Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
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.
Publishes in US: September 24th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: YA contemporary
Source: Bloomsbury via Netgalley
Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound Book Depository
Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter ~facebook ~blog
Wow. What an emotional and raw book. I cannot imagine growing up like Callie did. Her mom abducted her as a child and they have been on the run since. Callie doesn't know if she will be in a new state in 24 hours, or where her next meal will come from, but she still manages. She fiercely loves her mom even when she is tired of the lifestyle, and that shows a lot about her character.
I felt for her, and totally understood where she had build up walls, but loved to see the tender side, and that she still stands up for herself--she makes strides to read and learn even when the odds are against her, and she has her own personality instead of drawing into herself like I probably would.
But her and her mom are caught and she is returned to her Father. She didn't really know much about him and as she soon realizes, most of what she thought she knew just wasn't true. She also learns things about her mom that makes things all begin to make a lot of sense about how she grew up and the decisions her mom made.
I saw such growth in Callie as she realized what life could be like. Learning a new kind of familial love, what having a true friend means, and through some very cute kids, her half-brothers a lot about life, love and acceptance. She also has a large extended family, and I loved that atmosphere, and can totally see how it would be a shock to her--coming from a life of basically just her and her mom and the occasional boyfriend of her mom's that lasted more than a week.
There is a semi-triangle, but it never really escalates because she makes a clear choice, and while I feel bad for the guy not chosen because he really was a good guy, in the end chemistry is really needed and she had that with her choice.
Alex is handsome and I thought that he had amazing layers. I didn't think that he would at first, but he really pleasantly surprised me, and I was so glad to see the trust built between the two and their affection and hot chemistry.
Kat is her cousin and appoints herself her best friend because they were as kids, and I love how she is with Callie. She teaches her what being a friend and family is all about and even though it was rough because Callie never had a girl friend before, I am so glad that Kat proved herself worthy and stuck by her.
There is flashbacks of molestation in this one. Callie went through some really tough stuff, and she has nightmares about it. It is fairly descriptive, but it just, for me, added to the power of the story. I know that might be a limit for some, so I thought that I would mention it.
The ending wraps up a lot, but it does leave some threads open, but I think it is fitting with this and my mind went to town with the hope, promise and twinge of uncertainty.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you ever been separated from family?