Almost Home
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Almost Home

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  493 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Why would anyone choose to live on the streets? There is Eeyore, just twelve years old when she runs away from her priveleged home, harboring a secret she's too ashamed to tell anyone. Rusty is a sensitive gay teen who winds up alone when his older boyfriend ditches him in Hollywood. Squid has gone through too many foster homes to count. There's Scabius, a delusional punk...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 23rd 2007 by Disney-Hyperion
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The Iron King by Julie KagawaAlmost Home by Jessica BlankThe Iron Daughter by Julie KagawaThe Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffreyAn Exchange of Gifts by Anne McCaffrey
Worth a Read
2nd out of 74 books — 14 voters
The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. RowlingMockingjay by Suzanne CollinsThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
I Cried When I Read This
217th out of 585 books — 992 voters


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Community Reviews

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Kate
I'm going to be honest. This is by far one of the best books I've ever read.

Blank slams questions forward and gives them subtle answers. What is left when people own nothing? What is left when a woman has relinquished her body's integrity? What is a homeless teen's value to society?

It's clear that Blank has a familiarity with mental illness, how it impacts people, and how teriffying those sensations and feeling can be. As an example, here is a excerpt from Squid's POV:

"The sounds don't come and...more
Bethany Andrews
This is one of those books that caught my interest from the first page due to its subject matter. I work with at risk teenagers, so anything relating to their lives draws me in immediately. "Almost Home" is the story of seven teenagers in Los Angeles, who call the streets their home.

The story is told through the eyes of seven very different teens, with one thing in common. Each of them has opted to leave their abusive (or in one case, boring) home life and try to make a life for themselves on th...more
Rachel Smith
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ali
The Characters in the book were named Tracy, Eeyore (Elinor), Rusty, Laura, Squid, Scabius, and Critter. Eeyore was always picked on by the popular girls at school because of the way she looked and the way she dressed. After being humiliated at school, Tracy rescued her. Together, they slept in alleys and stole from convenience stores. After Tracy and Eeyore are separated, Eeyore immediately finds a group she can hang out with. That group was Critter and Squid. Critter was the guy with the looks...more
Carrie
While sitting in the picturesque Smokey Mountains by a clear stream, I read the heartbreaking, gritty book “Almost Home” by Jessica Blank. This book tells the story of a group of teen runaways in Los Angeles. As a teacher and someone who cares a great deal about the teenagers in her life, this book was hard to read. I had to put it down on several occasions and do something else because the story just got too intense for me.

The story in “Almost Home” is told by seven runaways, all living in the...more
Lindsey
Almost Home is an underrated book. This isn't your typical young adult novel about teen angst. It's shockingly raw and realistic. Following a group of homeless teenagers Blank really brought these characters to life. Blank gives such great insight into their lives I found myself so wrapped up in their emotions and thoughts that I could have sworn it was based on real people. Highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in discovering what life is like on the streets or simply for a GREAT re...more
Jessica
Full review/potential spoilers alert: http://bookgirl.co.vu/post/7338009088...

In Jessica Blank’s debut novel, Almost Home, she weaves together seven individual lives and proves that you can sometimes find a family, not based on blood or location, in even the most unexpected places. In this case, seven teenagers find each other as they abandon their life for one tragic tale or another and find themselves living on the streets of L.A.

You will often feel pity for these characters as their lives are...more
Mike
Bland. That's the best way to describe this book. Despite it's wildly unique subject matter (homeless teens), it was so dull that I couldn't help abandoning it 120 pages in. I feel like Blank was going for something more ambitious than her capabilities, and while she didn't screw it up as badly as someone else might've, the result wasn't particularly riveting.

Really, the book would've been far better if Blank hadn't tackled this subject matter, and she hadn't used this format. This book has seve...more
Amy B
Almost Home is a quick pick. This book is a mixed bag of feelings and actions. It is written in a very different approach. The chapters are named after characters. The characters each tell their stories. Most of the characters with the exception of Scabius are tied together through their friendship with a run-a-way named Tracy. It tells the very personal story of how each one of these kids ends up on the streets prostituting themselves,eating three day old donuts out of the dumpster, and doing a...more
Kristina
3.5 stars...

I’ve heard good things about Almost Home for years now, but I just never got around to reading it, but I have to say that I was a little disappointed. It’s not that it was bad, but I think I was expecting more.

The story is told in seven chapters, each in the point of view of a young runaway who, for the most part, has fled an abusive home. Each one does what he or she has to do to survive. Their life consists of dumpster-diving to eat, panhandling for change, trying to avoid the cops...more
Karen
I really liked this book. I noticed that I rate books higher if they make me feel strong emotions...and this is what this book did.

