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Here We Are Now

Review

Here We Are Now

HERE WE ARE NOW is the latest novel from the author of MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES, Jasmine Warga. HERE WE ARE NOW is a beautifully written novel that had me hooked from the beginning.

Taliah Sahar Abdallat, an avid music fan and musician, has never known who her father is. Her mother, Lena Abdallat, has always remained quiet about Taliah’s father. One day, Taliah finds a box of letters from Julian Oliver, the rock star, and she begins to discover more about her mother’s past and who her father might be. Taliah writes a series of letters to Julian, but hears nothing. Three years later, he turns up on her doorstep while her mother is away in Paris, asking her to come with him to his hometown to meet her family, as her grandfather is about to pass away. Throughout the novel, Taliah gets to know her father, her family and the story of Julian and Lena’s relationship.

"Jasmine Warga crafted a beautiful story that anyone is sure to love. The writing is wonderful and the plot and characters feel very real."

Taliah is a strong character who is going through some of the same struggles as any other teenager, making her an interesting and relatable protagonist. For example, she deals with the changing nature of her friendship with her best friend Harlow, who has recently gotten a girlfriend, Quinn, and is spending less time with Taliah and more time with Quinn. Taliah also learns how to open up and trust more easily with her newfound father and family. With her musical talents, Taliah struggles with trying to become her own person. She doesn’t want to be a copy of Julian Oliver, an indie rock star, she wants her music to belong to her. Taliah Sahar Abdallat is a flawed character, much like any other 16-year-old, who begins to learn more about the world and who she is when her life begins to turn upside down.

Lena, Taliah’s mother, is a Jordanian immigrant whose story is told through HERE WE ARE NOW’s alternating points of view. Whenever Julian tells another piece of the story of his and Lena’s relationship, we see it through Lena’s eyes. We get to see her ups and downs and through this, and learn more about why Julian was not in Taliah’s life for very long.

The relationships between Taliah and her family are central elements of HERE WE ARE NOW. Taliah is wary of and frustrated with Julian at first, but slowly she begins to open up to him through witnessing the loss of his father, her grandfather, and bonding over their shared love of music. Debra, Julian’s mother, welcomes Taliah into the Oliver family and makes her feel at home even though both of them are facing challenges.

HERE WE ARE NOW is a fantastic novel that left me wanting more. Jasmine Warga crafted a beautiful story that anyone is sure to love. The writing is wonderful and the plot and characters feel very real. Fans of realistic fiction will love it from the beginning, but even fans of other genres will truly enjoy HERE WE ARE NOW.

Reviewed by Ansley K., Teen Board Member on December 13, 2017

Here We Are Now
by Jasmine Warga