Book Review: Where I Live by Brenda Rufener

Title: Where I Live
Author: Brenda Rufener
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Published: February 27th 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen

Page count: 352 pages
Format: Paperback
Source: From the publisher and the author

Book Summary:
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.
*The Chef's Review*
    Actual rating: 5/5 stars
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.

Happy reading! -- The Chef 


  1. Sounds like such a cool premise for a contemporary YA. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    1. I did! It was an amazing read for me♥

  2. I just finished this today, and it was so wonderful! I am such a sucker for survival stories and stories about connection and "family". Loved it!