Read Where You'll Find Me by Natasha Friend Online

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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 sweThe 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....

Title : Where You'll Find Me
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780374302306
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Where You'll Find Me Reviews

  • Cait (Paper Fury)
    2018-12-09 17:43

    This is probably one of the most positively healthy books about mental illness I've read in a LONG time. Plus it's aimed at middle-grade/younger teens and I think it sends a very very important message on coping when your parent is mentally ill. So, um, the cover kind of lies?? I thought this was going to be a floof of froot loops but noooooo...it's actually quite serious. It's not depressing but it's also not hiding the emotional turmoil being around a parent who's just tried to commit suicide is. SO WHAT IS WITH THE PASTEL RAINBOW EXPLOSION OF FLOOF ON THE COVER. I protest, sir.This is actually an awkward book to review for me... Because there's like legit nothing wrong with it. But I just didn't really click with it? So I totally recommend it! But...ya know. I'm 10 years older than the protagonist and just felt a little disconnected to the whole thing because I'm old. I practically have grey hair. The other day I ate a vegetable without being told and ughhh I'm officially an adult.THINGS I'M REALLY VERY IMPRESSED ABOUT WITH THIS BOOK:• It really captures the emotional struggle that is living with someone who's mentally ill AND the book underlines that it is not a child's job to support their parent through mental illness. It's just not. Anna was basically caring for her mother for 5 or so years after her parents divorced. Her mother had undiagnosed Bipolar II and like the toll on Anna was HUGE. After the suicide attempt, Anna goes to live with her dad and step-mother...which is terrible for her because she feels like her dad just left her with her mum, who was definitely unstable.• Basically Anna didn't get a childhood AND I CRY.• I also love how it didn't feature the "evil stepmum" thing. Because even though Marnie was like 24 (and Anna's dad was in his 40s!! UM EW) and she had a newborn, she was doing everything to try and be lovely to Anna. They ended up having a sort of sister relationship and it was so sweet. <3• It also has NO romance! Which I just cryyyy in RELIEF about. Anna is going through so much right now and the last thing she needs is a stupid teenage boy to try and impress.• It features strong female friendships! once you get passed Anna's ex-best friend who dumped her because Anna wasn't cool enough. And ugh, I have had that happen to me when I was about 13 or 14 so I related to Anna's feels there. I'm REALLY glad Anna got over her prejudices about being friends with other girls...and she ends up with an epic support group of girls (one who has trichotillomani which I'd not seen before in a book!) who are there for her. #BLESSITAnna herself was pretty caustically sarcastic a lot of the book. I mean..I can't criticise it?? It was her way of coping with a father who had 0% interest in her life until he was forced to. And having her mum just vanished into a mental health ward. And Anna is only 16, c'mon. But I really am not a fan of caustic sarcasm. It grates on me. It always feels like the protagonist thinks they're better than everyone else which is...ergh.And I was much more interested in the chapters about Anna's family than about her school life. Probably because school ain't my favourite, peoples. Totally just personal preference here. (BUT I MEAN AREN'T ALL REVIEWS JUST PERSONAL PREFERENCE.)And I'm just really impressed at how it handled the mental illness aspect! For one thing: it talks about stigmas and how damaging they are. Like Anna didn't TELL anyone her mother didn't get out of bed because she was embarrassed. Her mother didn't get help. Anna had no support system and it was really hurting her. The book UNDERLINES that everyone needs a support system. Everyone. It underlines that you do NOT have to be hurt by someone with mental health issues. Look, I know that might seem awful...but seriously no one deserves to be hurt. People struggling with mental health (and yes, I am one) need support and understanding...but they don't get a free ticket to damage other people. (view spoiler)[I'm also really glad Anna didn't go back to live with her mother in the end. Like maybe one day she would??? I like how it left that open. But it wasn't a good environment for a 13 year old girl and ANNA KNEW THAT. <3 I'm so pleased with her making a decision even though she didn't want to hurt her mother.(hide spoiler)]ALL AND ALL: a truly important book! And aimed at a younger audience too which is soooo important. It talks bluntly about stigmas, it encourages teens/kids to speak up if they know something is wrong about their parents. Strong female friendships. Good diversity rep! And it really is NOT a floof bucket like the cover says. (So just ignoooore the part where I didn't really mesh with it? I honestly think I'm just a bit too old.)ALSO I GOTTA COMMENT: Gettin' real tired of these books with characters nicknamed "Anna Banana". IT DOESN'T RHYME. Not in an Australian accent okay??! We say Anna rhyming with "manner" and banana rhyming with "karma". Mate. Please.

  • Kallam
    2018-11-19 14:39

    As a child of a bipolar parent I found this book to be really accurate of the struggles a family goes through and the feelings of everyone involved. I found myself really enjoying each of the characters.

