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I Wanna Be Where You Are

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  2,176 ratings  ·  530 reviews
A debut young adult rom-com about an African American ballerina who finds love on the road to an audition.

When Chloe Pierce’s mom forbids her to apply for a spot at the dance conservatory of her dreams, she devises a secret plan to drive two hundred miles to the nearest audition. But Chloe hits her first speed bump when her annoying neighbor Eli insists upon hitching a rid
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Roaring Brook Press
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Kristina Forest I was once a ballerina, and it was a huge part of my life when I was a teenager. I wanted to write a story about a girl who was so devoted to one pass…moreI was once a ballerina, and it was a huge part of my life when I was a teenager. I wanted to write a story about a girl who was so devoted to one passion she'd risk anything to pursue it, and it only made sense to make her passionate about ballet! (less)
Веселинa Жековa The main characters are teens, so it's best for teens. But adults can enjoy it as well, because it's about family, dreams, the relationship between pa…moreThe main characters are teens, so it's best for teens. But adults can enjoy it as well, because it's about family, dreams, the relationship between parents and children... (less)

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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,176 ratings  ·  530 reviews

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Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
This was the perfect palette cleanser read just like I'd hoped it'd be! After reading a big intense fantasy I always crave something light, fluffy, quick, and easy, and this was all that and more! It was super cute and easy to read. It's a fun road trip featuring two childhood friends turned enemies who end up reconnecting. I liked watching their adventures as Chloe is trying to get to an audition to try and live out her dream to be a ballerina. Both characters have parents who think they know w ...more
Jul 05, 2020 rated it liked it
When I was six, I was in a ballet class.

You don’t know this about me, because to you I am a mere joyless phantom behind a computer screen, writing criticism no one else cares about at great length, but I am extremely clumsy. Sixteen years after those fateful Sunday afternoons at the Community Arts Center, I still have the approximate dance skills of one of those inflatable creatures outside of car dealerships.

Maybe it is this low-level curse that relegates me to a lifetime of embarrassment that
♛ may
GORGEOUS COVER + ballerina girl who is trying to chase her v difficult dreams + friends to enemies to lovers + ROAD TRIP + soft summer vibes = such a cute, wholesome, lighthearted summer read 🥺🥺
So. Freaking. Cute. Oh my gosh. I don't read a lot of YA these days, but this one was a road trip romance and hate to love, so I was super excited to pick this up.

It's been Chloe's dream to move to New York and work at the conservatory founded by her favorite male ballerina. When the chance to audition pops up, Chloe is absolutely devastated when her mom says no. I really felt for Chloe and how strict her mom was, especially when it came to Chloe's future. Parents often think they know what's b
Oct 14, 2020 rated it liked it
To be honest, The cover initially sold me on this book (How beautiful is the artwork, right? 💖🤗)..I'm a sucker for amazing art on books. However...the story, unfortunately, fell a bit flat 😕.

The story centers around Chloe, a Ballerina who plans to sneak out and audition for a ballet conservatory in, New York. Unwillingly, her neighbor Eli (a former friend turned enemy) convinces her to let him tag along. Sounds promising right?? but to be honest, the story was on the verge of being boring. 😴
I want to be wherever finished copies of this book are.

UPDATE: I got a finished copy of this book and it’s adorable and fun.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was so lucky to get to read this book early, and I read it in one straight sitting.

I Wanna Be Where You Are is the perfect summer read! It's breezy and sweetly romantic, but it also is very much about growing up and becoming who you were always meant to be, even if your parents don't exactly agree with that.

The protagonist, Chloe, is relatable, self-assured and takes absolutely no bullshit. In short, she's my kind of protagonist. She and Elijah both grow as characters in a believable way tha
2020 Ripped Bodice Summer Bingo: ‪There Was Only One Bed‬

This is legit amazing. An excellent kisses-only YA romance + road trip + enemies-to-lovers. CW for parental death and car accident.

