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‘Here we are Now’ Book Review

Hannah Young, Writer

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“Here We Are Now” by Jasmine Warga is the third book published which is coming out with the past releases of My Heart and Other Black Holes and Other Words from Home. Released on Nov. 7, Here We Are Now is a feel good, diverse novel that will have you running to hug your family and appreciate them.

Taliah Abdallot has always loved music. It has helped her forget and ease the pain of things of never knowing her father. Her mother won’t say a single word about him. When Taliah finds a shoebox of letters and pictures of her mom and famous rock star, Julian Oliver, Taliah has a feeling that she found her father. After years of writing letters to the rock star, Julian Oliver winds up on her doorstep, asking her to visit his family and meet them, with the dying of a grandfather she never knew. Julian asks her to go on a road trip home to Oak Falls and find out where she truly comes from. Told through divisions of flashbacks and the five days at Oak Falls, Here We Are Now is a fresh new family young adult book.

Taliah starts to discover herself that she never recognized. The road trip from big city to small town and through the meeting of her family, Taliah untangles her parent’s old romance and why they never were meant to be. Seen through flashbacks of Taliah’s mother, Lena, the story of her and Julian is a heart wrenching tale of loss and growing in love. Taliah and Julian bond over the course of the five days of visiting her new family and develop a father-daughter relationship that is shining through music and the melodies within.

I enjoyed the connection to music that the main character and her father share. It was extremely relatable and it shows that a common relation between people is music. I love how her father owned up to his mistakes and tried to explain to Taliah that sometimes things don’t work out. Taliah discovers herself, new music and how the power of family can help and how personal growth is key to discovering yourself.

“Here We Are Now” is wonderful story of finding where you came, who you are and how you can grow. Through flashbacks, the reader can understand where her parents came from and understand the decisions. With Taliah, you can relate to her struggle and finding out who you are. You can want her small but growing romance with the next door neighbor, Toby, at her new grandparent’s house. The romance in the story as a nice touch and could sidetrack from the main drama of her family. The romance was realistic and didn’t show the typical fall-in-love-in-five-pages cliche From the music of Julian to the music of today and early 2000’s, Taliah and her father bond and she finally discovers something she never had. I loved the music in the story and could relate easily as a lover of music.

I enjoyed this story and recommended it to anyone, the story was different than the typical romance genre and barely grazed with any cliches. The tale of family, who you are and that family is love and all you need is yourself and family to find who you truly are. The romance between her and the boy next door is a new fresh idea. The parent’s flashbacks show why and how their romance led to the present. Taliah is a relatable character who is fresh, different and new to the world of romances. The swirl of music is a nice touch to the book and gives it a new air.

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