I Wanna Be Where You Are
“In a world where it’s easy to lose faith in love, I WANNA BE WHERE YOU ARE is a brilliant burst of light. A dazzling debut.” ― Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin and Odd One Out
When Chloe Pierce’s mom forbids her to apply for a spot at the dance conservatory of her dreams, she devises a secret plan to drive two hundred miles to the nearest audition. But Chloe hits her first speed bump when her annoying neighbor Eli insists upon hitching a ride, threatening to tell Chloe’s mom if she leaves him and his smelly dog, Geezer, behind. So now Chloe’s chasing her ballet dreams down the east coast―two unwanted (but kinda cute) passengers in her car, butterflies in her stomach, and a really dope playlist on repeat.
Filled with roadside hijinks, heart-stirring romance, and a few broken rules, I Wanna Be Where You Are is a YA debut perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sandhya Menon.
Publisher:Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: June 4th 2019
I’m going to keep this review short because I can sum this book up in a few words: short, sweet and full of oh so good tropes.
But I know I can’t leave it at that, so let me kind of expand on my feelings and thoughts.
How are we feeling about road trips?? Hate-to-love?? Dogs??? Add ballet in New York City, getting your confidence back and following your dreams and here we go. I am really bad at summing up books don’t shoot me.
This book took all of the tropes of my heart, put a black girl as the lead and said here, feed your starving heart. And feast it did.
Though things actually happen quite fast. I wasn’t expecting the roadtrip to happen right at the beginning, or for things to go to shit so soon, but it works. We’re introduced to everyone and we’re given backstory and it just works. It doesn’t feel like heavy exposition though it’s not like things are info-dumped in the beginning, things are slowly revealed and pretty well spaced out throughout said story and it gives you a sense of the characters before we really get to know them.
Which, the characters are pretty damn great. We don’t need to talk about how Eli was fun
who the author calls a reformed fuck boy which… yes or Chloe’s bestfriend who was oh so dramatic and I loved it or literally any side character because they were just good you know?? There are such strong friendships here.
I should probably mention the romance now because I know it’s going to slip my mind, but yeah, it was good. There wasn’t petty drama and though there was miscommunication and such, they still managed to talk things out without making it a blown out thing. Which is something I need right now: light & easy.
And as for Chloe… Girl is relatable. Chloe’s playlist is… my kind of playlist. Things she would say, like being the only black girl in the room and how her body fit a bit different in her leotard (which… I’m not in ballet
I don’t think 5 year old me counts but that line fits in any situation I’ve been in… I’m not explaining this right). She’s likable and easy to be in her head.
And though this book is pretty light and easy, breezy, beautiful (heh), there were definitely some not-so-light themes discussed in the story. There’s definite trauma from her broken ankle and I loved the portrayal of feeling like you won’t be as good as you once were, it’s something that I feel many can relate to and something I definitely related to… HARD.
This book was just what I needed at the moment. It was sweet and simple and low drama and a definite summer bop (including the playlist…. of course I was feeling the playlist).