Anywhere but Here by Tanya Lloyd KyiAnywhere but Here by Tanya Lloyd Kyi

Anywhere but Here

byTanya Lloyd Kyi

Paperback | October 15, 2013

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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 well, and Cole’s best friend won’t get off his case about it.

Now more than ever, Cole wants to graduate and leave his small, suffocating town. And everything is going according to plan—until Cole discovers the one secret that could keep him there…forever.
Title:Anywhere but HereFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:320 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1 inShipping dimensions:8.25 × 5.5 × 1 inPublished:October 15, 2013Publisher:Simon PulseLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1442480696

ISBN - 13:9781442480698

Appropriate for ages: 14


Rated 1 out of 5 by from Boring I have to say it was a bit boring and dry. I had to keep pushing myself to finish the book, praying the whole time that it would get better but never did.
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stuck. Cole Owens is stuck and that would also be my alternate title to the book but instead, my review. Coles 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, like life, contains an enormous amount of twists and turns that happen quicker than the ray of light. Tanya Lloyd Kyi has perfectly captured the voice of a teenage boy and especially the life of one too. The struggles and typical things they do are evident and makes this eerily realistic and compelling to read. It left me gut wrenched with the feelings Cole is experiencing and wonder what I could do to help him. Any teenager presently his age could relate to his story. Any person that's not a young adult could wonder how they can be the guidance counsellor in his life. Highly recommend and this needs to be noticed more!!
Date published: 2014-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A wonderful read! What can I say - I loved, loved, LOVED this. Tanya Lloyd Kyi is a master of realistic teenage dialogue and creating characters with depth and authenticity - I found Cole and his story incredibly compelling. I'll be re-reading this one, for sure! 
Date published: 2013-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome characters, awesome book. What can I say, I loved, loved, loved this. Tanya Lloyd Kyi is not only a master of realistic teenage dialogue, but she draws such authentic, three-dimensional characters that bust stereotypes and offer lots of depth for the reader. I found Cole and his story incredibly compelling. This is a fantastic read from a very gifted YA author.
Date published: 2013-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful read Captured small-town life perfectly--especially the frustrations of growing up in a small town when you have a big dream!
Date published: 2013-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unforgettable YA read This is the perfect YA novel -- full of drama, wit and compelling relationships. Kyi perfectly captures the feeling of being a teenager trapped in a small town and thirsting for bigger and more exciting things. Cole is a fantastic narrator, and the situations he gets himself into while plotting his escape are both hilarious and completely believable. I think both teenagers and adults will adore Anywhere But Here. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2013-11-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Unreachable character, unenjoyable read 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 yourself. To be honest, I did a lot of teeth-gnashing while I was reading this book. It wasn't only Cole that gave me migraine. It seems like everybody in this book couldn't figure out what the heck to do with their own situations. From a supposedly grieving father who turned to alcohol and a stripper for comfort, right down to a Cole's new girlfriend who lets him treat her like a doorstep, I really didn't know I had it in me to finish the book. But here we are - here I am, perhaps on the verge of ranting over a book that I couldn't fairly judge. I couldn't because Cole and I didn't have a forgiving moment. I couldn't give him time to sort his stuff and he couldn't give me the maturity that I needed him to show so I can give him the empathy he so needed. I will not be the first person to admit to being an emotional reader. I have a hard time separating how the characters made me feel and how the writer made me feel. For that, I ran the risk of being blind to how well a book was written. The characters made me so mad that I simply couldn't judge the book based on technical merits. I just can't. Should I apologize? I think not. I've never believe in ever apologizing for disliking a book nor should the authors apologize for writing what they write. Free form art and all that. But thank you, Simon & Schuster for sending me this book. I'm sorry I couldn't give it a fair chance. I did finish the book but I can't say it was an enjoyable experience. And yes, I realize it's not supposed to be, given the severity of what was tackled here. Of course, readers are only supposed to immerse themselves in a book and not take the characters' actions personally. For this book, I just couldn't help it. I tried to find ways to like Cole. He tried so hard to redeem himself. But he just kept dancing around issues and his emotional bullshit without really addressing them. And it pissed me off. He kept using a girl who comes off as smart but ends up being just another dumb bimbo who lets a hot guy reduce her self-worth to nothing. The dad was just ridiculously stereotypically tacky. He cheapened his dead wife's memories. I think it's what pissed me off the most about this book: women played roles that didn't really amount to anything. They were nothing but sexpots and baby makers and perhaps that's not the author's intention but that's pretty much what they were in this novel.
Date published: 2013-09-24

