The Reading Shelf

I love reading books, especially Young Adult books of all kinds. I have a book reviewing blog (The Reading Shelf) that I try to update whenever I'm not reading or procrastinating on the internet.

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Where the Stars Still Shine - Trish Doller

I read a whole string of emotional and beautiful books in a row, and this book was no exception. I enjoyed Trish Doller’s debut, Something Like Normal, but I wasn’t as blown away by it as many other people seemed to be. Well, this book totally blew me away, and I am not officially a huge Doller fan.


Callie is the type of protagonist that, even when you get mad at her, you’re more mad at the situations that led her to making mad decisions, rather than mad at her. Everytime she pushed away her father, hid secrets, and felt like she wasn’t worth anything because of her past, I didn’t get mad at her – I was mad that she ever felt that these were things she had to do, that she was worthless. Even when I wanted to shake her and make her bond with her dad, I wasn’t mad at her because it just fit in with her character so much. It didn’t feel like she was acting that way to draw out the book and add drama – she was acting that way because it worked with her character and her story.


Then there were all the interesting secondary characters. Callie’s dad, stepmother, adorable half brothers, grandmother, the girl at the bookstore (Ariel, I believe)… there were plenty of interesting secondary characters. One of my (minor) issues with the book was that we didn’t get more time with them, especially her family. The fact that she actually has a huge family, and a Greek one, an identity she didn’t even know she had, is a big part of her identity, so I wish it could have played an even bigger part of the story.


Unfortunately, some of the secondary characters I was supposed to root for didn’t leave the same impact on me. Mainly, I didn’t care that much about her cousin. There were times I liked Kat, but there were times she was too pushy and it rubbed me the wrong way. She kind of grew on me by the end, but not quite as much as she was probably supposed to. There were also her friends, who I didn’t care for as much as I probably was supposed to because they were the people Kat brought into the story rather than people that came into Callie’s life in a more organic manner.


The romance was also quite interesting and heartbreaking and swoon-inducing, but sometimes I felt like there was just a bit too much romantic drama. The last burst of drama on the romantic front just seemed like too much, especially with everything else going on.


The ending was great, though, and for one specific reason. I feel like no matter how big a part family plays in a story, the last scene is always just the protagonist and the love interest. The second to last scene could be an amazing one celebrating family, but the last scene still has to have romance in it, even if it’s subtle. (I don’t think this is a spoiler, but feel free to skip it if you haven’t read it yet)

Therefore, it was awesome and amazing and great that the last scene wasn’t just between Callie and Alex, it was between Callie and her mother, with her dad in the beginning of it. Family plays a huge part in her life, so it was great to see the book end on it. Especially since, for all her faults and problems, I didn’t hate Callie’s mother.

(show spoiler)



So, overall, this was a great, amazing book. I had some small issues, but they were very minor and rarely got in my way of enjoying this book, for which I am very grateful. I’ll definitely be checking out future Doller books!