  • Maddie (Heart Full Of Books)
    2018-12-04 16:37

    A cute middle-grade book with some great messages about friendships and how families can be created in unexpected ways. It's really great to see more than just catty friendships being written about for this age group, and liked the awareness of mental health 'Where You'll Find Me' had.

  • Caitlyn
    2018-12-03 18:33

    Anna's voice is fantastic. This book is rare in that the character's snark, vulnerability, and frustrations read so true to her age even though we as readers are used to hearing from very young sounding/feeling narrators in middle grade.

  • Emily Mead
    2018-11-22 13:59

    If I was rating this for myself I'd rate it 3 stars, but I feel like I'm not the target bracket so I'm not going to rate it. AND THIS HAS SO MANY POSITIVE THINGS. I looooove love love that it's an MG about mental illness - not the MC, but her mother, who has Bipolar II. It shows that it's not the kid's job to take care of their parents. Honestly, reading a lot of contemporary YA I see a lot of TERRIBLE parents who should barely be considered adults, and this was so refreshing. Also, positive step-mother rep (once Anna gets over herself a little bit). And female friendship + a capella singing. Totally recommend for a sweet MG book with some really great mental illness rep.

  • Robin Constantine
    2018-11-26 13:50

    Where You'll Find Me is one of those books that sneaks up on you with its depth. Anna's voice is perfect - snarky, funny, heartfelt. A real gem.

  • Victoria Scott
    2018-11-22 12:51

    Don't ever say you're too old to read middle grade books - this was adorable, and great no matter what age you are when you're reading it. Anna was so relatable, even though she was going things that I've never experienced. Her mum has tried to kill herself, so she's stuck with her dad and step mum. As you'd expect, she hates it. Oh, and on top of that, her best friend has ditched her to become one of the 'cool kids'. Haven't we all been through that? Maybe not those exact circumstances, but everyone has fallen out with their friend over something, and been stuck with no one, or at least one person less. We got inside Anna's head, and it broke my heart. This girl had nothing going for her, and she was really struggling trying to cope with it all. The book was told with that honesty only a middle grade girl can have, and it had me nearly in tears countless times. She didn't dodge around subjects, discussing everything that needed to be discussed. It was sad, like I said, but it needed to be. The one flaw was that it was a bit predictable. She thought the people she was forced to hang out with were losers, and hated her family. Hmm, I wonder where that's going? I've read a hundred books like that, where we get taken through the journey of someone trying to accept and love themselves, and other people. But I guess it's popular for a reason. It does work! Especially with the book being from Anna's point of view, we got to learn to love the other characters at the same time as her. I did hate Dani while Anna was still trying to cling to their friendship, but how can you not? By writing it like this, it made the supporting cast really lovable. They were all screwed up, but that's what made them close. It was so good for Anna to have people to turn to when she so needed to. Despite the main point of this book being that Anna's mother has tried to kill herself, it didn't focus on that as much as I expected it to. Instead, it was more about Anna. As terrible as it sounds, I think it was really good for her to get away from her mum. Her mum was always a little crazy, and Anna being away from that crazy made her more normal. With being normal, she got to be happy as well, which she so deserved. There's not too much more I can say on this book without spoiling it for you. But go and read it! Yes, it's predictable, but sometimes we all need that in our lives, right?

