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Where the Forest Meets the Stars

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  17,747 ratings  ·  1,860 reviews
An Amazon Charts, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post bestseller.

In this gorgeously stunning debut, a mysterious child teaches two strangers how to love and trust again.

After the loss of her mother and her own battle with breast cancer, Joanna Teale returns to her graduate research on nesting birds in rural Illinois, determined to prove that her recent hardships have
Hardcover, 332 pages
Published March 1st 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
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4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,747 ratings  ·  1,860 reviews

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Larry H
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are books you read that you enjoy, there are books that you love, and then there are the books you hold in your heart. Having just finished Glendy Vanderah's stunningly beautiful debut novel, Where the Forest Meets the Stars , I know it will be one to cherish. What a special book this was.

Joanna Teale is an ornithologist who is recovering from a double blow: her mother's death and her own battle with breast cancer. Bearing physical and emotional scars, she returns to her graduate research
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There’s a reason (or two or three) why Where the Forest Meets the Stars is an Amazon bestseller. It’s special! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

So special, in fact, I’m unlikely to forget this story or its characters.

Joanna has had her share of trauma and grief. As a breast cancer survivor still grieving the loss of her mother, she goes back to graduate school to study birds (this in and of itself was fascinating, and a fun tidbit- the author had this same profession). Joanna has become a workaholic living a solitar
4.5 or maybe 10 stars, I don't know. My mind is still blown. Don't ask me about stars right now.

Oh wow! I know I shouldn’t begin a review with Oh Wow but I was so blown away with Where the Forest Meets the Stars that it has taken a few days to put words to my thoughts (and you see how well that has gone, right?) Oh wow is what I have come up with so far.

Joanna Teale is an ornithologist is safely tucked away in a researcher’s cabin on the marshes of southern Illinois where she is completing her
Nilufer Ozmekik
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think so far this is the best book I’ve read on 2019. It’s so emotional, heart warming, poignant, amazing story of three people who try to live with the hand life’s dealt them.
Jo, in a remission from cancer, Gabe, fighting with his depression and a little girl Ursa who defines herself as an alien brings them together and seal their fates.
The story is about living not only surviving, staying strong and seeing the worthiness of your own life.
It’s perfectly written book gives you hope, joy and
Elyse Walters
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Its not a hype! I could not pull away!!!
This book is soooooo easy to love!!!
There is storytelling...
and then there is
ENDEARING- storytelling...
This is one of THOSE books you want to read!!!!!

Go in blind! TRUST all the High Ratings!!!!

Wonderful- wonderful
- wonderful!!!!!! 🥰

Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, blog-tour
A stunning story that will tug at your heartstrings,a tale bursting with love and sprinkled with magic!

I absolutely Loved every single word in this beautiful book! A magical tale about a remarkable girl who brought hope to many. BRAVO Glendy Vanderah! This is an exceptional story that will stick with me for a long time. The fact that this is a debut is as remarkable as Ursa.

Joanna is an ornithologist Who is spending the summer in rural Illinois, studying birds for her doctorate. She is still
A girl lost from the stars. A woman claiming herself after illness. A man burdened by his mind and family. Each one discovers life and love in spite of their individual trauma. These three are as varied as the stars but their need to move forward with life connects them in memorable ways. Set in a rural forest town filled with nature, mystery, tears, romance, and even a bit of suspense, Where the Forest Meets the Stars will capture you body and soul. The writing is lovely and the story radiates ...more
Oh my heart. Sob sob sob. I loved, adored, TREASURED this book and I didn’t want it to end. I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll keep it brief but it was just PERFECT. Full of magic and hope and despair and pain and longing and love and loss and fear and more magic. Woven throughout the story are threads of love. Love lost, love gained, love that the characters dreamt of but weren’t sure they deserved, weren’t sure they were capable of. Tenderly and beautifully written.
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: physical-arcs

When my publicist buddy Ashley sent me this and said, you were this first person I thought of when I finished this one, it’s right up your alley and is very similar to Catherine Ryan Hyde I had a feeling I was in for a treat! Man was she ever right, I was totally charmed by this one it’s such an unusual and gorgeous read.
I adore books about unlikely friendships and the sudden bond that develops between Jo and Ursa was the type that I like most of all. Jo is a broken woman, she battled breas
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

As always, words fail when you most want to say the right thing… I’ve decided language isn’t as advanced as we think it is. We’re still apes trying to express our thoughts with grunts while most of what we want to communicate stays locked in our brains.

