If you were wondering what you should do this weekend, it’s this. Buy it, curl up with some comfort food and a blanket, and dive in.
Callie is a seventeen year old girl that commands attention from page one as you get a glimpse into her life on the run – constant homelessness caused my her mom’s need to run and only enough possessions to fill a small thrift store suitcase. Heartbreaking.
And then a routine traffic violation turns into a life-changing event for Callie and her mom, and Callie is face to face with a father she’d grown up thinking didn’t love her and the sad reality of what life with her mom has been in comparison to what life with her dad could have been.
Through the overwhelming and in-your-face love of a larger than life Greek family, an incredibly hot and somewhat mysterious guy, a rediscovered preschool best friend, and a seriously cute community with a seriously cool book store, Callie is able to find the healing that she needs to move on with the decision she now faces: her mom or her dad?
By the time I finished this (which was on the same day I started because I just couldn’t stop), there were happy tears in my eyes and a good book hangover was in full force. I mean, I don’t give out many five star ratings on Goodreads, but I didn’t even hesitate for this one. I just loved it. And I also really wanted to travel to Tarpon Springs, Florida for some touristy sponge shopping and authentic Greek food.
Trish Doller has set herself pretty firmly on my list of must-read authors with this one. She deals with heavy topics in this YA/NA novel without making it depressing. She writes a raw, swoony romance that feels real, yet isn’t the saving grace of the protagonist – the romance isn’t what makes Callie ok, it just plays a part. That’s refreshing.
From the cover to the first page to the author’s notes in the end (which, honestly, I usually skip but didn’t this time), Where the Stars Still Shine is enthralling and charming and beautiful.