Where the Stars Still Shine – 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.


Oh, poor Callie. What a hard life she’s had to lead. And yet I believed every second of it.

There’s something about Trish Doller’s voice — it doesn’t feel entirely accurate for a 17 year old, yet it somehow grabs me and doesn’t let me go. I read this book practically without breaking in between. It was easy to follow, and I adjusted to her style very easily. Most of all, the story was really good.

This book was tragic. I can’t believe so many sad things could be packed into one book! But there were also moments of hope, laughter, and love. It was adorable.

I loved the Greek influences in this novel. I’m not Greek, but I got a good sense of the culture, traditions, and lifestyle. Callie’s family was vibrant and popped off the page.

I don’t know how I felt about Callie’s mom. I’m not sure whether or not she should have given her so many chances, or forgiven her for everything. Sometimes, people do inexcusable things and are bad influences. I suppose she got what she needed by the end though. Still, it’s scary to think about what it takes to actually face reality.

Every now and then, Callie felt a bit too angsty for my tastes. But this book also helped me understand her perspective — the need to run away, the struggle with absentee parents, the importance of freedom, and the ability to love (despite everything she’s been through!).

Related Reading

  • Something Like Normal – Trish Doller
  • Lock and Key – Sarah Dessen
  • Just Listen – Sarah Dessen
  • Such a Rush – Jennifer Echols

Rating: 5/5


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