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This is Where We Live

3.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,210 Ratings  ·  206 Reviews
Life is beautiful for Claudia and Jeremy. They are a young, bohemian couple whose hard work in both the film and music world is finally paying off. Claudia's first film is in the can and Jeremy and his band are going places. Now seems like the perfect time to settle down and buy a house.

But this is summer 2008, and the credit crunch is round the corner. In a matter of week
Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 3rd 2011 by Hutchinson (first published 2010)
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Mar 02, 2012 Patty rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book is about two 30 somethings, a couple, Claudia and Jeremy who are married and living in California. Claudia has written and directed a movie which did well at Sundance, but when it gets to the larger theaters it doesn't do well at all, and so she has to get a job which she does at an elite school as a film critic teacher, and while there she makes a bad decision. Jeremy is a self centered child in an adults body that is playing at being a husband and guitar player who wants to put out a ...more
May 21, 2011 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent novel about our times. Claudia and Jeremy, caught up in the momentum of the "gimme, gimme" generation, buy a house they cannot afford only to realize once the interest rate adjusts, their nascent marriage begins to flounder. Jeremy, in possession of an original painting his now famous ex-lover Aoki gave to him, refuses to sell the half-million dollar masterpiece that could pay off their mortgage and sustain their lifestyle. Instead, Claudia takes a teaching job at a private school a ...more
Lorri Steinbacher
I'm not so sure about this book. I'm finding it hard to care about the characters. Now that I'm finished, I know I didn't care about any of them. Marybe I'm just tired of yuppies/hipsters whining about having to grow up. The story moves, though and the book does have some appeal. Possible recommendation for people who want a few steps above chick lit.
Aug 30, 2015 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Firstly I haven't even finished the book yet, but I feel like I need to get some thoughts out. This book is so mind numbly dull that I think reading the dictionary might be more entertaining. You could go up to any Joe Schmo in the street and they could tell you that this is their life story, that the shitty economy got to them and ruined their world. That they lost their job and had to take on two others that they didn't want just to make ends meat. People don't want to read books to read about ...more
Jun 03, 2010 Lucy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The earthquake the characters experience at the beginning of this book is prescient of how their carefully structured life is about to come tumbling down. They do not see the forewarning, though, so are totally unprepared when their Hollywood dream turns rapidly into a nightmare.
Claudia, a film-maker and Jeremy, a musician are representative of the millions of real people who rushed into trying to be grown-ups (marriage, a mortgage, dream job) and lost it all because of bad decisions (interest
Doug Lambeth
Aug 06, 2010 Doug Lambeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a born-and-bred expatriate Angeleno (and film school grad), "This Is Where We Live" resonated very strongly with me. Brown's descriptions of SoCal had me smelling the smog, feeling the earth tremors, and fuming in the SigAlerts on the Hollywood Freeway. Ahhh, good times.

Claudia and Jeremy are foundering on the treacherous L.A. shoals of just-out-of-reach film and music glory--a place where every waiter or waitress is the living cliche of wannabe rock singer or screenwriter (or both!). Add to
This was a very quick read for me. It's about a mid 30s couple who are trying to follow their dreams. The wife is on a journey to become a successful director while the husband is in a band who is working to finish an album. Then real life hits and her movie bombs at the box office, and he hasn't been paying the adjustable rate mortgage (gotta love those!) because it adjusted, lol, and he was waiting for her huge deal with a movie company to pay it off. It just goes downhill from there as the hu ...more
Oct 07, 2012 Cara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fun-or-frivolity
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Larry Smith
Aug 16, 2010 Larry Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book in a couple of days, a couple of months ago, after my friend Janelle Brown (best to just put that out there) sent me a galley. If I didn't love it - which I did -- I'd just tell her "It was good" and/or avoid her for as long as possible (and not bother with a review). Janelle, as her fan base knows, is a fluid, fun, writer. Her story is about an arty couple in LA who have what's best described as "good problems" (how to be artful and make money and not drive drunk in Los Ang ...more
This is really 2.5 stars but I am rounding up to 3 for my ranking because it was a First Reads win, and it's the least I can do.

Though the description interested me, this didn't turn out to be my kind of book. The premise of people struggling with money and a "Quarter Life Crisis" of sorts was interesting enough, but I couldn't sympathize with any of the characters (in fact, I kind of hated them), which meant it was difficult staying invested in reading.

