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Anywhere but Here

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  468 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Cole’s small town is a trap he’s determined to escape in this fresh and moving debut novel that balances loss with humor.

Ever since his mom died, Cole just feels stuck. His dad acts like a stranger, and Lauren, his picture-perfect girlfriend of two years, doesn’t understand him anymore. He can’t ditch his dad, so Cole breaks up with Lauren. She doesn’t take the news very w
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 15th 2013 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Tita Mirra It is! The story and the main character stayed with me for a long time ;)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  468 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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Tanya Kyi
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
It's a little self-centred to rate one's own book, isn't it? But it's my baby. Can't help myself! Maybe I'll call my Mom and see if she can rate it, too. Would that be wrong? ...more
Joy (joyous reads)
Jul 28, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, for-review
I've had my fair share of books that feature a grieving character. I can admit to being extra generous when they rebel - become uncaring versions of themselves just because they're dealing with some pretty explosive emotions without an outlet. Cole had the same epiphany. He knew he can get away with a lot simply because he was grieving. People gave him a pass. And you know what? I extended the same courtesy because there was no way to know what he was going through unless you've been there yours ...more
My Summary: Cole has lived in a suffocatingly small town his entire life. The only light at the end of the tunnel is the opportunity to graduate and leave everything he knew behind - including the memories of his mother's death. He wants to escape -- to get out as soon as he can. And he has a plan. He's ready to leave behind the life he has, starting with his girlfriend of two years.

But while filming a documentary about his town, Cole soon learns something that could shatter all his plans and k
Cathrina Constantine
Tanya Lloyd Kyi writes the perfect voice of a teenage boy filled with mental anguish, though, hides his feelings through his chaotic thoughts. After the debilitating death of his mom, Cole is floundering, full of depression and doesn't know how to manage his life now that she's gone. He believes that by moving out of the hick town of Webster his life will somehow get better. While reading Anywhere but Here, I chuckled, I groaned, and I shook my head and wanted to knock sense into Cole. I cringed ...more
Jennifer LeBlanc
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book captures perfectly what loss can do to your relationships with other people. Speaking from personal experience I think this was a great book and showed how much a young person can grow and change.
Jolene Perry
Nov 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: guy-pov
This is a FAB contemp read, and it takes place in my FAV part of YA lit - that LAST year of high school.
Great book.
Cool twists.
Loved how the documentary thing was scattered throughout.
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, young-adult, fiction
Don't ask me what led me to this book. I picked it up on a whim while browsing the YA section at the library and read it in a few days, though I skimmed through the last parts because it was such as disappointment. It's really a shame because I felt it started off ok but it quickly descended into cliches and melodrama.

Anywhere but Here centers around Cole, a high school student in a very small town in Washington state who has lost his mother about a year prior to the beginning of the story. He
Anna Bowling
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
The cover grabbed me on this one, instantly, and as soon as I read the description, I couldn't put it down. A teen boy, desperate to escape the prison of his small, working class Canadian town, has goals that don't include the dead end staying would almost surely guarantee. If he can produce a short film worthy of admittance to a prestigious film school, he'll have his shot at escape. Two problems there. One, the townspeople he interviews to reinforce his view of his hometown have different view ...more
OCHS Library
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
So, the book isn't perfect, but I think it sets out what it intended to do. The book has a slow start and never really takes off. It's more a steady train ride. A good train ride with some great scenery. I wasn't thrilled with a lot of the decisions made by the characters in the book but they all felt honest.

Cole is a high school senior who feels stuck in a small town. He, his father, and friends all have issues. I liked how in the book you only get Cole's perspective so there are large wholes
I give it about a 3.5. This book was just not something I was really into. Small town guy gets a girl pregnant, he wants to get out of his little town and his life is a mess. Basically sounds like where I live. Nothing really stood out as great to me in this book. I was also disappointed with the ending because it just seemed to open ended to me.
Jamey Turner
Jul 23, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This has less to do with the author's ability to craft characters and a cohesive story, and more to do with the general animosity I feel for the main character. He's entirely unlikable even with his background, to the point where I began to actively root for him to fail due to his deluded self-absorption. ...more
This is a good YA book. It has a Canadian (BC) setting, which I like, and the story is compelling enough to keep a teen’s interest. I found it repetitive and a bit cliche at the end, but I’m not 15, so it doesn’t really matter what I think. Young people would like this book.
Jennessa Embair
You're typical YA teen angst story, I feel like reading something so classic is needed once in a while and I did enjoy this a bit. Well it wasn't anything life changing not every book has to be and I appreciated this for what it was. ...more
Vanessa Casias
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this one, it's so spot on how most small time relationships go through life. the ending had me crying it's a must read ...more
Amanda Bynum
Mar 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love YA novels, but really just not good at all.
Brittany Cummins
The story started out a bit slow for my liking, but this is a beautiful book of the protagonist’s path to finding himself while working through the grief of losing his mother.
Sandra Witt
Mar 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read
Stephanie A.
In which a boy makes terrible choices re: girls and alcohol and has such a depressing home life even I actually want him to quit his lovely small hometown and never look back, but somehow I sort of enjoy the story anyway. I fully agree with Lex's choice to hate him in the now, but I also feel like he's good stock at the core and could grow into a respectable young man in a few years, informed by the wreckage of his high school experiences. ...more
Mar 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I just really couldn’t get into this one. Despite what seemed like a promising story, the characterizations were just so horrible. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters, and I found myself horribly unsympathetic to them despite their grief. I think the situations that they put themselves in and the way they acted were just horrible. Grief if no justification for being a horrible douchebag and being in a bad place emotionally doesn’t give you a free pass to do whatever you want or treat o ...more
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was really excited for this book. It sounds straight up my alley, and the cover is great. Sadly, though, I was very disappointed. I actually really liked the beginning because many of the storylines had great potential. Over the course of the novel, though, everything turned out to be kind of melodramatic, cliched, and underdeveloped, which is why I didn't really enjoy Anywhere But Here.

