Here We Are Now

Here We Are Now

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:
My Heart and Other Black Holes

Synopsis:

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.

Thoughts:

I was super excited to read this book after really enjoying Jasmine Warga’s debut novel. However, I think I went into reading it with my expectations a little too high. I did enjoy reading it, but I didn’t think it was anything overly remarkable. It’s a gentle story, that is so easy to read. It’s just not one that stands out for me. A week or so after reading it, many details have escaped me.

Here We Are Now centres around Taliah who is a white/Arabic teen who lives with her mum. She’s never met her father. Taliah believes that her father is the rockstar Julian Oliver. She sends many letters to him, trying to reach out. She doesn’t hear anything back, until one day he turns up at her door to tell her that she was correct. He also wants to take her to meet his family including his dying father. Taliah goes with him whilst her mum is away. She’s desperate to find out more about her family and her mother and father’s past. Then her mum finds out where she is and the past begins to unravel…

The characters in this book are quite easy to follow and root for. However the main thing that I enjoyed about this book was the family element. I do like to read about families that aren’t your stereotypical All American family.  The slight romance didn’t really work for me in this book. I don’t think it had enough time to be explored and I was totally more interested in Taliah’s family not the romance. It just fell a little flat for me. I think I didn’t believe in the romance because it wasn’t deeply connected to the plot. I don’t know. It just didn’t work for me.

I loved how diverse this book was. You have some LGBT characters within the story, but the fact that they are gay is never made a big deal of. They’re just there and accepted and that’s how it should be. I also appreciated the inclusion of interracial relationships. I’m all for diversity, especially in YA literature.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!

A subtly sweet story, but not one that will stay with me for a long time!

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This Week In Books #114

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Book images go to Goodreads!

NOWHere We Are NowJasmine Warga

Here We Are Now

I’m about a third of the way through this book. It’s okay, but it’s not blowing me away yet.

THEN The Dead ExJane Corry

This book took me a while to get into, but I did end up enjoying it! My review will be up in a few week’s time!

NEXTHush Little Baby- Joanna Barnard 

Hush Little Baby

I’m looking forward to this book. I love a thriller!

What are you reading this week? Let me know!

Stacking The Shelves #181

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

Book images go to Goodreads!

Bought:

Here We Are Now

I absolutely loved Jasmine’s debut novel, so I’m intrigued to read this one!

I Believe in a Thing Called Love

I have heard so many wonderful things about this book. I can’t help but think of The Darkness song when I read this title.

Turtles All the Way Down

I’m so nervous about reading this book because I’m not the biggest John Green fan. However, I’m always willing to give an author another go, so I’ll try read this one soon.

What have you added to your shelves this week? Let me know! Feel free to leave a link to your posts! 🙂

Ten Gems In Mental Health Literature

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list is a hidden gems list. Now, these books aren’t so much hidden, but I decided they needed some airing on my blog this week because they are gems. I love reading books that centre around mental health/illness and think they’re worth airing even if some of them are quite popular!

Click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page for the book! 🙂

The Silver Linings Playbook- Matthew Quick

The Silver Linings Playbook

This book is told in such a unique voice. I think this book is much deeper than the film. I enjoyed Matthew Quick’s portrayal of Pat.

Lighter Than My Shadow- Katie Green

Lighter Than My Shadow

This is a hefty book. It’s huge and it’s quite heavy going in its nature. It’s about Katie’s struggle with an eating disorder.

Am I Normal Yet?- Holly Bourne

Am I Normal Yet? (The Spinster Club, #1)

I absolutely adored this book. Holly Bourne is such a beautiful writer and she represented mental illness wonderfully. This is such an addictive YA read.

Reasons To Stay Alive- Matt Haig

Reasons to Stay Alive

I adore Matt Haig’s raw honesty in this book. There are some dark moments, but this book is hopeful.

My Heart and Other Black Holes- Jasmine Warga

My Heart and Other Black Holes

There are some incredibly poignant moments and memorable sections in this book. I found it incredibly powerful to read.

