Janelle Brown's first novel, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, was a favorite of mine the summer it was published. As soon as I saw that Brown was publishing another book, This Is Where We Live, I was instantly intrigued. The cover picture is also gorgeous, which didn't hurt things.
Brown's novel is another interesting and entertaining read, with well-developed (and very flawed) characters. Claudia and Jeremy are in their thirties trying to make a go of it in Los Angeles - he as a musician and she as a film producer/writer. They have purchased their own home - which is a bit above what they can afford- and have high hopes for their futures. In fact, it looks as though both of them are about to realize their dreams. While bad luck can be blamed for a few of their bad breaks, Jeremy and Claudia also make many bad decisions - and while I may have understood their decisions, I was mentally screaming at them to think things through. However, even though I found Jeremy and Claudia a bit frustrating, I also found them very real. The way they resolved their problems was not the smartest, yet I was still rooting for them. Ultimately the couple must decide what is the most important thing in their lives. Is their careers? Their marriage? Their home? And what price are they willing to pay to get what they want. Set in LA during the recent real estate crisis, This Is Where We Live is sure to strike a chord with many young couples trying to get started.