Where I Live
Linden Rose has a big secret--she is homeless and living in the halls of her small-town high school. Her position as school blog editor, her best friends, Ham and Seung, and the promise of a future far away are what keep Linden under the radar and moving forward.But when cool-girl Bea comes to school with a bloody lip, the damage hits too close to home. Linden begins looking at Bea's life, and soon her investigation prompts people to pay more attention. And attention is the last thing she needs.Linden knows the only way to put a stop to the violence is to tell Bea's story and come to terms with her own painful past. Even if that means breaking her rules for survival and jeopardizing the secrets she's worked so hard to keep.

Where I Live Details

TitleWhere I Live
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 27th, 2018
PublisherHarperTeen
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult, Realistic Fiction

Where I Live Review

  • Brenda Rufener
    January 1, 1970
    So excited for you to meet Linden on February 27, 2018! She's a homeless teen with a lot of courage and a giant heart. I won't rate my own book, but I want to share some early reviews with you."Where I Live is hard-hitting and real and filled with hope. It makes you want to find your voice, find your people, and tell your story." - Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places and Holding Up the Universe"A touching and timely look at a girl on the brink of disappeari So excited for you to meet Linden on February 27, 2018! She's a homeless teen with a lot of courage and a giant heart. I won't rate my own book, but I want to share some early reviews with you."Where I Live is hard-hitting and real and filled with hope. It makes you want to find your voice, find your people, and tell your story." - Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places and Holding Up the Universe"A touching and timely look at a girl on the brink of disappearing. Rufener writes compassionately about homelessness, teen dating abuse, and the search for home." - Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces"Where I Live tempers the precarious existence of homelessness with the saving grace of friendship. A poignant, hopeful and unvarnished story of courage and resilience." - Kerry Kletter, critically acclaimed author of The First Time She Drowned"A powerful, stirring debut, WHERE I LIVE takes us on a journey into a hidden world that exists all around us--exploring homelessness, poverty, love, and grief with insight, sensitivity, and most of all, hope." - Amber Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Way I Used to Be"A compelling and deeply felt debut, Where I Live is an unflinching portrayal of homelessness, abuse, and love. Linden's story grabbed me and didn't let me go." - Carlie Sorosiak, author of If Birds Fly Back and Wild Blue Wonder"Readers will empathize with Linden's matter-of-fact attitude and bravery. VERDICT Fans of Jennifer Niven and Nicola Yoon will enjoy this realistic debut novel, which brings to light heavy topics of homelessness and abuse." - School Library Journal
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  • Rachel Solomon
    January 1, 1970
    In WHERE I LIVE, Brenda Rufener explores homelessness in a uniquely wrenching way, one that forced me to confront my own privilege. Poverty is a topic still so rarely explored in YA. Most protagonists are upper-middle-class, and money only becomes an issue when it's time for college. The daily life of someone with so little -- that's what we see here, and it's so needed. The struggle to eat, to bathe, to find a place to sleep. The matter-of-fact way Linden, who secretly lives in her high school, In WHERE I LIVE, Brenda Rufener explores homelessness in a uniquely wrenching way, one that forced me to confront my own privilege. Poverty is a topic still so rarely explored in YA. Most protagonists are upper-middle-class, and money only becomes an issue when it's time for college. The daily life of someone with so little -- that's what we see here, and it's so needed. The struggle to eat, to bathe, to find a place to sleep. The matter-of-fact way Linden, who secretly lives in her high school, approaches her living situation makes it easy to root for her. While at the beginning we're not sure how she became homeless, Rufener skillfully scatters hints like breadcrumbs. When all the pieces come together at the end, it's both satisfying and horrifying, and likely true to life for too many teens. And oh, Linden's friend group -- their relationship is so lovely. I've never read a YA quite like this, and that's part of what makes WHERE I LIVE such an important book. It's about homelessness and poverty as much as it is about finding your people, finding your voice, and telling your story. It could have so easily turned preachy, but Rufener's sharp writing and fresh characters keep it authentic and true. I highly recommend it!
