Roam

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 04 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Good YA novel about a homeless teenager and struggles within the family.   I love the message of the novel.
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I have never cried so much reading a book as I did while reading this one. It was so hard to read from a perspective of someone who is homeless, and still I can't even imagine what it would be like to live under such circumstances. This book moved me so much, and I'm so thankful I had my wish granted on NetGalley. The characters and their relationships were amazing to read about. Go read this book! And have some tissues with you...
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Thanks to an ARC I had the privilege of reading this book prior to its release.  I typically do not read a lot of YA but after reading this book I am apt to read more of.  Roam had a quick pace throughout the book and captured me from the beginning.  This as a great read.
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After a series of unfortunate events, Abby and her family become homeless.  Moving to Minnesota, they live out of their van in a Walmart car park, whilst Abby starts over at a new school and tries to keep her homelessness a secret from her new friends.

I really enjoyed the plot of this book.  I've never read a book about homelessness before and I found it really interesting and heartwarming how many different organisations were available to help the homeless.  This book definitely gave me a new perspective on homelessness and it really opened my eyes to the topic.

Abby, the main character, was definitely a very strong main character and I admired her for how she put up with the situation that she had been unwillingly thrust into.  I also liked her love interest, Zach, although I do feel like the romance was a bit quick to develop.  There was also a wide cast of side characters that I enjoyed reading about - especially Josh!

I'm definitely glad that I picked this one up!
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I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

ROAM is about a girl and her family who become homeless and live in shelters and their van. Given that I’ve never read a book featuring a homeless MC, I was enthusiastic about the premise and representation.

I think the author meant well in writing Abby’s story, and, from the reviews on here, many people seem to have enjoyed it. On a surface level, the writing was good and the plot made sense—though it felt over simplified to me in its execution.

The other characters Abby meets also feel two dimensional. There’s the mean girl, the football guy, and a token gay character (the representation there is less than stellar, and other reviewers have done a wonderful job expressing why.) I couldn’t connect with any of them, and at times Abby felt completely detached from her living situation—like, yes she was homeless but also she was preoccupied with the boy who liked her? I understand characters can have overlapping issues, but it was hard to figure Abby out when she bounced back and forth.

Ultimately, I am giving this 3/5 stars because I do believe the thread on homelessness is very important to see in fiction and I’d like to see more authors approach similar topics.
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Hard hitting and gritty read, reminds us how lucky we are and how lucky some people aren’t. This follows a homeless teenager as she and her family struggle to make a life for themselves in a new town.  Completely moving and emotional, the characters are so well written you want to get in there and help them yourself. A wonderful compassionate read from a brilliant author. 

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion .
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Abby is not unlike most teens. She desperately wants to be accepted. After moving from her hometown due to circumstances created by her mother, Abby and her family find themselves living in the back of their van. If being a teenage isn’t hard enough, Abby must know juggle the life of a teenager with secret of being homeless. Abby catches the attention of a star football player. Her secret life must stay a secret if she expects to make it in her new school. 
This book is a great story that touches the heart. Can one simply look past the surface and truly like someone based on what’s inside?
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Roam is a book that addresses a lot of important topics, but it's unfortunately not something that can hold my interest. For example, the writing is oversimplified and appears to be for an entirely different audience than me. Not to mention, I've seen some of the high school tropes too many times in the past - e.g. the romance with the quarterback, and it just doesn't appeal to me anymore. Unfortunately, I won't be finishing this book today, but I'm sure others will be interested in its content.
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I was delighted to have my wish approved and be afforded the chance to read and review this advance ARC and thank the publisher Central Avenue Publishing, for granting my wish.

It’s sobering to realise that even though you think you are comfortable for many families they are only one or two dramas away from being homeless.  

My name is Abby Lunde and I am homeless.  

For Abby being homeless was of no fault of her own, but for bad decisions by her Mother, and her Step-Fathers sheer bad luck in that his place of employment went bust.

The family move towns to Rochester as its considered to be more amiable to homelessness.  Thankfully Abby gets to move school and away from the social ostracization of her previous school where she is dropped by her friends and the cheerleader team, and the school administration fails to intervene to what is bullying.  Abby’s mother was a teacher forced to resign her position after having an affair with another teacher.

Abby is slim, pretty and has a confidence that allows her to adapt to living in a van and looking after his younger sister.  I did wonder if maybe her experience at her new school would have been way different if she was none of these.  She meets the school heartthrob Zac, and incurs the wrath of the resident Mean Girl, Trish.
This is a lovely book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it but it’s not without its problems.  I know enough about Employment Law to know that her mother’s Constructive Dismissal from her job is problematic.  The family depend highly on religious groups and churches for help, but I found the religious undercurrent uncomfortable.  I also found the token ‘gay guy’, a bit superfluous.  He was a great character, but I think his sexual orientation brought nothing extra to him.  

