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. (from Goodreads)
I literally read this in about three hours today. I immediately felt sorry for Callie, and as we learned more about what happened to her and how her life was in the past, I liked her even more because of how she came out of everything as a great person. Yes, in the beginning of the book she definitely had a journey to take, and one of the things that kept me glued to this book was looking forward to and really enjoying seeing this journey.
Alex and Callie are cut from the same mold and really perfect for each other; both wanting above all to support their parents despite what it was doing to them individually. I also really enjoyed all the supporting characters -- Kat was so endearing that you just had to love her. Greg was the best dad ever. The girl at the bookshop -- I'm blanking on her name -- ended up being pretty awesome. It was also really neat to read about the Greek community in the small Florida town and learn about sponging.
Trish Doller's writing was so raw and open and honest that I hurt for Callie, her mom and Greg as I read the story. Their emotions were so understandable, even if I had never been in a situation like theirs. I was very content with the way the story ended and felt happy and satisfied when the I read the last lines.
Where the Stars Still Shine hit a win for me in several areas: Likeable protagonist? Check. Hottie boy? Check. Fun best friend? Check. Heart-warming moments? Check. I definitely recommend picking this up when its released in late September.