Belzhar- Meg Wolitzer

Belzhar

I really enjoyed this book despite it having quite mixed reviews. It’s unique and wonderfully written.

Perfect Escape- Jennifer Brown

Perfect Escape

I enjoyed reading this book which centres around a girl experiencing her brother’s problems with OCD. It was interesting to read about the impact it can have on a family member.

The Shock Of The Fall- Nathan Filer

The Shock of the Fall

This book doesn’t hold back when exploring mental illness. It’s such an intense, powerful read.

Undone- Cat Clarke

Undone

This book was so moving. It’s ending actually put a lump in my throat.

Highly Illogical Behaviour- John Corey Whaley

Highly Illogical Behavior

This book was absolutely stunning. I was blown away by the writing. I shall definitely be reading more from John Corey Whaley.

What are your hidden gems this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

End of Year Survey 2015

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This is one of my favourite surveys to do, by one of my favourite bloggers, Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner/The Broke and The Bookish. For some reason, I hadn’t noticed her post this year, but was pleased to see another blogger do the tag, so of course I jumped on board.

The links either go to my review of the book or Goodreads if I haven’t reviewed it already!

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Number Of Books You Read: 144
Number of Re-Reads: 8
Genre You Read The Most From: Young Adult

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

Simon Versus The Homo Sapiens Agenda– Becky Albertalli. This book warmed my heart. I can’t speak highly enough for it!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

What We Left Behind by Robin Talley. After devouring her debut, I really wanted to like her sophomore novel. I didn’t. I was very disappointed.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

I didn’t expect to like Cruel Beauty as much as I did. I had heard so many bad things about it that I was expecting not to like it.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Still Me Before You. I will ALWAYS push that book.

 5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

Started: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Sequel: The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E.Pearson

Series Ender- Winter by Marissa Meyer

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

Becky Albertalli!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Lighter Than My Shadow– Katie Green. My second graphic novel of the year.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

I Let You Go– Clare Mackintosh

 9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I’m not so sure I’ll re-read a book so soon. I tend to leave it a while in-between!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Simon (from Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda). I’m totally the heart emoji over that.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

My Heart And Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga. I really resonated with this book!

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

Reasons To Stay Alive– Matt Haig

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? 

Rites of Passage– Joy N.Hensley

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

“White shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t even be a default.” – Err… Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda (again, sorry!)

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

Shortest: Dream A Little Christmas Dream by Giovanna Fletcher- 69 pages

Longest: Winter by Marissa Meyer- 824 pages

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

The Ice Twins– S.K Tremayne

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

I’m sorry not sorry- Simon and Blue- Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

I’m going for friendship and I adore the friendship in The Ladybirds series by Jenny McLachlan

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Ensnared by A.G Howard

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

The Last Leaves Falling– Sarah Benwell. I’m not sure this book would’ve been on my radar otherwise.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

I don’t have one! Sad times.

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

Simon Vs…. you get the idea!

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

I’m loving the worldbuilding in the Throne of Glass series. I read Queen of Shadows this year.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Lily and The Christmas Wish– Keris Stainton. All the cuteness.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

The Last Leaves Falling- Sarah Benwell

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Boy In The Tower- Polly Ho-Yen

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Pig Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman. Highly intriguing but it made such an impact.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

Born Weird- Andrew Kaufman. It totally lives up to its title!

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Hmmm… Those Girls by Lauren Saft. This book just really didn’t sit right with me. At all.

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

I haven’t discovered many new book blogs this year, but I need to get on that. I’m looking forward to seeing how Outlook on a Book grows.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

I liked how I did Reasons To Stay Alive.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Unhauling Books. I need more discussion posts this year!

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

YA Shot by far. I loved being part of a blogger workshop.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

Continuing to blog even though my life got a hell of a lot busier.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Balancing it with teaching. I had one day where I almost forgot to schedule a post.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Top Ten Books For Readers That Like Plot Twists.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Gracefully Grayson– Ami Polonsky

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I haven’t really discovered much bookishness this year. A goal for next year?

