So, a lot of my books are found via Amazon or goodreads, and I believe this one was found via goodreads under the “coming of age” genre. I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to read Where You Are (by J.H. Trumble) and not because of the same-sex romance. Even though I’m straight, I have nothing against same-sex stories, and this one was no exception. It literally blew me away. What made me pause was that it’s about a romance between a high school senior and his math teacher.
Granted, Robert is seventeen in the book, the age of consent in Texas, and Andrew is only 24, but having teachers as parents made me realize how inherently important the student-teacher relationship is, and it is one that should be handled delicately. Lately I find many shows targeted for younger audiences thrive on these love stories that border on inappropriate. It is mostly due to age/power boundaries being crossed, such as Pretty Little Liars does with Ezra and Aria or Switched at Birth did most recently with Daphne and her chef boss, Jeff. Or like Dawson’s Creek did many years ago. It’s not a new epidemic. I had teachers that were not that much older than I was as a senior, and it’s understandable and relatable. It’s not even the age factor; it’s definitely the idea that one person holds the power even if it is 100% consensual.
But I’m going off on a tangent here. While I was hesitant at first, and no doubt there were parts of the book that made scream “What are you doing? Be more careful!” I absolutely fell in love with Where You Are and the relationship between Robert and Andrew.
Robert’s life is falling apart. His dad has cancer, he has a boyfriend who’d rather be anywhere else than with him, and the only place or rather, person, he can be comfortable with is his AP calc teacher, Andrew.
Their relationship starts out innocently enough through text messages and is very much at the forefront a friendship. Robert feels comfortable telling Andrew things that someone who has a parent or a loved one who is terminally ill is feeling, but is very ashamed to feel. And even though Andrew has been out since college, he’s never really had a love like the one he feels with Robert.
I literally finished the story in less than two days because I couldn’t put it down. The cynical part of me was saying I shouldn’t be rooting for them for the main reason I don’t root for the couples that I mentioned above, but I did and I was and I still am.
I was quite sad for Where You Are to come to an end, as it is definitely one of those books that will stay with you for a good long while and wish that even for the tiniest moment that your life could be just as good as it is in a book.
— That Media Chick