If there's one thing Callie has learned from her mother, it's how to run – and Callie is always running away from her problems. She can pack a suitcasIf there's one thing Callie has learned from her mother, it's how to run – and Callie is always running away from her problems. She can pack a suitcase in an amazingly short amount of time, and knows exactly what it takes to live on the move. But after her mother is arrested and Callie is sent to live with her father, running becomes a bit more complicated. With family, friends, and even a little romance in the works, leaving doesn't seem – or even feel – like an option. But, everyone has their demons, and Callie's mother won't be incarcerated for long...once she's out and Callie turns eighteen, Callie will have to decide where she truly belongs.
Doller amazed me with her debut, SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL, and succeeds in matching that excellency with her sophomore novel. WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE is intense on an emotional level, highlighting the awkward, heartbreaking, and adorable moments that are present in various relationships. The familial aspect is both saddening and heartwarming. The relationship between Callie and her mother is possessive and not quite what it should be. Her mother loves her, that much is obvious, but her actions do not always agree with that sentiment. But it's the slower relationships Callie forms in her new (and old) home that make the strongest impression. Family, romance, and friendship, it's highly enjoyable to watch Callie grow and heal from her past experiences. An incredibly touching and well-rounded story, WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE should be on the top of your to-read list.
Highlights: Family and friendship take center stage in this story. Doller gives readers an unflinchingly honest portrayal of the effects sexual abuse can have on a person. The romance was sweet and enjoyably slow to form. I enjoy how the story leaves that relationship in unclear, fuzzy place, but there is still some hope. And the characters were fantastic (Alex, Kat, Greg, Phoebe, Tucker, Joe, and so on). None are of them perfect, and they all make a strong, realistic impression. Humorous, heartwarming, and intensely emotional, this story has it all.
Lowlights: *struggles* Any issues I had were small enough that I did not bother to write them down while reading.
I was patrolling Netgalley a week ago when I noticed a sneak peek for THE ARCHIVED by Victoria Schwab was available to read, and I quickly downloadedI was patrolling Netgalley a week ago when I noticed a sneak peek for THE ARCHIVED by Victoria Schwab was available to read, and I quickly downloaded it for my Kindle. Fast-forward a few hours, and I was done, left both completely fascinated by the story and very upset that it is not January 22nd yet. But, while the release date may not be here yet, these are some reasons why THE ARCHIVED is high on my wishlist, and why this story should be on your wishlist too:
Great Main Character THE ARCHIVED features a strong and smart heroine with its narrator, Mackenzie. She's not quite like other YA protagonists, but I like that about her. Being a Keeper makes her unique from other bookish heroines, and I'm hopeful she'll continue being awesome as the story progresses.
Interesting Narrative There's (1) a main, present day narrative and (2) brief recollections of Da (Mackenzie's grandfather), and the latter proves itself to be very gripping. Sometimes little interruptions in narrations can be frustrating, but trust me when I say these ones will only make you want to keep reading.
Strong Emotions / Writing Mac and her family are still dealing with a death in the family, so emotions are a bit high-strung. Also, there's the fact that Mac's a bit more sensitive to emotions because she's a Keeper. Schwab manages to get these emotions to come across to the reader. I felt for these characters, related to them, and understood them. I just hope there will be some growth.
Excellent Worldbuilding I was worried that the concept for this story wouldn't be fully realized and fleshed out, but I had no reason to worry whatsoever. Schwab expertly lays the groundwork for what it is to be a Keeper, what Histories are, and gives tantalizing glimpses into the Archive and the Narrows, giving just enough info at the right moments. Schwab seems to be developing this story slowly, so I'm sure there will be even more to learn throughout the entire novel.
Multiple Mysteries There are a few mysteries floating around in this story, and I'm curious to see what Schwab does with them.
Wesley He is a very intriguing young man....This sneak peek left off at an interesting point with him.
It Will Likely Get Even Better I'm just guessing, but it seems like a strong possibility that this book will be fantastic. You can't go wrong with a fascinating concept and a great protagonist. ...more