It fits Only One Bed because while they’re on the road trip, they check into a hotel and there are only deluxe rooms available (one king-sized bed). So they have to sleep in the same bed (and the heroine is a little nervous about it), but nothing remotely sexual occurs. I think it still counts for the bingo
Ms. Woc Reader
This was a cute little romance featuring black teens which is a rarity in YA. I can't name too many romance stories featuring black girls as the lead. And then when we do have a black lead lately she's often in an interracial relationship. That's nice and all but our black girls who prefer relationships with black boys need representation too! Another thing I appreciated was that the teens were able to be just normal teens. Wondering about their futures, anticipating school dances, sneaking arou ...more
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: january-2021
A fun own voices novel featuring an enemies to lovers romance with the boy next door. These kids grew up together and after a major fallout, they hate each other but they rely on each other to chase their dreams of something bigger. She wants to be a professional ballet dancer. He wants to pursue the arts. Both come from complex backgrounds featuring overbearing parents or parents who aren't active enough. I'm taking a star off because it's supposed to be a YA book with senior characters but the ...more
Jacob Proffitt
Jun 13, 2020 marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: balked-by-price
I bounced on this at the setup chapter in a "it's not you, it's me" kind of way. And it's all about Chloe's mom. She's just an irrational mess. I mean, she has been taking Chloe to inconvenient ballet lessons for years but gives a hard no when Chloe has the opportunity to audition for a rare academy position with scholarships for all entering students. Because it's in New York. You know, the city with all the actual career positions for ballerinas. Instead, mom is going on a cruise with her boyf ...more
Melanie  Brinkman
No matter how tricky the choreography, always dance towards your dreams.

When her mom forbids her to apply for a spot at the dance conservatory of her dreams, Chloe Pierce can't bear to let her destiny go. So when her mother goes on vacation, she seizes the opportunity to escape. But her annoying neighbor Eli catches her in the act, threatening to tell her mother if she leaves him, and his dog, Geezer, behind.

So with two unexpected (but adorable) passengers, butterflies in her stomach, and a grea
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
Chloe has known since forever that her destiny is ballet, but her mom won't let her audition for an exclusive NYC ballet conservatory started up by Chloe's favorite professional dancer. When her mom goes on a cruise, Chloe realizes she's got a chance to drive from New Jersey to DC to audition. What she doesn't expect is Eli, her enemy next door, blackmailing her into taking him along. When the two run into problem after problem, Chloe begins to wonder if she's ever going to make this audition.

caitlin ✶
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
I knew that this book wasn’t gonna be anything life changing going in, but I expected something fluffy, light & happy, and this was just... forgettable. There’s nothing glaringly wrong about it, but yeah 🤷🏻‍♀️
'You have to take hold of the world and demand that it gives you what you want. That's what I do. It doesn't always come easy, regardless of how it looks.'

THIS WAS ADORABLE-ST (even though there were a few time when I wanted to just talk a hold of Eli and shake him, boys gah)

Chloe is such a great main character and I instantly loved her. Her doubt in herself and trying to go for her dream in spite of it is such a great premise for her story. I loved reading about a Black ballerina! It was also g
Latanya (Crafty Scribbles)
Kristina Forest writes a lovely, contemporary piece about a young girl striving to reach her ballet goals while balancing love and life on a brief road trip. Meet Chloe. She wants to dance for Avery Johnson and his conservatory. 

However, the audition is in D.C.. Can she get there without her mother discovering her plans and an undesired passenger riding with her? Or, will her plan to dance for the biggest ballet dancer fail?


1. Diversity! Always a win. The story centers on an Afro-Latina
2020 Ripped Bodice Bingo: Debut Novels

Oh! I liked this SO much. It did such a good job of showing a "good" girl with an overprotective mom. And I never felt like Chloe was shamed for being a good girl. It's just who she is!!! She feels bad for going behind her mother's back! It just felt like, yeah, this is the teenager I was. (Maybe even the adult I am. :D)

Sweet romance and so many great side characters!
anna ✩
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars!

This was exactly the pick me up I needed! This is a sweet fast paced story that is sure to make you smile.

As an ex ballerina and ballet lover I absolutely adore finding books that incorporate ballet and ballerinas into their stories, it’s always a fun way for me to revisit my own experiences.

I see so much of myself in Chloe. The perfect daughter, always trying to do the right thing and make everyone happy, the infinite desire to always dance and always strive for a career in ballet.
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-releases, arcs
This was adorable and I loved it so very much okay that's all I have to say, adorable and a lot of love for this marshmallow-y book. <3

Read my full review of I Wanna Be Where You Are on the blog.

