Review: Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga ~ Reconciliation or a Mess?

Hiya!! Back in 2015, My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga was my top favorite book because I can relate to it very much that time. I’m not sure if I’m still gonna love it now. And so, I loved Jasmine for writing the book and I’m gonna read all of her books. I knew she was a debut author that time but still, support matters.❗️I know I’m late but here I am now. Finally reading another one of her books. I was hoping I would love the book but unfortunately, I don’t. This book doesn’t meet my expectations at all. 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.

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Title: Here We Are Now

Author:Jasmine Warga

Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Published: 7 November 2017

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

“You have to live your life for you. You can’t apologize or feel guilty for having your own dreams.”

So, here’s the only thing I love about this book; it touched my heart. With the meaningful lessons from the characters’ mistakes and the deep meaning of life. 💫

But that’s that. I am more disappointed of how this story turns out. It’s not entirely a bad book but it’s not a good book either. It was messy actually. Everything was rushed. I actually like that there’s so much happening and lots of emotions. But it was also too quick that at some point it just doesn’t add up. 😐 The story is constricted with the time, which I believe half of this story will be good without it. It was just too much in only five days in a book. Too overwhelming.

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Thing I’m also not satisfied is, there isn’t much reconciliation between Taliah and Julian. I did enjoy the flashback-telling of Julian’s and Lena’s past but I found that I enjoyed it too much that I started to feel the story is about them. 🙁 *And that history between Lena and Julian reminds me a lot of the Filipino movie, The Breakup Playlist.* Sure, this story had some things to do with Lena and Julian but they aren’t the main focus on this story. Taliah is the main reason of this book so I was hoping we would get much about her instead. Not that we didn’t, but it feels like Taliah isn’t the main focus here. It was disappointing. 😓 I wish we could get more of Julian reconciling everything with Taliah instead of him telling what went wrong with her mom. I’m not sure if I’m saying this right, but this book actually sort of have two stories in it. 🤔

And the love trope? I know some of you might agree with love at first sight but gosh, it was too structured. It doesn’t feel natural at all. I don’t like it. Too easy hanging out with a stranger at a diner? And the fact the she just started her life in new place… Nah, too unrealistic for me. 🥴

We actually have a diversity in the characters. Taliah’s mother, Lena, is a Muslim immigrant. Moving from Jordan to America. Sure, we have Muslim characters. But it’s barely a rep here. So I don’t want to talk about that. It’s just gonna make me more disappointed. 🙃

But anywayyyy, I do want to talk about Taliah. You know what I feel weird about her? The way she calls Julian ‘dude’. She already knew Julian is her father and it’ll make sense if she just wants to piss him off by calling him that but somehow, it just feels weird to me. 😳 I understand she isn’t comfortable yet with him but Julian is an adult, and the fact the he is a father. It’s just… I think it’s rude?? 😟 Taliah is an introvert person and only open up to her mother. And so, whenever she calls Julian dude, I don’t feel like it’s her anymore. It doesn’t click at all. A slight shift in the character, which I believe isn’t intentional. 😀

And one last thing, I am actually so tired of a friendship fading out because one of them got in a relationship. This kind of trope is so tiring to me now. 😞 Stop trying to be okay or pretending everything is normal when the friendship is dying. Stop hurting yourself. 😣 If they think the relationship is more important than the friendship, and the friendship have no meaning anymore and not worth saving, why not… just call it off? Why can’t…. they just talk about it? Okay I know it’s not that easy, but whatever. I’m tired. 😔

Anyhoo, I’m giving it 2 star. I love the writing but the rest of it is just disappointing. And maybe 0.5 star for the storyline. If it’s not too rushed, this will be a nice book. Maybe it can even get 4 star instead. 😊

2.5-out-of-5-stars

Want to read this book?

Book Depository | Goodreads | Amazon

 

Have you read this book? What do you think about it? 

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