Read from the Book

Anywhere but Here chapter 1 misguided dreams that interfere with perfectly hungover sleep The first time I wake up, I lie there wondering what day it is. I can see sunlight poking through the curtains, high on the cement wall of my basement bedroom. I roll over to look at the clock: 9:54. Shit! Shit, shit, shit! I leap out of bed as if the mattress has caught fire and grab my pants off the floor. It’s Friday, and Lauren hasn’t called to wake me up because Lauren isn’t my girlfriend anymore, and calling lazy-ass guys to cajole them to school is no longer in her job description. A minute later I’m back on the bed. Perched with my head in my hands, dry heaving, I wish I’d called Greg last night instead of hanging out with Dallas. Dallas had an unfortunately generous beer supply. And the pants I just pulled on smell distinctly of vomit. I wonder if I puked before or after leaving his house. Hopefully after. Then I wonder what my statistical chances are of passing next week’s history final if I don’t go to the review class this morning. I roll my eyes toward the ceiling. Battle of the Plains of Abraham . . . 1759. Leader of the French . . . Montcalm. Leader of the English . . . Wolfe. Winner . . . must have been the English. Importance of the Plains of Abraham . . . no freaking idea. But I’m going to pass, no problem. I yank the pants off again, crawl under the covers, and go back to sleep. •  •  • I wake for the second time in the early afternoon, stagger to the bathroom for two Tylenol and a drink from the faucet, then flop back onto my mattress. My book flies from where it was balanced on top of my headboard and almost brains me. The Guerilla Film Makers Handbook, by Chris Jones and Genevieve Jolliffe. One day, I’m going to make documentaries the way some of the people in this book make films. Not today, though. There’s a pounding at the basement door. It’s probably only a tapping, but in my booze-addled cranium, it echoes. I stagger over and fling it open. “What?” I’m still in my boxers. I wouldn’t notice except that Lauren is standing in the carport looking like the leggy blonde from a romantic comedy, wearing a bright red dress and movie-star sunglasses. “You look nice,” I mumble. “You look awful, Cole,” she says, slipping off the glasses. “Can I come in?” Can my ex-girlfriend come in? She doesn’t look dangerous. As long as she doesn’t yell, I should be able to survive this. Our first, awkward, post-breakup conversation has to happen sometime, right? I move aside. Waving good-bye to her friend Lex, who’s loitering on the sidewalk, Lauren sweeps past me through the hall and into my room, a wisp of vanilla perfume in her wake. She smells like a birthday cake fresh from the oven. I follow her in and sit on my desk chair, crossing my arms and trying to look as if I have it together. “Gross,” she says. “It’s like something died in here.” Without asking, she opens my window. “How was school?” I’m hunting for a safe topic of conversation. It’s strange how you can talk to someone almost every day for two years and then feel suddenly so . . . separate. “You missed the review session,” she says. Lauren is the most dedicated student I know. If the town of Webster were attacked by Shaun of the Dead zombies, Lauren would take her textbooks into hiding with her. She’s good at commitment. “What exactly did you do last night?” She picks up my jeans between her thumb and her forefinger and carries them to the hamper like toxic waste before straightening the quilt on my bed. “Since when are you my mother?” I yawn. I say it without thinking, but Lauren freezes. “Sorry,” she says. I shrug. “I didn’t mean it that way.” “I don’t want to make you think about your mom.” “Really, it’s okay.” “I don’t want to bicker with you, either. I came over because last night, with my mom hovering in the kitchen, I felt like we didn’t get a chance to talk properly, and . . .” “Sure.” But just so we don’t have to discuss things right this second, I leave to find my toothbrush. •  •  • The third time I wake up, Lauren’s leg is thrown over mine. And it’s naked. This is another good thing about Lauren. You wouldn’t think that an honor roll student with the work ethic of John Ford and a religious fanatic for a mother would be willing to sleep with me. She always said it was okay because we’d been together forever and because we were going to be . . . “Mmmmm,” she breathes, wiggling closer and brushing her fingertips across my chest. She looks up at me with those blue eyes that seem brighter when she’s happy. “I’m so glad we’re okay again.” My whole body tenses. I try to smile, but I can feel it turning into a grimace. “What?” she says. She’s like that. She picks up my feelings through my skin, using weird lizard senses. “I . . . um . . .” I don’t get any farther than that. There are too many things going on inside my head, and none of them are good. Potential sentences are swirling together like water in a toilet bowl. Did I say we were getting back together? I didn’t. I’m hungover, not wasted. I definitely did not say we were getting back together. I did just sleep with her. And I’m not such a jerk that I can sleep with her and then shove her out of bed. I could run. “Oh, yikes!” I’ve never said “yikes” in my life, but that’s what comes out. “It’s four o’clock already? I have to be at the school. Guidance counselor. I gotta run.” I pull on my jeans—clean ones—while I spout some nonsense about not wanting to miss the college application talk. It’s true that I have an appointment. We all automatically get one so we can talk about The Future before choosing our senior classes. Everyone knows the counselors spout a load of bunk. If they actually knew anything about the future, they wouldn’t be working as part-time high school fake-a-shrinks, would they? I’d planned to blow off the appointment. Now, suddenly, it seems extremely convenient to go. Lauren makes sounds in her throat as if she would like to talk, but I don’t even look at her. I tug on a T-shirt, grab my house keys from my dresser, and bolt. “You might have to get dressed. Dad will be home from work in a while. I’ll see you soon,” I tell her as I dash toward the door. I jog the first couple blocks down the hill, just in case she calls after me.

Editorial Reviews

"The book is unusually clear-eyed in its depiction of both the negatives and the positives of a close-knit small town. There's an underlying nuance to the dynamics and a pleasing lack of villainy to the characters, so events are emotional rather than melodramatic."