Saturday, 18 November 2017

Review: Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga

Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga
Published by Hodder & Stoughton
Released 16th November 2017
288 Pages
Paperback

Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

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 it turns out Julian Oliver is Taliah's father . . .
When Julian asks her to go with him to his hometown to meet the family she has never known, Taliah embarks on a three-day voyage of discovery - of her father, of the past her mother has never shared with her, and of herself.
Thoughts

I do love some contemporary YA and it is slowly becoming on my favourite sorts in the genre itself. I am always looking for new authors to discover and new books to read within contemporary YA. So, I was thrilled when I received Here We Are Now in the post. I was really looking forward to losing myself in it.

Despite sending him letters for three years, sixteen year old Taliah never thought she'd meet famous rock star Julian Oliver. But one day, while her mother is out of the country he turns up on her doorstep. This is because as it turns out Julian is Taliah's long lost father. When Julian ask Taliah to go with him to his hometown to meet the family she never knew she add, she embarks on a three day voyage of self discovery. Finding out things she never knew about her past, her father, her mother and herself.

I'm gonna be honest although I love contemporary YA when I first read the book's description I was a little bit skeptical. It didn't seem like the most original plot. A young girl meeting long lost family and going on a journey of discovery has been done many times, so how could this one be different and engage me as a reader? Well I can tell you that it certainly did. As soon as I started reading any doubts I had were well and truly wiped away. 

Here We Are Now was such a sweet, easy, heartwarming read and I was into it the moment I started reading. I knew that this was going to take me on a big journey about figuring out who you are as a person. Taliah's journey although only taking place over a few days was so intense to read. It just goes to show how much a person can change even if it's only in a matter of days. 

As a big music lover I was really impressed with how much music played a part within the story. Besides Julian being in a famous rock band, you had Taliah showing a passion for the art and her best friend Harlow. I also feel like this was the main way Julian and Taliah bonded which was touching and showed how music can bring two people who are initially strangers together.

The story itself is told from two POV's, Taliah's and her mother, Lena's. Out of both of these I'll have to say I loved Lena's parts the best. You get to find out all about her relationship with Julian and how they met, fell in love and ultimately went their separate ways. I am a big sucker for any sort of romance so this was the underlying reason why it struck a big chord with me. Dual POV's don't work in some fiction but in this case it really did.

Taliah was a character that I could resonate with straight away. At the start she does come across as this closed off teenager who shuts everybody out. Some may think that this isn't a good first impression of a character but as I was like Taliah when I was younger I felt like I could relate. Her development throughout the story was brilliant. You got to see her transform from this closed off young woman to someone who is confident in opening up about herself. I also really loved Julian. At first I thought he was going to be this self-obsessed jerk of a rock star but he was totally the opposite. You got to go inside his thoughts and really get to know him. He was a joy to read and learn about. Although, I would have liked to have seen a few more scenes between him and his father. 

Here We Are Now was a lovely, heart touching book which I really enjoyed delving into. The pacing was just right for a story that took place over a few days, all the characters were likeable (there wasn't one that I didn't like) and the use of ethic minority and homosexual characters was really thought out. I am looking forward to reading more by Jasmine Warga in the future.


Rating



Jasmine Warga is an author from Cincinnati, Ohio. Her first novel, My Heart and Other Black Holes, was an international bestseller and has been translated into over twenty languages. Her second novel, Here We Are Now, was released in November of 2017. Jasmine lives with her husband, two tiny daughters, large dog, and mischievous cat.

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