  • Erin Lynn
    2018-11-22 16:58

    FTC Disclosure: I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.If you know me, you know that I just don't read any middle grade novel. I have to really be invested in the content and the plot for me to even consider reading it. When I first saw the synopsis for Where You'll Find Me, I thought that it sounded like it might be tackling too much, but what I found out was that it tackles just enough to teach its intended audience about life. Where You'll Find Me by Natasha Friend is one of the most compelling middle grade/YA books that I've ever read! I could not stop reading this charming and beautiful little novel that tackles so many different subjects in a truly wonderful and educational way.Thirteen-year-old Anna Collette isn't having the greatest start to eighth grade. Her best friend has ditched her for the popular crowd, and she's essentially friendless. On top of that, she found her mom in bed after a suicide attempt and has had to move in with her father, his shiny new wife, Marnie, and their baby, Jane. It's all about adjusting for Anna - adjusting to her new home, adjusting to a new bus, and making some new friends along the way.Now I said that Where You'll Find Me tackles a lot of subjects, right? The first is one that I think many middle school kids know all too well - being ditched. Yes, Anna's best friend since kindergarten just decides that they aren't friends anymore. Anna is devastated because she feels like she's lost a piece of herself. I think that so many seventh and eighth graders will be able to relate to Anna because of this because middle school is all about growing up and making new friends. It's all about experiencing new things, and Anna will have to do that all without a best friend. Seeing her deal with the loss of Dani is tough, but I think that Ms. Friend portrayed it all realistically. She shows Anna longing for that connection, but she also shows just how strong Anna is by making some new friends.Along the way, Anna does make some new friends. She's at first resistant. She doesn't want things to change. She wants things to go back to the way they were in elementary school and seventh grade. She doesn't want to be friends with the people that everyone calls "freaks." Eventually, something breaks in Anna, and she realizes just who her true friends are. She starts going to slumber parties and football games with her new group of friends, and eventually, she opens up to them about everything going on in her home life. It's nice to Anna grow up. I found myself smiling and cheering her on, and I really think that she'll be a great role model for the older elementary and middle school students who will read this book.There are also some darker subjects in Where You'll Find Me, and I'm actually really impressed that I finally found a middle grade novel that accurately depicts mental illness. For most of her life, Anna has known that her mom has depression. She knows that it started with postpartum depression, and that it's escalated from that. Anna's had to get her mom out of bed, force her to shower, and even call the school where her mom works when she needs a day off. To say that life hasn't been easy for Anna would be an understatement. But Anna's also in the dark about a lot of things, and she starts to find out more and more when she finds her mom in bed after ingesting a bottle of Advil. I know that not every middle school student will have to deal with what Anna has had to deal with in her short thirteen years, but I feel like Friend made an excellent choice when she decided to write about what it's like to deal with a parent who is mentally ill. Not only is it insightful, but I really think that a lot of young readers might learn something from this book. There's even one passage between Anna and her guidance counselor that I think will let young readers know that diseases like depression and bipolar disorder are nothing to be ashamed about:I stare at her. "I don't want to talk to my friends about my mom.""Why not?""It's ... I don't know ... embarrassing.""It's embarrassing that she has a chemical imbalance in her brain?"I shake my head. That's not what I mean."Would it be embarrassing if she had cancer?""No."I also really enjoyed seeing Anna adjust to life under her father's roof. She's still angry at him for leaving her mother, but she needs to find a way to make things work. She's kind of icy when it comes to her stepmother, but hey, Marnie is only about a decade older than Anna. She can't sleep at night because her baby sister screams. It's inevitable that she's miserable. I don't have experience with a stepmother or half-siblings, but I think that the stress and angst that Friend includes in these scenes is warranted. It seems completely normal for Anna to be angry and confused about these new people in her life, and I really liked seeing the imperfect family moments.I only have one complaint about this book, and it's not even all that bad. I feel like it's a bit too mature to be considered middle grade, but I feel like it's a bit too immature to be considered Young Adult. Neither of these issues are bad things; it's more like the publishing industry is just running out of labels to accurately tell readers where books fall. I think what Natasha Friend has done is created a book that is a perfect fusion of middle grade and YA issues. After reading it, I can see readers in grades 4-9 eating this up! There's a lot of leeway room with this one to reach so many different readers.Natasha Friends Where You'll Find Me is a remarkable Middle Grade/Young Adult novel that so many different people will be able to enjoy. I can see parents reading this with their children. I can imagine middle schoolers checking it out from the library and devouring it. I can see middle school teachers teaching it in the future. It's a great novel about growing up when you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. I would recommend this title to readers in fifth through eighth grades, but I would also recommend it to parents with preteens and young teenagers. It's a beautiful contemporary about how the ugly things in life can turn out to be beautiful, even if they are unexpected.

  • athirah amri
    2018-11-26 19:51

    Dumped. Deserted. Trapped. Stuck. "Sometimes all isn't lost"

  • LaRaie
    2018-12-10 14:34

    I love this book so hard. I am going to read another Natasha Friend book ASAP. Ah, where to start?Oh the heart! The characters! There is so much depth in the way the author writes the characters in this novel. There's a cheerleader, a bipolar mom, a young former sorority sister step mom who makes kale and veggie burgers, a girl who hosts a party for famous women of history--there is a little something for everyone. It's a book about fitting in, about knowing what it means to be a friend, a daughter, a parent. The main character is dealing with some heavy issues of identity and what it means to be sane/insane, all the while trying to be herself, find herself, as a 13-year old. I would say that this book is easily for a 16 year old, but because the main characters are in middle school (13) and the book doesn't delve into mature themes like sex and drugs, it's a middle school read as well. Fans of John Green, Stephanie Perkins, Laurie Halse Andersen, will eat this book up. The way the author writes about mental illness, growing up, blended families, motherhood, daughterhood, and friendship is wise and meaningful. Never didactic. Sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. Sometimes this book seemed a bit *too precocious, which is not surprising for this kind of novel. Does a 13 year old really think of a certain response by someone as a "naked comment?" Okay, maybe it's just me. I'm sure I'm just not giving credit to the all-too-smart-for-their-own-good young people of today. But once in awhile the perspective of these characters is blindingly astute. Maybe that's okay. In fact, maybe for writers, it's about pushing boundaries of their readers, to pique their interests, or cause--gasp!-- intrigue. Maybe it's about aspiring to be like them more than it is about being a reflection of who they are. In the case of this book, I wish I had read it when I was about 15. Oh me, who needed this precocious fictional beauties in my life. Where were you!?I'm so happy you're here now.p.s. Any book that portrays breastfeeding in a healthy and normal and positive way gets an A+

