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Where I Live
Cover of Where I Live
Where I Live

Included on Bustle's list of the "27 Most Anticipated YA Contemporary Books Hitting Shelves in 2018"!

"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

"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

From debut author Brenda Rufener comes a heart-wrenching and evocative story perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why, Girl in Pieces, and All the Bright Places.

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.

Included on Bustle's list of the "27 Most Anticipated YA Contemporary Books Hitting Shelves in 2018"!

"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

"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

From debut author Brenda Rufener comes a heart-wrenching and evocative story perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why, Girl in Pieces, and All the Bright Places.

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.

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About the Author-
  • Brenda Rufener spent her childhood stomping through the woods of Oregon in search of bat-filled caves and Bigfoot. She successfully located one of the two and spent the rest of her time penciling short stories. A double major in English and biology, Brenda graduated from Whitman College. She lives in North Carolina with her family and is an advocate for homeless youth. Where I Live is her debut novel and is followed by Since We Last Spoke. Visit her online on Twitter @BrendaKRufener, on Instagram @brendarufener, and at her website at www.brendarufener.com.

Reviews-
  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 2017

    Gr 9 Up-Secretly living in Hinderwood High, Linden is working two jobs to afford living essentials. After her mother was killed, she ended up in Oregon at her grandmother's nursing home, before she died too. Linden, white and homeless, and her best friends, Korean American Seung, and gay, fun-loving Ham, make up "the Triangle." Linden's goal is to graduate and go to college with the Triangle, her only family and support. While reporting for the school blog and trying to keep her homelessness a secret, Linden uncovers perfect, mean-girl Bea's secret-an abusive boyfriend. Not wanting to draw attention to herself, Linden worries for Bea but does not expose her secret. When Seung becomes more than a best friend, Linden inadvertently lets her guard down, starting a new chapter in her life. When the truth is revealed, reactions of her friends and community prove that family is where your heart is, regardless of blood relation. Rufener's cast of diverse characters and genuine dialogue helps balance the unlikely premise that a teenager could be living in a high school undetected. 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.-Laura Jones, Argos Community Schools, IN

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    November 15, 2017
    If she can follow the rules, no one will ever discover that she is the "homeless girl hiding in front of them."Linden Rose eats peanut-butter crackers from the vending machine, washes her laundry in the sink of the boys' locker room, and sleeps in the baseball dugout. Hinderwood High School is her home, and she will do anything to keep her secret. Even her closest friends, Ham and Seung, have no idea that Linden has been hiding in plain sight ever since her mother and then her grandmother passed away. But when her friends are threatened by a violent classmate, Linden must decide if she should risk discovery to protect others. Chaotic storytelling and poorly crafted dialogue are only two of this uninspired story's problems. And while the cast is somewhat diverse (Ham is gay, and biracial Seung is Korean/white), the white default prevails and stereotypes abound. Plot devices such as an overly vigilant school security and a reporter hot on the trail of Linden's story are forced. And while Linden's external life is suitably messy in light of her circumstances, her interior life is likewise disorganized and confusing. Only the glimpse of romance between Linden and Seung feels real; Seung's depiction as an attractive Asian man is refreshing.Disjointed, didactic, and mostly disappointing. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Amber Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Way I Used to Be "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."
  • Carlie Sorosiak, author of IF BIRDS FLY BACK "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."
  • Kerry Kletter, acclaimed author of The First Time She Drowned "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."
  • School Library Journal "Fans of Jennifer Niven and Nicola Yoon will enjoy this realistic debut novel, which brings to light heavy topics of homelessness and abuse."
  • Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) "This debut novel takes readers into a world where serious issues of poverty, homelessness, and violence are juxtaposed with the everyday drama of high school hierarchies, relationships, and life."
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