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  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    This book, this book, this book! Talk about a makes-me-happy read. This one gets all the stars, all the hearts, all the rainbows. I just loved it so much! ❤I had originally re-arranged my weekly TBR to read a light-hearted romance before this one, because I suspected a story about a homeless teen and an abused teen would make me a little sad, and there were some parts where I felt sad (and mad), but mostly, this book made me feel happy.•Pro: Linden was so easy to root for. She essentially had so This book, this book, this book! Talk about a makes-me-happy read. This one gets all the stars, all the hearts, all the rainbows. I just loved it so much! ❤️I had originally re-arranged my weekly TBR to read a light-hearted romance before this one, because I suspected a story about a homeless teen and an abused teen would make me a little sad, and there were some parts where I felt sad (and mad), but mostly, this book made me feel happy.•Pro: Linden was so easy to root for. She essentially had so many things working against her and so many obstacles in her way, but she kept chasing her dream, day after day. I will always root for a survivor, especially one, who was able to own my heart by the first chapter. •Pro: Linden chose wisely, when she picked Ham and Seung as her friends. They both had so many wonderful qualities to admire, but mostly, they cared for Linden, and would do nice things for her on the sly, just to make her life easier. I adored these three together. •Pro: Believe it or not, family was a big theme in this book. Linden's family was explored as well her "family", those friends that took her in and treated her as their own. Seung's mom was quite incredible. She would do all these lovely things for Linden, which made me totally understand what Linden meant when she compared Mrs. Rhee to her jersey jogger pants. Calling them "as cozy as she is". •Pro: This book really gave me a new appreciation for all the little things I have and take for granted on a daily basis. •Pro: I was quite impressed with the way Rufener tackled teen homelessness and abuse without neither diminishing the gravity of the topics nor making the story too heavy. It was quite a balancing act she accomplished, and I applaud her for it. •Pro: This story is drenched in hope, and I have to tell, I really needed an injection of hope. •Pro: The romance was precious. I adored watching these two tip toe around the attraction, as they grew more and more aware of their growing feelings. •Pro: So. Many. Feels. But mostly, happy feels. •Pro: Hooray for that ending! We got a jump ahead that was beyond my expectations, and gave me so many answers. Endings like this one are the best. There's a line in one of Ham's mob movies that defines family as who you are sworn to, not who you are born to. Friends included. My friends have become my family. My family is my friends. Overall: A wonderful story of one girl's struggle to survive, and her desire to find a place where she fit, which left me elated, hopeful, and full of joy.*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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  • Sophie Elaina
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a very honest account of girl who is homeless and continues to hide it while attending high school along everyone else her age. But no one knows that she also lives there. Linden has friends that love her and would help her if they new the truth but the thing is; she just can’t risk it, so her whole life hangs in the balance of keeping such a huge secret. Homelessness is a very real situation for so many people that is more common than anyone would want to think. I’ve never read abo This book is a very honest account of girl who is homeless and continues to hide it while attending high school along everyone else her age. But no one knows that she also lives there. Linden has friends that love her and would help her if they new the truth but the thing is; she just can’t risk it, so her whole life hangs in the balance of keeping such a huge secret. Homelessness is a very real situation for so many people that is more common than anyone would want to think. I’ve never read about homelessness in young adult literature before and I love that the author didn’t shy away from any hard to hear topics and problems. As in so many things, we need recognition and more people speaking about things in order to make a difference so it makes me happy that this might possibly just make people think just as much as it did me. The way the main character often brushed of the fact she was living in her school and thought of it as such a normal thing was heart breaking to read, and made me very emotional. Leading me to ponder on how lucky I actually am.“If I want my life to matter, these eyes can't see who I really am. Who I'm striving hard not to be. The homeless girl hiding in front of them.”I absolutely adored this book! The characters in this story were so well fleshed out and the author some how got me hooked before I even finished the first page. It’s a very character based story and the plot at first seems simple, but having finished the book I now see so many things that I didn’t pick up straight away while I was reading that the author did to create such an amazing story. I had no idea at all going into this how fantastic it would be, I am shocked at how well done it is.In addition to the excellently well rounded protagonist we get a selection of side characters that I adored. Ham and Sueng were wonderful and I really really loved that we got to read about and actually get to know their families. So often in young adult contemporary, parents and family get brushed aside and it’s honestly as if they don’t even exist. So the fact that a book with a protagonist who is homeless and is lacking a parental figure and a family to go home to, also has side characters and their families that are so well done is kind of mind blowing. The contrast between the two is probably what made this so emotional.‘The worst part about lying to those you love is that you question whether they are worth the truth.’Overall this was a beautiful but heartbreaking read that I would recommend to anyone! It’s such an influential read and I can’t wait to see everyone else’s thoughts upon the release. Mark your calendars because this book comes out on the 27th of this month and you don’t want to miss it!Rating: 5 StarsThank you so much Brenda Rufener for writing such an amazing book and to Harper Teen for sending me an arc.