  • Christine
    2018-12-07 11:37

    (Source: I would like to thank Net Galley and to the publisher. This will not affect my review.)I love reading books who talks about mental illness because I’m aware on one’s illness that I didn’t knew before. Though I admit I can’t relate to the characters but one thing I know for sure that everyone has their own shit.Anna Collette is a middle school Student, she has difficulty coping with other people because she of her problems. 1. Her best friend Dani left her for new popular group in school. 2. Her dad has a new family. 3. Her mom is in psych ward because of the Bipolar 2. I felt bad for her because she can’t tell to other people what her true feelings is. She always remembers the good times of her family. In every divorce parents, the children who are most affected.Sometimes we hate and not trusting the people around us because of the bad experiences but don’t be afraid to open your heart. Someday in your life, there’s someone who you can lean on. I know how hard the problem is. But you are not alone.This book is not depressing. I saw what it’s like to have a parent suffering from mental illness like Bipolar 2. This gives me a new knowledge about Bipolar 2 because I didn’t know that it is existed.Kudos to Ms. Natasha Friend for writing this book. Its an eye opener and remember that no one is perfect and everyone has their own shit.At the end of the book there is a telephone hotline if you think your parents are suicidal. It is twenty- four hour available. I just want to share with you guys because this is serious matter.

  • Kathy Martin
    2018-12-13 17:56

    Anna Collette isn't having a great start to eighth grade. Her best friend Dani lost her braces and gained boobs over the summer. Now she is part of the popular crowd and has left Anna behind. Anna's mother has attempted suicide and is now hospitalized which means that Anna is forced to live with her father, his new young wife and their toddler baby daughter. She is very worried about her mother, feeling friendless, and just generally feeling scared and lost.Things might not be as bad as Anna thinks. Her mother has a new diagnosis and a new variety to medications and it looks like she is gradually becoming more stable. The girls she is eating lunch with may seem weird to the outside world but they are lots cooler than they look. Even her father's new wife is a much nicer person than she thought she was. The was a great story about dealing with changes and looking deeper. I really liked Anna and felt bad that she had so much to deal with. I liked that her teachers and her school counselor tried to reach out to her and kept reaching even when they didn't get any response from Anna. I liked that her new friends accepted her as she was and gave her new interests to help her get her mind off her troubles. I also liked the way her dad tried to find new ways to communicate with his daughter.Fans of contemporary middle grade stories will enjoy getting to know Anna.

  • Estelle
    2018-11-13 17:41

    So wonderful. Natasha Friend does such a fantastic (and important) job of discussing mental illness and its stigmas in this story of a 13-year old girl whose mom has been recently diagnosed with bipolar. At the same time, Anna's best friend has left her to be friends with the cool kids and she's spending more and more time with her Dad's new wife and her baby half-sister. There are so many great layers to this story from Anna's rocky relationship with her stepmother (who is going through her own rough patch too) and finding a new circle of friends where she can be herself. Friend also succeeds by sharing the side effects of Anna taking care of her mom solo, and also the resentment she feels toward her father for their divorce.One of the best middle grades I've read -- ever. This is a must, must read. It might sound a little serious but I can assure you there are some very lighthearted moments too (like an awesome girls trip to Atlanta).Keywords: mental illness, children of divorce, friendship breakups, stepfamily relationships, therapy

  • Mary H
    2018-11-30 11:51

    This is a sweet book with plenty of substance that I think a lot of middle school girls will relate to. I definitely remember feelings of frustration and heartbreak when I lost best friends to middle school and high school drama. I appreciated Anna's humor and gumption, and I adore Sarahbeth and Shawna. I thought their friendship was similar to that of Willowdean, Millie, Amanda, etc. I like that they own their quirks. I also adored Marnie. Now that I'm an adult, I actually really relate to Marnie instead of Anna.I can't say why I can't give Where You'll Find Me more stars. I liked the book, and I think it's one that a lot of kids will relate to and enjoy more than I did. But it's obviously not a book that is for me.

