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Where the Forest Meets the Stars
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Where the Forest Meets the Stars

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  3,712 ratings  ·  454 reviews
An Amazon Charts 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 not broken her. She throws herself into he
Hardcover, 332 pages
Expected publication: March 1st 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
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  • Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah
    Where the Forest Meets the Stars
    Release date: Mar 01, 2019
    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 battl

    Format: Kindle book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 100 copies available, 2179 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Feb 01 - Feb 28, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Lindsey Two of the main characters are female, but I wouldn't categorize this as chick lit. Strong story about people in a believable situation.

    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    4.32  · 
    Rating details
     ·  3,712 ratings  ·  454 reviews

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    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
    Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
    *Got via Amazon first reads, one of the hardcovers I picked*
    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
    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
    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.
    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
    Suzanne Moore
    Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    An Amazing story

    I can't believe this is a first novel! It's the best book I've ever read from the Amazon prime monthly offerings. I could hardly put it down and read it in two sittings over two weekend days.
    Magical, wonder-filled, debut novel. I was enchanted by this story of two neighbors dealing with their past and its effects and a young girl / alien who brings them together in her quest for 5 miracles. Ursa Major wanders into Jo's well-ordered life as a graduate researcher studying birds in Southern Illinois. It's a solitary existence and she uses this distance to shield herself from her heartaches as she deals with her mother's death and her own recent health challenges. Jo needs assistance fr ...more
    Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
    Shelves: read-fiction
    Going by the star rating, I have to say this book was just "okay".


    My biggest issue with this book is that I didn't like the protagonist, Jo.

    At all.

    The first half of the book she was a robot, completely void of a personality. The second half of the book, I thought she was very pretentious. Also for a scientist she sure is ignorant and bigoted, particularly when it involves mental health.

    I didn't appreciate her forcing Gabe to change so much just because she wanted him to be a ce
    Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I received an advanced review copy of this novel from the publishing house. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

    This selection is currently available for FREE for Prime members so definitely scoop it up! This is a heartwarming debut about how a child teaches two strangers to find love and trust again.

    The story opens immediately with a child showing up at a woman's temporary home where she is residing while studying research on nesting birds . Dirty and sickly looking, she says that she is an al
    Jamie Beck
    Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
    This book came highly recommended by an author I admire, so I picked it up and read it during a long day of travel. I really enjoyed the unique premise (little girl shows up and claims to be an alien, and she's not listed as "missing" on any registry), and the mystery behind Ursa's story kept me turning the pages. It's a well-written novel and I connected with Gabe and got invested in Ursa's plight.

    What kept it from being a five-star read for me was my inability to really connect with Jo. For t
    Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: e-book, fiction, read-2019
    This novel, set in southern Illinois, is an excellent first novel by Glendy Vanderah. Jo, a graduate student, is spending the summer in southern Illinois studying the nesting habits of birds. The appearance of a young 11 year old girl out of nowhere and puts in motion events that will change Jo's life. The mystery that keeps the reader glued to the book is whom the girl is and where did she come from. The author does a great job of keeping the reader in suspense until the very end. If you are a ...more
    Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    What can I say about this debut except this...I want more Glendy Vanderah! Wow, I loved this book and devoured it, but just didn't want it to end! So many themes and all wrapped together in a wonderful storyline. All the many ways we love and all the many kinds of love. All wrapped up with the natural world and all it's magic! Oh, and kudos for addressing the subject of social anxiety, agoraphobia, and depression. Currently dealing with this in our own family and was so moved to see those issues ...more
    Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    We all know exactly what we would do if a child showed up on the edge of the woods in their pajamas, no shoes, dirty, and with evidence of abuse in the form of bruises, right? It’s a no brainer—call the police. However, when the child is actually an alien inhabiting a dead body that runs every time the police arrive, who manages to mysteriously make good things happen around her, refuses to leave, and obstinately sticks to the story that she’s an alien with no home on earth and no parents, it ge ...more
    Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This was a wonderful story. I am so pleased that I read this novel. A delightful mystery-come-fantasy that almost had me reaching for the tissues. It was just so lovely. And a complete contrast to some of the grittier novels I have read recently.

    The concept of Ursa being an alien within a dead girl’s body runs throughout the story. Even when the writer reveals the answers, I could not help but feel there was still more left unsaid. The bond that she develops with Jo and then Gabe is so wonderful
    Tere Fredericks
    Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    The Most Beautiful Book

    This was a Prime First selection for February 2019. The editor had very nice things to say about it, and frankly, the other Prime First offerings did not arouse any enthusiasm in my reading self (this happens some months and I am ALWAYS happy with the book I reluctantly choose. This is different. This is a happy dance choice!).

