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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  655 ratings  ·  254 reviews
Seventeen year-old Abby Lunde and her family are living on the streets. They had a normal life back in Omaha, but thanks to her mother’s awful mistake, they had to leave what little they had behind for a new start in Rochester. Abby tries to be an average teenager—fitting into school, buoyed by dreams of a boyfriend, college, and a career in music. But Minnesota winters ar ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by Central Avenue Publishing
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  655 ratings  ·  254 reviews

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Whispering Stories
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Book Reviewed by Stacey on

Abby Lunde at just Seventeen years-old is going through one of the toughest times of her life. Not only have her family consisting of Mum, Stepdad Nick and little sister Amber had to move cities, they also don’t have anywhere to live and are currently living in the families van, as well as not having enough money for food so are relying on homeless places and churches to feed them.

Abby’s Mum made a terrible decision that cost her, her job as a
C.H. Armstrong
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
It's my book...I can't very well give it fewer than 5 stars because if *I* don't love my book, who will? Happy Reading, Everyone! ...more
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Roam is undoubtedly one of the best fictional tales to represent the very real issue of homelessness. Most of us look at homelessness from afar having had no experience of it as we sit in our warm, comfortable homes, but C. H. Armstrong shows just how easy it is for an average family to end up living rough and the impact it has on mental health long after you leave said streets. The majority of us take for granted the roof over our heads, the food we eat, the warmth and creature comforts we rely ...more
MissBecka Gee
Abby was a wonderful character and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to relate and get absorbed in her home life, past and new adventures. I probably could have done without the romance aspect of the book since it didn't seem necessary for the story to work. Overall it was a touching story.
Amber and Josh were easily the best characters, both sooo much fun!!!

Thank you NetGalley and Central Avenue Publishing for granting my wish.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of ROAM in exchange for my honest review.***

DNF 34% I hate not finishing ARCs.

I don’t like books with hidden agendas and ROAM is filled with them.

Abby and her family are homeless following her mother’s affair with another teacher and her forced resignation (Problem 1-public teacher unions protect against this very thing). Now they’re living in their van in a new town. Homeless Abby becomes insta-popular on day 1 and the quarterback wa
Sentranced Jem
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-2019, ya
Considering that this is a fictional read, it felt so realistic.

C.H. Armstrong has written a wonderful book that is raw, compelling and heartbreaking.

To be honest, this book is beautifully written.

Highly recommend this book .
Rachel Aranda
4-4.25 stars
I received a free ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

This was a really wonderful story that showcases the hardships of homelessness, the importance of never giving up, and the positives that having certain people in our lives while going through any hardships. The author, C.H. Armstrong, took a look at homelessness through the eyes of a 17 year old girl named Abby Lunde. Due to circumstances beyond her control, she, her mom (Claire), stepdad (Nick), and 6 year old sis
Lara (Bookish_turtle)
This book was just so lovely and sweet and the characters were beautiful and I just have so much love!!

But also, a story about a homeless teen girl trying to navigate life does come up with some quite heavy stuff, and the reality presented of this lifestyle really is terrible in a lot of ways.

There is a good balance of real & serious issues, and the cute fluff and sweet friendships. Neither of them seems to outweigh and discredit the other, which is just AMAZING!!

I don't think I could summarise
Sharon Metcalf
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2019
3.5 stars

Before you judge a man walk a mile in his shoes kind of sums up the sentiments behind Roam, the novel by C.H. Armstrong, that the only way to understand a person is to see the world as he sees and experiences it.

From the outset we learn Abby, her younger sister Amber, her mum and step dad are homeless. They are about to spend their first night sleeping in the family van in the Walmart carpark. We don't know how or why they are homeless but as the story progresses these details are gradu
Zoë ☆
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have never cried so much reading a book as I did while reading this one. It was so hard to read from a perspective of someone who is homeless, and still I can't even imagine what it would be like to live under such circumstances. This book moved me so much, and I'm so thankful I had my wish granted on NetGalley. The characters and their relationships were amazing to read about. Go read this book! And have some tissues with you... ...more
Bookphenomena (Micky)
3.5 stars

This was our January bookclub pick and I am to thank for this month’s read. ROAM was a sweet and gentle contemporary YA exploring the experiences of a homeless family through the eyes of seventeen year old Abby.

This was a read that immediately sparked compassion for the family’s situation but there was an underlying conflict in the family that made their situation even more discomforting. Abby’s family were living in a van, in a Walmart car park, in winter. Meanwhile, Abby was conveying
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
**Roam generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**

5 "What do you mean?" Stars

This book provides the most hopeful reading experience. As my daughter has recently entered her teenage years I've been reading more teenage/YA fiction to pass along to her. Through this endeavor I found Roam and delighted in every single page. C.H. Armstrong penned a beautifully written novel of survival, hope, and forgiveness through the keen and overlooked eyes of a bitter,
Janet C-B
This is a contemporary novel about a teen, Abby, her parents and little sister who have relocated from another state and are homeless. The main characters are very well developed. The book was written with young adults as the target audience, but I think it also quite relevant for adults readers.
I found the novel thought-provoking. I am aware that homelessness is a serious problem. This book gave me a more in-depth look at issues such as how to find the next meal, how to stay together as a famil
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Roam, a YA novel about a homeless teen, is a compelling and realistic portrayal of teen life. I absolutely adored this story and as a young girl, this is a book I would have been able to relate to and would have gone back to read again and again. While not homeless, I did grow up in low income housing in an affluent city. I too felt “less than” and would often be ashamed of my secondhand clothes and off brand shoes. The portrayal of this teens thinking was spot on and her circumstances are somet ...more
Wendi Lee
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
*4.5 stars, rounded up*

After a series of unfortunate events, Abby and her family end up homeless in Rochester. Not only does she have to deal with the drama of starting a new school and making new friends, but at night her family struggles to stay warm in their van.