  • Rachel WritesThings
    2018-11-27 17:42

    I found this book by browsing the library shelves today and I couldn't be more pleased than with my discovery of this book (and author). 13-year-old Anna's mom tries to kill herself and she moves in wit her dad, stepmom and half-sister, and, well, there's a lot to take in. Her best friend stops talking to her just because she's weird (I could so so relate to this), and she now sits with the "weird" girls table at lunch. What I loved about this book was how it looked honestly at Bipolar II disorder (which Anna's mom has), blended families, judging others, trichotillomania (which Anna's friend has, and they actually discuss! and don't just write it off), and how friendships can change. There's alsono romance/crushingwhich was really refreshing. Anna's story was full enough. I adored this one - and the cover, too, even though it seems a little more happy than the book inside.I think Natasha Friend will be a new author for me to read. :-)

  • Trish
    2018-11-24 13:31

    Anna has started the school year with everything against her. Her best friend has dumped her, her mother is in hospital after trying to commit suicide, she has to live with her father, 24 year old step-mother and her baby step-sister - who cries all night! Gradually Anna finds a way through it all, learns that she is stronger than she thought, and that other people can be supportive and caring - even 24 year old step-mothers! I enjoyed this book and will recommend it to my students because it deals with a mental health issue (bi-polar disorder) from a teenagers perspective in a sensitive and real way.

  • Amber (YA Indulgences)
    2018-12-05 11:59

    Review first appeared on YA Indulgences on March 13. To read my final thoughts, go to:https://yaindulgences.wordpress.com/2...I am such a fan of stories that revolve around friendship and family at the forefront. Where You’ll Find Me was exactly that. It was a refreshing change from reading stories that dealt with romance in some form. That’s not to say I’m not a fan of romance in books, but it’s always nice to read such a fulfilling friendship and family dynamic book. I loved seeing Anna’s relationships change throughout Where You’ll Find Me.To say Anna’s dealing with a lot is a complete understatement. She’s left motherless (in a way), friendless and even family-less having to live with a father she doesn’t really know and his new family.Anna was such a strong character and despite dealing with her mother’s mental illness, which matured her, she always acts her age. Anna grew up fast given her mother’s condition and her dad always being gone prior to the book’s beginning. Sometimes, in novels, characters will act older than they are because of their experiences. This isn’t bad, but I did like that Anna seemed like a regular thirteen year old girl who didn’t randomly drop philosophical thoughts. I really felt for Anna because she would blame herself for not noticing her mother spiraling down. Anna’s feelings were really varied, she was angry, sad, upset, scared, feeling guilty and of course, worried.After Anna’s mother attempts suicide, Anna keeps the knowledge from people like her new friends she makes. I liked seeing Anna keep her family’s situation to herself and try to cope with it alone. This is so understandable because you never know how people will react. It was sad to see her think about her old friendship with Dani. Losing friends is always hard, especially when they’re the ones to leave.The people Anna least expected to become friends with end up being the ones that accept her and welcome her. It was great to see so many interactions between Anna and her friends. She became closest friends with Sarabeth and Shawna. Both of them had interesting quirks and problems in their own lives. Sarabeth did irish clog dancing and Shawna has her own problem, which was trichotillomania (plucking hair). I was surprised to see trichotillomania in this novel since it’s not very well known. I liked how it helped Anna sort of “bond” with Shawna. Between Sarabeth’s silliness and Shawn’s sarcasm, I grew to really appreciate these girls in Anna’s life.I liked that not only could I relate to Anna, but I could also relate to Marnie and Anna’s father. Marnie is my age and practically freshly out of college. Her wanting to go back to college made me nostalgic for my own college experience. I liked how she still wasn’t quite sure about where she was in life. I initially had reservations about Marnie because she was so young and married to someone so much older than her. Anna also had reservations about Marnie which was understandable. In the end, that didn’t matter to me. Marnie genuinely cared for Anna’s father as well as Anna.I could unexpectedly relate to Anna’s father because he couldn’t deal with Anna’s mother mental illness. While cold, it seemed very true to life because not everyone can deal with such a serious thing. This dug a bigger ridge between his relationship with Anna which gradually changed.I really liked how in addition to friends, Anna also had adults she could go to. There was Regina, her mother’s best friend, the school counselor and the English teacher who all reached out to her. It was nice to see that Anna wasn’t alone when she was going through this, even though it seemed that way to her.As for Anna’s mother, she was an interesting character as well. In the beginning, she’s just diagnosed with depression but is later diagnosed with something else. I thought the portrayal of this mental illness was really well done. It was realistic to see how differently her mother would act and Anna never knowing how her mother would be.I loved that despite Anna’s mother having a mental illness, her and Anna got along well a lot of the time, before the suicide attempt. Having a parent attempt suicide is an unbelievably hard thing to go through, due to this Anna is more reserved with her mother, which isn’t a surprise. Anna’s mother was constantly at the forefront of Anna’s mind. So much that Anna couldn’t sleep, would wake up from nightmares and have to leave class. The effects were so well done, relatable and intense in how ‘deep she would get in with the worrying. My heart broke over her not being able to get a break from worrying.

