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Where I Want to Be

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  517 ratings  ·  91 reviews
Once, Jane was the big sister, teaching Lily to play make believe and protecting her from thunderstorms. But then Lily grew up. She started making friends and dating boys, while Jane wanted to go on playing make believe forever. For Jane, the line between fantasy and reality had always blurred, whereas Lily lived for a future bright with expectation and change. Inevitably, ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published April 21st 2005 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.34  · 
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 ·  517 ratings  ·  91 reviews

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Linda Lipko
Two sisters, Jane and Lily. Jane suffers from severe depression, and while the author doesn't mention schizophrenia, it appears that Jane also is in the throes of hearing voices and slipping in and out of reality.

The family is loving and understanding and tries to the best of their ability to help Jane. When she dies in an accident, they are left wondering if it was purposeful. Lily is left with grief.

The subject matter is intense, but somehow the writing style lacked depth.

I cannot recommend th
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
When I was at the library, I was looking around for a shortish book because technically I'm supposed to be focusing on my ebooks. I thought I'd see what Adele Griffin books were on the shelf since I'd already read two and enjoyed them a lot. When I saw that this book focused on two sisters, I was sold.

It alternated between third-person perspective about older, now dead sister Jane and first-person perspective from younger, still living Lily. The sisters are just a year apart in age but are world
Hanna D.
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
I think this book, Where I want to Be, is very boring. In the first 15 chapters it talks about a depressed girl named Lily who thinks the death of her older sister Jane could have been all her fault. Lily just depends on her boyfriend for comfort and protection. Her sister Jane was killed when she was ran over by a car at the age of 18. Jane had mental issues and never wanted to grow up; she had an overactive imagination. This book confused me because in the beginning of the book she was a 7th g ...more
Dayna Smith
Nov 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Griffin's books are strange and haunting and this one is no exception. Jane and Lily are sisters and were always very close until it became clear that Jane was not like everyone else. For Jane the boundary between make-believe and reality is cloudy at best. When Jane dies Lily must learn to cope with her memories and a world that has changed. But is Jane really gone, or is she still watching from the other side? A poignant tale of living with a sibling who has a mental illness. The point of view ...more
Apr 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I would rate this a 3.5 but as that is not possible I've rounded it up to a generous 4 - 3 would have been a bit low. The story of 2 sisters Lily, and Jane who suffers from a mental illness and lives somewhat in a world of her own. Written mainly in the aftermath of the suicide/accident of Jane, it tells how Lily struggles with her sisters death, while growing overly dependent on her boyfriend Caleb. The chapters are written alternatively between Lily and Jane.
This is quite a beautiful book in
Jalyn Cottrell
Dec 14, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was about 2 girls who are inseparable, one of the girls jane dies and leaves lily. Lily the younger sister who suffers from depression now has to grow up alone. Throughout the book lily lives in an imaginary world and goes to her boyfriend for comfort. In each chapter of the book each chapter is the setting of the past or the mental illness of Lilly's struggle each day without Jane being there. At the end lily begins to meet terms with reality and starts letting go of the past.Overall ...more
Jul 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
Though this was a pretty good book, it wasn't one of my favorites.(as you can see, i have to experience writing reviews :P) I just wanted people to know that this book is one that leaves you hanging in the end, you don't find out exactly what happens, it's up for the reader to decide I guess. I just wanted to warn people like me, who depise not finding out what happens. That's all from me.
Dec 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
this is one of my favourite books in the world i loved it so much im on the verge of tears every time i remmber it it was a super loving lovely book i hope to read it againe some day and i recomend it to evryone.
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
rating (4.5 stars)
Lily's sister Jane unexpectedly died her senior year and this novel explores the sister's path to acceptance and healing.
May 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
This story lagged and I just never got into it.
Small Review
Outside my comfort zone

I must be a masochist because Adele Griffin keeps kicking me in the gut and I keep coming back for more. I mean this as a compliment. Her books make me feel on a gut-wrenchingly real level. Don’t be deceived by the tiny page counts: Adele knows how to make every single word count and come together to create a powerful story. Her choice to use alternating narratives (one first person, one third person) was a stroke of genius, subtly adding incredible depth, characterization
Nov 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
The book where i want to be by Adele Griffin is about a girl named Lily and her big sister Jane that were totally different but looked like twins. Jane was always a shy girl and never had much friends growing up, she was always teaching Lily to play make-believe, make-believe was a game that Jane really enjoyed playing while she was growing up, it was her escape from reality. But while Lily was growing up she was always hanging out with her many friends and even dating some guys. “For Jane, the ...more
Nov 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
The book “Where I Want To Be”, by Adele Griffin, is about two sisters named Lily and Jane. Jane was always a shy girl and never had much friends growing up. She always wanted to play make-believe with her younger sister Lily. Jane loved playing make-believe because it was an escape of reality for her. But Lily was growing up and she started hanging out with friends and started dating. “For Jane, the line between fantasy and reality had always blurred, whereas for Lily lived for a future bright w ...more
Lea Martin
Apr 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Where I Want To Be is a very good book. It has a lot of drama in it so if your in to drama this is the book for you. I think this book had a lot of different perspectives on different situation. Which makes it more interesting and easier to get a better understanding of every characters view. So to the situation's that are happening in the book you just don't get to see one character view you see all and it opens your eyes up to a better view of all things in life too not just in a book. And I ...more
Carmen Yeung
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
__________________________Spoiler Alert________________