I've read a lot of novels recently, mostly middle grade, that deal candidly with homeless children. This one was different because of the acts of kindness Abby receives while on her journey. Now, I know that sounds kind of sappy, but
Ann T
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Central Avenue Publishing and a Netgalley for this ARC.

I give his book 4.5 stars

This YA novel was fabulous, it pulled me in quickly and I couldn’t put it down. I evoked lots of emotion at times and really made me so grateful that I have never had to worry about a roof over my head and other securities often taken for granted.

This novel raises many relevant issues including poverty, homelessnes, bullying, exclusion, trying to fit in. It really illustrated how a series of bad decisions
thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)
Hard hitting and gritty read, reminds us how lucky we are and how lucky some people aren’t. This follows a homeless teenager as she and her family struggle to make a life for themselves in a new town. Completely moving and emotional, the characters are so well written you want to get in there and help them yourself. A wonderful compassionate read from a brilliant author.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion .
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a Beautiful, heart wrenching, life affirming story! The characters are realistic, have depth and develop perfectly during this book. I love that this story focuses on the epidemic of homeless families, scrounging to get back on their feet while going through the motions of everyday life. Additionally, this is a story of survival, forgiveness and the willingness of some good people to help others in need. This is an important book that I think teens and YA fans. After finishing it, the reade ...more
Paula White
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing

This was a YA book but not a romance, it was a story of life. It was good to read something different but completely engaging. Abby and her family were homeless and this book deals with how they cope. The tribulations of the family were not for the weak and they went through a lot. All the time they displayed their inner strength. Abby meets new friends at school (and a rather lovely BF) who show her what true friends are. There is the typical high school nemesis but in a way what she does,
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I appreciate this novel about homelessness so much because too many of our students are living this life and no one knows. If we can provide books such as Roam, students will feel a little less alone. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to be an early reader.
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent story!

CH Armstrong really made me think! She tells the story of Abby with empathy and compassion. Reading this story has changed the way that I, as an educator, will look at my students. Congratulations on another great book!
Deborah Maroulis
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A haunting story that kept me turning pages way later into the night than I wanted. The puffy eyes are totally worth it, however. Armstrong hit hard with her debut, and I can't wait for her next work! ...more
Susan Peterson
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Roam is a compelling, gritty, heart-wrenching book about a seventeen year old girl who is living on the streets with her family. The characters in this book are portrayed honestly and compassionately. This is a YA book that teenagers and adults alike will be able to relate to.
Tasha Leigh
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, blown-away
To put it plainly, Roam is an emotional rollercoaster of a novel that I never knew I needed. Full of heavy references such as homelessness, bullying, substance abuse and relationship breakdown. When it hits, it hits hard, leaving the reader emotionally broken and feeling drained.

The MC Abby is determined and strong, resolute on helping her family to escape the poverty into which they have recently fallen. Her mother and stepfather rely upon her help look after her younger sister while they look
Darlene Foster
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A contemporary YA novel that doesn't pull any punches. Abby is a typical high school girl who wants to be liked, have friends, go to dances and look nice. The only difference is, she and her family are homeless and living in her mom's van, and Abby doesn't want anyone to know. Tension builds as the weather gets colder in Minnesota and Abby fears being found out. The author touches on many current issues through a delightful cast of characters, showing just how resourceful teenagers can be and ho ...more
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a story about a girl who has seemingly lost everything. Her friends, her home, her old life. It’s quite rare to see the realities of homelessness written about, let alone with the focus being on a young girl so this was a refreshing read.

This book hooked me from the start with its realistic dialogue and representation of family dynamics. The relationship between the family members is one that many young readers could identify with and it's refreshing that the stepfather isn't the bogeym
Roam is an honest and heart-breaking story about life as a homeless teenager.

Starting a new school is difficult at the best of times but when you’re living in the back of your van with no money or food, it can seem virtually impossible. This is the position Abby finds herself in.
After both her parents lose their jobs and are evicted from their home, they decide to move to Rochester where there is a support network available for the homeless. Abby, feeling ashamed and embarrassed, decides to ke
Mike Kalmbach
Roam is a fast, heartwarming read that helps present homelessness in a sympathetic light. I'd think it would be enjoyed by fans of The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Ten Things I Hate About You, and all those high school movies focused on an outsider who becomes accepted at the end. I can envision this being used in English classes to help students think about empathy in a way that's closer to home than many of those I remember reading. To this end, readers will find a discussion guide at ...more
Rebekah Gonzalez
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book would be an excellent assigned reading book for teens and pre-teens. I work in a community where many families are living out of cars or a single room, so the concept of homelessness and being stuck in a cycle of poverty is all too familiar to many of the people who frequent my library.

This book was very formulaic; however, this can be viewed as a positive attribute considering its targeted audience. The simplicity of the book puts it at an appropriate reading level for kids in Jr. Hig
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Netgalley provided me with a DRC of this book in exchange for an honest review

Powerful, beautiful and meaningful.

This book is about homelessness and what it is like for a seventeen-year-old girl to deal with being homeless in a new town.

However, it’s also about so much more, namely, resilience.

Abby is someone you’re drawn to from the very first page. She’s wounded, yes, but also fierce and determined and warm and intelligent. People are drawn to her at her new school, and although a bit ide
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I am a prolific writer and author of THE EDGE OF NOWHERE, ROAM, and co-author of DÉJÀ YOU (2017).

An Oklahoma-native transplanted in Minnesota these last 27 years, I am a 1992 graduation of the University of Oklahoma and a rabid Oklahoma Sooner Football Fan. On most Saturdays from September through January, you can find me propped in front of the TV watching Sooner Football, or studying my smartph

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