Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga

Here We Are Now

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.Jul...

Title:Here We Are Now
Author:
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Here We Are Now Reviews

  • Kim

    I know literally nothing about this book. I only know that based on how excellent My Heart and Other Black Holes was I want it. Bad.

  • Geekyeram

    After reading My Heart and Other Black Holes I will basically reading ANYTHING she writes. I don't know anything about this book but I'm still excited for it

  • Chelsea

    I adored Jasmine Warga's

    , so I was eagerly anticipating this one. While it is only a 3 1/2 star read for me, it is pretty well written and a solid YA contemporary novel. The writing was sometimes a little too on the nose with references and perhaps a little too quirky, such as these very unrealistic letters that I could never imagine someone sending. I will point out that this book features a lot of diversity, as the MCs mom is an immigrant from Jordan

    I adored Jasmine Warga's

    , so I was eagerly anticipating this one. While it is only a 3 1/2 star read for me, it is pretty well written and a solid YA contemporary novel. The writing was sometimes a little too on the nose with references and perhaps a little too quirky, such as these very unrealistic letters that I could never imagine someone sending. I will point out that this book features a lot of diversity, as the MCs mom is an immigrant from Jordan and the MCs female best friend (yay female friendship!) has a girlfriend. Recommended for people who like cute and light YA contemporaries.

  • Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)

    I LOVE family-centric contemporary stories. They are so easy for me to get invested in and I love seeing the relationships form and evolve. I just love them so much.

    was a really good family centric contemporary, that also really highlighted opening yourself up and c

    I LOVE family-centric contemporary stories. They are so easy for me to get invested in and I love seeing the relationships form and evolve. I just love them so much.

    was a really good family centric contemporary, that also really highlighted opening yourself up and conquering your fears - whatever they may be. We follow Taliah as she meets her rockstar dad Julian Oliver for the first time, when he asks her to come visit his dying father. Tal learns more about her mom, Julian, and herself than she ever expected and she has to learn to reconcile these new truths with what she’s always believed to be true.

    I really loved the

    we get throughout the story. They show personality, relationships, and I love that we get to see more of Lena’s Jordanian culture. They really helped develop the characters and provide more backstory and depth. They were probably my favorite part of the story.

    I really liked a lot of the

    ! I thought Harlow was a great friend, who tried to help Taliah grow and open up about things, even if she was uncomfortable. Debra, Tal’s grandmother is so kind and insightful and warm. She gave Tal some really great advice that she needed to hear, but she was never pushy.

    I also liked the moments we get to see

    learning more about each other. These pure family moments are the ones that really shined for me and gave life to the story. I also really liked that they bonded over music!

    I have kinda

    . I understand that Tal’s been put in this weird position and has a lot of confusing and probably conflicting feelings, but I thought she was being purposefully difficult a few times. But she did apologize for that and for being hard to get to know - and I liked that. I think overall I was just a little indifferent to her, which was unfortunate.

    I feel like the budding

    , was pretty unnecessary, and mostly just took page time away that could have been used to further develop family moments. I mean it was cute, but I didn't really care about it much. A romance wasn't what I was looking for in this particular story.

    This such an easy book to get invested in. I loved seeing the family moments and Julian and Tal becoming closer, and while I would have liked more development in the family relationships, I was satisfied with what I got.

    is a lovely story of family and discovering where you fit in.

  • Elise (thebookishactress on wordpress)

    To be clear: three stars is a fairly positive rating for me. I think this will work for a lot of readers. It's deep and meaningful in all the right ways that can touch your soul. It's also still an arc version, and with a few aspects improved,

    It just wasn't for me.

    The book suffers here from an issue I like to call TMHTLD:

    For example, one theme in this book is Julian's relationship with his father. Unfortunatel

    To be clear: three stars is a fairly positive rating for me. I think this will work for a lot of readers. It's deep and meaningful in all the right ways that can touch your soul. It's also still an arc version, and with a few aspects improved,

    It just wasn't for me.

