Where I Live is a YA realistic fiction book. Linden Rose is homeless, living in the dirt behind her school. After her mother was beat to death by her father, Linden has been on the run, living in the back of her school. Flying under the radar used to be her specialty, but when she gets involved in a classmates' abuse and a reporter starts digging around, her cover may be blown.
The issue of domestic abuse was definitely represented clearly, but a surprising element that made me question the focus of the novel. The plot didn't have a clear path or real climax, jumping all over the place in no particular organization. It also felt like the author shoved too many serious issues in one book.
I was ecstatic to read this book, but it did not turn out at all what I had hoped. I wanted something touching and tear-jerking about the real issue of teen homelessness, but I was disappointed when it became a discussion about domestic abuse and running away rather than actually forced to live on the streets with nowhere to go. Linden had it easier than most and had friends she could rely on for food and a shower. Yes she was technically homeless, but she had a support system that undermined the gravity of homelessness that I was looking forward to.
However, this book can go to show the importance of having true friends and how to earn them. The support system of her teachers and friends saved her life and does prove that people are kind and willing to help you if you let them. It also still clearly illustrated how burdensome not having a home was, and could help educate people to look for the warning signs. I also love the inspirational tone of hope and learning to speak up for yourself and tell your story.
I do recommend this book and I enjoyed reading it, but just don't get your hopes up too high.
Title: Where I Live
Author: Brenda Rufener
Rating: 3 Stars