All in all a great read though, I really enjoyed and came away thanking my lucky stars that I am lucky enough to never have been in the families position.  And for Abby her dreams really did come true.
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A YA novel. I wish I felt more for the main characters. It was not a Bad book, just needed less hopelessness.  I wanted to feel more hope and I  was just unable to connect. As a YA novel, it could go either way on their take.
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** SPOILERS AHEAD **

I really wanted to like this one, and I did end up finishing it because it was so light and quick, but there were a lot of problematic moments in this one, not to mention it was filled with much-overused troupes that I think we know at this point do more harm to young readers than good.

First off, while I did enjoy that Roam attempted to address a little-talked-about issue in the YA genre, it took a pretty privileged and shallow look at it.  I got the feeling that the author had not only never experienced homelessness herself, but had also not done her research.

The family side of the story is the most compelling, and yet the majority of the action is set in a typical high-school drama scenario, which we really don’t need more of.  The main character is difficult to like — she is so “perfect” that you really don’t find anything redeeming about her.    New girl meets boy, immediately he falls in love with her, and his poor ex girlfriend is a literal villain, because all girls have to be pitted against one another.  New girl can’t do anything wrong, the only flaw she has is that she has attracted the attention of the most popular boy in school, and now her life is incredibly difficult. But don’t worry, she has made amazing new friends who exist to worship her.  In the end, of course, everything wraps up perfectly.

Also, in terms of diversity, I believe all the characters were white, unless I missed someone.  Great.  There was one gay character, but he was a flat stereotype who was treated poorly by misinformed characters, such as when the main character gapes at him in disbelief after learning his sexuality.  While yes, this could have been used as a learning moment (and I believe the author thought she was doing this), it was way too brief to dive into and came off badly.

There was also a lot of pro-christianity undertones here, which aren’t necessarily bad, but here they were overdone, forced, and perhaps a little alienating to some readers.

I feel like Roam could have used a better edit, as well.  Many times there was superfluous information, and repetitive conversations that I hope will be cut down or omitted in the final version.  

I really wish I could have liked this one, but I struggle with okaying a story with such deep flaws to younger readers.
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Roam, a YA novel about a homeless teen, is a compelling and realistic portrayal of teen life. I absolutely adored this story and as a young girl, this is a book I would have been able to relate to and would have gone back to read again and again. While not homeless, I did grow up in low income housing in an affluent city. I too felt “less than” and would often be ashamed of my secondhand clothes and off brand shoes. The portrayal of this teens thinking was spot on and her circumstances are something many of my students face. In Roam we meet Abby Lunde. Her mother lost her job, her stepfather lost his job, and unable to pay their rent they were evicted from their apartment. This is completely relatable as too often in life we are presented with challenges outside of our control. The family moves to another state and Abby starts out at her new school as a homeless senior. Trying to make friends and pave her way in this new school while hiding this secret is difficult and my heart broke for her struggles. Roam delves into many topics concerning today’s teenagers and does it with heart. This book will find its way into the hearts of its intended audience and many teens will be able to relate and learn from this story. This story will leave you thinking long after it’s over and will leave you looking at ways to help the homeless in your area. For me, Roam was ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars (rounded up from 4.5 due to some dialogue issues I had). Thank you to the publisher for this advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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I loved this book. It was such an inspiring tale about a girl who is homeless and turns her life around with the help of her school counselor and music teacher. Abby is a such a strong girl. I honestly couldn't imagine what it would be like to be homeless and not knowing when your next meal was going to be or if you could survive the upcoming winter living in a van. I know this book isn't super realistic but I personally think it's a good way to introduce the topic to younger readers. When your young you never think these kinds of things could ever happen to you, but this book shows you that it can happen to everyone and you should be more accepting to others because you never know what they are going through.

I loved all the characters except the mother. For once we have a book where the main character and the step parent are close to each other. I believe that Nick is a way better parent and is much more understanding than her mother. I believe the author wrote him to be a lot like Atticus from To Kill a Mockingbird. That book is mentioned a lot through out this book. All the other characters are amazing. They all accepted Abby fairly quickly and I understand why she chose to keep the fact that she was homeless from everyone else.

One thing that I didn't like was how quickly Abby gets into a relationship with the guy popular guy at school. I didn't like how it was sorta cliche with the whole new girl becomes popular and starts dating the popular girls ex boyfriend. That's one troupe I can live without. I also wish we got to know more about Nick being homeless before. For the most part I liked everything in this book but some of the cliches that didn't really wow me which is why I'm giving this book 4 stars instead of 5.
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I had to put this one down and pick it back up. 