This book is about a group of homeless teens. We get to hear from each of them about how they are feeling, what they are going through, where they came from, how they are coping, etc. All the teenagers in the story know each other and some are in their own group or "family", while some come and go...

All of the teens come from bad homes and they all left because they...more
Bethany Foster
This is one of those books that caught my interest from the first page due to its subject matter. I work with at risk teenagers, so anything relating to their lives draws me in immediately. "Almost Home" is the story of seven teenagers in Los Angeles, who call the streets their home.

The story is told through the eyes of seven very different teens, with one thing in common. Each of them has opted to leave their abusive (or in one case, boring) home life and try to make a life for themselves on th...more
Kristi
If your looking for a Cinderella fairy tale with a happy ending this isn’t the book for you. But if you're interested in something real and meaningful, this is right down your alley.

Almost Home tells the story of seven young people living on the streets of Hollywood. They are all there for different reasons, but most of them have fled abusive homes. There are seven parts or chapters to the book. Each chapter is told in one of their perspectives.

Their stories are so real and raw. There is rough l...more
Mark Plaugher
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com

Jessica Blank writes a gritty, raw novel of life on the street for a mismatched group of young kids. Oftentimes graphic and bleak, she crafts a story that reads like a documentary of life on the streets in L.A. Seven individual paths are interwoven with each other, showing that you can touch more lives than you realize.

Eeyore, aka Elly, is the youngest of the bunch. After an embarrassing encounter at school, street smart Tracy takes her under her wing, and...more
Devyn Dorothy
Almost Home is perfect for fans of:

1) Misleading cover blurbs
2) Characters that make you well up with anger
3) Characters that are only there for filler
4) Tacos. And donuts, too.

...

I find the fact that Jessica Blank's first young adult novel is published by Disney-Hyperion extremely ironic. This book is raw, gritty, and disturbing, definitely not what one would expect to be endorsed by the same company that release movies about fairy princesses and true love. (view spoiler)...more
Anna
Eeyore is a privileged kid with a caring father, a not-so-bad step-mother and step-brother, and an amazing mansion in L.A. but she has a deep secret that she keeps hidden and eventually takes with her to the streets. Rusty is gay and in love with his teacher in Bakersfield but when Jim, his teacher, convinces him to run away to L.A.,where Jim will meet him, he ends up losing all faith in Jim when he never shows up which leads him to the streets. Squid, from Arizona, who's been through a dozen or...more
Val
reivew written for www.teensreadtoo.com

ALMOST HOME by Jessica Blank
Category: Contemporary
Age Recommendation: Grade 9+
Release Date: October 23, 2007
Publisher: Hyperion
Reviewed by: Jaglvr
Rating: 5 Stars

Jessica Blank writes a gritty, raw novel of life on the street for a mismatched group of young kids. Often times graphic and bleak, she crafts a story that reads like a documentary of life on streets in LA. Seven different lives are interwoven with each other, showing that you can touch more lives...more
Jessica Moon
Dec 06, 2012 Jessica Moon added it
Recommends it for: Young adults
The title of this book is Almost Home, written by Jessica Blank. It is about a young girl who is raped by her step brother, humiliated at school, and runs away in hope of finding others that understand. The intended audience would be young adults.

She gets made fun of daily at school. She has no friends what so ever. Her dad never has time for her because he work all the time and her step mom doesn't care at all. And lastly her step brother, he comes in her room every night and molests her, and r...more
kb
Emotionally, this wasn't such an easy read. The plot alone, of teens running away from home and leaving in the streets, was already heartbreaking, but the pain and the longing in the voices of the characters - Tracy, Eeyore, Squid, Critter, Rusty, Scabius and Laura, written by parts what were really clawed through. I'm going to be honest and admit that at first, I thought Jessica Blank was too ambitious to write this kind of story, but she proved me so wrong. It was not only possible but it WAS...more
BookChic Club
This book really opened up my eyes to the horrible plight of homeless teens out there. I did know that they existed, but I don't think I've ever seen a story quite like this one that really brings it to life and brings the point across so well. Told through 7 different narratives, but all part of one big story, this is one amazing novel. Each character has their own distinct voice when they step up to the plate and tell their perspective on everything going on. Their stories are all unique, and...more
Lotuslulu
Reading this to preview for my English 12 in-class book clubs and I have enjoyed the story telling. The characters have unique voices (mostly) and are reasonably well developed. While the writing itself is not a challenge, the situations faced by these children are mature and require a safe place for the reader to discuss the sad realities of these runaways. Rape, molestation, porn, and street drug use are just some of the vices and realities these children are involved with. You want to know so...more
Abby
Gritty fiction about seven teenage runaways living on the streets of L.A. They come from all over the place, and for different reasons, but all of them are connected through Tracy, a hard-bitten, skinny junkie street kid, who appears and disapppears from their lives without warning. Each chapter is written in the voice of one of the teens, with the action overlapping slightly so the reader gets different perspectives on the same events. The characterizations are very strong, so much so that you...more
Jen
This was a very readable story of a group of loosely attached streetkids in LA. I take issue with the sexified cover - it's fishents and combat boots while many times in the book everyone's clothing is described as dingy, dirty, jeans and wifebeaters. Oh well. Definitely great for kids or adults living this life or interested in hard knock stories.