Thank you so, so much to MacMillan International for the ARC of this book. This did not, in any way, influenced my thoughts and rating.

My Blog - Drizzle & Hurricane Books - Twitter - Bloglovin'
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Great debuts make me so happy. Especially when they have fabulous covers, because it makes me hope people will discover the book and read it. Let’s be real: we’re all at least a little bit shallow. I Wanna Be Where You Are has both, and it made me smile pretty much the whole way through; I only stopped smiling a couple times because it’s not quite a hundred percent fluffy. Kristina Forest’s debut is about family, preparing for your future, working toward your dreams, and the importance of commun ...more
Nikki S
Y'all, this was everything I've ever wanted. Last August I asked people to name some fluffy Black romances that centers on 2 Black teens falling in love. Needless to say, there weren't that many. I don't remember who told me about this book, but I spent everyday after it reminding people to add it to their TBR and to pre-order it. And now that I've read it, I fully stand behind my decision of telling people about this book and everyone, needs to pre-order, tell their library to order it, request ...more
Justin A Reynolds
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Easily one of my most anticipated books of 2019! This one can’t come soon enough!
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a very sweet, light read. Nothing groundbreaking in terms of plot but still very enjoyable.

I liked the characters. I liked the road trip. I was quite satisfied with the ending, I think it fit the story very well. I only wish the reason for Chloe disliking Eli was introduced a bit sooner.
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
english review only

I finished this in january, but I was without a laptop for over a month and I wasn't about to write a review with my tablet or my phone. So it's a bit late, but here we go!!! (I don't even know if I still know how to write a review. Bear with me)

I think this is my first roadtrip book and damn, I'm into the whole setting of this, I need more of it. The same goes for the ballet element. I need more of that in stories.

I also really enjoyed the writin
Morgan (The Bookish Beagle)
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-contemp, read-arc
Very cute! I really enjoyed this debut. Chloe was a great character to root for, although Eli’s sister Larissa might have been my favorite!
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I Wanna Be Where You Are is such a cute story! There are people who have a past now developing a relationship, a doggo, and a road trip! This book has several sweet scenes, and I really had fun reading it.
Lea (drumsofautumn)

These are the most positive 3 stars I might have ever given. I enjoyed this novel a lot and there's really nothing I can criticize. It's just very simplistic and didn't do much for me emotionally but I highly recommend it!

This is a really fun road trip novel that features all of the high jinks you expect from those. It features a really wonderful friends-to-lovers romance that I enjoyed so, so much. They fight a lot in the beginning and there's clearly something that happened between the two a w
Samantha (WLABB)
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Chloe aspired to be a ballet dancer, and was thrilled to hear that one of her ballet idols was opening a dance conservatory. Her mother had forbidden her from attending the New York auditions, but when the fates intervened, and her best friend helped her lie to her mother, Chloe was on her way to DC to take her shot. But, as with all the best laid plans, the universe, or rather Chloe's neighbor and former friend, Eli, threw a monkey wrench in them. Things may have gone awry, but
Zoe (Book Hooked)
As someone who does not usually enjoy contemporary, I loved this!!

Just to clarify: I have nothing against a romance book. I just don’t like reading a straight up romance or like adult romance with smut and all that stuff. But if there is another focus to the plot but still a romance I’m here for it!!

This book was about Chloe Pierce dreaming about signing up for this ballet audition. But her mom is against her signing up. Chloe finds the perfect opportunity to audition behind her mothers back bu
Allie (alliewithbooks)
Real rating: 3.5

I read this as an audiobook and it was such a fast and fun read. The narrator was perfect and really set the right tone for the story.

While the reading experience was enjoyable, I found the story as a whole to be a bit forgettable. It was cute, with some cute moments, but as a YA contemporary romance I felt like the romance was lacking. The love interest had a lot of potential, he’s sort of a misunderstood bad boy artist who smokes, but I just didn’t feel a lot of chemistry betwe
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Kristina Forest is the author of YA romance novels, including I Wanna Be Where You Are and Now That I've Found You. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in Writing for Children at The New School. She lives in New York City with two huge bookshelves. ...more

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