When i saw this book at the library on top of the bookshelf i thought it was really there for me, it was destiny and i had to read it. Its title was very depressing, because where i want to be reminds me of college and the real world, where i will be on my own leaving my past behind. In this case, Lily the protagonist is leaving her past behind, where her sister was once in. Her sister jane is a girl with mental health problems, she always
Anna Carter
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
this book was amazing. I definitely would read this again and again!
Kelly Rios
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cathleen Ash
Maybe that’s how changes are made. Maybe the moment right before you’re ready to move on is always when it’s hardest to let go.
Jane’s the big sister - the one who always created the make-believe games she and Lily played growing up…like when they were at Augusta and granpa’s house. Augusta was the ultimate grandma - no matter what Jane did - Augusta never looked angry - fierce sometimes, shocked, but never angry.
Even when Jane smashed Augusta’s crystal vase into a thousand needles all over the
Mar 22, 2008 rated it liked it
Jane and Lily are sisters who are very close as children, but start to grow apart as teenagers. Jane creats vivid imaginary worlds and prefers her imagination to real life. Lily prefers the real world and is popular and outgoing.

When her family finally realizes that Jane is mentally ill, she starts taking antipsychotics and talks with a therapist. The diagnosis was not explicit, but I thought her symptoms sounded like schizophrenia.

As Lily becomes more and more a part of the outside world, Jan
Oct 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Jane and Lily are two sisters who couldn't be more different. Lily is outgoing and popular was Jane is not quite sure where the line crosses between reality and fantasy. Lily is and ordinary teenager trying to get over Jane's death, while Jane is trying to except what happened to her and her life and move on. People were always judging Jane comparing her to Lily wondering how such a great girl like Lily could be related to a "freak" (Jane has a mental illness) like Jane. Lily was always trying ...more
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
Fairly well written, but... difficult to read. And not in a good way.

Though Jane's actual diagnosis is never mentioned, it seems to be implied that she has schizophrenia... and yet she is characterized with traits of half a dozen other disorders as well. While many mental illnesses are frequently comorbid--for instance, it's fairly common to see people with multiple anxiety disorders--Jane's characterization just feels wrong. Additionally, Jane's illness is more or less the entirety of her chara
Mar 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-readers
I listened to this book on CD. It takes place in alternating chapters, each one narrated by a different sister. Jane has recently died in a terrible accident and it takes awhile to understand that her chapters are written in the present tense, as she recreates daily the "perfect day", visiting their grandparents. Lily is younger and she has always had a difficult time being Jane's sister. Jane had mental and emotional problems that embarrassed her and that now cause her lots of guilt.

The narrato
Sheppard Memorial Library
I listened to this book on CD. It takes place in alternating chapters, each one narrated by a different sister. Jane has recently died in a terrible accident and it takes awhile to understand that her chapters are written in the present tense, as she recreates daily the "perfect day", visiting their grandparents. Lily is younger and she has always had a difficult time being Jane's sister. Jane had mental and emotional problems that embarrassed her and that now cause her lots of guilt.

The narrato
Dec 11, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
Not too shabby for a debut novel. I appreciated her portrayal of a schizophrenic teenager. Granted, I have no idea how accurate it is, but it seemed realistic enough. Switching from first person POV for Lily to third person omniscient for Jane was effective, especially when their "tellings" overlapped. I was particularly engaged when Lily would describe Jane's episodes and how they effected her (Lily). It was reminicent of (though I hate this expression) a poor man's Skin by Vrettos.

A decent 2 d
Maria Claudia
Feb 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-books
I didn't like the book that much in the beginning. I found it a little bit superficial, like the author wasn't deep enough. But after a while, I realized that she did accomplished something, not sure if it was what she really wanted to do. The story sounds simple, but I really enjoyed the way she chosen to tell it. At first, it was a bit confusing, but eventually you get the idea. The end is sad, and I really liked it, 'cause it seemed real. And the fact that I could see some similarities with o ...more
Apr 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-comfort
COMFORT: I chose this book because I was so interested in the plot; it was about two sisters who were inseparable, and Jane dies and leaves Lily, who suffers from depression, alone to grow up. The book never even reveals what the 'accident was', to the point where you just have to settle on creating your own theory. The book doesn't really go anywhere and for almost all of it, Lily talks about how the accident was her fault and in the book, we never see her progress in her illness/move on from h ...more
May 07, 2015 rated it liked it
This is the story of Lily and Jane. They are two very different teenage sisters. Lily is outgoing and popular. Jane is introverted and avoids social events. She also suffers from mental illness. As children they were very close, but as adults they have drifted apart. When their grandfather dies life become more difficult for Jane and she has a difficult time coping, especially now that she no longer is as close to Lily. This book is a fairly quick read, but offers some good discussion topics.
Jan 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
This is one of those stories it's hard to explain without potentially giving it away...though I'll say they did a good job with the teaser on the jacket. ...You've got Lily, you've got Jane. Throughout the book we volley between their points of view, and their lives. Lily has always fit right in, Jane has never felt at home. Two complete opposites. But they're sisters. Follow along as these two come to grips with their alternate realities in ways you might not expect.
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