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New Jersey, Loss of parent, Loss of Virginity, Coming of age, Domestic abuse, Suicide, Sense of belonging

Some Place Better Than Here
by Landen Wakil

It’s early summer, and in a small community on the central Jersey Shore, a black car screeches to a halt outside the Wright Bros grocery. Danny looks up from where he’s working at the carwash to see the driver rifle out of the car and chase a girl rushing into the store.

For some reason—fate perhaps or intuition—he decides to cross the lot and investigate. When he meets Mary, there is a great deal Danny doesn’t know, but he certainly knows that he’s been struck. For it’s like the keys to an old car had been dropped into his hands and is about to start the engine that will forever alter the outcome of their lives.

Some Place Better Than Here is a gritty, unflinching look at how we define family and come to grips with loss. It’s about growing up in a small town, following your dreams, and mapping out the uneven ground that often lays between love, friendship and sexual awakening.

“SPBTH needs a warning label: Do not read as a distraught teenager. It fills your head with idealistic notions of finding love, discovering yourself, and mending a broken past.”

— Wattpad User, reLaX646

“This story broke me.”

Wattpad User, onehundreddays

“This is definitely one of those books that I'm probably going to contemplate about forever. Thank you for that.”

— Wattpad User, TheEccentricArtist

“I loved the book simply because it reflects reality.”

— Wattpad User, reislust

“I love and hate you so much for your beautiful words and metaphors and characters because I'm crying my eyes out and up way too late. Thank you so much for giving a non-happy ending book, where just because you try at something doesn't mean you always get it.”

— Wattpad User, roguehopes

“I'm crying this book is so good.”

— Wattpad User, iamqueentrash

“This is my favorite thing I have ever seen on Wattpad. I finished it and then didn't go on wattpad for months and came back on it just to find this again. You write so well... I think it's the voice that I like the most. I am so jealous, this book is really truly incredible and I wish I could have it in like real book form. It's so good, it's seriously so good, and I don't know what to say to make this not just sound like a normal comment on any book, but it is really, really good and I'm so in love with it. Thank you so much.”

— Wattpad User, domarlene

“Crying now that it’s over! I love how realistic this book is. No clichés. Lovely. I’ll miss *insert spoiler* even though [they] are a fictional character in a novel.”

— Wattpad User, Diana4g

“What just happened [?] I can't believe its finished. I need more. But this was amazing. Loved it. Especially the way you write and the reality in the situations that take place and way you portray a character and their feelings. Just something else.”

— Wattpad User, Weird_fweak

“Is this really the end? Does this story really have an open-ended ending? One of the best stories I have read that depicts what happens in real life. ”

— Wattpad User, Cheyennelwi

“This book is one of the greatest that I have read. The way you write makes people able to connect to it. It is a novel that makes you think about life and how quickly things can change. It is a book that makes you want to enjoy everything that life has to offer and not waste anytime doing it! I love this novel so much! I can't wait for more!

— Wattpad User, Taylor Coffman

Landen Wakil photo

Landen Wakil is an author from the Niagara region in Ontario, who lives with his dog, Sheba. Someplace Better Than Here is his first novel. You can follow Landen on the usual social media using the handle @LandenWakil.


Landen Wakil

What People are Saying

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