18 March 2019

Where the Forest Meets the Stars | Book Review + Giveaway


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 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.

“Enchanting, insightful, and extraordinary.” —Novelgossip

“A heartwarming, magical story about love, loss, and finding family where you least expect it. This touching novel will remind readers of a modern-day The Snow Child.” —Christopher Meades, award-winning author of Hanna Who Fell from the Sky

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: March 1, 2019


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 else must be going on. Uncertain of what exactly to do, she convinces Gabriel Nash to help—though, really, Ursa is too charming to be denied. Together, the trio faces the drama and danger before them, even as the story takes unexpected turns.

As I read, I completely fell in love with Jo, Gabe, and of course, Ursa. Each of them has experienced an incredible amount of heartbreak, loss, and challenges, and those experiences color the interactions throughout the novel, in ways both good and bad—but not without plenty of lighthearted moments that made me smile. I worried and wondered for them as the story unfolded, questioning the truth behind Ursa’s appearance and how everything would end. By the end, I closed the book completely satisfied with their journey and the growth they permitted.

A splendid novel of friendship and family, trust and bravery, Where the Forest Meets the Stars is one I’ll highly recommend to interested readers. It’s definitely worth savoring and enjoying.


Thanks to TLC Book Tours, I received a complimentary copy of Where the Forest Meets the Stars and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.


Glendy Vanderah worked as an endangered bird specialist in Illinois before she became a writer. Originally from Chicago, she now lives in rural Florida with as many birds, butterflies, and wildflowers as she can lure to her land. Where the Forest Meets the Stars is her debut novel.


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  1. I've seen a lot of this book on the blogs lately. Your review is beautifully written. I might need to check this out!

  2. Thank you for the chance to win and for the thoughtful review. The book looks really good!

  3. Thank you for your excellent review. I love reading family and friendship stories and have added this one to the top of my list.

  4. Sounds good can't wait to read this book.

  5. Sounds good can't wait to read this book.

  6. I want to read this one so badly and I'm impressed that it's a debut novel! Thanks for being on this tour.

    Sara @ TLC Book Tours

  7. The cover is pretty and the story sounds fantastic. Thanks for hosting this one.

  8. This is on my TBR list! Thank you!

  9. Where the forest meets the stars really is a great read. The character development is excellent and you soon grow to love them all. Lots of love and adventure as well as a sense of renewed hope in the world/Universe that surrounds us. You will not regret reading this book. And it may just surprise you how long it stays with you even long after you have set it down.

  10. This book sounds amazing. I would love to read it and add it to my book collection.