    I am only on Chapter 9 as I write this, and the book is much better than advertised. I am enchanted.

    As the book continues, more magic appears. This
    Logan Mendivil
    Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I received this book through Amazon Prime First Reads and I went into it hesitantly as it always seems to be a gamble on weather the content they post there is enjoyable (definitely not complaining about getting a free book, though!) It started out a little differently with a strange girl coming out of the woods to approach a grad student and claiming she's an alien. The lady starts off wanting to send her home but very soon this girl will begin to reshape her life and how the little girl who sa ...more
    Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I've just finished this delightful, confounding, bittersweet book and though I know I'll need more time to process the story, it was so wonderful I had to take a minute to write down my initial reaction. The characters were real and they will stay with me. I feel like I know Ursa deeply. I adore our protagonists and not one character struck a false note for me. This book held me rapt trying to solve the central question (not really a mystery exactly) but also to see how it could resolve. I loved ...more
    Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I received this book free from amazon kindle first. I say that because usually I am disappointed by my free amazon books, but in this case I was very pleasantly surprised.

    This was the perfect book to read the week before Valentine’s Day. It was a little hallmark channel movie-ish, but so well written that it managed to stay out of being cheesy. Very predictable, but sometimes that’s ok. Characters were warm, real and endearing. Kudos to myself for picking a winner for February!
    Lisa Stein
    I loved this book.

    This was so sweet, so extraordinary in the levels of feelings I developed for the characters.

    One thing that struck me as very unique in this book was that quickly after there was some foreshadowing of something that had happened, you found out what that was. You didn't spend 300 pages with that lingering in the back of you mind, wondering what had happened, or if you had made it up. I hope I'm not the only one that does that.

    I hope there's a sequel. I'd like to know what else
    Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I picked this book from Amazon First Reads, not expecting much, but it turned out to be such a wonderful heartwarming story that I finished it in about 3 sittings. The writing was simple and just seemed to flow throughout the book. The story itself was beautiful, simple and sweet, especially the relationship between Jo and Ursa, and eventually between Gabriel, Jo and Ursa. In short, this book was like a piece of warm chocolate cake and I wish the story hadn't ended.
    Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: fiction
    I wan't sure whether this book was going to be fiction or science fiction when I selected it, and I was nearly through the book before I could come to some decision on that, but I found it utterly gripping in an emotional sense. I laughed, I cried, I worried, and I wondered, and isn't that what good writing is all about? If Glendy Vanderah goes on to write more books, I will certainly be in line to read them. Fantastic first effort!
    Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I have been in a horrible reading slump. Therefore, this book took me by surprise (in a good way). Instantly, I was drawn to the characters and the story. My love for this book just grew the further I read.

    I love that Jo while skeptical of Ursa kind of just didn't question or push too hard. It was like she could tell that Ursa was special. Which, she was. She is my favorite. However, she is not the only orphan featured in this book. There is Little Bear, a stray dog that Ursa befriended. Finall
    Amanda Petermann
    Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
    I really enjoyed this story from the start! Ursa was a character who made me smile, and I often thought about what my life would be like if I had some of that wide-eyed wonder and joy every day. It certainly was a reminder that good people are out there, and that we all have a little something to be thankful for.
    Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This story was well written and original. The little girl was mysterious and amazing, with a dazzling sense of discovery. The way the other characters came to acceptance and love was heart warming and showed the possible! It takes a while to sincerely believe the child was so brilliant and no spoilers here. I recommend reading it.
    Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
    As someone who has depression and social anxiety with a hint of agoraphobia and had a breakdown on her sophomore year of college, can I just say that I love Gabriel Nash with all my heart and I am so proud of him for the rest of time and forever.
    Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Being a huge fan of quirky and magical and the impossible become more possible through a strong woman - this book hit many of my marks! Is the writing elaborate and intricate and does it draw you into its web of dialogue - No; but, the story moves you forward because really is stardust magic and what do we consider miracles - can the mundane be a miracle? I vote yes.
    Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Page turner

    Beautifully written page turner that keeps you guessing as it twists and turns and you learn more about the main characters. Definitely a few twists I didn't see coming and I wish those had been fleshed out a bit more, but the story moved and flowed in a way that felt like magic (:
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