21/11/2013

Review: Where the Stars Still Shine {Trish Doller}


★★★☆☆
Written by Trish Dollar
Amazon | Book Depository 

Stolen from her family and forced to go on the run with her mum for over ten years, Callie only has the barest idea of what life should be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school and has gotten most of her meals from vending machines. And her dreams are haunted by parts of her childhood she can't bear to remember. But when Callie's mum is finally arrested for kidnapping her and her dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn what it's like to be part of a family and she must learn to believe that love is about more than just running together.
 
I love the concept behind this novel! Having a young girl torn from her family and forced on the run and then thrusting her back into the life that should have been hers all along? That's a plot I can get behind.

I liked seeing Callie's life with her mother and thought their codependent, destructive relationship was the best part of the book. Callie's mother is selfish beyond words and it makes their dynamic (and Callie's constant need to please her) all the more intriguing.

The rest of the story left me mixed, mostly because I felt like the main focus was Callie's relationship with Alex and, because of that, Trish didn't delve as far into Callie's trauma and adjustment as I feel she could have. This meant the intense and heartbreaking read I was hoping for had a tendency to revolve around an unappreciative Callie engaging in some insta-love.

She ditches the family she's never known so she can have sex with Alex. She refuses to go to school and so instead gets a part-time job, which she's late for so she can have sex with Alex.

Now, this is a girl who has had her childhood stolen and suffered a really awful trauma ... but because of the above, I couldn't connect enough with Callie to empathise with her. 

I really liked Callie's dad though; he clearly cared about his daughter and was heartbroken over not seeing her grow up. But a lot of the time it seemed he was only in the story to scold Callie whenever she ran off without telling anyone (which she did a lot). I really wanted to see their relationship grow and have them form a deeper bond, but I felt as if the relationship between Callie and her dad was watered down to make way for the one between her and Alex. Which is a shame.  

 Don't get me wrong, I didn't dislike this book, but I just didn't love it. I guess I expected to be blown away, but instead I felt like it was pretty average in the sea of YA books out there. In the end, it didn't leave a lasting impression.

This is one of those quick and easy reads, filled with characters that are fleshed-out enough to keep the story flowing, but not enough that you become truly invested in their story. But if you're in the mood for an easy book with some steamy romance, a troubled heroine and a decent character journey, then this might be for you. 

"There are so many maybes in life, but sometimes you just have to put your faith in possibility."

 

Allie has planned out a trio of marvellous desserts for Valentine's weekend. She'll be baking up a storm for love day! And that's not just a metaphor, because when she bakes, the kitchen ends up looking like it's been hit by a hurricane. But hey, the sugar makes the clean-up all worth while.
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16 comments:

  1. I wish this could have been better for you. It sounds like it could have had so much potential to be an awesome read. Great review!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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  2. I just finished this one like two days ago! I'm still figuring out what I liked and didn't like. Although I loved it some parts of it, other parts were a little iffy for me. For instance I wasn't a big fan of Alex's plot line. It felt sort of random and underdeveloped. I'm going to stop now before I right my review in your comments section lol

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    1. I definitely agree! I still don't quite understand why he didn't want to see his mum. Seemed so forced to me!

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  3. Glad you enjoyed overall but sorry you weren't blown away

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  4. I've heard a lot about this one but I think I need to read it for myself to see. I'm glad to see that you enjoyed it even though it didn't leave a lasting impression. The family aspect seems really interesting and I'm a little sad to see that it wasn't explored as much. Thanks for the honest review :)

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  5. Eh, Callie seems really immature.. I like how there's a focus on the family though with the dad getting involved. Hope your next read is better!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

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  6. I'm blown away by that cover- wow! Looks great. Sorry you weren't in love with it though!

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  7. This one is sitting on my shelf to read but I haven't picked it up yet. Based on your review I'm thinking I can knock it out over Thanksgiving break on afternoon. Sometimes I just need a light read to occupy and afternoon so maybe this will be it! Great review!

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    1. It's definitely a light read - I think I finished it in a day or so

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  8. Sounds like this one focuses more than romance than it does the actual issues, which I would have been more interested in as well. I can definitely understand your issues with it. Maybe I should wait to read this one.

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  9. I can see myself easily having the same issues with Callie. But I've heard good things about this author's writing overall, so I might still give this a try if I have a free weekend. Thanks for the helpful review, Allie! I hope your next read manages to blow you away. :)

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    1. Everyone seems to love her first book Something Like Normal (I haven't read it yet), so I'm not giving up hope for Trish just yet lol

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  10. Sounds like my experience with Trish's first book, Something Like Normal. I expected to be blown away but wasn't. Thanks for your honest review!

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  11. From your review, I get the notion that characters and relationships in this book can get quite complicated! Not sure if I'll like them completely but everyone's been recommending this book so, time to check out the hype! =)

    Alicia @ Summer Next Top Story

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  12. I had pretty similar feelings on this one. I adored Callie's family relationships, both her awkwardness with her new family and her inevitable loyalty to her mom, but I also felt like the romance stole some of the spotlight. I was never a huge fan of her boyfriend and felt their relationship was a bit insta-love-y, even though I understood how Callie's past affected her quick approach to love. Oh well, I'm glad you at least liked this book although you didn't love it.

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    1. I wasn't Alex's biggest fan either. He was a bit 'eh' and I didn't see much depth to their relationship to be honest. I wish Callie's family had been the bigger focus

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