Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Where the Stars Still Shine - Trish Doller

Pages: 353
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Release Date: 24th September 2013
Edition: e-book, purchased

Other Titles by this Author: Something Like Normal

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.

After I finished Something Like Normal I couldn’t get it and the desire to read Where the Stars Still Shine out of my head. There was definitely reason for that – somehow, I knew it was going to be awesome.

Like in Doller’s debut, I really love the setting of small town Florida. As someone who associates the state with theme parks, I loved seeing that side of it. Tarpon Springs is a small town with a large Greek-American population that I loved how suffocating with love the town was Callie came home. So many relatives! And all of them wanted to see Callie, talk to her, talk about her and her mum. It’s the polar opposite of Callie’s life on the road with her mum. She lived a broken, disrupted life full of instability and fear. The difference is staggering.

The sharp transition between the two lives is a difficult one for Callie and I loved how she frantically switched between her two personalities, if you will. It was almost as if she had to rewrite herself to fit how she wanted her new life to be, but without losing who she actually is. The realities of what she went through also started to hit home. Her traumatic experiences as a little girl were a surprise and it’s just something I can’t imagine. Trish Doller has a talent in writing damaged characters thrown in and out of their normality and trying to live with that – it’s a topic not often touché don in contemporary fiction and I think it makes much more of an impact when set in the real world.

Doller also has a talent in writing her leading men. Alex is, quite frankly, phwoar. But he’s not just extremely hot. Like any good love interest, there’s a lot more to Alex than I originally thought. The boy has stuff going down, and they complement each other perfectly. But their relationship was far from perfect and they had issues, issues that still weren’t fully resolved by the end of the novel. And that just made what the have so much more real.

I’ve fallen in love with Trish Doller’s writing. Her books are effortless to read and get sucked into. I think I may have found another favourite author, guys...


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