Here We Are Now

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...

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

Here We Are Now Reviews

  • anna van sunshine ☼

    all the stars | i definitely was not expecting to love this book as much as i did, and this book has genuinely surprised me. i fell in love with every single thing about this novel; the plot, the characters, the setting, the dynamics, the banter, the writing...everything. after reading some of the reviews, i figured i’d probably enjoy the book but i wouldn’t “really” love it. boy was i wrong. i just had one of the worst reading slumps, and this is the first book that i could not put down. i read

    all the stars | i definitely was not expecting to love this book as much as i did, and this book has genuinely surprised me. i fell in love with every single thing about this novel; the plot, the characters, the setting, the dynamics, the banter, the writing...everything. after reading some of the reviews, i figured i’d probably enjoy the book but i wouldn’t “really” love it. boy was i wrong. i just had one of the worst reading slumps, and this is the first book that i could not put down. i read it while eating, while getting ready, at work, at stoplights on the way home. this is the first book in almost two months that has just completely captured my attention.

    warga’s writing style is very simplistic but it definitely gets the point (and the feels) across, which is something i very much appreciate. there are times when i want to read a lyrical, complex novel, but for the most part i tend to gravitate towards the simpler side of writing. her character’s were very well written and there was a lot of character development throughout the story that ultimately led to my love and affection for these characters.

    even though my long lost father is not a famous rockstar, i found myself relating to tal in many different ways. she struggled to believe that there were different versions of herself, which i relate to on an unbelievable level. all around me i feel like my friends and family are ever changing, but i’m still the same stoic and stagnant person i’ve always been. these different versions of ourselves make up who we truly are, and if we can’t see our different selfs, then we feel like we’re missing something.

    all in all, i truly fell in love with this book and i definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone! even if it doesn’t impact you as much as it did to me, it’s still a cute and fun read for the summertime! ☼

  • 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

  • Leanna Domalik

    “But I believe strongly that we all have multiple versions of ourselves. And the true test of love is learning to accept all of those versions, even when it’s messy.

    Actually, especially when it’s messy.”

    I LOVE family center 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. Here We Are Now was a really good family contemporary, that also really highlighted opening yourself up and conquering your fears -

    “But I believe strongly that we all have multiple versions of ourselves. And the true test of love is learning to accept all of those versions, even when it’s messy.

    Actually, especially when it’s messy.”

    I LOVE family center 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. Here We Are Now was a really good family 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.

  • Aj the Ravenous Reader

    makes up for a good general fiction as it portrays char

    makes up for a good general fiction as it portrays characters at different stages in their lives from YA to NA to adult-adult up to super adult. To me, the reading felt very literary even though it’s also very contemporary and very YA as the story is told in the POV of

    , a half-American, half-Jordanian teenage girl but it also shifts to a third person as it recounts the story of how her parents got together.

    It’s so cute although also heartbreaking how Tal uncovers her roots and inevitably her own person when

    , the rock star and also allegedly her father, barges in on her one day to whisk her away to Oakland, his hometown and technically Tal’s hometown too where she learns about her father and mother’s history and gets to know her relatives, albeit under a sad circumstance.

    The writing is beautiful and easy to read and the element of music is wonderfully portrayed. The words are entrancing and whimsical as if I was reading a fantasy novel but at the same time, I could relate so much.

    I practically breezed through the book and was only slightly disappointed when it ended so quickly but I couldn’t complain because the conclusion makes perfect sense to the story as it hopefully marks a new beginning for Tal and her dad and possibly for Tal’s parents as well.

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)

    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

    |

  • Krista Regester

    Things I enjoyed about

    -The diversity

    -The cover!

    -The unique names - I mean come on.. Harlow? Taliah? Lena? Perfect!

    -The references to musical artists

    -The feminist vibes

    -The idea of your long lost father turning out to be a famous rock star god

    -The flashbacks! They were extremely well done and honestly the best part about the book.

    Things I didn't enjoy so much

    -How immature Taliah was. It seemed like every single person had more life experience than she did. I found her whining a l

    Things I enjoyed about

    -The diversity

    -The cover!

    -The unique names - I mean come on.. Harlow? Taliah? Lena? Perfect!

    -The references to musical artists

    -The feminist vibes

    -The idea of your long lost father turning out to be a famous rock star god

    -The flashbacks! They were extremely well done and honestly the best part about the book.

    Things I didn't enjoy so much

    -How immature Taliah was. It seemed like every single person had more life experience than she did. I found her whining a lot.. and it killed me. every. damn. time. She was not an interesting or necessarily relatable character.

    -There were too many open ended plot holes that needed to be cut out or given more page time. I mean come on .. we spent like 3 chapters in the beginning of the book just deciding if we should open the damn door for Julian.

    -The romance between Taliah and Toby. It was completely unnecessary, rushed, and at some points inappropriate.

    -Besides the flashbacks, I felt like the story was getting under my skin and I really just needed something drastic to happen or for it to end.

    -There are so many bad tropes, metaphors, and "wisdom" filled sayings that need to go.

    Overall - not a terrible book. It had it's quirks and it's charms, but there were too many problems to ignore. I thoroughly enjoyed Jasmine Warga's

    , so maybe I just had high standards.

  • ☽ MaryJane ✨

    This one really surprised me. It wasn’t really what I was hoping for, which is weird because looking at the synopsis in comparison to the story I read, I’m really not sure how it could have gone any other way.

    This story was very emotional, every page made me feel something different. This story is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and figuring out who you are. It’s a story about love, self-love, family love and of course, romantic love.

    Jasmine Warga truly has a way with words, I conn

    This one really surprised me. It wasn’t really what I was hoping for, which is weird because looking at the synopsis in comparison to the story I read, I’m really not sure how it could have gone any other way.

    This story was very emotional, every page made me feel something different. This story is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and figuring out who you are. It’s a story about love, self-love, family love and of course, romantic love.

    Jasmine Warga truly has a way with words, I connected with the characters and their emotions even though I was unable to find myself a place in the plot. To be completely honest, the plot of this story didn’t do anything for me. I thought it was a little far-fetched, and found most of the big plot points to be easy enough to spot from the first page. This story stands out because of Warga’s ability to pack so much emotion into the pages of her stories. It was amazing how much I was able to feel and take away from this story despite not being super invested in it. I wish I could find the words to accurately explain the experience I had while reading this book, but even if I could I think it is something that is better to experience for yourself.

  • 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.

  • 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

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