FORGIVEN ARE THE STARRY-EYED
Naïve sixteen-year-old Andrea Cavanaugh is elated when Josh, a charismatic, bright-eyed piano prodigy, becomes her first boyfriend. But the closer she gets to him, the more she realizes that he is not the boy she first fell for. In its poignancy and emotional darkness, Forgiven Are the Starry-Eyed takes you deep into the delicate and devastating web of shame that spirals from the depths of dating violence when dreamy teenage love turns dark. Andrea must find not only an escape, but a belief that she is even worthy of freedom.
Forgiven Are the Starry-Eyed is available for purchase on the following websites:
Christine Doré Miller
About the Author
Christine lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband and their two children. She works full-time as a marketing director for a large media company and holds a Bachelor's of Business Administration degree from Western Michigan University where she studied marketing. Growing up in the chilly midwest, she developed a deep passion for dramatic writing and alternative music at an early age, which still peaks through in her adult-corporate-mom life today. Forgiven Are the Starry-Eyed is Christine's debut novel.
Reactions and Reviews
"It’s dark, tragic, devastating, and often stomach-churning in its stark realism. You’re forced to keep reading as Andrea’s self-esteem and emotional stability is systematically destroyed by one of the most contemptible male characters you’ll ever read. You never want to believe that there are boys like this in real life, but there are. ... Forgiven Are the Starry-Eyed is the textbook definition of a cautionary tale. It is well-written and almost disturbingly graphic in parts. ... it pulls no punches whatsoever. ... Congratulations to Christine Miller for having the guts to write so polarizing a story that every teenage girl (and boy) should read."
Staff Reviewer, YA Books Central
"An emotional rollercoaster that pushes you to feel. ... When I was reading the book I had the feeling of it happening in front of me. The attention to detail from the most minor thing, like the colour of a cardigan, to the most explosive scenes is impeccable. It plays out for the reader so effortlessly that I have to credit the writing style for being so natural."
Book Review Blog
"Ms. Doré Miller wrote a story that will speak to young readers across demographics around the country. The struggle Andrea faces in Ms. Doré Miller's novel is not only heartbreaking, but it is genuine and adolescents – male and female and non-binary, transgender and cisgender – will find comfort knowing that their experiences with relationship trauma are not singular, that there are people who have been through it and made it out, and ultimately, that there is hope."
High School English Teacher
"I've never read a book that so clearly and realistically shows how an abusive relationship becomes that, and also how messy and difficult it can be even after it's supposed to be over. ... The writing is beautiful throughout, Miller definitely has a way with words, in the best possible way. ... This isn't an easy read. At times I felt like I could read it in one sitting, but I couldn't handle it. At times frustrating, anger-inducing, terrifying, upsetting, and always very real. There is always hope though, which is important. It has a perfect balance so that just when you think it's too dark, there is some light, somewhere."
Reedsy Book Reviewer
"One of the most difficult things to discuss openly with teenagers are the issues of emotional and physical abuse among dating partners and consent. While I can preach from the front of a classroom as a guest speaker all day, a novel such as Christine Doré Miller's Forgiven Are the Starry-Eyed is much more effective at opening that discussion. As I read about Andrea's struggles with Josh, I saw a conflict that could reach adolescents and help them work through these difficult issues without having to live them themselves."
James B. Remmel, M.D.
"Forgiven Are the Starry-Eyed will gut you, bring out your rage and hopefully open some eyes and hearts. ... This author has brilliantly told a tale of pain as seen through the eyes of Andrea, a sixteen-year-old girl. ... A must read for anyone who knows how to read. Share it, talk about it and make a difference. Thank you Christine Doré Miller for one of the most powerful reads I have ever seen.
Book Review Blog
"I like this book for my students on many levels. ... The conversations and dialogue in the book mirrors what our students are talking about in the hallways, thoughtfully crafted in a modern teenager's voice. ... The inherently good and relatable characters, juxtaposed with the villains serve to keep the story moving, and to keep readers engaged. As a high school teacher, I believe this book would be a great addition to our library, and to my classroom."
High School English Teacher
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Forgiven Are the Starry-Eyed comes during a time when one in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of abuse from a dating partner. This is a figure that far exceeds the rates of other types of youth violence. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, or if you have questions about abuse,
please call 1-866-331-9474 or visit loveisrespect.org.