Title: Here We Are Now
Author: Jasmine Warga
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication date: November 7th, 2017
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.
“Taliah, when someone’s dying we make it all about the firsts and the lasts. We recount things from the beginning and from the end, but we hardly ever talk about the middle. But it’s the middle that matters.”
Oh, damn, I honestly don’t know how I feel about this book right now. Did I enjoy it? Of course, but it was SO short. And I’m not saying that as a good thing, because there are tons of books out there who are probably just as short as this one and are amazing, but in this case, that worked against it. Mostly because that made a lot of plot holes and unanswered questions.
Ever since I heard about this book, I knew I was going to read it. The premise sounded something completely different from what I’m used to read, especially when it comes to contemporary, and plus I was really excited to read a Jasmine Warga book (I have My Heart and Other Black Holes on my TBR but I haven’t picked it up yet…). And I really enjoyed the writing and the whole story, but I have a few issues that made me lower my rating quite a bit.
“Music makes you feel less alone in that way. It’s proof that someone out there has felt the exact same way you do and they’ve managed to capture it in this perfect blend of words and sound.”
Like I was saying before, the lenght of this book acted against it in so many different ways. Yes, it was super quick to read and it took me a few hours to finish, which was surprisingly fast to me, but I have to say, I would have enjoyed it much more if it was longer.
The pacing of the story was extremely fast. I couldn’t grasp a lot of things because of that. For example, Taliah’s relationship with her father came out of nowhere. At first she was a bit hurt for him not caring about her in the past, which I totally unterstand, but suddenly there was a change in their relationship that came out of nowhere and confused me a bit and found a little unrealistic. Yes, that the main word to describe it.
I have to say I looved Julian’s family so much. They were so funny and cool and supportive towards Taliah that made all the fuzzy feelings came out. I especially adored her grandmother, because it’s the one that appeared in the book the most out of Julian’s family, and the one I think was the coolest, honestly.
And guys, some parts were like How I Met Your Mother. I liked them, because they gave us a perspective we didn’t know before, and it was interesting to see what went wrong between Taliah’s parents, but I think it would have been better if the book was longer, because it took too much importance, rather than Taliah’s relationship with her father.
“That’s one of the toughest things about love, right? The way the people we love are constantly changing and we have to learn how to accept those changes. Love isn’t a constant thing, you know? It’s active. It’s always growing.”
There was also a romance in this book, and let me tell you I wasn’t feeling it (sorry, Toby). It was completely unecessary and it didn’t add anything to the story, in my opinion. It felt like it was made just so readers could be pleased to read about a love story and to fill space, because it wasn’t develop at all. I still don’t understant it. This is one of those stories that would have been better without a main character/love interest romance.
And I wasn’t much of a fan of the ending. This is completely personal preference, but I don’t like open endings. Sometimes I think they’re well done, but in this particular book, nuh-uh. It ended quite roughly, and I felt betrayed, because I was expecting to see a bit more of their parental relationship, which I didn’t. I don’t know, everything was super rushed there were some many things that were left out there.
Overall, if it weren’t for the lenght and pacing of the story, it would have been a great story that dealt with family relationships and grief, because it had everything that could potentially could be amazing, but it left a sour taste in my mouth. I still have to think more about it. Maybe I’ll end up giving it 3.7 stars, who knows?
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