    The book suffers here from an issue I like to call TMHTLD:

    For example, one theme in this book is Julian's relationship with his father. Unfortunately, they only have one two-page scene and then one scene right before he dies. Most of their relationship is built through exposition. Tom and Julian's relationship needed to be built up more earlier and with

    Same with Harlow and Tal's relationship; we see so little that it's hard to actually care. In general,

    In contemporaries,

    . It doesn't matter how deep the book is; if I can't connect, I can't fall in love. I didn't fall in love with the characters here, sadly.

    That's... kind of how I felt about her. She's got some development and some character, but she was hard to emotionally connect to for me. I can't blame the author for this at all; she's a very different person than I am, far more dependent on others. Her guarded nature, however, is a trait I should've related to. I'd have liked her trust issues to be expanded on, rather than mentioned once and not again.

    These two issues bled into my biggest issue of all: even though there were parts I really liked,

    It's a personal issue, but it dropped this from a solid 3 to a 2.5.

    Let's go into some individual likes and dislikes here.

    This is another book in which the author makes a slight case for why instalove is okay, and it works... surprisingly well. I didn't roll my eyes when usually I would, so... success. The romance itself, though, is so flat that I couldn't even bring myself to smile when they got together. I'm sorry, but it doesn't belong here.

    The writing was good, but had a few issues. These are all fairly minor and nitpicky.

    • Sometimes the story will skip forward a day and Tal will tell us what happened yesterday in her internal narration. This style didn't totally work for me. I know I'm nitpicking. Jasmine Warga, if you're reading this, I'm really sorry.

    • The writing in Lena's story, which was done in third person past tense, felt oddly stilted. The language used in Tal's story didn't bother me at all, but there was something off about Lena's first few chapters. The author hit her speed fairly quickly and from then on it was fine. Again, nitpick, doesn't impact much.

    . Jasmine Warga has a nice writing style, but some of the romantic lines dropped in this book are more cheesy than romantic. There's a “since you walked in, I've looked at no one but you” dropped on page 219 of my arc edition. It's just cringeworthy to read. Lena and Julian are an interesting couple, but the romance is so, so cheesy that I kept feeling disengaged.

    Lena's story should be amazing, because she was a character I found easy to connect to. Unfortunately, it ended up seeming out of place. The problem is that Lena's story is meant to build into Tal's - yet her story doesn't flesh out Tal's story, it is firmly her own story.

    She either should've gotten protagonist treatment or not been included at all. Given the interesting themes in her story of immigration, and how much I genuinely liked her,

    . Multigenerational stories are awesome!

    • The characters, despite my complaints, weren't terrible by any means. I've already mentioned previously that

    , and I have to admit,

    I love reading family drama stories, and the issues between Julian and Lena seem genuine.

    • Everything was

    This is a quiet little story, and everything is very subtle, but it's all very sweet.

    Honestly, the ending was half the reason this got three stars instead of two. It was clever and a little meta and I respected it so much. It could've been a total cop-out, but instead it was perfect.

    ! I liked the background gay girls not being a big thing, and I liked the subtle themes about immigration and interracial relationships. The latter could've been expanded on a little more, but the development those issues got was perfect for Warga's subtle story.

    I know I mentioned a few nitpicky issues with the writing, but there was a lot to love about the writing too.

    . The romance writing is cheesy, but everything else is really nice. I might do a quick listing of quotes after the book comes out to end this review on a nice note.

    IN GENERAL: A great book for hopeless romantics, especially fans of Nicola Yoon. From what I've heard about her, this will be perfect for any fans of

    Just not necessarily for me.

    div17: hijabi mc

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  • Sarah

    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

    This was a contemporary story about a girl whose absent rock-star father turned up on her doorstep asking her to meet her dying grandfather.

    Taliah was a great character, and I understood her nervousness and anxiety when her rock-star father who she had never met turned up on her doorstep. I also got why it seemed a little strange to be saying goodbye to a grandfather that she had likewise never met before.

