Where the Stars Still Shine

Where the Stars Still Shine - Trish Doller Dear Trish Doller,

I think you're my favorite new writer.

Thanks,
Betsy

Doller's last book, Something Like Normal was a five star read. This one doesn't disappoint.

Her characterization is what makes this book rock. The descriptions of the Callie and Alex are so vivid that I felt like I knew both of them. I could feel myself in the airstream with Callie, on Alex's sponging boat. They have a sweet, love story. Honestly, Alex was to die for. What a character. It's important to represent different kinds of girls in YA fiction. Because of Callie's childhood trauma she has a lot of intimacy issues, which she deals with by having meaningless sex. I sometimes grow tired of reading about girls who've never kissed a boy and come into their stories virgins to all romance. I don't think that is reality. Callie was refreshing.

Callie's is a lost soul, looking for a way out of her painful childhood and crazy home life with a mentally ill, transitory mother. The treatment of Callie's past sexual abuse is really well done. This could have been a darker, harder read. Doller obviously isn't afraid to take on tough issues. Something Like Normal dealt with PTSD. What I appreciate is how she tells a story with a HEA without making it into fluff or a painful disaster. There are so many YA books out now that deal with tough issues, but either go crazy-dark or make light of the stakes. Where the Stars Still Shine hits the perfect balance.

Doller builds a community of characters in this novel. I felt like I was one of the family. She obviously did her research about the Greek sponging community in Florida. I loved that angle. Who's ever heard of sponging? I certainly hadn't, and I love when a book can show me something new and make it feel real.

If you haven't read either of Doller's books, do yourself a favor and get reading!