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I’ve read more of the series that I wanted to and I think by 31st December I should have completed my Goodreads challenge. Fingers crossed!

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

The Accident Season by Moira Fowley Doyle

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

When We Collided by Emery Lord

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

A Court Of Mist and Fury– Sarah J Maas.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?

Find some sort of schedule that I can keep to for visiting other blogs.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

This Is Where It Ends– Marieke Nijkamp!

Feel free to leave me a link to your survey if you’ve done it too. I love reading these!

Top Ten Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list are the Top Ten authors who have me looking forward to their sophomore novel. Most of these authors are authors I’ve discovered in 2015. Their sophomore novels may even be out yet, but I’m yet to read them… Story of my life!

In no particular order, here they are (click on the book image to get to goodreads!)

Everything, Everything

Everything EverythingNicola Yoon- I adored this book. I thought it was a real page turner. I hope Nicola Yoon has a sophomore novel!

I Let You Go

I Let You GoClare Mackintosh– I thought this was absolutely fantastic. It’s a brilliant thriller. I highly recommend it if you’re into adult thrillers!

My Heart and Other Black Holes

My Heart and Other Black HolesJasmine Warga– This book is so well written. It’s raw and real.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda- Becky Albertalli- This is hands down one of my favourite books of the year. I adored it!

Pointe

Pointe- Brandy Colbert- I was very impressed by this book too.

The Book of You

The Book Of YouClaire Kendal– Another thriller which I lapped up!

The Last Leaves Falling

The Last Leaves FallingSarah Benwell- A beautifully written debut!

Gracefully Grayson

Gracefully GraysonAmi Polonsky– I’m hoping there will be a sophomore novel from this author too. I really enjoyed her debut novel which was a very important story to tell.

Faking Normal

Faking Normal- Courtney S. Stevens- This was another really raw read, but it’s so well written.

The Lost Girl

The Lost Girl- Sangu Mandanna– I adored this book recently and desperately want to read more from this author!

What authors have you looking forward to their sophomore novel? Let me know! Feel free to leave a link and I’ll stop by!

Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list are the Top Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters. I could mention so many wonderful books that do this, so it’s been incredibly hard to narrow it down!

Undone- Cat Clarke

Undone

This book has diverse characters and deals with suicide. I was absolutely blown away by this book, especially the ending. Oh my goodness!

A Kiss In The Dark- Cat Clarke

A Kiss in the Dark

There is a big secret involved in this story, but I don’t want to give it away. You’ll just have to read it to see why it’s got diverse characters!

Stronger Than You Know- Jolene Perry

Stronger Than You Know

This book features a wonderful character who goes through so much and grows massively throughout the course of the story. I will always recommend this book!

Golden Boy- Abigail Tarttelin

Golden Boy

This is another diverse and bloomin’ wonderful book. It revolves around an inter-sex character.

Gracefully Grayson- Ami Polonsky

Gracefully Grayson

A beautiful story which deals with prejudice and ignorance!

The Art of Being Normal- Lisa Williamson

The Art of Being Normal

This book was recommended to me by several trusted book bloggers. I could see why. I think it’s a fabulously diverse book which has a transgender character at the heart of the story.

Pointe- Brandy Colbert

Pointe

I absolutely adored this book. The main protagonist is dealing with serious issues. It’s so well written!

My Heart and Other Black Holes- Jasmine Warga

My Heart and Other Black Holes

This book deals with mental health/suicide in an incredibly raw, honest manner.

She Is Not Invisible- Marcus Sedgwick

She Is Not Invisible

Marcus Sedgwick’s book has a character who is living without sight. I think this is a beautifully written book.

Lies We Tell Ourselves- Robin Talley

Lies We Tell Ourselves

This book involves race and LGBT. It’s wonderful.

What are your Top Ten books with diverse characters/diversity? Feel free to leave a link to your top ten post and I’ll stop by!