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  • Amber (Books of Amber)
    January 1, 1970
    I've never read a book about a homeless person before, so when I saw Where I Live pop up on Edelweiss, I had to grab it. I have incredibly mixed feelings about this book, and I struggled to figure out how to rate it after I read it. Having sat on it for a couple of days, I think I've finally figured it out. On the one hand, it was great to read about Linden, who had been homeless for a while. I've never read a YA book that explores poverty in this way, or even to this extent. I wish poverty woul I've never read a book about a homeless person before, so when I saw Where I Live pop up on Edelweiss, I had to grab it. I have incredibly mixed feelings about this book, and I struggled to figure out how to rate it after I read it. Having sat on it for a couple of days, I think I've finally figured it out. On the one hand, it was great to read about Linden, who had been homeless for a while. I've never read a YA book that explores poverty in this way, or even to this extent. I wish poverty would come up more in YA, because it's something that needs to be talked about and put in the spotlight.I felt huge sympathy towards Linden, who was living on the school grounds and had all of her belongings in her school bag. While she wasn't relatable because, let's be honest, who out of us has lived like that? I mean, I was raised by an abused single mother who barely had enough money to buy food each week, but at least I had a house to live in. An incredibly cramped house, but still.That said, I didn't really like the book. Don't get me wrong, I liked the representation, but the book itself was poor. Firstly, I thought the writing was all over the place. The author tried to tackle a serious topic while also including over the top characters and quirky friendships that just didn't work. The characters' actions and dialogue was weird.There was also a lot of domestic abuse, which, again, was great for representation, but not so great for my delicate emotions. I've said so many times that I struggle with domestic violence or abuse when it comes up in books and shows, but this is definitely a Me Problem rather than a Book Problem.Another plus, however, was the gay best friend/almost main character, and the half-Korean American best friend/love interest. Representation!So aside from the choppy writing (it seriously felt all over the place) and odd dialogue, this was a good book to read. Unfortunately, I have to rate it down because the writing just wasn't that good, and it really took me out of the story. So I kind of recommend it?
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  • Melissa (The Reader & The Chef)
    January 1, 1970
    MY GIRL LINDEN DESERVES ALL THE LOVE AND PRAISE. SHE IS PRECIOUS AND BASICALLY EVERYTHING THAT IS GOOD IN THIS HARD WORLD. 👏👏👏👏👏😭😭😭😭😭
  • PinkAmy loves 💕 books📖, cats😻 and naps🛏
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 STARS Orphaned and homeless, Linden lives inside her school, when she manages to sneak in. Her two best friends don’t know, nobody does. She tries to blend in with her classmates, but when it-girl Bea shows up at school with a bloody lip from dating violence, Linden knows she may be the right person to help. Too bad Bea doesn’t want anyone’s help. Linden’s secrets may ruin the fragile sense of security she’s built.WHERE I LIVE tries to merge two important issues, homelessness and dating viol 3.5 STARS Orphaned and homeless, Linden lives inside her school, when she manages to sneak in. Her two best friends don’t know, nobody does. She tries to blend in with her classmates, but when it-girl Bea shows up at school with a bloody lip from dating violence, Linden knows she may be the right person to help. Too bad Bea doesn’t want anyone’s help. Linden’s secrets may ruin the fragile sense of security she’s built.WHERE I LIVE tries to merge two important issues, homelessness and dating violence and the execution didn’t quite work for me. Narrator Linden’s lack of family and place to call home were the central issue, every day a struggle to eat enough, unsure whether she’d be able to sneak inside to sleep or if she’d hide in the baseball dugout and catch a few hours. Linden was at the very bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, safety, housing, food. Dating would have been the las thing on her mind. I’m not sure why Brenda Rufener choose to have Linden and one of her best friends fall for each other. It detracted from my enjoyment and the authenticity of the story. Not every YA novel needs a romance.I wish there had been more intersection between Bea’s story and that the girls had formed more of a bond. I wanted more character development of Bea. Dating violence stories should be more than tell someone if a dating partner treats you badly or abuses you. I did like that the abuser wasn’t the obvious suspect.The Pollyanna ending also didn’t work for me. I didn’t understand why everyone suspected but nobody asked Linden where she lived. Surely as mandated reporters the principal and teachers had a legal duty to report suspected neglect rather than ask a reporter relative to investigate. I did have a few tears in my eyes when everyone wanted to allow Linden to move in, even as a shook my head at the lack of reality for actual homeless teens.*** Bonus points to Rufener for adding the issue of tampons and periods for homeless women.*** When donating homeless shelters and food banks can always use feminine and other hygiene products.Both Linden’s and Bea’s stories are important. WHERE I LIVE does an adequate job addressing both. Linden is very sympathetic and I do recommend it.
