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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-06-24 11:23
Where the Stars Still Shine - Trish Doller

**spoiler alert** I found this story generally well written and engaging. The only thing that spoiled it for me was the inclusion of sex and profanity.
For the most part, I was interested in Callie's story and seeing how it turned out. Callie, who has been living with her mother for years under the mistaken belief that they had no one else, discovers that her mother kidnapped her years before, taking her away from her loving father and his large Greek family. When the police catch up to them, Callie is understandably cautious with her remarried father’s new family at first, but goes on a voyage of discovery, both for herself and her mother (who is diagnosed with a personality disorder).
These issues are dealt with sensitively by the author and in what I felt was a realistic way. While I grew frustrated with things like Callie's constant defending of her mother by lying and covering up for her, I felt that it was likely she would have responded that way, given that it had only been the two of them for so long.
The only thing that spoiled it for me was the profanity and sex. Again, I understand why Callie would think that every guy wants sex, given her mother's behaviour, and that she definitely would be the type who'd seen that kind of action, but I was disappointed that her serious love interest in the story was the kind of man who'd sleep with a girl at first sight (as he does with Callie) without even knowing who she is. This, and a couple of other scenes paint him as a player, and yet it seems we're meant to believe in the reality of their love. I found it difficult to swallow and didn't like Alex at all. I preferred the scenes when he wasn't around. Even the situation with his mother didn't gain him much sympathy from me although I was pleased that plotline was resolved the way it was.

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review 2015-01-17 15:31
Where the Stars Still Shine
Where the Stars Still Shine - Trish Doller

From Goodreads: 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.

 

This was my second novel by Trish Doller and I enjoy her books, although I probably will never find myself seeking out her back cataloge and stick to getting her books on a more impulsive level. 

 
What I like about this particular novel is that I found it interesting. The plot wasn't exactly unique, but put into the setting and the characters...I found myself more invested in this book. I loved the Greek-American family that Callie is reunited with. 
 
I was a bit disappointed with the lack of depth this book had. It wasn't shallow, there was a lot of emotions involved so it wasn't that....I just did not feel challenged by this book. It was a perfect read immediately following the books it did...at the time I just needed some quick, fun read...but if I had read it at another time I would definitely feel it's lack of challenging me. 
 
If you are looking for a quick weekend read, then this definitely would be a decent pick...but if you are looking for something with a bit more depth...then perhaps give this one a miss.
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text 2014-08-01 18:59
July Reads & August TBR
On the Fence - Kasie West
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
The Art of Lainey - Paula Stokes
The Invention of Hugo Cabret - Brian Selznick
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Flipped - Wendelin Van Draanen
Landline - Rainbow Rowell
Where the Stars Still Shine - Trish Doller
The Lucky One - Nicholas Sparks
Lola and the Boy Next Door - Stephanie Perkins

This was a fairly good reading month. I read 15 books in all - 10 novels and 5 graphic novels. I read some really good books and some okay ones:

 

July Reads

 

1. Blankets by Craig Thompson (graphic novel) [4/5 stars]

- This one was pretty good. Not a favorite however. See my review here along with a few other graphic novels.

 

2. On the Fence by Kasie West [4/5 stars]

- This came out on July 1 and it was really cute just like the Distance Between Us :) See my review

 

3. Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang (graphic novel duology) [3.5/5 stars]

- This was a pretty good duo - I think I would have liked it more if I learned about the Chinese Boxer Rebellion but it was still good. See my review along with a few other graphic novels.

 

4. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline [3.5/5 stars]

- I liked this one but not as much as I thought I would. It was okay. See my mini review with some other books

 

5. The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes [3.75/5 stars]

- This was pretty cute. See my mini review along with other books.

 

6. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick [5/5 stars]

- This was a beautiful book, I loved it - both the story and illustrations. Mini review to come soon!

 

7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee [5/5 stars]

- I finally read this book and loved it! See review

 

8. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen [4.5/5 stars]

- I loved this book! Great coming of age story! See my review

 

9. The War at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks [2.5/5 stars]

- This was just okay - a typical high school story. I do want to read more from the author though. Once I read a couple more graphic novels I'll do a mash up review

 

10. Landline by Rainbow Rowell [4.5/5 stars]

- I loved this book and this author :) See review

 

11. Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller [4.5/5 stars]

- This was a beautiful and moving story! Loved it! See my review

 

12. Skim by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki [2.5/5 stars]

- Another graphic novel that was just okay. I definitely liked their This One Summer better. Not much to say about this one - I was a bit disappointed that I didn't like it more. Once I read a few more graphic novels I'll do a combined review!