    T

    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

    This was a contemporary story about a girl whose absent rock-star father turned up on her doorstep asking her to meet her dying grandfather.

    Taliah was a great character, and I understood her nervousness and anxiety when her rock-star father who she had never met turned up on her doorstep. I also got why it seemed a little strange to be saying goodbye to a grandfather that she had likewise never met before.

    The storyline in this was about Taliah’s father asking her to go with him to say goodbye to his dying father, and Taliah then trying to work out where she fit into a family she had never met before. The pacing was pretty good, and I liked the way Taliah and her father’s relationship was something that they had to work on, rather than something that instantly happened.

    The ending to this was also pretty good, and it was interesting to see Taliah’s mother’s reaction when she found out what had been going on as well.

    7 out of 10

  • Evelina | AvalinahsBooks

    I was going to give his 3 stars if it weren't for the last pages. Just barely. But we'll get to that.

    Taliah’s mom always told her his dad was dead. But at some point she started wondering if this super star rock musician might be her dad? (I know, but her explanations actually make sense!) So it turns out he is, and he wants to take her to see her granddad before he passes away. Her mom is conveniently in Paris, so Taliah jumps into the adventure.

    It's di

    I was going to give his 3 stars if it weren't for the last pages. Just barely. But we'll get to that.

    Taliah’s mom always told her his dad was dead. But at some point she started wondering if this super star rock musician might be her dad? (I know, but her explanations actually make sense!) So it turns out he is, and he wants to take her to see her granddad before he passes away. Her mom is conveniently in Paris, so Taliah jumps into the adventure.

    It's diverse - the main character is a second generation immigrant, a Muslim. Her best friend is gay. Then again... I am in no position to judge as I don't even know anyone Muslim, but I was wondering if it would be a relevant character for me, if I was Muslim myself? Because neither Taliah nor her mom are religious or wear hijabs. Her mom drinks alcohol. It's basically all down to "we don't eat pork". I don't know if this is enough for American Muslim girls to identify with. I would actually like to know your opinion, if you are my Goodreads friend and are one. Then again, of course, there certainly ARE Muslims like that in America, so it’s representative of them. So these are just musings.

    Secondly - yes, her best friend is gay. But I'm also wondering about that. Best gay friend trope? Not sure. Can't judge. You judge yourself.

    Unfortunately, that's basically all I can find that was good. That, and some nice quotes about life. Other than that, it's not very memorable.

    See, I'm wondering if I'm even the right audience for this book. Maybe I should just ditch the contemporaries? But, thing is... I'm SURE you CAN write a good contemporary without instalove. You can write a good contemporary without making your teen characters be free to go anywhere without asking their parents (what world do we live in? Can kids really do whatever they like now? I doubt that.) You can write one without using 90% dialogue. Or without an out-of-place convenient love interest appearing out of nowhere which basically acts as a crutch to the story, as the listener who is simply helping to advance it.

    Actually, it was the instalove that made me deduct that third star. I can not and will not stand by teaching teens that it's alright to kiss someone on the third(ish) day you met them after having talked to them like three times. I refuse to believe a character that's introverted and doesn't trust people just opens up to this random guy the second time they're talking. When I was growing up, teen boys were not so easily approachable, for starters. Second? When did they ever talk deep stuff to girls? ESPECIALLY girls their age. It just... doesn't really happen. It's not right to make teen girls think that it happens. Because that's how you shatter their dreams about relationships.

    So writers, please stop doing that. Gah.

    I also felt odd about the main character being an indie rock listener, writing jazzy punky songs, and... claiming that Beyonce is perfection. Where do those overlap..? Or am I completely behind the times? :D

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  • Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)

    Review soon.

