[note note_color=”#768642″ text_color=”#ffffff”]Where You’ll Find Me by Natasha Friend • March 8, 2016 • Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (Macmillan)
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* I think the cover is a different one from the one you see in the banner.
The first month of school, thirteen-year-old Anna Collette finds herself…
DUMPED by her best friend Dani, who suddenly wants to spend eighth grade “hanging out with different people.”
DESERTED by her mom, who’s in the hospital recovering from a suicide attempt.
TRAPPED in a house with her dad, a new baby sister, and a stepmother young enough to wear her Delta Delta Delta sweatshirt with pride.
STUCK at a lunch table with Shawna the Eyebrow Plucker and Sarabeth the Irish Stepper because she has no one else to sit with.
But what if all isn’t lost? What if Anna’s mom didn’t exactly mean to leave her? What if Anna’s stepmother is cooler than she thought? What if the misfit lunch table isn’t such a bad fit after all? With help from some unlikely sources, including a crazy girl-band talent show act, Anna just may find herself on the road to okay.[/note]
[note note_color=”#BFD1D1″ text_color=”#ffffff”]I received this book for free from Macmillan for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.[/note]
First sentence: “I used to think your friends were your friends no matter what, but that’s not how it works.”
We’ve all had that school year that was the absolute worst.
For Anna Collette, eighth grade may be the worst of it all. She doesn’t have her best friend anymore; her mother can’t be a parent to her because she’s currently recovering from a suicide attempt; she has to live with her dad, stepmother, and stepsister; and she has to make friends with people who she doesn’t really want to befriend. Anna’s really struggling.
WHY YOU’LL ENJOY WHERE YOU’LL FIND ME
- Anna Collette’s voice is captivating.
I loved Anna’s voice. She’s quite a sarcastic character, especially when it comes to her terrible circumstances that are out of her control. I find her voice so relatable because her feelings towards her situation is what any teenager would feel. She’s trying to process the changes in her life, and she has to express it some way. Her voice is exactly how I was in eighth grader.
- From broken and new friendships to family problems, things that Anna faced in Where You’ll Find Me are what many readers have experienced.
Who has had friends ditch you to become friends with others? Who has had to make new friends with people they didn’t expect? Who has had to get used to a new family? These are all things many readers go through, and I appreciate how relatable it is.
- Anna finds friend in the place you didn’t expect, who like her for who she is.
Friends come to you in the unlikeliest form. Anna finds them in the people she sits at lunch with—an eyebrow plucker and an Irish stepper. They aren’t who she’d thought she’d become friends with, but they’re always there for her despite their differences. She found friends who may weird, but they accept her and are just awesome. It’s satisfying to see Anna consider Shawna and Sarabeth her friends.
It captures the insecurity, uncertainty, and frustration teenagers face during Middle School.
Natasha Friend does a great job conveying those feelings. When you’re a teenager, you experience so many changes and emotions. You don’t realize how much you need a support system to process your feelings and cope. You don’t want to burden people, or you find your situation embarrassing to talk about. That’s Anna. I was that teenager who didn’t want to talk about family issues even when it was weighing me down.
- It tackles issues like divorce and mental health in a way that an eighth grader could understand.
The book doesn’t skirt around these issues, nor does it overwhelm the reader. It’s handled with a lot of care in a way that an eighth grader can process and understand. I liked that even though I may not have experienced what Anna is dealing, I still relate to her emotions.
Do I recommend Where You’ll Find Me? Sure, it’s a cute Middle Grade that conveys an eighth grader’s thoughts and feelings perfectly. It may not be the most original, but I enjoyed it.