Secret road trips, childhood-friend-turned-enemy-turned-love-interest, a cute dog, and of course several bumps along the way, I Wanna Be Where You Are is chock-full of all sorts of typical tropes from YA romance – AND I LOVED EVERY BIT OF IT.
If you have read Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, you may feel like you are reading its cousin here. Definitely in the same family, but enough differences to not be identical. As it turns out, I loved Matson’s book when I first read it a few years ago and have re-read it a couple of times since. I have a feeling the same is going to happen with this one because I just can’t get enough of it.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
When Chloe Pierce’s mom forbids her to apply for a spot a 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 neighbour 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.
Published: 4th June 2019
Read: 20th August 2019
There was nothing overly complicated or unexpected about this book, but sometimes that works best. No extra fluff or overly dramatic, just a plain old good YA romance. It has been a while since I read a YA book actually, not to mention a half decent one, so I welcomed this one with open arms right from the very first page. I am also making a conscious effort to not just read books with white female protagonists written by white authors, which again made this book stand out to me in Forest’s description of looking in the mirror at ballet and realising that her body was different to all the other girls.
There was no hanging about at the start of this, which I liked, and it was pretty much straight into the road trip. This just worked. We were introduced to all the necessary people, we knew everything we had to know so far. As someone who waffles A LOT when they write, I can appreciate a nice tightly-written story.
Although this is a fairly bright and breezy book, there certainly were more meaningful themes discussed throughout, in particular the pressure Chloe felt to be perfect and live up to expectations following trauma.
Chloe’s love of dance was a welcome aspect to the story, and not something that has come up in a lot of YA books that I have read before. It is quite clear throughout that Forest also has a love of dance. Those feelings and experiences definitely felt like the truth, making it all the more believable and relatable.
I read this in one sitting, in the space of a few hours. It was nothing ground-breaking in terms of plot, but altogether a pretty wonderful representation of real life.
Also, can we just agree on the fact that this is one of the prettiest covers you have seen in a long time?