He was teaching her how to play poker, and they were using oyster crackers as betting chips. “First guns, now gambling,” Jo said. “You’re a bad influence.” “Not for long,” he said. “We can’t stop eating our money.”

"And I know what
Jennifer Kyle
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars! What a wonderful story. This is definitely an author to look out for!!!
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars rounded up!

This is not a book that was on my radar at all, but I kept seeing all these rave reviews so I thought I would make some room and take a chance. I'm really glad I did because I normally would have skipped right by it had it not been for friends reviews on Goodreads.

Within the first page I was hooked on the lives of these characters. Jo is an ornithologist renting a house in the woods when a young girl, Ursa, appears and claims to be an alien from the Pinwheel Galaxy. Her mi
Holly  B

All the LOVE!

An Audible listen .....

I'm on a roll with a couple of 5 stars recently! Review to come....

Sophie "Beware Of The Reader"
4,75 “buddy listening” stars


Having finished the audiobook of Salt to the Sea I was looking for my next best read when Ari from Reading Under Street Lamps asked in her story who would like to buddy read Where the Forest Meets the Stars with her.

I read the synopsis, saw all the good ratings (already more than 16.000 ratings on Goodreads for a book published only one month ago!) and jumped in!


I won’t say a lot about the plot as part of the fun was guessing if this book was contemporary or with PN
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was an amazon first read selection for February '19. I read through it very quickly -- it is that kind of book (and I took a 'read' day this past weekend for myself).

I think that the premise and the characters were actually quite unique and built on a solid foundation. As a research wildlife biologist myself, I related to both the biologist side of Jo, but also to the complex, agoraphobic Gabe...and to the awkward, fumbling relationship dance they endured with each other. I would have give
Lucy Langford
Goth Gone Grey
Magical quarks, full of emotion, possible spoilers.

First few pages: Alien kid, like KPAX or Sati. Ok, I can get into this.

A few more pages: Ominous foreshadowing. Not digging that. But hey, there's a cute dog, too!

A few chapters in: A romance between two damaged people. This works, too, and it works with the star child and the dog. Nice. I'll just forget about that foreshadowing nonsense.

A few more chapters: Ooooooohhhhh.... This book is going to break my heart.

After more chapters: Emotiona
Sonja Arlow
Mar 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
I think my expectations were a bit skewed.

The clever marketing had me thinking it was a lighter version of The Summer that Melted Everything.

You have one otherworldly little girl, two broken adults and a whole lot of marshmallows.

I enjoyed the unlikely friendship between Ursa and Jo, and the unfolding of both their backgrounds. I also like the overall message of redemption and the power of connection.

However, some of the resolutions came too easy and certain elements of Gabe’s story did not rin
Anna Luce
★★✰✰✰ 2 stars

If I could just rate the first 30% of this novel I would have given this 4 stars. Sadly, I found the depiction of depression and social anxiety to be lousy and, worse still, I thought that the romantic relationship between the two leads is...worrisome.

Initially I was enjoying this story. In spite of the main characters' troubled pasts (Ursa, a child who shows signs of abuse, claims that she is an alien researching human beings; Jo is finally finishing her PhD after the death of her
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
*Got via Amazon first reads, one of the hardcovers I picked*
Erica Robyn
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah is a wonderfully heartwarming tale about the challenges that life throws our way, but how the power of love can heal all.

However, this book wasn't all star-shine and baby kittens. This book was also thrilling, terrifying, and frustrating, and it tackled a number of really difficult elements.

