I’m just coming off my season of Hallmark movies and in a way this book read like one- so of course, I loved it. Like most YA books the girl has a secret and doesn’t tell her boyfriend which causes a problem. Abby’s family is recently homeless and on top of that moves from Oklahoma to Minnesota in the Fall in search of jobs. They have trouble finding full-time employment so while Abby begins her senior year of high school they are mostly living in their van. It’s cold, and the four of them (Mom, Step Dad, Abby, and little sister) struggle with the close quarters, lack of food and showers. It’s rough, and this book doesn’t sugar coat it.

I felt like the situations that this family was exposed to were realistic without being dramatized at all. So often we may think someone isn’t “trying” hard enough to get out of a bad situation when in fact we make it incredibly difficult for people to get the help they need.

Abby and her family slowly succeed thanks to some caring people in their new community who go out of their way to help them. I’d hand this to anyone aged twelve and up. Bonus points for the inclusion of a gay friend in a healthy, regular kind of way.

Roam by C.H. Armstrong

February 5, 2019

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