E-galley Review: Sun Don’t Shine by Crissa-Jean Chappell

Posted January 10, 2024 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 10 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

E-galley Review: Sun Don’t Shine by Crissa-Jean ChappellSun Don't Shine by Crissa-Jean Chappell
Published by Fitzroy Books on January 16, 2024
Genres: YA Contemporary
Pages: 172
Source: the publisher
Format: E-galley
My Rating: five-stars
Buy on AmazonBuy on Barnes & Noble


Sixteen-year-old Reece is an expert at keeping secrets. She has to be, since her father abducted her ten years ago. For as long as she can remember, she’s been on the run, sneaking food out of the dumpster and sleeping in the woods. Every time she moves, the same rules apply— cut your hair, change your name, and, above all, don’t let anybody get too close. Reece has no choice except to obey Dad’s orders. When Reece meets her first real friend, a boy named Shawn, she begins to realize that everyone else has secrets too. And the deadliest secret of all is the one her father has kept from her all these years.

My Review

This is an author that I love. She hasn’t had a book out in a while, so as soon as I heard about this one I was so excited! And once again she did not disappoint!

I was hooked from the first page. I felt the excitement at getting a new book by an author that I knew would make me feel all the feels. At first Reece doesn’t necessarily know that her father kidnapped her exactly. She thinks that he took her, but he has told her it is to keep her safe from the bad people and that her mom is dead. Which is easy for her to believe based on her last memory of her mother laying on their floor with one of her legs at a strange angle and not moving.

Of course as she’s gotten older she’s begun to wonder exactly what is true though. If every detail her father has given her is true or just to keep her quiet and following what he says. Even though they basically live in a very cheap run down motel at the moment, she is still basically what you’d consider homeless since they don’t really have the money to keep paying, and there is always the threat they may have to leave and go live in the van every time something spooks her father. They have to search through dumpsters for things to sell to get money as her dad currently has no job. She has to steal from the convenience store for her dad, and to get food she has learned tricks with vending machines. Her clothes are worn and taped together, and even when they find new shoes in the dumpsters in good condition her father makes her sell them, doesn’t let her have them to replace her own worn out shoes.

But then one of the newer residents at the hotel seems to recognize her, and suddenly she learns more about her past and her mother. Between those residents and the boy she meets and strikes up a friendship, as well as what looks like an undercover cop hanging around her school seemingly watching her, she gets online at a school library computer and starts researching both herself and her mother. Her father is doing things she doesn’t want to think about in order to help them keep their room, and he explodes at her more than he’s ever done when he finds her talking to the new boy, and she ends up locking herself in the bathroom that night. Her past and stealing tendencies just to get by lead to a mix up with her new friendship with Shawn and his family. It’s heartbreaking when it happens, even as understandable it was for her to do it.

In the end we do get a happy ending for Reece. The only thing that I wish for is more about how that goes, but otherwise I was blown away by the story, and can’t wait to add this one to my school library as soon as I can!

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10 responses to “E-galley Review: Sun Don’t Shine by Crissa-Jean Chappell

    • Lisa Mandina

      It’s sad to think about all the kids that actually have lives like this character. But I know they are in my school for sure.

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