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  • Cassandra {semi-hiatus}
    January 1, 1970
    *Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review!* "The worst part about lying to those you love is that you question if they are worth the truth." Wow. I mean, seriously. I went into this book with a bit of hesitation. I wasn't really in the mood for it, and I was a tad bitter that chronological preference was going to have me read it before All of This Is True. Then I read the first chapter.Right off the bat, I knew this was going to be a whirlwind of emoti *Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review!* "The worst part about lying to those you love is that you question if they are worth the truth." Wow. I mean, seriously. I went into this book with a bit of hesitation. I wasn't really in the mood for it, and I was a tad bitter that chronological preference was going to have me read it before All of This Is True. Then I read the first chapter.Right off the bat, I knew this was going to be a whirlwind of emotions. The characters had my attention and my heart within a few pages. I suddenly found myself in the middle of one of the most emotionally driven books of the year with no warning.Not only does this book cover a topic usually left untouched by YA fiction, homeless youth, but it handles others such as dating violence and coming out unconventionally. So much good stuff shoved into this beauty. So. Much.And the characters. Sweet Lord, the characters. Linden, Seung, and Ham are all precious children that deserve the world. Even some of the less pleasant characters had me rooting for their success. Honestly, an amazing read with an awesome plot and message with a glorious ragtag band of outcasts that will leave you educated and emotionally sated.
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  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    This is another 2018 debut that I've been eager to get my hands on ever since I first heard about it. I can't honestly think of another book about a homeless teen, written for teens, that I've ever seen (though I'm sure they exist). Rufener writes Linden's story with such sensitivity and nuance; what I love best about WHERE I LIVE is that it's not a story of a high school girl's homelessness, it's a story about a high school girl, dealing with regular high school girl problems (homecoming! boys! This is another 2018 debut that I've been eager to get my hands on ever since I first heard about it. I can't honestly think of another book about a homeless teen, written for teens, that I've ever seen (though I'm sure they exist). Rufener writes Linden's story with such sensitivity and nuance; what I love best about WHERE I LIVE is that it's not a story of a high school girl's homelessness, it's a story about a high school girl, dealing with regular high school girl problems (homecoming! boys! bullies!) that just happen to be complicated by the fact of her secret homelessness. It also has one of the most believable love triangles (more like a rectangle, really) that I've ever read; Rufener perfectly captures the confusion and ambiguity of high school crushes and relationships. In general, this is such a strong, solid first novel; I fully believe that WHERE I LIVE will make waves when it comes out next year!
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  • Jen Ryland
    January 1, 1970
    I see that some of my GR friends loved this. The first chapter started out strong but for me it just got slow and weird over the next couple chapters.Will wait for more reviews to come it - opinions seem mixed...Read more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Check out my Bookstagram! Or check out my Jen In Ten reviews on Youtube - get the lowdown on current books in 10-30 seconds!Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review!
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  • Amber Smith
    January 1, 1970
    A powerful, stirring debut, WHERE I LIVE takes us on a journey into a hidden world that exists all around us—exploring homelessness, poverty, love, and grief with insight, sensitivity, and most of all, hope. A 2018 must-read!*I received an ARC*
  • Shelley
    January 1, 1970
    *Source* Edelweiss*Genre* Young Adult, Contemporary*Rating* 3-3.5*Thoughts*Where I Live is Brenda Rufener’s debut novel. Rufener tells the story of a homeless teen named Linden Rose who has three distinct rules for survival: Rule 1: Prevent in-class naps, Rule 2: Never carry too many belongings, Rule 3: Avoid looking the part. Linden's rules guarantee that no one, not even her best friends who she calls the Triangle, learn that she lives in the halls of their high school, and has been doing so f *Source* Edelweiss*Genre* Young Adult, Contemporary*Rating* 3-3.5*Thoughts*Where I Live is Brenda Rufener’s debut novel. Rufener tells the story of a homeless teen named Linden Rose who has three distinct rules for survival: Rule 1: Prevent in-class naps, Rule 2: Never carry too many belongings, Rule 3: Avoid looking the part. Linden's rules guarantee that no one, not even her best friends who she calls the Triangle, learn that she lives in the halls of their high school, and has been doing so for nearly a year.*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*http://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/201...