  • Shay
    2018-12-08 15:55

    To be honest, I've never read a lot of middle-grade contemporary. When it comes to contemporary I usually stay in the YA age range so I wasn't really sure what to expect of this one but I ended up really enjoying it!Anna's thirteen, just starting eighth grade and her life is kind of falling apart. As girls will do, Anna's best friend decided they should spend this year hanging out with new people. On top of that, Anna's mom hasn't been right since long before her dad left her for a younger woman and now she's in the hospital recovering from a suicide attempt. Leaving Anna to live with her dad, stepmom, and new baby sister. Things aren't looking very hopeful to Anna and she's just waiting for everything to go back to normal. Unfourtantly for her, it's not that simple.The author did such an amazing job with this book. Handling the issue of suicide along with so much else for a young audience in such a great way. It was never glossed over, while it was very much seen from a 13-year-olds perspective; where Anna didn't really understand it fully, how messed up her mom was and how much work it was going to take her to be better again.There was so much I loved about this book, first and foremost being the girl power feel to it all. It takes Anna a little while to make new friends after being abandoned by her lifelong best friend. But when she does, it's with a bunch of amazing misfits who Anna judged at one point but quickly came to realize they were fine with who they were and having more fun than everyone else in the eighth grade combined. I loved the friendships between the girls, I loved when they signed up for a talent show together. It just gave off this amazing girl power feeling that I'm so happy to see in a middle-grade book.Besides that, I was really happy with how Anna's relationship developed with her stepmom. Anna starts out hating her and her dad and blaming them for everything like any normal teenage girl. But there was some amazing development and some of my favorite parts were seeing her and her stepmom start to get close. They have a girls weekend away and everything. Again with the girl power!The writing was great and fast paced. The whole story kind of reminded me of a Mary Amato book, she's one of my favorite authors who writes kind of lower YA contemporary and so that's a big plus in my mind. The downside came for me where the book felt a little bare-boned...it was more dialogue than anything and I would've liked a little more plot and story. Having said that, it is middle grade, not YA, so it didn't ruin the book for me or anything. Plus, isn't it always a good thing to walk away from a book wanting more?I highly recommend this, especially to younger readers. This is something I definitely would've completely loved when I was 13. I loved it now when I'm almost 20!

  • MsArdychan
    2018-11-22 15:59

    When I first read the description of the book, Where You'll find me, by Natasha Friend, I was immediately interested. Middle School is a time of huge transitions from child to teen. I had a similar experience of getting dumped by my best friend when I was 15, so I could relate to the main character on a very personal level. The story centers on Anna, who is facing not only getting dumped by her best friend, but the aftermath of her mother's suicide attempt. While her mom is in the hospital, Anna must live with her estranged dad and his wife (who is only 10 years older than Anna!). Anna feels anger, guilt, embarrassment, and loneliness as she tries to make sense of all these changes.While I have never dealt with suicide in my family, my parents often fought in front of others and it seemed that the whole neighborhood knew about my parents screaming matches. I was often very self-conscious about this. So I felt that the book was right on target as it showed how embarrassing and upsetting it is to have well-meaning teachers give you the "if you need to talk" sympathy speech. At first, I felt so sad for this girl. So many awful thing were happening to her at once. I felt like, wow, is this kid going to make it? Anna's journey mirrors her mother's; she is dumped by her best friend just as her mother is abandoned by her husband. Although Anna is not bipolar like her mom, she does go through some understandable depression and then she slowly emerges from it.The author also showed how relationships change over time. As we move from preteen to teen, most people wind up drifting from their old friends to other groups of kids. They find their tribe. At first, Anna has no no one to sit with at lunch and settles for hanging out with the weird kids. Over time, Anna starts to see these girls for who they really are. These are smart, creative, fun individuals who draw Anna out of her shell and help her regain her self-confidence.I liked that the book didn't have instant solutions to Anna's issues. Her (and her mother's) journey back to normalcy came in baby steps. From developing new friendships, to finding a way to come to terms with her parent's divorce, Anna grows up. She learns to accept what happened and to forgive herself for her anger and guilt.I found this to be a wonderful book. It was difficult to read, at times, due to how sad it made me. But then, slowly, I could see hope for Anna, her family and her friends. I hope that many teens read this book and can see it's message of hope.

