Book Review: This Is Where We Live


This Is Where We Live by Janelle Brown

Did I buy this book because of the cover?  Damn straight I did.  And because it was 80% off at Borders.

Does this book have anything to do with strawberry shortcake?  Nope, not at all.  I’m really trying to think if they ate it in the book and I don’t remember it.  I really think the cover was just a marketing decision.  Obviously, it worked on me.

This Is Where We Live is the story of Claudia and Jeremy.  They are a 30-something married couple faced with current issues.  The book is very relevant to today’s times….unemployment, mortgage crisis, career decisions, etc.  Although the premise is very relatable, I couldn’t get on board with it.  It was a bit too hodge podge with the multiple themes for me.

The book starts off right away with an earthquake in California….and a sex scene on page 5.  (I really thought this book was going to rock after page 5, ha.)  But the earthquake didn’t do much damage and was never mentioned again.  I suppose the earthquake was for the symbolism of the “cracks” in Claudia and Jeremy’s marriage.  I felt it was unnessary though.

I couldn’t get too into the book because I didn’t even LIKE either of the characters.  I found them both to be self-involved and annoying.  And maybe that also was the point so that you understood their marital troubles.

There’s a point in the book where Claudia is thinking about directing a screenplay that she’s read.  She hates the screenplay, but could use the money.  She wonders if she’d be selling out by directing it.  I wonder if the author sold out by just taking a hot topic and throwing some side plots into it and calling it a day.

So, in all, the premise of the book was good.  Married couple…financial troubles…how do they cope.  Got it.  But by adding in the earthquake, screenplay writer turned teacher & her students, failing rock band, new roommate, returning ex-girlfriend, yadda yadda yadda.  It was just too much for me.

But I do still love the cover.

2 stars of out 5 stars.