The end of the book also gets rather melo
Dec 17, 2012 Suzanne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Was extremely disappointed with this book, because I liked the author's first one (All We Ever Wanted Was Everything). I wanted to stop reading this one almost as soon as I started it. I could not get into the characters at all. I didn't like the dialogue, and the plot was soooo slow and boring. I forced myself to sit down and finish the second half of the book one evening and the only positive thing I can say is that it did get a little bit better towards the end. I still feel this book was a t ...more
Sep 13, 2010 Barb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of a young 30's couple in L.A. She's a budding director and he has had some modest success as a musician. They buy into the American dream of potentiality, possibility and following your dreams without compromise. This is exemplified when they buy a house with no money down and and a sub-prime mortgage. Her film tanks at the box office, his band breaks up, the economy goes into the toilet and the mortgage payment adjusts to an unpayable amount. An insightful look at moral confl ...more
What wants to be a commentary on the housing crisis quickly turns into the unsympathetic whining of two middle-aged artists who refuse to shoulder any of the blame for their current situation. While their narcissistic worldviews are easy to believe, it doesn't make the couple any more redeeming.

Claudia, a filmmaker whose latest movie just bombed at the box offices, will do anything to save her house. You know, not one with really any historical meaning, but a house she bought a few years ago wh
Mar 31, 2014 June rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book was supposed to reflect the moral dilemma of artistic Millenials after they come of age--do you settle down and take on seemingly "traditional" ways of life, or do you continue along the path of following your artistic endeavors to the exclusion of other's wants and needs?

I think order to accomplish the dilemma storyline, you have to not only realistically present characters who deals with the issues, but are relatable and believeable. I simply didn't relate to either Claudia
Oh boy...again this book starts out going in one direction then goes a totally different way. I did not like nor identify with either main character and the end...well let's just say that isn't the way I would have gone. Easy enough read, but again coudln't get behind what the characters were doing throughout the book.
Meagan Houle
Claudia and Jeremy--both as idealistic as they are artistic--have their many illusions shattered by life in general. Claudia learns that you probably shouldn't doctor your student's grades in order to endear yourself to a famous film producer, and Jeremy learns that chasing wild ex girlfriends is wasted effort. Hard lessons are learned, and the ending is hopeful enough. One problem: it's not all that interesting. I found Claudia tiresomely conflicted and more than a little passive. I found Jerem ...more
Feb 10, 2015 Maria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is about a married couple Jeremy and Claudia. They struggle with finances and with making their dreams come true. Jeremy wants to land a record deal with his band and Claudia wants to direct and produce her films. They try to find ways of making things work but life and obligations of owning a home conflicts with their dreams. Payments start falling back and they are forced to get "regular" jobs. This starts effecting Jeremy and he starts thinking about how life would of been differen ...more
Susan Scott
Jun 03, 2014 Susan Scott rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
With all due respect to the author, I am embarrassed to admit that I read (or listened to) this drek. I don't remember any work of fiction that I have read or listened to, in which I disliked the characters SO MUCH! Everything about the two protagonists is SO annoying! Maybe I am too old to appreciate the generation that this story is written for, but really? These main characters are completely unlike able- so WHY would I want to read about them? Whining, self indulgent, and self centered to th ...more
Jan 19, 2016 SK rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am loving some Janelle Brown. This book is taken right from the heart of the situation that so many 20-30-somethings are facing right now (myself included)... how do we live up to this potential that we've always been told we have, when our careers are a mess, we're out of money, we're still renting, and we're not completely sure what we want to be when we grow up. This book is very well written and I could find myself in both characters - the one who stays and cleans up the mess, and the one ...more
Aug 02, 2010 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, fiction
Janelle Brown has an intriguing way of capturing relationships and situations with a kind of dark humor that's not exactly laugh-out-loud. Just realistic in an off-kilter way. I liked this *nearly* as much as her first book, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything but would have given it half a star off if possible because I felt the end wrapped up too quickly. Jeremy & Claudia, a creative married couple living in LA (he's an indie musician; she's a film producer and writer), make some questionabl ...more
Apr 30, 2011 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Brown's first novel
I really liked Brown's freshman novel All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, so I was excited to pick up her sophomore effort. This is Where We Live definitely had the same feel as her first novel: pensive, heavy, and dealing with life issues that are complicated, messy, and just part of life sometimes.