  • Harker
    2018-11-19 13:34

    I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.I liked this book for it's realism. From what I remember, middle school is actually as bad as you see it through Anna's eyes. Depression, especially when you're seeing a parent go through it, is some kind of traumatic.The writing style was very easy to get into. I liked the friends that Anna ends up with, even if she was somewhat repulsed by them at first because they were the "freaks" at school. She gave them a chance and found some really great friends. Some aspects of their character were unique, such as the Irish step dancing and the plucking problem (trichotillomania).There is one character about whom I'm not sure how I feel. Dani, the girl who dumped Anna for new friends at the beginning, can be seen as both good and bad. Her very person, the girl who wants to be popular and gets rid of anything that might make her otherwise, is a terrible person, but it happens a lot more than you'd think. However, she felt very one dimensional and cliche on the page. I didn't really see anything special about her; she was there to fill a role and she did, but that was it.What I didn't like was some of the character development. Anna seemed like a relatively weak character in the first half of the book. I suppose this is meant to be due to some of the things she is going through, but as she'd been strong enough to care for her mother up until now, I can't see her spiraling so quickly into just going with the flow of being moved to her dad's house. I would've expected some rebellion.I also felt like the step-mother character, while cool, was a bit cliche. In a lot of books where the step parent is at first seen as an intruder, they end up becoming cool and so much fun. I don't think it's realistic and at the very least it's been done dozens of times before.All of these things considered, I still find it a book that would be good to read. It's a good choice for the middle grade/younger YA crowd as a introductory book to what it's like to deal with mental health issues, whether it's them, their parent(s), or their friends.

  • Sandy
    2018-11-27 18:57

    This is one of those middle school novels where life is not fair. It just seems that Anna’s life is crumbling all around her and she had no one, I mean no one to dump on. Her best friend had decided that this is the year that she was going to branch off and find other friends and her father also decided that he was branching off and he found himself a new family. Anna was left in a house with her mother, who was crumbling right before her eyes. Anna blames herself for her mother’s downfall, for “if only” Anna had seen the signs, she could have saved her. With all the downward twists in Anna’s life, she didn’t lash out or get depressed, Anna puts on a strong front. As I read, I could feel the weight inside Anna, I could feel how she wanted her life to reverse itself, she felt helpless yet Anna knew she had to resign herself to her new life no matter how different it now was. There were times that Anna expressed herself to the individuals in her life, a few comments spoken here and there about the situation at hand, it just seemed when she couldn’t handle things any longer she let go, sometimes her words not finding their targeted audience. She felt alone. She wanted her mom; you can feel her desperation in the author’s words. Her mother was dealing with her own issues and being a mother was not something she could handle at the moment, so Anna couldn’t count on her mother when she needed her. Anna resented her father. He did more than just walk out the door when he left the family that day and I had wonder if Anna and her father were ever going to build back that relationship and how. Reading this novel, I especially liked the honesty of Anna. The situation that she was addressing and her feeling were sincere and honest. I wasn’t too fond of the ending and I’m not stating why as that might spoil it for some but that is why my rating is what it is. The ending, to each its own.

  • Barbara
    2018-11-29 17:48

    This book caught me from its opening ruminations about the fragility of friendship, and then the rest of it never let me down because it is so relatable. In some respects, it reminded me of my own experiences with my best friend Sheila who ditched me for a more worldly new girl at the start of seventh grade. In this book, thirteen-year-old Anna Collette begins that all-important eighth grade year with several desertions. Now that she has blossomed physically, her best friend Dani wants to broaden her horizons and hang out with a different crowd. Her mother is in the hospital after an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Her father, with whom she is forced to stay during her mother's recovery, seems to have replaced Anna with a brand-new family. Forced to find new friends or at least someone with whom she can eat lunch, Anna connects--reluctantly--with Shawna and Sarabeth, one of whom plucks her eyebrows into oblivion, and the other of whom loves Irish step dancing. As Anna struggles to find herself and make sense of what's going on in the world around her, she comes to realize that many of her assumptions about others are wrong. As it turns out, her new--young-stepmother is pretty cool and caring, and her mother's mood swings may be traced to a chemical imbalance in her brain. And those uncool friends of hers? Well, they're actually a lot cooler than she thought they were, and they make beautiful music together at the school's talent night, each making her own unique contribution to their performance. Middle grade readers will fall in love with Anna and see themselves in her in many ways. They'll also envy her trip to Atlanta to spend time with her stepmother Marnie's former sorority sisters. I was impressed with how the author tackled such sensitive subjects as suicide and depression with so much insight and humor.

  • Nicole Lynn Hoefs
    2018-11-25 13:30

    I was happy to be a part of the Sunday Street Team for this adorable book by reviewing an eARC from Netgalley. This book was 4 out of 5 stars for me.I really liked Anna as a main character. This book was more MG in my opinion, but Goodreads also classifies it as YA. Overall, it was a really great read. Anna’s trying to find her spot in her new life now that her best friend dumped her, and she’s stuck with her dad and her stepmother, due to her mother trying to kill herself. I’m not going to lie, the book was a bit dark. It deals with suicide attempts, with some bullying, with a child who is utterly lost about where she exists in this “new” life.Anna’s best friend deserting her was one of the best things that could have happened to her, because she found new friends, who are actually there for her in her times of need. I kind of don’t like Anna’s dad, but he grew on me a little by the end. And the way Anna sees her stepmother changes drastically throughout the book, which is another change I’m glad for. There were quite a few hilarious moments scattered throughout the book, in addition to the heartache and the bullying/teasing so well-known to middle schoolers. I definitely don’t miss being thirteen years old.There were moments where I wanted to slap at least one person, moments where I wanted to gush my happiness/relief, moments where I wondered what was going to happen with all the new people rallying around Anna. I think this book should definitely be read widely. It helps people remember what it was like to be in middle school, helps them remember how harsh preteens can be to one another. And it helps bring to light issues that a lot of people skirt around: mental illness, suicide, bullying, etc.Final note: Natasha did a great job with this book. It’s a fast, enjoyable read that focuses on some hot topic issues. I’d highly recommend it.

