Briefly: Callie moves around a lot. Her mom gets the itch to move, and they go. No matter what time. no matter what the day. Her mom’s extra careful, too, because they don’t want anyone to find them. Then one day Callie’s world comes crashing down when her mom is pulled over for a missing taillight and Callie gets returned to a father that they have been running away from since she was five.
Only things aren’t quite as they were portrayed to her all these years, and Callie, who has been craving normalcy and a permanent home her whole life, starts to settle in with the loud, overwhelming Greek family that she never knew she had. She’s never had friends and family, and she’s not quite sure how those kinds of relationships are supposed to work. There’s Kat, her cousin who loves and missed her, and Alex, the boy who makes her toes curl. She also has two step-brothers and a grandmother who seems to be able to read her like a book. But through it all, she can’t help but believe that she is abandoning her mother, the one who always took care of her. But even that’s not completely true, is it?
Didja Like It?: I first discovered Trish Doller last year when I read her debut novel Something Like Normal. I have been eagerly awaiting her second novel since the minute I closed the first one.
Ms. Doller has a way of writing so hopefully about really bad stuff. She doesn’t shy away from things that are uncomfortable, but there is such a truth in what she writes. Above all, these things MUST be said.
The characters are so real, imperfect, searching. While Callie is the main character, like a really good story, the ensemble is allowed to contribute as well. Rounding out the secondary characters gives a richness to the novel that can’t be had if those in the background are merely cardboard cutouts with one personality trait.
Anything Else to Mention?: POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT? The end result of the story is similar to her first book. While it is probably closer to reality, for those who enjoy their endings neatly tied up with ribbons, that doesn’t seem to be the author’s MO. And I don’t think this is a bad thing at all.
To Read or Not To Read: Absolutely a google times yes. Ms. Doller is on the forefront of fabulous realistic contemporary fiction. Don’t miss out.
Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller was published September 24, 2013 by Bloomsbury Children’s Books. Ink and Page purchased this book, so no one had a choice about whether it was reviewed.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction Contemporary
Ages: 12 and up
You Might Want to Know: Underage drinking, drugs, sexuality, profanity, abuse