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  • Madison
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars - As expected, Where I Live is an incredibly powerful book. It snuck up on me and simply stole my breath away. In addition to raising the very needed and important topic of teen homelessness, Where I Live is a beautifully crafted novel that examines relationships in all their forms, and balances heartbreak with hope, offsetting challenges that knock you to your knees with the joy of living. Linden is hiding in plain sight. Every day she handles a million tiny details to ensure that no 4.5 stars - As expected, Where I Live is an incredibly powerful book. It snuck up on me and simply stole my breath away. In addition to raising the very needed and important topic of teen homelessness, Where I Live is a beautifully crafted novel that examines relationships in all their forms, and balances heartbreak with hope, offsetting challenges that knock you to your knees with the joy of living. Linden is hiding in plain sight. Every day she handles a million tiny details to ensure that no one knows she is living in her high school, especially not her two best friends, Ham and Seung. Their love, banter, acceptance, and sometimes crazy schemes make the secrecy worth it. But when Linden starts to uncover the secret of a fellow classmate, sees abuse that is all-too reminiscent of her past, it begins to shake her already fragile world.Where I Live dumps readers right into the middle of high school. I got a little lost at first, trying to figure out the ‘good’ guys from the not so nice kids. The cliques all blurred together at first. Ahhh. High school. But it soon becomes clear where friendship draws a clear line, while everyday interactions, bullying, and shared secrets blur others.Much like in the other aspects of her life, as Linden narrates the story it feels as if she is constructing the story, shaping it slightly for her audience. I was just as confused about who Linden likes as she is, just as unsure about the truths that others have worked to hide. Once thing Linden isn’t unsure about is her love for her two friends, Ham and Seung. They are her world, the hold her up, and keep her afloat, even if they don’t realise it. While there is romance, sweet, halting, stumbling romance, Where I Live is far more focused on relationships more generally. Romantic relationships, friendship, platonic relationships, hate, indifference, bare civility, abusive relationships. This book gives readers a relationship hexagon. As the six main players (I’m sorry, but the seventh, Beth, just really doesn’t count) interact - picking fights in school hallways, washing blood from lips in school bathrooms, planning epic revenge pranks, growing romantic feelings for their best friends, learning to share their stories - it reveals some glorious, messy, complicated relationships.Hard-hitting, Where I Live doesn’t shy from giving the reader a few kicks to the gut, while also offering some really great fist-pump moments. It offers honesty and integrity in a story that is so important and such a pleasure to read.The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library.
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  • Derek Milman
    January 1, 1970
    A powerful and beautiful YA debut from Brenda Rufener, about Linden, a smart, cunning homeless girl who lives at her high school school--but really finds the means of her survival among her group of friends (who do not know her secret). With a distinct voice, vivid characters, and a subject hardly touched on in current contemporary YA, Rufener sensitively paints a compelling tale of friendship, love, the secrets we keep, and the toll survival takes on us all. WHERE I LIVE should be added to your A powerful and beautiful YA debut from Brenda Rufener, about Linden, a smart, cunning homeless girl who lives at her high school school--but really finds the means of her survival among her group of friends (who do not know her secret). With a distinct voice, vivid characters, and a subject hardly touched on in current contemporary YA, Rufener sensitively paints a compelling tale of friendship, love, the secrets we keep, and the toll survival takes on us all. WHERE I LIVE should be added to your TBR immediately.
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  • Sarah {Literary Meanderings}
    January 1, 1970
    ♥ Find my reviews here: Literary Meanderings- - -Yet another "on the fence" book for me. Sigh. This is the year for ON THE FENCERS with me.Alright, let's start with a quick rundown of the story. Basically Linden is a homeless teen. She is in hiding, sort of, right in front of everyone's eyes. She sleeps in her high school or outside of it in the dugout on the baseball field. She gets food from friends or she doesn't really eat. She bathes in the school bathroom/locker room. She carries her life ♥ Find my reviews here: Literary Meanderings- - -Yet another "on the fence" book for me. Sigh. This is the year for ON THE FENCERS with me.Alright, let's start with a quick rundown of the story. Basically Linden is a homeless teen. She is in hiding, sort of, right in front of everyone's eyes. She sleeps in her high school or outside of it in the dugout on the baseball field. She gets food from friends or she doesn't really eat. She bathes in the school bathroom/locker room. She carries her life in her backpack. This book is not only about her struggle with homelessness and trying to stay in school and make something of herself, but also the everyday struggles of high school and life as a teen.Let me start with the bad:• The plot was everywhere! I think I got whiplash from this book. I honestly think the messiness is due to the fact that there are too many themes in this book. It's like the author had so many great ideas, but instead of doing a couple books, she goes and puts ALL THE THINGS in one book. So, we not only deal with Linden and her struggles with being homeless, but we also have a reporter (?) at the school asking random questions, a gay-best-friend with WAY too many issues, a crush on the other-best-friend, who happens to be Korean-American and struggles with Korean/Asian stereotypes, and abusive relationship, possible love triangle, family drama, bullying, and on and on and on. It is just TOO MUCH. I feel like having too many things mushed together just made the book messy and it felt like no single thing got enough attention, you know? If anything, I felt that this book was MORE about the abusive relationship sidestory than the actual main plot, which was supposed to be Linden dealing with her homeless situation and being an orphan.