Friday 14 March 2014

Review: Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Where the Stars Still Shine
Author: Trish Doller
Pages: 352
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's

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.

Before I picked this one up at the library, I've come across a few reviews, pointing out this was a tear-jerker. The moment the reviewer said those words I demanded that this book be in my hands. For some odd reason, I'm gravitated towards emotional novels. I don't like crying, but yet, I want to read a book that are known for making you cry. Weird, isn't it? However, when I was reading Where the Stars Still Shine, I didn't shed a tear for this book.

One of the problems I experienced with the novel was that it failed to connect me to Callie. I just didn't like it when she was so willingly to give herself to guys. As a Christian, I don't support sex before marriage. I understand that it's common to have sex in young adult, so if I ever see a sex scene approaching, I usually skip the pages. But with a character who sleeps around a lot, it means a lot of page skipping. I just don't understand her relationship with Alex. To me, their relationship was heavily based on sex. If there was a moment I did connect with her, it would have to be when she was with her father. I loved how he so accepting to Callie. When novels have parents playing a big part in the protagonist's life, I find it to be more realistic. 

As for Alex, I find his reason to stay away from his mom was utterly stupid. I mean, really Alex? You didn't want to see your mom because you couldn't stand to see her so sick? When she dies, you'll be regretting the times you didn't come and visit her. If my mom was dying, I wouldn't be avoiding her, I would be spending every single second of my life with her. I'd rather see my mother sick than not seeing her at all. Though it isn't a guarantee that Alex and Callie will be a couple in the future, I'm glad that Doller ended the way she did. 

Though I wasn't too impressed, I'll still be checking out her debut, Something Like Normal. From what I've read, it's written in a male's point of view. I'm excited for what she has to offer, but I'm hoping that it will capture me the way Where the Stars Still Shine didn't. 

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