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2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

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My Progress:

10 / 30 books. 33% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (3)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut
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- Georgia (1)
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- Washington, D.C.*

- Australia (1)
- Canada (1)
- England (7)
- France (1)
- Indonesia (1)
- Ireland (2)
- Italy (1)
- Scotland (2)
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My Progress:

22 / 51 books. 43% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

15 / 50 books. 30% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

21 / 50 books. 42% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

42 / 50 books. 84% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

38 / 52 books. 73% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

25 / 40 books. 63% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

9 / 25 books. 36% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

32.2 / 26.2 miles. 123% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

20 / 100 books. 20% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

55 / 104 books. 53% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

42 / 52 books. 81% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

54 / 165 books. 33% done!
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Luminous Debut Novel Touching and Hopeful

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

After losing her mother to cancer and fighting her own devastating battle with the disease, Joanna Teale needs a distraction.  The 26-year-old graduate student finds it in Southern Illinois' Shawnee Forest, where she spends all her time studying the nesting success of indigo buntings.  Renting a cabin on an isolated stretch of road, she lives a quiet, lonely existence that suits her just fine.

When a young girl appears on Jo's doorstep out of the blue, the busy biologist shoos her away.  The child, who insists she has no Earthly home because she came from the stars, is barefoot and covered in bruises.  In spite of herself, Jo lets the waif in—just until she can decide what to do with her.  The police seem uninterested in a wandering country kid and Jo doesn't see the girl's picture on any Missing Children sites.  Not knowing what else to do, she cares for the odd child, who continues to insist she's an alien sent to Earth to study human beings.  Increasingly concerned about the girl's obviously turbulent home life, Jo enlists the help of Gabe Nash, her handsome, reclusive neighbor, to help her solve the problem of the girl who calls herself Ursa Major.  

The more the adults bond with the special child, the more inclined they are to believe Ursa's crazy origin story.  When the happy bubble Jo, Ursa, and Gabe have created eventually pops, though, they will all be faced with some hard questions.  Who is Ursa Major, really?  Where did she come from?  And how has the strange little girl managed to steal their hearts so completely?

Where the Forest Meets the Stars is a luminous debut novel by endangered bird specialist Glendy Vanderah.  It features an intriguing premise, a cast of likable, sympathetic characters, and a slow-building plot that kept me turning pages nonetheless.  Although the novel deals with some tough subjects, overall it tells a hopeful, touching novel about the power of love in a world that has too little of it.  I enjoyed this lustrous tale and will definitely be watching to see what this talented author does next.

(Readalikes:  Hm, nothing is coming to mind.  You?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (a dozen or so F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, sexual content, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Where the Forest Meets the Stars from the generous folks at Lake Union Publishing via those at TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!


Would you like more opinions on Where the Forest Meets the Stars?  Follow along on the book's blog tour by clicking on the links below:

Instagram Tour:

Monday, February 25th: @lovelyreadergirl
Tuesday, February 26th: @bookishconnoisseur
Wednesday, February 27th: @theliteraryllama
Thursday, February 28th: @tarheelreader
Friday, March 1st: @stephaniehowell
Saturday, March 2nd: @somekindofalibrary
Sunday, March 3rd: @bookclubwithbite
Monday, March 4th: @bookish_nel
Tuesday, March 5th: @amberafterglowreads

Review Tour:

Monday, February 25th: Erica Robyn Reads
Tuesday, February 26th: A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, February 27th: Jathan & Heather
Thursday, February 28th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Friday, March 1st: From the TBR Pile
Monday, March 4th: Booklover Book Reviews
Tuesday, March 5th: Openly Bookish
Wednesday, March 6th: Book Fidelity
Thursday, March 7th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Sunday, March 10th: @love_my_dane_dolly
Monday, March 11th: Tar Heel Readers
Tuesday, March 12th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Saturday, March 16th: Inky Moments and @inkymoments
Monday, March 18th: Book by Book
Tuesday, March 19th: Books & Bindings
Wednesday, March 20th: Kahakai Kitchen
Thursday, March 21st: Palmer’s Page Turners
Friday, March 22nd: The Lit Bitch
Monday, March 25th: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, March 27th: Audio Killed the Bookmark
Thursday, March 28th: @somekindofalibrary


  1. Ooh, this sounds good! Thanks for the great review, this book is definitely on my radar now!

  2. Second extremely positive review I've read of this book. I'm going to keep it as a treat in upcoming weeks. I think I will like it very much.

  3. A girl who calls herself Ursa Major? That's awesome. I'm in! :)

  4. Not sure this one is for me, but I can see the appeal for others.

  5. There was a book I read many years ago called "The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope" by Rhonda Riley that while different, had the same premise of a person showing up randomly with a seemingly bizarre origin. I really enjoyed that book a lot so this one is right up my alley. Thanks for being on the tour!

    Sara @ TLC Book Tours


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