several of her family’s reactions to her coming home, namely her father’s, but it was interesting to see how their relationship was built back together.

Snorkeling
snorkeling
Alex takes Callie snorkeling – seriously, could this guy be any hotter? – and I LOVED this particular scene! I’ve been once and it was the most magical thing ever. Yes, that sounds lame describing it like that, but it was so beautiful!

Big Fat Greek Family
greek wedding
Yet another book that makes me think “God I wish I was ethnic” (this is one of my favorite Scrubs references btw). I absolutely LOVED Callie’s family and all the vivid characters in it! I also loved that the little area of Florida where they lived was heavy in the Greek population – it made the area really come to life with culture!

Yearbook Quote: None! ARC!

Superlatives – Best book I’ve seen Justin Timberlake in yet!

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8 thoughts on “Don’t let it hit you where the stars still shine”

  1. I LOVE this review–for a shit load of reasons. First off this:

    “and no, I didn’t have the colorful life Callie did, but I’m such a “boink first, date later” kind of girl. No, I don’t go around sleeping with the masses but I think on some level I get confused when it comes to dating and men and the “correct” order of things”

    THANK YOU, my sister, for saying that because I am TOTALLY totally of the same mindset. I loved that Callie and Alex played out like they did. I love that getting the sex out of the way early (not to make it sound all trivial or boring or anything) enabled readers to concentrate on how their relationship grew emotionally. Take the physical tension off the table, what’s left? Emotional. Intellectual. All that stuff. I love that Trish Doller wrote the romance this way. Plus it’s authentic AND fresh in YA. Ok, moving on…

    This:

    “Yet another book that makes me think “God I wish I was ethnic” (this is one of my favorite Scrubs references btw). I absolutely LOVED Callie’s family and all the vivid characters in it! I also loved that the little area of Florida where they lived was heavy in the Greek population – it made the area really come to life with culture!”

    I loved the romance but the family themes–how awesome was her dad Greg??– are what makes this book really shine to me:)

    And the snorkling scene?? Gosh I just loved that SO much!

    You and I are definitely on the same wavelength with this book Candice:) I enjoyed the heck out of this review!

    Like

  2. I loved this book. Trish writes in a way that is insanely raw and realistic. The characters behave exactly as they should based on what they’ve been through and she makes you fall in love with all them so deeply that it is almost guaranteed to make you cry! (Yeah, I cried) I also love that the book wasn’t predictable. Life was so messed up that I had no idea how it might end. ❤
    LOL Justin Timberlake!

    Like

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