Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller Review Guest Post & Giveaway!

Posted September 27, 2013 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 12 Comments

Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Published by Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Publish Date: September 24, 2013
308 Pages
Source: Publisher
Find it here:  Goodreads / Amazon / B&N

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. (from Goodreads)

Where the Stars Still Shine 
by Trish Doller 

My Thoughts:  I hardly know what to say when it comes to Trish Doller, but I know that in this I am not alone. When I read Something Like Normal last year – and every time I’ve read it since the first – there’s been something about it that I can barely put into words, although I’ve tried that before. Trish Doller has this way of writing a story so that you want to crawl into the book and just BE THERE. The characters come to life; their joys and their pains and their emotions and their sorrows and their everythings – all of these things are things that we, as readers, are able to feel too. I’m not sure how this amazing author is able to do this, but she just does. She did it once before, and I’m not at all surprised that she’s done it again with Where The Stars Still Shine

You guys, like everyone else, when I found out about this new book a long time ago, I RUSHED, SPRINTED, RAN to Goodreads to quickly add it to my to-read shelf. Why did I do this? Did I think this would make the book come out sooner? Would this make me any closer to the publication date? Would it land the book in my hands sooner? No, no I didn’t think any of that. It’s silly, really, but I was so excited (like everyone else) that I just wanted to be a part of the next thing that came from her pen that I wanted in on it RIGHT NOW. And I wanted to be a part of everyone else that was excited too. It sounds so silly, but you all know what I’m talking about because you all sprinted to add it to your shelves too. 

The thing about Where The Stars Still Shine is this: I began the book only having seen the cover. I didn’t go into it with a single shred of information about the story at all. I had not read the summary. I had not read any reviews. I only knew this: After reading and re-reading this author’s previous work and falling so incredibly hard for it for so many reasons, I trust her completely. She’s in the club, y’all. All I need to know is that she has something in the works, and BAM! I know that I’m reading it. 

So I begin the story, and just a few paragraphs in, I had to stop. Why why why, you ask? Well, I knew right

away that this is the type of story that one doesn’t merely sit and read in a haphazard fashion. Or at least not ME. So I sat down my Kindle and I grabbed my lovely coffee mug full of my favorite brew, I grabbed my favorite blanket, I snuggled down into my recliner, and I lost myself in the story. And this is how it should be when you read this book

And this is how it will be when I re-read this book. 


I know some of you are wondering about this blog post, wondering where my standard recaps and details are. I usually spend some time telling everyone some things about the story, but this time I’m not going to do that. I went into this story blindly and it was so lovely, so perfect, so right. You may choose to do this and you may not; either way is fine…but I’m going to let you all decide that for yourselves. It was the right decision for me because it made the story surround me and hug me and I just lost myself in the world of Tarpon Springs, Florida. I fell in love with this giant Greek family and this girl that felt so, so lost that she didn’t even know how to find herself. I fell in love with this boy – oh, this boy. Of course, if anyone knows how to write the boy, it’s Trish. And I fell in love with this father and the family at home. I fell in love with every single thing, every word, every emotion that I felt. 

You guys, if you don’t know: Trish Doller writes perfection. I’m not saying that lightly, either. It’s a huge thing to elevate someone to the status of “one of my favorites” after reading only one book, but that happened last year. Where The Stars Still Shine only served to solidify that decision and it only served to solidify and support my decision that Trish Doller’s books are auto-read for me, hands-down, mostly likely from here on out. 

This review is vague, but there are times like this when those of us that truly love books and truly love reading as much as I/we do – sometimes we just have to learn to trust the authors. Right? You guys know what I’m talking about. As for me and my bookish self, I decided a while back that I would be trusting Trish Doller and it paid off in bountiful ways with this beautiful book. What a gift to the bookish community, to contemporary lovers, to YA readers everywhere! This one is a winner, you guys. If you’ve read this blog post wondering what on earth I’m telling you about this book and you just can’t figure it out at all by now, it’s this: you will not be disappointed by this book, so just read it. And from now on, just trust Trish Doller. There is no disappointment in her books, her characters, her stories, the worlds that she creates. Plus, she’s just a nice gal. It’s WINNING for everyone. 

And seriously, she wins all of the awards for writing the stories that just stick to your ribs. 

I recommend Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller for everyone, regardless of age, regardless of what types of books you enjoy. And I still will always recommend Something Like Normal to everyone as well. And when Arcadia Falls comes out, I’ll likely read it the very same way – blindly – and my review may very well sound a lot like this one. I can’t wait to find out. 



I’m truly honored and excited that Author Trish Doller is here today
to talk a little bit about 
writing controversial themes 
in her newest book 
Where The Stars Still Shine

If I had to sum it up in one word, writing controversial themes in Where the Stars Still Shine was scary.

I knew as I was writing that sexual abuse might be a trigger for sensitive readers and that the sexual content might be a magnet for book banners. But here’s the thing: If I worry too much about offensive content, I risk the integrity of the story that needs to be told. So I pulled on my patented (not really, but it should be considering that she’s target number one) Lauren Myracle Bulletproof Writer Vest and set to work. 

