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Brenda Rufener is a technical writer turned novelist and the author of WHERE I LIVE, which Bustle named a most anticipated YA contemporary book hitting shelves in 2018 and Jennifer Niven called a “hard-hitting novel filled with hope.” 

SINCE WE LAST SPOKE, Brenda’s second young adult novel, published in 2019 and received a starred review from School Library Journal and was a 2020 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers.


When not writing, Brenda enjoys hiking the woods of North Carolina and spending time with her family. She is currently working on her next novel. 


Where I Live has been named to "best of" lists by: Barnes & Noble Teen, Bustle, Hello GigglesSchool Library Journal, and more.

Included on Bustle‘s list of the “27 Most Anticipated YA Contemporary Books Hitting Shelves in 2018”

An In The Margins Fiction Award Recommended Fiction List 2019

“Where I Live is hard-hitting and real and filled with hope. It makes you want to find your voice, find your people, and tell your story.” —Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places and Holding Up the Universe

“A touching and timely look at a girl on the brink of disappearing. Rufener writes compassionately about homelessness, teen dating abuse, and the search for home.” —Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces

“A powerful, stirring debut, Where I Live takes us on a journey into a hidden world that exists all around us—exploring homelessness, poverty, love, and grief with insight, sensitivity, and most of all, hope.” —Amber Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Way I Used to Be

"...reminiscent of Tharp’s The Spectacular Now in its depiction of adolescence at its bleakest but most sincere." - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 


"...refreshing to see a well-rounded picture of a teen who's more than her crisis." - Booklist

"Where I Live tempers the precarious existence of homelessness with the saving grace of friendship. A poignant, hopeful and unvarnished story of courage and resilience." - Kerry Kletter, critically acclaimed author of The First Time She Drowned

"A compelling and deeply felt debut, Where I Live is an unflinching portrayal of homelessness, abuse, and love. Linden's story grabbed me and didn't let me go." - Carlie Sorosiak, author of If Birds Fly Back and Wild Blue Wonder


★"Rufener successfully weaves difficult subjects into a real and relatable narrative without platitudes or apologies. This is a modern-day Romeo and Juliet story that stands on its own. VERDICT: This book is a definite first purchase for high school libraries." –School Library Journal, starred review


“Rufener's treatment of grief is nuanced and deeply felt, and Aggi's and Max's complex feelings about themselves, their families, and their aborted romance drive the skillfully crafted narrative. A compelling story about grief told through the voices of two expertly drawn protagonists." - Kirkus Reviews

“A powerful story about grief, loss, and the restorative nature of love, SINCE WE LAST SPOKE will stay with you long after you’ve finished.”

- Amber Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Way I Used to Be and The Last to Let Go

"Readers who enjoy narratives of resilience after devastating loss will appreciate Aggi's and Max's struggles to recover and find each other again." –The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Rufener handles topics such as love, loss, and grief with a deft and steady hand, intermingling moments of humor and warmth as two families learn to navigate the tragedy that’s intertwined them forever.”

— Miranda Asebedo, author of The Deepest Roots

Photo Credit: Carolyn Scott Photography 
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