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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Whereabouts is a coming-of-age story set in the rural south during the 70s. Seventeen-year-old Missy Belue's life turns upside down when her father dies of a massive heart attack, leading to her mother marrying the town mortician. Feeling emancipated in her humdrum life, Missy sees the opportunity to leave Kingstree behind when her significantly older third cousin, Skyles Huffman, swaggers into town. The two set off on the road to explore the deep south. However, Missy soon gets tired of Skyles's continuous advances toward her and leaves him stranded by hitching a ride with two AWOL marines. She finds herself working at a roadway diner for an eccentric man named Hassan. But when the past comes back unexpectedly to haunt her, Missy must set off once again to find her rightful place in this world.
Whereabouts is a thoughtful tale about making mistakes and growing up to discover your true self. Author Scott Gould's bittersweet novel follows a teenager on the cusp of adulthood, realizing her age through trying circumstances and wondering how much world she has yet to discover. This is a slice-of-life story that keeps you glued to the pages from start to finish. The characters are realistic, with human flaws that make them all the more compelling to read. Missy is a riveting protagonist who is easy to root for. Asa and Hassan are colorful characters who entertain you in every scene that they are in. I thoroughly enjoyed Whereabouts. If you like coming-of-age stories with well-realized characters, I highly recommend it.