• As I mentioned before, this book does cover a lot of bullying issues. Racism, sexism, homophobia. Linden's gay friend (I can't remember his name) was bullied for being gay. He also had this weird obsession with the female student that was IN the above mentioned abusive relationship. Between this and the bullying, he was an angry guy. He wanted revenge and decided to take a really negative approach and get "revenge"... well, this is never a good thing. It didn't turn out well, but mostly my issue is with the fact that he countered bullying WITH bullying—not average bullying either, it got physical and not in a fist-fight type of way. It was just wrong and made him a completely unlikable character. I dealt with bullying in school, big time, so don't take this the wrong way, but I had ZERO sympathy for him by the time the book was over. *** SPOILERS BELOW! ***• There was a part in the book where Linden thought one of her friends was dead. Without going into too much detail, I will explain why this event bothered me. Alright, so, there was a school event. One of her friends was "attacked" and injured and was unconscious, yeah? SHE THINKS HE IS DEAD! Well she decides to run away instead of doing something about it. You aren't the one who hurt him, but you witnessed what happened, yet you run off? I get it, she was scared because of the police possibly finding out she was homeless. Buuut, as far as I am concerned DEATH IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN HOMELESSNESS! Hello?! I just didn't get it. On top of that, the fact that she even thought he was dead was VERY unrealistic. The situation was so unbelievable it was almost comical. Very very eyeroll worthy, to be honest.Moving on to the good:• No one talks about homeless teens. It's rare in YA fiction. I think I've read only one other book in YA where this issue was highlighted ( Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala), but that is LITERALLY it. So, obviously I admire this author for even going there. Poverty is a real, never-ending issue, for adults and teens alike. Following Linden through her day-to-day struggles is humbling. Will she have enough to eat? Will she have to steal food? Will she have to sleep outside on the ground or can she break into the school that night to stay warm and dry? Will she be able to bathe before classes? Will she have time to clean her meager clothing in the bathroom sinks at school? Will she be able to dodge police and a possible-social-worker at school? Will someone find out? Literally, any moment someone can find out. “If I want my life to matter, these eyes can't see who I really am. Who I'm striving hard not to be.The homeless girl hiding in front of them.” These are things the average teen NEVER has to worry over.• I honestly really admired Linden as a character. I think her personality was great and, although she was going through something not ALL teens do, she was very relatable. I felt a lot of sympathy for her while reading through her story. Even though she had to do questionable things—like steal food from friends—she never forgot any of the things she did. She always kept a mental tally of what she "owed" people, whether it be a tangible thing or an intangible thing. • The romance was important. I think a lot of people didn't like that a romance was present in a book with more serious themes, but I feel differently. I think that Linden deserved to have a romance! Seung was a wonderful love interest for her! He was sweet, caring, but also put his foot down when it mattered in the friendship as well as the romantic relationship. Their dynamic was great and I felt that the falling in love aspect was realistic and sweet. I was extremely happy with the way things were wrapped up.Overall, I think this book is important and I did enjoy it for the most part. It definitely had A LOT going on, but while this is so, the issues covered are relevant and they were mostly well done. I recommend it if you enjoy a book with diversity and important themes PLUS a little fun and romance to boot.- - -Book source: Via publisher for reviewPublisher: HarperTeen• For more of my reviews, check out my blog!
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  • Joanne O'Sullivan
    January 1, 1970
    Brenda Rufener does an amazing job bringing the realities of being a homeless teen to life in an engaging narrative that's both challenging and hopeful. With empathy and humor, she presents a teen (Linden) who is a normal girl having to deal with extrodinarily difficult circumstances; living a double life with friends and crushes and walking the line one step away from disaster. The characters are well rounded and relatable- making the challenges they go through all the more heartbreaking.
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  • Dylan
    January 1, 1970
    DNF at 75%. I LOVE the concept of this homeless teenage girl that secretly lives in her school, but this writing style just doesn't flow well for me. We are given hardly no backstory as to why she's homeless and we don't see enough of her trying to survive, on page.The writing is also very choppy, which made me very confused whenever dialogue happened between characters.I'm disappointed.
