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Saturday, March 2, 2019

REVIEW: Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderahv @LUAuthors #glendyvanderah

Where the Forest Meets the Stars 
by Glendy Vanderah

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing for this absolutely adorable read.

Publisher: Lake Union
Publish Date: March 1, 2019
332 Pages
Genre: Contemporary

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 not broken her. She throws herself into her work from dusk to dawn, until her solitary routine is disrupted by the appearance of a mysterious child who shows up at her cabin barefoot and covered in bruises.

The girl calls herself Ursa, and she claims to have been sent from the stars to witness five miracles. With concerns about the child’s home situation, Jo reluctantly agrees to let her stay—just until she learns more about Ursa’s past.

Jo enlists the help of her reclusive neighbor, Gabriel Nash, to solve the mystery of the charming child. But the more time they spend together, the more questions they have. How does a young girl not only read but understand Shakespeare? Why do good things keep happening in her presence? And why aren’t Jo and Gabe checking the missing children’s website anymore?

Though the three have formed an incredible bond, they know difficult choices must be made. As the summer nears an end and Ursa gets closer to her fifth miracle, her dangerous past closes in. When it finally catches up to them, all of their painful secrets will be forced into the open, and their fates will be left to the stars.

My Review:

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 adoration over her (when they're not annoyed at her stubborn streak, that is.. but even that is too precious).  Jo, a cancer survivor, a strong ass woman and wow - the scene with her in the river shedding her inhibitions - I was clapping for her during this entire part. Then Gabe - the neighbor, the egg seller and the bearded man.  His gruff teddy bear ways are the perfect addition.  Then there's Tabby who is about the most interesting and fun loving person I've read in a while - her quirkiness and actions had me cracking up - everyone could use a friend like her for sure.  

Look, I don't even know how to describe or where to begin on why you should absolutely read this book but you should  Go. Run. Buy and READ IMMEDIATELY.  I'm completely floored that this is a debut novel.  The way the author weaves some very serious subjects into this story of unexpected friendships, love and responsibility is nothing short of spectacular. I had one very tiny issue with the sister but it's such a blip that I just shoved it aside and moved about my business.  

The message of coming together, blossoming unexpected loves, the healing power of those that bond you... it's a feel good book with a lot of heavy hitting subjects intricately weaved throughout.  HIGHLY RECOMMEND.



  1. AhoyThank ye kindly fer the recommendation. We Pirates always follow th starrrs for they will never steer ya wrong. Thanks fer navigating yer followers to a Great Grand Treasure of a book. A true treasure it be!

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    1. Please feel free to email me at or DM me via Bookstagram @wherethereadergrows and I'm happy to shed some light on it but will be deleting this soon as it's a spoiler....