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This Is Where We Live

3.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,368 Ratings  ·  226 Reviews
Claudia and Jeremy, a young married couple (she’s an aspiring filmmaker, he’s an indie musician), are on the verge of making it. Her first film was a sensation at Sundance and is about to have its theatrical release; he’s assembled a new band and is a few songs shy of an album. They’ve recently purchased their first home—a mid-century bungalow with a breathtaking view of L ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 17th 2011 by Spiegel & Grau (first published November 1st 2010)
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Feb 20, 2012 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 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What starts as a look into how we rally when the things in our life don't work out like we hope takes a left turn into the disappointing and cliche.

Claudia hopes to be a film maker, but as her big film tanks, she looks at the dire situation of her life (the house she loves about to go into foreclosure), rallies, and takes a job as a teacher at a fancy private school. She does her best to think pragmatically about how to advance her situation, rather than succumb to it. Unfortunately for Claudia,
May 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 11, 2010 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.
Well written but the main characters are so annoying. And the ending......the less said the better. Very unsatisfying. Save your money and time for a better book.
Feb 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
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 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
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 22, 2013 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
Oct 07, 2012 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 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
Dec 17, 2012 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
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
Sep 13, 2010 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
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.
Carina Rosas
May 18, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-pause
I lost interest :(
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Claudia and Jeremy are struggling artists trying to make it big in the entertainment industry at the same time the real estate market is imploding. Despite the young couples' best efforts, the brass ring remains elusive. They take in a boarder to help make ends meet, which turns out to be a terrible decision. Then more bad decisions are made, and before long, the couple goes from Claudia and Jeremy vs The World, to just Claudia vs Jeremy. Good plot, good set up, good execution! I thought both Cl ...more
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a random grab off the library shelf, I was drawn in by the cover. This is the a contemporary story about a house in LA with a crippling mortgage. But it's really about a marriage, and how two people combine their dreams to live together. It's about expectations and life. Do we love the people we love purely as they are, or do we love their potential?
This book built slowly, and I can see why a lot of people did not like it very much. I found it contemplative and clever, even if one end e
Jayne Mckay
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read this on a friend's recommendation. Living in Los Angeles, I was able to relate to the locations and even the character profiles...I think Brown is an excellent writer, but I just wasn't crazy about her characters in this book. I kind of couldn't wait to finish it and move on to her newest, which I really enjoyed.
Wendy Ledger
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this novel last night, continued on this morning, and finished this afternoon. It's rare these days that I will read in such concentrated chunks of time. This was a page turner for me. I would classify it as a "beach read." Now I'm off to read another Janelle Brown.
Jill Rosenberg
I felt like this story was a bit much - much longer than it needed to be, doesn’t really seem like the characters were developed, and just kind of ended up where they did. And the ending was not really exciting or matched what happened.
2.5 - the writing was good but the characters were insufferable. I had to stop reading several times because I hated them so much.
Carrie Turner
Meh. Predictable.
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
slow to start... I liked it but felt like the ending fell short
Kristy Engel
It picked up towards the end, but overall was a slow read with characters I just had a hard time liking. Certain aspects of this book were painfully real (almost too real for my life right now), but other parts just seemed too unrelatable.
May 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Marnie Kaplan
May 02, 2012 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
Feb 08, 2011 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
Laquita Logan
Nov 25, 2013 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
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Welcome to my home on Goodreads.

A little about me: I'm 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. My books tend to be page-turners with dysfunctional family relationships at their hearts; while my first two books were more satirical, my latest is a suspense. I'm also
More about Janelle Brown...
“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?” 6 likes
“Real life is just a never-ending string of compromises that you make in order to survive” 6 likes
More quotes…