Linden Rose may seem like a normal typical teenager, but underneath it all she has a secret. There’s a reason her friends can never come over to her place and why she stays late at school for hours. Linden is homeless and she’s been secretly living inside her high school. But when it gets harder to keep things a secret, Linden has to make a difficult choice. Do what she knows is right or continue to fly under the radar?
I give this book four (out of five). I really like this book, it has a great plot, characters and character development. The main character is a young high school student named Linden Rose, she lives by three specific rules to hide her secret. 1. Prevent the in-class nap, 2. Never carry too many belongings and 3. Avoid looking the part. She’s homeless and living inside the school. But with decent and relatively consistent living conditions so far, she’s actually doing okay.
With her best friends, Ham and Seung who love and support her, she might even be doing good, besides those cold, sleepless nights and never having her own bathroom. She works very hard on her school blog, writing and reporting on anything and everything, since it’s her ticket to college and a fresh start and it also gives her an excuse to be at school longer then she should be otherwise.
But as the school year starts, it’s getting harder to hide her secret. And with her feelings for Seung, high school bullies and real life problems (like not being able to afford food) Linden is struggling to stay on top of it all. There’s one girl Bea who is dating one of the two most popular jerk boys at their school, and is a clear victim of abuse. It’s the type of situation where everyone can tell she’s in a bad relationship but every time someone reaches out to help her she refuses.
[Major spoiler warning, skip the next paragraph to avoid them]
While trying to help Bea Linden discovers she needs to help herself too, and that her situation really isn’t okay. Her relationship with Seung blossoms along the way and by the end she even finds a happy adoptive family.
I loved this book, it dealt with the topic of homelessness, abusive relationships and even other topics in a real, modern way and although it is still fiction and not the most realistic I thought that was really well done. I really love all the characters, they’re all well written and thought out, they all seem real. I really recommend this book, especially to teenagers, I think it’s a great insight on the struggle of homelessness. I also really liked that there was diversity amongst the characters and even some people who are LGBTQ+ as well.