Content is pretty intense - there are rape scenes, incest, dudes hitting girls, lots of drug use and cursing; that said, there are some young teens w...more
Judith
Almost Home was a tale of a bunch of teens livng on the streets of Hollywood, that form this family together. They all tell their stories of how they ended up on the streets and why thats where they feel the happiest or why they miss being home. This book takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. Their is betryal, love, hate, jealousy, and forgetfullness. These teens do some outrageous things to get food or money. You would be surprised to see how many people just don't even see the reality of th...more
Zainab
This book is special. I recommend it to anyone who likes reading...... Almost Home is honest, gritty and heartbreaking. The characters are gallant, assiduous, honest, naive and ingenious. They're all so special (except Scabius). I liked Eeyore and Rusty the most and Idk why.. But I love this book even though it breaks my heart page after page. It truly is a great book written by a great author. I'm glad I picked it up and read it!
Steph Su
ALMOST HOME is the kind of dark, gritty, and painfully real contemporary YA novel that I don’t find myself reading often. Yet if that’s what you’re looking for, then you should read this book. If we’re lucky, most of us will never find ourselves in these teenagers’ situations, but the way Jessica Blank writes about them and their conflicted emotions and desires is mesmerizing. The words on the page are brutally honest, yet lyrical, kind of like seeing a devastating scene in the glow of dazzling...more
Terry
Another YA title that promises more than is able to deliver. There's violence of all kinds, but strangely, no punch. The characters are desperate, but the plot never accelerates that much. Blank enters the world of homeless teens in Hollywood through the voices of six runaways. Or is it seven? Who can keep track, as their voices are indistinguishable. I had to work to keep focused on the book, and I imagine it being a tough sell to many readers.

On the other hand, if Crank by Ellen Hopkins and G...more
Beth
Nov 08, 2010 Beth rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010, kids
This was a very rough read. In terms of my actual enjoyment during reading, I would only give it two stars. The book is very well-written and does an excellent job describing street life for runaways. For that I think it deserves four stars, so I averaged and gave the book three. I'm not sure what to make of this book. It takes a lot to give me an ick feeling as I read something, but this book did it. The book is written for young adults and I am very interested in their reactions to this text....more
Joe Rossi
story of 7 homeless kids on the streets of LA. the stories intertwine with each other and it is nicely done.
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“It comes out of my mouth like water: the things he said at the beginning, what it's like to know a person's smell, the anxious catch that now has dulled to normal when I hold the pay phone and it rings and rings. How underneath I don't believe he's coming anymore, and I wish I could turn the air beside me into something solid to fill the hole he leaves. How sometimes when he'd touch me I'd go out onto the very edges of myself, far like on a tightrope or a plank, and balance knowing there was only air to catch me; how he'd hold me there till it got scary, sometimes longer, and it was realer and more raw than any thing I'd ever felt. How he would always close his eyes and seem so comfortable, casual even, and I was always amazed at that: how brave he must be for it not to scare him at all. How sometimes it broke me into two pieces, and I'd lie there under him naked and stretched out past my skin, and another me would watch from the ceiling. Even if it was too much I had to grow to hold it, because it belonged to me now, and I belonged to him, and if I let any of the pressure of it spill like water from my faucet mouth, it would all leak out and be gone from me forever. That's what he always said. ” 6 likes
“It just happens. Even when almost everyone who showed you how to do things showed you wrong, and screwed you up, and left; even when you have promised yourself fifteen different sets of sheets and in freight trains and on sidewalks, staring up at the stars, that you will do it different from all the people who have done it wrong and hurt you, still you do it the same. Still you do the same shit to everybody else that they have done to you. I know it must be possible to keep promises. There must be people who say things and mean then and who can make the words turn real. But I've never met one. I keep trying to be something I'm not even sure exists. I've promised myself so many times that I won't be like so many people, and I still do it anyway. I still make people cry, and laugh at them, and I know as soon as everyone really sees me they'll all leave again and I'll be left with the noise not being able to sleep.” 5 likes
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