ARC Review: Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga


Author: Jasmine Warga

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: 7th November 2017

Genres: YA Contemporary 

Pages: 304

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.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this to review!

I’d never heard of Here We Are Now before I saw it on Netgalley but I’m glad it was one of the first books I was approved for on Netgalley because I really enjoyed it!

It tells the story of Taliah, who’s recently found out that her absent father is actually Julian Oliver – the lead singer of a well known music band. And when her mother is in Paris and Julian shows up on Taliah’s doorstep after her letters to him, she is taken by surprise. Julian tells her that her paternal grandfather is dying and wants to make up the lost time with his daughter – but first Taliah must be able to trust his intentions and Julian will have to break down the wall Taliah has built around herself.

I love the strong sense of family and relationships in this book. It’s such a strong theme in this book that’s explored through Lena and Julian’s relationship, Julian and his father’s, Harlow and Taliah’s and of course Taliah’s and Julian’s. A heartwarming story of family and love.

I also love how much diversity was in this book and it just felt so right. We had a biracial main character, with Muslim ancestry on one side. The MC’s best friend was gay and in a relationship and the will-they, won’t-they romance between Toby and Taliah didn’t feel forced at all and I really liked the outcome of it.

The writing style flowed really well and I could tell the author had a really unique voice. I love how it was both witty but really deep too; it made you think of the bigger picture of fate and love – and I really liked the character Debra’s theory on how everyone has multiple versions of themselves.

Overall, I think this was a great read but my one critique is that I felt the ending was slightly rushed – I don’t feel the author really wrapped up Harlow and Taliah’s ending or gave them any real redemption. It was like they acknowledged the fault that was beginning in their relationship but didn’t have the chance to do anything about it.