(Review) Where the Stars Still Shine

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Pages: 352 (hardcover)
Genre: Young Adult
My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

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 Review: 
Wow, this book.

I picked this up at a used bookstore a on a whim and I'm so, so glad I did. 

Callie's story is sad and raw and full of emotion. She's an honest narrator, having no problem diving right into things that are uncomfortable and scary. Callie has had a tough life and she doesn't know any thing other than what she's been living for her entire life. 

When Callie's mother is caught and she's sent to live with her dad, everything changes. Callie is immediately thrown into a big, Greek family and also immediately drawn to Alex (despite warnings from her new friend Kat). 

Things seem to be going well for Callie, despite her PTSD and the fact that no one knows the truth about her. She keeps it all bottled up until she eventually bursts with Alex. For a while Alex is the only one that Callie trusts, even more than her own father.

Reading about her relationships with her family is sad, but also very realistic. Callie doesn't know any of them, but they all have memories of her. She seems to think that she's not good enough for them, only they love her no matter what.

When Callie's mother shows back up everything goes downhill and Callie has to make important choices. Like I said, it's sad and raw, making you think and feel A LOT.

I love the changes in all of these characters and how well they all mesh together. This was a beautiful story of redemption, overcoming your past, and finding your place in the world.

I'm glad I picked it up.