I love young adult books because they tend to look at true issues and concerns that people in general have. I am a little older but I always go back to YA for many reasons.  One of those reasons is because they keep things true and livable, anyone can see and live them unlike the world of adults where agenda is running throughout each page. 

That being said, this book didn’t read as a YA story, but as a story trying to be told to a younger generation from someone who has only been told stories of others. It didn’t feel real, livable. 

For that reason, I had to give this 2 stars (I refuse to give one star because this story may touch someone and every story deserves to be read and written).
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Author C. H. Armstrong vividly portrays what it’s like to be a homeless teen. Abby, her mom, sister, and stepdad are homeless. They move to a new town and state to restart their lives but its uphill. They sleep in their van in the Walmart parking lot and are only able to wash in the public restrooms. Abby’s parents are looking for work and Abby starts high school in the middle of the year. She meets a cute guy named Zach and makes some awesome new friends... but she’s scared what they’ll do when they realize the truth. 

What I loved: 🖤🖤🖤
1. The back story is told through flashbacks which keeps it suspenseful. How did this normal family become homeless? 
2. Community programs for homeless and financially needy families were highlighted. 
3. Forgiveness is a beautiful theme in this story. Both forgiving others and yourself.
4. Abby’s friends, particularly Josh, are warm and welcoming to her.
5. Trish is Zach’s ex-girlfriend and bullies Abby throughout the book...the resolution between them shows character development. 
6. The romance is sweet and enduring. 

ROAM a wonderful young adult book that teaches empathy and the destructive effect of bullying.
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I like this book because the subject matter is so relevant. The problems faced by this family are way more common than anyone cares to admit. It's a survival story. It's a testament to finding happiness regardless of where you are. A very good read.
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I liked this book very much. It is a different story, because we are not used to read about homeless teens. Yes, it does have some tropes, but it is a book for teenagers and they like this kind of romantic tropes. 
Nevertheless, it has a beautiful message: '' Forgiveness''.
I wans't expecting the end, because I thought it would show how teenagers would react in the real life, but instead it may inspire other people to act like them and be kind.
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After Abby's mom makes a mistake, their whole world is upended when things spiral out of control and her family finds themselves homeless. Abby and her family move to Minnesota hoping that they can start over. When Abby starts at her new school she tries hard to hide that she is homeless afraid of how her new classmates will react. 

Abby tries hard to stay strong for her family especially her younger sister Amber as she tries to help when she can and live as normal of a life as possible in her situation. While at her new school Abby makes several friends rather quickly as well as an enemy. Throughout the book we are reminded how Abby blames their entire circumstance on her mother. While her mom made a mistake that was not the sole incident that led to their circumstance. It got annoying seeing Abby treat her mother as bad as she did. Abby makes some nice friends who became a good support system for her. The romance between Abby and Zach was cute, but it was a bit too instalove for me. 

A read that was hard at times that shows how quickly you can lose everything and the struggle to find your footing.
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Abby and her family have just moved from Omaha to Rochester and are living in their family van after a spiral of events leaves them homeless.  Abby and sister Amber both start new schools while their mom and step-dad desperately try to find jobs and somewhere for them to live.  We follow Abby as she navigates being 17, being homeless, moving cities and struggling to come to terms with the reasons they've ended up in this situation.  

This was a typical YA boy meets girl, girl has a secret, boy asks girls to homecoming, girl is desperate to keep secret and go to homecoming with boy; but I think its really important that YA fiction covers important topics such as homelessness, highlighting how quickly someone situation can change and how our default is often to assume people's situations without actually asking them.

I gave this four stars, there were a couple of things which very mildly annoyed me, mainly around the way Zach initially pursues Abby, mainly by telling her she's spending lunch with him even after she's told him no. I get that by knowing Abby's situation the reader knows she's saying no because she doesn't want Zach to find out she's homeless and not because she doesn't want to spend time with him and I felt it was romanticising boys ignoring when girls say no; not a massive thing, I don't think its a problem it just made me feel like Zach was being a bit pushy; then someone else tells Abby that because Zach is popular and shown an interest no other boys would, but it is the way teenagers would act.
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Thank you to Net Galley and the Publisher for granting my wish to read and review "Roam" by C.H. Armstrong.  I really, really wanted to like this one.  It had so much potential, but just fell flat for me.  The premise was somewhat unbelievable and the characters under developed.  Giving it three stars for the uplifting theme of forgiveness and family which was the strongest part of this novel.
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