  • destiny ☠ howling libraries

    This was actually a 3.5 star read for me, but the more I pondered it over the two-day span between finishing it and reviewing it, I realized it wasn't quite remarkable enough for me to round up.

    tells the story of Taliah, a biracial white/Arabic teen who's never met her father. She's on

    This was actually a 3.5 star read for me, but the more I pondered it over the two-day span between finishing it and reviewing it, I realized it wasn't quite remarkable enough for me to round up.

    tells the story of Taliah, a biracial white/Arabic teen who's never met her father. She's only working on an educated guess that he might be Julian Oliver, rockstar sensationalist, when the man shows up at her door one day to tell her that her assumptions were correct - and he wants to take her to meet his family, including his dying father.

    Tal isn't the

    enjoyable narrator in the beginning of the story. She starts the book off fairly amusing and relateable with an excellent depiction of anxiety and paranoia, but those feelings quickly morph into a level of snark and distrust that's not pleasant to read through. Despite the fact that Julian's entire

    points blatantly to a million lies Tal's mother has fed her throughout her life, Tal refuses to place any blame on her mother.

    The nice thing about Taliah, however, is how much she grows; throughout the story, through a handful of "tough love" scenarios from multiple friends and family members, she learns that life isn't as black and white as she thinks it is. She grows to slowly trust people and open up, and is forced to come to terms with her unhealthy level of possessiveness over her best friend, Harlow.

    The most unexpected thing about

    was how quickly and how much I fell in love with Tal's father, Julian. From the opening of the story, I honestly expected him to be this flighty, dirtbag sort of stereotypical rockstar who would show up, get her hopes up, and then shatter her dreams a few times before disappearing again at the end of the book. That is totally

    Julian at all, though.

    From the beginning, he's awkward, uncertain, and a little bit shy about learning he's Taliah's father. I won't spoil the fine details for you, but we learn that Julian hasn't been half bad enough to deserve some of the events of the past, and he's actually a pretty well-meaning guy. His banter with Tal is so enjoyable, and I loved the way the we got to see the past through his memories, but they were written in Lena's (Tal's mother) perspectives.

    Harlow is Tal's childhood best friend, who happens to be a lesbian. I loved the

    of Harlow to bits: she's obsessed with baking, she's sassy, she's proud of her sexuality, and she's got a good head on her shoulders. Unfortunately, her actual interactions with Tal and the other characters in the story are cringe-y most of the time, and her "tough love" spiel about not relying on only one person would have been a lot better if it hadn't been laced with her breaking a promise to Tal so she could hang out with her girlfriend.

    The romance in this book was one hundred percent the biggest disappointment in the entire story. It felt so incredibly lackluster and out of place that I probably would have rounded up to 4 stars if I could have somehow gone through and edited out the entire existence of this friend-of-the-family character. He's not a bad kid, but it would be so nice to see a YA contemporary every now and then that doesn't end in a couple forming, and this book would have been

    for that! Totally a missed opportunity.

    First of all, I am not Muslim - or religious at all - and I cannot speak for how good this rep was. I do know, however, that Jasmine Warga identifies as a Middle Eastern/American woman, so the POC rep is own-voice and was so enjoyable to read. Tal's mother's perspectives frequently reflect on her Muslim beliefs and family, as well as how incredibly homesick she is for Jordan. She frets constantly that she is letting her parents down if she doesn't make a name for herself in the States, and there is even a solid bit of conversation about hijab-wearing and eating habits!

    Of course, there is also the lesbian rep that I mentioned in Harlow's case, which I found really enjoyable. Harlow is out and proud and has no questions about her sexuality. There are no tropes, or painful moments we commonly see through queer characters in YA contemporary titles.

    All in all,

    was a fun read, but nothing spectacular. Had it not been for the romantic aspect, I would have given this 4 stars, but it was such a downer that I couldn't justify rounding up the rating. If you're looking for a fun YA contemporary story about family, with some nice diverse representation thrown in, or if you're already a Jasmine Warga fan, I'd recommend picking it up.

  • I read novels

    Some people show up on your door step who you never expect. For Taliah her rock star dad turns up out of the blue. After Taliah had found her mother's shoe box with clippings of her dad in a rock band she had secretly been writing letters to him asking if Julian Oliver was her father. I quite enjoyed reading this story about family and friendship.


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