K.C. Sprayberry has built an impressive repertory of YA novels, and Where You @ is a worthy addition to the library. Her first-person protagonist is one Trea Jones, a quarter- Cherokee 18-year-old girl, who looks like a full-blooded Native American. Her looks and poverty make her a target of mockery for the popular crowd at Landry High, where she’s a senior yearning to escape to college.
Her parental situation tops off her menu of misery. She’s stuck living in a virtual shack with her overweight mother and grandmother who are generally drunk and fighting with each other when they aren’t ridiculing Trea for her ambition and blaming her for their own ugly situation. Thus, Trea’s set up for a senior year filled with obstacles to fulfilling her dream.
If all this weren’t enough, her long-absent father enters the drama. He’s a school bus driver who’s as irresponsible now as he was when he deserted Trea and her mother long ago. Sprayberry’s stories often contain a cautionary element, and in this case, it’s texting while driving, and in an action appropriate to the novel’s title, Trea’s daddy’s the culprit. The one bright spot in the picture is her boy friend, Dave, a stand-up kid with a stable family who is the quarterback on a high school team contending for the state championship.
There are plenty of high’s and low’s in this exciting page-turner. Sprayberry once again goes deep into the heart and mind of adolescent yearning, pain, and victory. When you pick this one up, your “where you @” will be with your nose buried in the pages till it’s over, leaving you wishing for more.