Review | Where I Live by Brenda Rufener

Title: Where I Live

Author: Brenda Rufener

Genre/s: Contemporary, Young Adult.

Expected Publication: 27th February 2018 by Harper Teen

( Goodreads , Book Depository )

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!

Rating: 80%

Thank you so much Brenda Rufener for writing such an amazing book and to Harper Teen for sending me an arc.

Thanks for reading! I’ll be back with another bookish post soon.

- Sophie

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