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  • Olivia (The Candid Cover)
    January 1, 1970
    Where I Live sounds like such an original story. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with a homeless main character, and I love how she is the school blog editor. This book sounds like it will be pretty suspenseful, and I can’t wait for its publication in February!
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  • Isabel (The Reader & The Chef)
    January 1, 1970
    You can also find this review at The Reader and the Chef. Thanks to the publisher for the review copy in exchange of my honest opinion.Where I Live was an amazing read for me. It was a fast-paced book and I finished it all in one sitting. It has definitely become one of my very favorite contemporary reads.What I Liked:I love the main character. Linden Rose is such a sweet, smart, good-hearted, cunning and likeable character. I enjoyed reading her story and every aspect of her life. She is a home You can also find this review at The Reader and the Chef. Thanks to the publisher for the review copy in exchange of my honest opinion.Where I Live was an amazing read for me. It was a fast-paced book and I finished it all in one sitting. It has definitely become one of my very favorite contemporary reads.What I Liked:I love the main character. Linden Rose is such a sweet, smart, good-hearted, cunning and likeable character. I enjoyed reading her story and every aspect of her life. She is a homeless girl with a secret that prevents her from having a "normal" high school life. Even though her life is tough, she always has a positive view of things and hopes for a better future. There is one part of the book that she recalls her mother with such an affection and joy that it broke my heart at her devotion and love for her. She is also an excellent friend to the point that she sees them as her selected family and has a beautiful friendship with them. In top of that, Linden is a good student. Yep! She is all that!Let's talk about her friends. Ham and Seung are such lovable characters. Ham is a hilarious guy with a quick witty answer to everything. Seung is kind and mature who unexpectedly follows along with some of Ham's mischief. Both of them help Linden overcome her bad days without even knowing how important they are for her. This trio make Where I Live into an entertaining read.When I started reading this book, I was prepared to read a story about some serious subjects and for that matter I thought it would be a bit somber. I was completely wrong. Where I live is a beautiful story with many laugh out loud moments, but the author still managed to deliver the grim subjects inside the book in such a heartbreakingly yet light manner that left me speechless. Ah! I simply adored this book. What Didn't Do It For Me:There was a tiny issue for me. About three quarters of the book Ham's and Seung's attitude seemed a little off. However, it was easy to overlook and I don't feel that it affected my rating.Final Verdict:Where I Live is one of my favorite contemporary books I have read so far. I love the characters, the story plot and the humor. I recommend it to all YA contemporary lovers out there.on.
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  • Lauren Deal
    January 1, 1970
    I read an ARC of Where I Live, and I had mixed feelings. I liked that the book tackled the subject of homelessness, and it was eye-opening to see how Linden had to live - trying to find places to sleep and ways to prevent anyone from realizing the truth. There were several places where the book was just confusing though, especially the Homecoming dance; I was trying to follow the action and figure out what was going on but the action was so chaotic and confusing that it was hard to understand wh I read an ARC of Where I Live, and I had mixed feelings. I liked that the book tackled the subject of homelessness, and it was eye-opening to see how Linden had to live - trying to find places to sleep and ways to prevent anyone from realizing the truth. There were several places where the book was just confusing though, especially the Homecoming dance; I was trying to follow the action and figure out what was going on but the action was so chaotic and confusing that it was hard to understand what was happening and to who. Overall it was good, though, and it's one I'll add to my classroom library.
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  • M. Lynne
    January 1, 1970
    As a high school student, it was refreshing to see the lives of teens so accurately portrayed in WHERE I LIVE. The characters were realistic and well developed, and the challenges they faced were relatable. Also, Linden was easy to identify with, despite not being homeless myself. The novel tackled homelessness in a way that made it seem like Linden, while still struggling with the important issue of homelessness, was a normal teenager with normal, teenage problems.
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  • Sara Strand
    January 1, 1970
    In this book we follow high school senior, Linden Rose, as she navigates her last year of high school while homeless. She's only homeless if you don't consider her home, the school, an actual home. She has an entire process to stay under the radar, of how to get into the building after hours, and what to do if she can't. It's a heartbreaking look at the reality of a lot of students among us. She was able to be a mini adult after the murder of her mother and she didn't want to get sucked into the In this book we follow high school senior, Linden Rose, as she navigates her last year of high school while homeless. She's only homeless if you don't consider her home, the school, an actual home. She has an entire process to stay under the radar, of how to get into the building after hours, and what to do if she can't. It's a heartbreaking look at the reality of a lot of students among us. She was able to be a mini adult after the murder of her mother and she didn't want to get sucked into the foster care system so this was her next best option. Not only is she juggling homelessness but she's also a teenager, which is hard enough. She's got her best friends Ham and Seung, and she starts to develop feelings for Seung. But things aren't as easy as they seem because Seung is coming into his own, too. There is a parallel story with Bea, the girl who bullies Linden, in which she's a total witch to Linden but true to bullying form, she has her own problems which probably makes her the way she is. She's dealing with teenage domestic violence and when we find out the story behind all of that it's kind of surprising and shows how we misread people all of the time. But before we know it, Linden is forced to be honest with her friends and school and she has to decide if she's willing to trust people with her secrets. Can she open up in time to save her friendships and herself? I'm giving this book a solid 4.5 stars. It was well written and if I had to be critical I felt like we almost veered too much into Bea's story and it got a little long. But once things started unraveling I really got into it again and found myself rooting for Linden all the way.