  • Julie
    2018-11-14 13:42

    The great Beverly Cleary said that she started writing books for kids after her students began asking her, "Where are the books about kids like us?" I thought about that a lot while I was reading Where You'll Find Me, partly because some of the writing brought me back to my own junior high days (with good friends suddenly changing allegiances and seeming to reveal their true colors overnight), and partly because too many kids have to deal with adult issues (mental illness, divorce, remarriage). As a teacher, I have my kiddos for a few short hours, and then...what do they go home to? Some of them, I know, don't have a loving parent to make sure their tummies are always full or tuck them into a warm bed with a kiss goodnight. When they struggle at school, or misbehave, I sometimes think, how could they not?At any rate, I think middle grade readers will like this book.

  • Stephanie
    2018-11-21 12:33

    Eighth grade can be so hard. Anna's year starts especially horribly when her former best friend outright breaks up with her, and then her father and his new wife have a baby. But it's when she finds her mother after a suicide attempt that things really go wrong for Anna, who holds it all in and just tries to get through each day. I thought this was going to be a book about forgiving your family members for their faults, blah blah blah... I was pleasantly surprised to find the greater theme is about friendship. I appreciate that the author recognizes that 8th graders can be mature enough to truly support and love one another, and that they can form friendships that are as important as family.

  • Jana
    2018-11-20 16:40

    I had the opportunity to read a digital-ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for this review. Wow! I absolutely loved this book. I was surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did. When I read the description of this title on GoodReads, I thought it was going to be a bit of a downer. But, I was swept up into the story very quickly and found myself unable to put it down as I came to care about the characters and really wanted to see what was going to happen. At one point, I found myself grumbling because the phone rang a couple of times while I was reading and I didn't want to tear myself away to answer the call!For my complete review, please visit my blog: http://www.janatheteacher.blogspot.co...

  • Meredith
    2018-11-28 11:44

    Where You'll Find Me brought me back to that awful time of being 13 and in middle school. Although this is a middle grade book, it's not only for middle grade readers. Some of the topics are sensitive, as the main character has to deal with finding her mother who attempts suicide. Although there is a lot of darkness, there's also a lot of lightness mixed in. Where You'll Find Me shares some important messages about family and friendship without being preachy. I wish I had this book when I was 13! I received this book from GoodReads in exchange for an honest review.

  • Pauline
    2018-11-29 14:37

    An excellent exploration of a young girl's feelings.

  • Brenda Kahn
    2018-11-13 14:31

    I started out loving this book and ended up liking it. There's a lot to recommend about it - fairly realistic portrayal of mental illness, sarcastic and funny mc, but then little things started niggling. Inconsistencies like, Anna takes the bus to school but later turns down a ride after she misses the bus home and chooses to walk. In my area, students get bussing if they live 2 or more miles from school. It's a doable walk I supposed, but it just stuck out. There were medical things that bothered me as well. It seemed to me that Anna's mother was released way too early after a serious suicide attempt. Her meds weren't even regulated yet. But then, the audience for this is not going to notice that. While the cover is quite lovely, it's a bit young. I don't know too many middle schoolers willing to ride a bike with those streamers. Anna does ride Marnie's but I don't recall that little detail. Still, it's a good book to give to your students who like gentle drama.

  • Moncerrat Gudino Valdez
    2018-12-09 15:31

    I just finished reading "Where You'll Find Me", a realistic fiction book written by Natasha Friend. In this book, it's about a teenage girl named Anna, how's going threw problems. Like, her mom tried to kill herself and she's in a mental or a recovery hospital and since her mom is in the recovery or mental hospital, Anna is stuck with her dad and her stepmom (and i guess her step baby sister). Also she's going threw problems from friends, like, her ex best friend named Dani dumped Anna because Dani wanted to make "new friends", so that means that Anna is stuck or trapped with a lunch table with Shawna and Sarabeth because Anna has no where or no one else to sit with. I really liked this book because it really caught me or hooked me in when I read the description and when I read the first page. I would recommend this book to anyone who like realistic fiction. I hope you read "Where You'll Find Me" and enjoy it.