The story and plot were fine - and apt for the times. Claudia and Jeremy are early/mid-30s artsy couple (she's an aspiring screenwriter, he's an aspiring musician) living in LA. They bought a bungal
Oct 13, 2013 Elvia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a really somber look of a couple trying to make do and survive in the fall out of the economic bail out. Living in California and having bought a house prior to the burst of the housing bubble burst, they are trying to make do while attempting to live their versions of the American dream. Claudia wants to be a film director in LA while Jeremy is trying to relight his star when he was in a band. When payments on their house balloon and they find that they have to sacrifice who they are to ...more
Mar 06, 2011 Catherine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, chick-lit
This book is definitely chick lit, even if it attempts to be more. The title is the last sentence of the book. How is that for cheesy chick lit?

I almost didn't read beyond the first few chapters. I wondered, "Am I really supposed to care about these people, who are my age, and supposedly so much more cultured and worldly, yet are stupid enough to buy a $600,000 home they can't afford with an interest-only ARM (adjustable rate mortgage) because they think they're going to make it big any day now
Laquita Logan
Nov 25, 2013 Laquita Logan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really hated this book. It touched on things that I find personally repugnant, infidelity, selfishness, and above all else...neediness mixed with self abasement. I could name more but I think those four are enough. The one thing I did find to be a gem in this book was that Claudia nor Jeremy blamed "the system" for letting them get the house. I still don't understand how they were able to get the house with what they brought to the table but it is a work of fiction. Anyway, I have rarely ever ...more
Mar 23, 2011 Tara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
This is Where We Live is the story of Claudia and Jeremy, a young married couple who, like a lot of people in the last few years, got in over their heads with their mortgage. Between trying to make careers in the entertainment industry and having a fancy variable-rate mortgage, the couple finds themselves suddenly on the verge of foreclosure.

In order to make ends meet, Claudia gets a real job and rents out the couples' bedroom. Jeremy tries to get his band motivated, but when that backfires, he
Oct 22, 2013 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving this a higher rating than the average Goodreads reviewer, but I really liked this! Claudia is a filmmaker, Jeremy is a musician, and they're married living in LA. They bought their dream house and have an adjustable-rate mortgage. The rate adjusted, and they become close to losing their home. As they try to figure out a way to pay the higher monthly mortgage, they each have some setbacks that affect them financially and personally. Their lives kind of go into a downward spiral as they ...more
This was an entertaining read for the first half, mostly due to the setting in Los Angeles. It' fun to see how the city where I live is represented or in many cases, misrepresented. I think Brown accurately captures the creative class in Los Angeles and its absurdities, the two main characters being a washed up musician and struggling filmmaker who must navigate professional and personal compromises in order to save their house which they can no longer afford since they didn't exactly "make it." ...more
Jun 20, 2011 Adriana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won this book on First Reads, and I am very glad I did. Jannelle Brown's This Is Where We Live has tied with Emma Donoghue's Room as the best book I have read this year.

This Is Where We Live is about the relationship between Jeremy, a musician trying desperately to hold his band together so they can finish their album, and Claudia, and up and coming screenwriter/director, and how they cope, individually and together, with the looming foreclosure of their home, which occurs at the same time th
Marnie Kaplan
Feb 06, 2013 Marnie Kaplan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am an equal opportunity reader: I will chase any engaging story to its point of closure. But two things deepen my reading experience and make a novel stand out. The first is powerful writing: lyrical sentences, the bite of the real, an author's ability to spell bind me with their craft. The second is a story that forces me to think deeply about new ideas.

Having finished Brown's sophmore release earlier today, I realize it's not her writing that stands out. I didn't stop while reading to linge
Mar 22, 2011 mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 20 & 30 somethings
I call this women's contemporary fiction. The publisher calls it 'domestic fiction.' I almost stopped reading on page 90 when I read this: "She looked especially pretty tonight, with curls all twisted up on top of her head wearing a pair of dark jeans that hugged her soft rear in a loving denim embrace." Really? Really?
But something came over me and I kept reading and on page 126 I read this: "He'd spent the last few days being particularly attentive: bringing Claudia coffee in bed, messaging he
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Janelle Brown is the author of the novels THIS IS WHERE WE LIVE and ALL WE EVER WANTED IS EVERYTHING, which was a New York Times bestseller and published in a dozen countries around the world. An essayist and journalist, her writing appears regularly in Vogue, The New York Times, Elle, Wired, Self, The Los Angeles Times, and numerous other publications. Previously, she spent five years as a senior ...more
More about Janelle Brown...

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“Maybe when you're young, you love people as much for their potential as for who they are right now. And if that's the case, what happens to love when time passes and that potential starts to shrivel and fade? Does love die with it?” 4 likes
“Real life is just a never-ending string of compromises that you make in order to survive” 4 likes
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