The romance was probably the storyline that I liked the most at first: I was really excited to see this uniq
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I give this book a two because I don't want to give somebody's hard work a 1 star on GoodReads, it's just a slap in the face :D. I didn't even finish this book because it was getting so boring and soo irrelevant to the point that i couldn't even resist putting it down. That is not to say I didn't try to pick it up again. I AM SOOOOOO happy I didn't BUY this book because i would have had to return it :D.
Where do I start with this book. Let's start with Cole. Cole. Cole is our protagon
Families don’t always turn out like you plan. Sometimes they fall apart when you’re not the least bit ready.

Cole is having a rough time. If losing your mother to cancer and being left with a dad that no longer even resembles the man Cole used to know can be called a "rough time", that is. But that's Cole's situation, and being stuck in a small town where everyone seems to get stuck one way or another is less than he dreams of. Filled with his own grief and anger he is determined to g
Amber at Fall Into Books
Feb 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
Anywhere But Here had the capacity to be something great, but instead ended up bordering on misogynism. The main character is an emotionally abusive male who is self-absorbed and immature. His father is even worse. Women are nothing more than sex toys in this book, and that disgusted me. Cole could have grown, left home, and really become something, but instead he decides his hometown isn't so bad (please). I thought I'd be able to relate to this book because I absolutely loathe where I grew up. ...more

For this review and more visit my blog

Anywhere But Here could have been brilliant. It could have been important and influential because of the story it told but I just found certain aspects of it lacking, and although it was enjoyable it didn’t wow me as much as it could have.

This book touches on some tough subjects, the death of a parent, alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy to name a few. I think one of my issues with this book was that it used too many of those hard to deal with subjects. I felt lik
Farah Jay
I've always been a sucker for realistic fictions, and this one started pretty good. Oh oh, you're probably thinking "why did she just say started?", because it went pretty downhill after that. Yes, I was disappointed. I really liked the idea, and the plot was interesting, it just didn't go into the direction I wanted it to be. I'm not saying it was a bad book or anything, I enjoyed it, but it just wasn't as good as I had hoped it would have been. The main protagonist, Cole, lives in a small town ...more
I really thought this was a good book, even if the plot was kind of used. The writing was good, the feelings were real..
Cole is lost after his mom dies of cancer, and you can obviously see that his dad is struggling too. I wish the author would've gave us more insight on Cole and Lauren's break up. I really didn't get the full reason that Cole did what he did. And it was very confusing whether he wanted Lauren back or wanted Hannah. At first, I thought Hannah was a girl that just gave it up, but
BAYA Librarian
Seventeen year old Cole wants nothing more to escape his small Canadian town of Webster. What is keeping him there? Not the memory of his mother, who died of cancer and has left Cole to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to deal with his grief. Not his widowed father, who is drowning his own grief in alcohol while dating a stripper. Not his friends, who do not share his dissatisfaction with living in Webster. Not his smart, pretty, and caring girlfriend Lauren - make that his ex-girlfriend - w ...more
Sep 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, arc
Anywhere But Here by Tanya Lloyd Kyi Cole is a high school boy who has lost his mom to cancer, recently broke up with his long-term girlfriend Lauren, and cannot wait to graduate and leave his hometown of Webster. He dreams of becoming a documentary film maker, and as part of his college application to film school, begins filming a documentary about the town.  What he finds out in the process of filming is totally not what he expected.  
This was a great coming-of-age novel told through a teenag
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'll admit it was the cover that drew me to check this book out. I didn't know anything about it or anyone that had read it...

The storyline started out really well...interesting high school student named Cole who had a great girlfriend, loyal friends, and loving mom.

But cancer strikes and Cole is just not the same person. I devoured the first 75 pages but was do disappointed when the writing became underdeveloped (that is where editors are supposed to challenge & nag you)
Example, backdrop has C
Bobby Karmakar
May 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Cole Owens is stuck and that would also be my alternate title to the book but instead, my review.
Cole's mother passed away and his entire life is turned upside down. He misses his mom. He is stuck in his town of Webster, his father acts like a stranger, his girlfriend doesn't understand him so he breaks up with her. She doesn't take it well but poor Cole is confused. Through the course of the book, I wish he were able to just talk to his dad! But it doesn't turn out that way and instead,
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Tanya writes both fiction and non-fiction, often choosing topics related to science, pop culture, or social history—or a combination of the three. She enjoys combining factual research with intriguing narratives, or the life stories of interesting folks.

In her spare time, Tanya likes to run, bake, and read. Her favourite meal is breakfast, her favourite color is blue, and her favourite children’s

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