Roam by C.H. Armstrong
Published: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing
Genres: young adult, contemporary fiction, mental health
Rating: 4.5 stars
Recommend to fans of: realistic issues facing teens today, likable main characters, feel good books about difficult issues
Foodie Vibes: free breakfast and lunch served by the high school, so you don’t go hungry
Seventeen year-old Abby Lunde and her family are living on the streets. They had a normal life back in Omaha, but thanks to her mother’s awful mistake, they had to leave what little they had behind for a new start in Rochester. Abby tries to be an average teenager—fitting into school, buoyed by dreams of a boyfriend, college, and a career in music. But Minnesota winters are unforgiving, and so are many teenagers.
Her stepdad promises to put a roof over their heads, but times are tough for everyone and Abby is doing everything she can to keep her shameful secret from her new friends. The divide between rich and poor in high school is painfully obvious, and the stress of never knowing where they’re sleeping or where they’ll find their next meal is taking its toll on the whole family.
As secrets are exposed and the hope for a home fades, Abby knows she must trust those around her to help. But will her friends let her down the same way they did back home, or will they rise to the challenge to help them find a normal life?
Thank you to NetGalley, Central Avenue Publishing, and C.H. Armstrong for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.
- The family relationships: meaningful, realistic, but tense at times
- Abby is a great character: kind, relatable, hard working
- Highlights the resources available to people struggling with lack of housing, food, money, clothing, etc.
- The overall concept: a homeless teenager navigating life, high school, family, friends and her future as normally as possible
- Great representation of an underrepresented population
- Abby’s relationship with her friends and boyfriend
- The teachers and other adults looking out for her in a non judgmental, discrete manner #TeacherGoals
- A realistic look at the day in the life of a person dealing with the struggles of being homeless
- The character of Trish: mean girl/bully to many people
- The premise of them becoming homeless made more sense. It’s sort of explained at the end, but there were still a few loose ends.
- The ending was done better- wrapped up the story a little too quickly and neatly
Overall, an absolutely captivating read about an under discussed topic. A book that should be in the curriculum of many high school English and humanity classes.
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Goodreads: Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)