I did a lot of research on sexual abuse so that Callie’s behavior would make sense, but that I would also handle it with sensitivity. I have a friend who was abused as a child and when she read the book, she told me she felt so many of the same feelings as Callie and asked me, “How did you know that?” And I think the answer is that after you do all the research and have all the facts and “typicals” of abuse, you have to put yourself in the character’s head. I’ve been fortunate. I’ve never been abused, but I can imagine what sort of pain I would feel. I can imagine how I might have responded as a teenager. I can imagine what Callie is hoping to gain by engaging in promiscuous behavior and I know how I would feel when the encounter left me as shamed as my abuser had. It’s really not that hard, but I think it’s vital to the story––even if it ruffles some feathers along the way. 

Stemming from this is the sexual content itself. I knew early on that Callie needed an experience that was different from experiences past. She needed someone who would help erase some of the shame and who would show her what a healthy sexual relationship looks like. Someone who would think about her needs as well as his own. While the scenes makes for a much more mature book than I expected, I wouldn’t change a single moment, because Callie learning she has sexual agency is enormously important. And I don’t think that’s a bad message to be sending to teenage girls. It’s not encouraging them to action, but it’s certainly saying that the right partner is respectful, responsible, and cares about you. 

By now the book is out in the world, there might be some controversy. I hope not, but I’ve got the Lauren Myracle Bulletproof Writer Vest on. I’m ready.


Where The Stars Still Shine will appeal to fans of:

YA Contemporary with Issues & Romance
Trish Doller
That’s all you’re getting, guys! Trust your author.

Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
is currently available for purchase.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher to read and share my thoughts on this blog. All of the above thoughts and opinions are mine! Thank you so much Bloomsbury USA Children’s! 


I’ve been a writer as long as I’ve been able to write, but I didn’t make a conscious decision to “be” a writer until fairly recently. For that you should probably be thankful.

I was born in Germany, grew up in Ohio, went to college at Ohio State University, got married to someone really excellent, bounced from Maine to Michigan and back to Ohio for awhile. Now I live in Florida with my two mostly grown kids, two dogs, and a pirate. For real.

I’ve worked as a morning radio personality, a newspaper reporter, and spent all my summers in college working at an amusement park. There I gained valuable life skills, including counting money really fast, directing traffic, jumping off a moving train, and making cheese-on-a-stick. Also, I can still welcome you to Frontier Town. Ask me sometime.

These days I work as a bookseller at a Very Big Bookstore. And I write.

Find Trish Doller: 


And now for the Giveaway! 

Bloomsbury USA Children’s 
and Author Trish Dollar have generously offered 
one copy of WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE for one lucky US reader! 

*US Only Please * Contest Ends 10/11* 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


12 responses to “Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller Review Guest Post & Giveaway!

  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this title, Asheley, and I love this guest post, primarily because it touches upon Callie's sexuality which is definitely one of the strongest aspects of the novel. I thought Doller dealt with it perfectly, so I can't wait for her next novel!(:

  2. Holy… Asheley! What a phenomenal review 🙂 Did I tell you how I love your style? Your reviews are always so straight-forward, honest and conversational, yet very sophisticated and eloquent at the same time. I don't know how you do it, girl!

    I've been reading your blog posts through the email subscription that I have and then it just hit me, dude, I should probably stop by sometimes and let her know that I haven't forgotten about her and her blog! 🙂 So here I am – missed your pretty face!!!

    Where Stars Still Shine sounds amazing. I'm going to put it on my TBR right away and be sure get to it some time soon (right after Halloween probably). I haven't read Trish's other book, but it sure sounds like a great read, too. Thanks for introducing this wonderful author to me, Ash, I always learn something new and interesting from your blog posts! 🙂

  3. "And seriously, she wins all of the awards for writing the stories that just stick to your ribs."

    Yep:) I felt the same way as you after reading this book, Ash–I loved Something Like Normal, but I think Callie, her dad, her extended family and Alex hold a special place in my heart. I can't wait for Arcadia Falls either:)

    And I love Trish's post–I love what she said about researching sexual abuse victims stories–and I REALLY REALLY love what she said about portraying a sexually active girl who learns that sex does not need to be about shame. A emotionally fulfilling, healthy sexual relationship is something Callie never expected she could have–I love that Trish Doller chose to write her like that. It IS an important message to send to young adult girls and I only wish more YA authors would follow her lead.

    Great review and guest post:)

  4. I'm so glad to see a new book from Trish Doller. Writing controversial themes is important in opening up those topics for discussion. If nobody wrote these books these things would never be talked about and no social progress would ever be made. We need authors like Trish, now more than ever. Thanks.

  5. Oh A! It's not often that I see you write this kind of review – one that's so absolutely clear about your love for a book but so vague about why. That just makes me all the more curious about this one! I already know I'm going to read it as soon as my copy arrives, but I'm so glad you loved it.

    I particularly loved this line from Trish: "If I worry too much about offensive content, I risk the integrity of the story that needs to be told." I love that she just focused on what she felt she needed to say and the story that needed to be told! I look forward to reading it for myself.

  6. I have yet to read a Trish Doller book but I have heard SUCH great things about them that I need to get it on fast! Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. YAYYY! I love how much you loved this one because it's exactly how I felt about it. 😀 And Trish if FO' SHO! on my my auto-buy list. I can't believe we have to wait so long for her next book. 🙁 Great post, Asheley!

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