 

13. The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks [5/5 stars]

- I was just in the mood to reread a Nicholas Sparks book and I'm glad I did. I love this one even more than the first time I read it! I also just watched the movie last night and did a book to movie review :)

 

14. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins [5/5 stars]

- Another reread :) I squeezed this in and finished it the last day of July. I reread Anna in June so I wanted to reread Lola in July and glad I did. I loved this more than the first time- glad I reread it - I have forgotten so much! But Cricket is so sweet :) And love Lola's character!! I am not going to do a review of this one as I did for Anna. There was no mention of Isla or Josh and I just enjoyed the book but don't have a lot to say. Go read them :)

 

Favorite Read: This is a bit hard because I don't have an outstanding favorite. Because looking back at what I read - I enjoyed them as I was reading them but nothing that I want to gush about at the moment. I am glad I finally read To Kill a Mockingbird which was a good book, now one of my favorite classics but it didn't become a favorite book overall. It just makes me happy I finally read it! I loved Landline and Where the Stars Still Shine - it was hard to put both books down! And I loved my rereads of Lola and the Lucky One. And Flipped was a pleasant surprise. I guess I don't have a favorite :/

 

Least Favorite Read: Skim and the War at Ellsmere - both meh! As far as books, my least fave was Ready Player One!

 

August TBR:

 

 

Sadly I am not currently reading anything. SOB. I am trying to find something different, an adult fiction book either historical fiction or just something that will move me or make me think!. Hope to find something soon!! But I do have some books I really hope to get to this month!

 

1. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

YAY!! This book finally comes out on August 14 and I'm sooo excited!!

 

2. The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas

This is the 5 prequel novellas that occur before Throne of Glass that I'm excited to finally read in preparation for the third book, Heir of Fire that comes out September 2!

 

3. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

I have been wanting to read this for awhile ever since I heard about it - so it's about time I read it! It's also the pick for the book club I am in :)

 

4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgernstern

This is one of my favorite books so I'm hoping to reread it in August! First it's on my list of rereads for the year and second its another pick for another bookclub that I participate in ever so often!

 

5. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

I am hoping I can get my hands on this book so I can read it before summer is over!! It will also get me more excited for the return of Nashville since it's also a country singer type book!

 

Those are the only books I'm going to put on my tbr and I'll just see where the month takes me!

 

Have you read any of these books? What was your favorite of July?

 

Happy Reading! :)

 

- Jess

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text 2014-07-28 19:36
Under-Hyped Reads Readathon Wrap Up!
The War at Ellsmere - Faith Erin Hicks
Where the Stars Still Shine - Trish Doller
Skim - Mariko Tamaki,Jillian Tamaki

For more information on this check my other post: http://msbooklover89.booklikes.com/post/937329/under-hyped-readathon Basically it was a readathon that went on for one week hosted by RamblingsofanElfPire on Youtube where you read books that have under 5,000 or at least 10,000 ratiings on goodreads!

 

I didn't even think I was going to join in, but I did and managed to read a book and 2 graphic novels. I planned to read one other book and another graphic novel but didn't get around to it. I started rereading The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks instead - I just needed one of his books in my life :) These are the books I did read:

 

2 graphic novels:

 

1. The War at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks (2.5 stars)

- This one was just okay - typical high school setting/read but I do want to read more of her work!

 

2. Skim by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki (2.5 stars)

- Another one that was just okay - I definitely liked their other graphic novel, This One Summer much better but will continue reading their work!

 

1 book:

 

1. Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller (4.5 stars)

- I am sooo glad that I finally read this book! I've heard about it in the blogging community and got it on my kindle when it was on sale. Glad that this readathon pushed me to read this beautiful book! :)

 

I didn't get a chance to read the other graphic novel I planned, Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong nor did I read the novel, Distant Waves on my TBR. I may still read Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong before it's due at the library. I started Distant Waves and liked it so far, I just wasn't in the mood to read it so will pick it up eventually! But I still call it a success since I at least got to read one really good book that I don't know when I would have gotten to it!

 

Hope you all had a great reading week!! Hoping to squeeze in one more book before the month is over :)

 

- Jess

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review 2014-07-25 17:42
Book Review: Where the Stars Still Shines by Trish Doller
Where the Stars Still Shine - Trish Doller

Summary: Where the Stars Still Shine is about a girl named Callie who has been on the run with her mother for most of her life and one day her mother gets taken in by the police and Callie is sent to live with her father, who is a stranger to her. While living with her dad and meeting different people - Callie begins to understand what a real family should be and what real love should be like. 

 

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

 

Review: This book was beautiful! I was nervous that I wouldn't like it at first because I usually stay away from (or don't like) books that have characters that live a certain kind of rough life (for personal reasons) but thankfully, I pushed through and ended up loving this book! I had a hard time putting it down! I thought the story was going in a different direction, but once Callie goes home with her dad the story is brought to life. I really love the family dynamic in this story - first how Callie's family is Greek which was refreshing since I don't read a lot of culturally diverse books and her family is accepting and loving but not perfect - just how a family should be. I love the characters, their growth throughout the novel and the way they feel real. And the romance. SIGH. I love Alex Kosta

although it is a tad weird that technically he is Callie's Step Uncle...

(spoiler show)

) They were beautiful though - I loved their relationship :) I think I just met a new fictional boyfriend! Besides the romance, the family and friendships in this story were really great to read about! However, I really wanted more - the ending was a bit abrupt with not enough closure for me but enough that I could see the direction it was taking but I'd still love a sequel to the book! This book put me through a lot of emotions - it made me swoon, it made me cry, and it made me feel proud of the characters and their growth throughout the story! I highly recommend this book especially if you like books like Making Faces by Amy Harmon, Katie McGarry books, - other romantic books with deeper issues that just make you feel!

 

Have you read this or Something Like Normal by Trish Doller? What did you think?

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