Sunday, December 24, 2017

Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga

Title: Here We Are Now
Author: Jasmine Warga
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Coming of Age
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

Despite sending him letters ever since she was thirteen, Taliah Abdallat never thought she'd ever really meet Julian Oliver. But one day, while her mother is out of the country, the famed rock star from Staring Into the Abyss shows up on her doorstep. This makes sense - kinda - because Julian Oliver is Taliah's father, even though her mother would never admit it to her.

Julian asks if Taliah if she will drop everything and go with him to his hometown of Oak Falls, Indiana, to meet his father - her grandfather - who is nearing the end of his life. Taliah, torn between betraying her mother's trust and meeting the family she has never known, goes.

With her best friend Harlow by her side, Taliah embarks on a three-day journey to find out everything about her 'father' and her family. But Julian isn't the father Taliah always hoped for, and revelations about her mother's past are seriously shaking her foundation. Through all these new experiences, Taliah will have to find new ways to be true to herself, honoring her past and her future.
Review by Nara

Despite what could have been a corny novel with the premise (anything with celebrities always has me slightly wary haha), Here We Are Now turns out to be a great novel with a focus on family and discovering one's roots.

I didn't like Here We Are Now as much as My Heart and Other Black Holes, although the style of the writing in the two novels was similar. I think the protagonist Taliah is more difficult to understand and connect to, because many of her actions are not necessarily rational. Despite this, the story is still quite compelling.

There is a double narrative focusing on main protagonist Taliah, and her mother, Lena. Somewhat awkwardly, I enjoyed Lena's narrative more, mostly because the story itself was more interesting. Probably the only aspect of Lena's story I didn't like as much as Taliah's was the romance- it just felt really cheesy e.g. the pickup lines that were used. Taliah's romance on the other hand, did feel a bit out of place in the story, but it was also pretty cute so I am a bit conflicted haha.

All in all, a decent novel. While not as good as her first, Warga's second novel is a pretty good follow up.

Really liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5