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  • Caitie
    January 1, 1970
    This book could've been much better, but it fell somewhat flat. I truly felt for Linden, her situation was terrible and I wanted to root for her much more than I did. However, much of the plot didn't quite work for me. I feel like there was little background on why Linden was in this situation, and I understand why the author did it this way, but someone needed to notice something sooner. Linden and her friends made fun of the principal and many of the teachers at the school for not noticing thi This book could've been much better, but it fell somewhat flat. I truly felt for Linden, her situation was terrible and I wanted to root for her much more than I did. However, much of the plot didn't quite work for me. I feel like there was little background on why Linden was in this situation, and I understand why the author did it this way, but someone needed to notice something sooner. Linden and her friends made fun of the principal and many of the teachers at the school for not noticing things like abuse in students and essentially being stupid and/or non-caring. I found this to be untrue of most teachers and downright mean. Maybe I'm just lucky that I've had such good teachers, and that I have many teachers in my family, but no teacher would ignore signs of abuse or homelessness, no matter how small or backwards the school district is. Yes, I do understand that there are bad ones out there, but they seem few and far between. I also would've liked some background into Linden's life. How exactly was her mother murdered? Where was her father? When did her grandmother's health fail, so why couldn't she take care of Linden? Too many questions left unanswered.
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  • Arys
    January 1, 1970
    Where I Live by Brenda Rufener is a young adult story that really is about how we define home, friendship, and family. Linden Rose is homeless and desperate to keep that fact a secret. As Linden deals with high school life and the issues involved in trying to appear to have a normal life while not having a home to sleep at the struggles get more complicated with budding love and evidence of violence. Linden just wants to keep her head down, but she can't deny the evidence in front of her. The qu Where I Live by Brenda Rufener is a young adult story that really is about how we define home, friendship, and family. Linden Rose is homeless and desperate to keep that fact a secret. As Linden deals with high school life and the issues involved in trying to appear to have a normal life while not having a home to sleep at the struggles get more complicated with budding love and evidence of violence. Linden just wants to keep her head down, but she can't deny the evidence in front of her. The question is, how long will everyone else ignore the evidence in front of them about Linden.In general I felt that Where I Live presented a complex high school story. The synopsis given does not do the story itself justice and the diverse cast of characters provides a well rounded dynamic. While Linden is the focus, the events around her and her friends lives are what drives the story. For the most part this was a journey that Linden was on, but the destination that she reaches after twists and complications is just that much sweeter after all that she goes through.Overall I enjoyed Where I Live by Brenda Rufener and thought it was an interesting take on high school from a unique perspective. If you are looking for a high school journey this is one to pick up.
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  • Anna Henderson
    January 1, 1970
    I was given an uncorrected advance copy in exchange for an honest review. While reading this story I went from smiling to actual tears. I love the view of the main character, Linden, and how unique her personality is. While I was sympathetic for her situation I was still sitting on the edge of my seat to see what would happen next. The book is a romance mixed with the struggle Linden has living on her own high school, and somehow it all ties together.
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  • Forever Young Adult
    January 1, 1970
    Graded By: RosemaryCover Story: Montell JordanBFF Charm: Yay!Swoonworthy Scale: 6Talky Talk: Straight(ish) UpBonus Factors: Teen HomelessnessRelationship Status: I'll Be There For YouRead the full book report here.
  • Kira Brighton
    January 1, 1970
    (Showcased in "Waiting On" Wednesday: Where I Live)
  • Bex
    January 1, 1970
    bleh
  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    There were some lovely aspects of his book. Friendship. Kindness. Exploration of family. But ultimately I felt the author tried to tackle too many “issues” and it just led to the book feeling chaotic and rather disjointed. I hoped for more.
  • Yaiza
    January 1, 1970
    me llamaba la atención el tema pero escritura muy muy flojita
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