I loved every second of it! This book immediately found it's place on my top ten favorite books. Hence, the long review below!

I’m so very thankful to TLC
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
THIS BOOK. My heart feels so utterly full after reading this - I don't even know what to do with myself! I am in love with Ursa, Jo and Gabe. They all have their battles and come together unexpectedly and it's the best damn thing I've read in this genre in a while.

Let's talk about the characters - Ursa, this precocious and utterly stubborn girl was an absolute delight. A genius among geniuses and certainly a girl you cannot ignore and who will make anyone around her absolutely just fawn in ador
Mehvish Zaidi
Apr 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Where the Forest Meets the Stars was my bookclub’s March pick. Mostly, I do not like to dive into a book blind and usually do my homework before I start it. I read the blurb and check out the Goodreads ratings, look at the percentage of the stars given, sometimes I skim through the reviews if the ratings are mixed. On Goodreads, this book had an average rating of 4.24, with 82% of the 16,185 readers had given it either 4 or 5 stars. Now, that is something. My fellow bookclub readers, the ones wh ...more
The Lit Bitch
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When this book showed up in my inbox for review, I wasn’t entirely sure it was something I wanted to read. It sounded a little sad and on the heavy side so initially I set it to the side as a ‘probably wouldn’t review’ book.

But I wasn’t quite ready to write it off so I waited a few days to see if I might change my mind. The summary kept comping back into my mind and I kept thinking about the beautiful blue cover and interesting plot.

Eventually I decided on saying yes to this one, mostly because
Hallie Szott

Glendy Vanderah’s debut novel Where the Forest Meets the Stars is one that captured my heart and imagination, and I absolutely loved it.

Joanna Teale intends to spend the summer simply observing nesting birds, returning to graduate studies after disruptive hardships, when she encounters a dirty, little girl—one claiming to be an alien, one capable of changing her life. The girl, known as Ursa, claims to be searching for five miracles before returning to the stars, yet Jo is certain something e
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, fiction
4.5 stars. In "Where the Forest Meets the Stars," all Jo wants is peace and quiet to continue her field study of birds after a harrowing fight with cancer at a very young age. A cabin in the woods seems like the perfect place to hide away from the world. When a strange lost little girl named Ursa finds Jo and comes to stay, Jo's world will be turned upside down. Not only does she find an unbreakable bond with Ursa but she'll share that bond with Gabe, a young man fighting his own demons and livi ...more
Jane Watson
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a great book! I got this from the Amazon early reads email and thought it sounded quite unusual from the blurb - a girl who is a naturalist working with birds and a child who appears to be an alien. From the start I really liked the characters, they were all strongly drawn and there was no wishy-washy wondering from the main character Jo, she just got in there and said it how it was. The child, Ursa was also very well done and feisty which appealed to me. The male character Gabe was almost ...more
If you are an Amazon Prime member and have not yet selected your Kindle First Reads book for February 2019, grab this now!

What a great book! I started reading this novel on Saturday night and ended up rearranging my Superbowl Sunday plans so that I could finish it the next day. The characters are very human, very imperfect, and so endearing. The reader meets the little girl at the same time that the characters do and we are all swept away by the mystery that brings all of these characters togeth
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three stars for the first 50% of this debut book.
It charmed me with the appearance of a child that truly did seem to be intelligent enough to be alien, and the young woman who opened her home and heart was also engaging. It has qualities of a fairy tale until it meets harsher truths. My preference would have been a short story that ended in the middle of the book.
I appreciated the bird work, the natural setting in Illinois, the healing power of love.
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“People think they have to say something, and it never makes me feel better.” “I know. I’ve decided language isn’t as advanced as we think it is. We’re still apes trying to express our thoughts with grunts while most of what we want to communicate stays locked in our brains.” 13 likes
“The horrific crush of humanity on my soul. Haven’t you ever felt it?” “I think I have—in Walmart.” “Yes! That place is the worst!” 10 likes
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