Hope and Other Punchlines
Author: Julie Buxbaum
Pub. Date: May 7, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Synopsis: The New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things and What to Say Next delivers a poignant and hopeful novel about resilience and reinvention, first love and lifelong friendship, the legacies of loss, and the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive.
Sometimes looking to the past helps you find your future.
Abbi Hope Goldstein is like every other teenager, with a few smallish exceptions: her famous alter ego, Baby Hope, is the subject of internet memes, she has asthma, and sometimes people spontaneously burst into tears when they recognize her. Abbi has lived almost her entire life in the shadow of the terrorist attacks of September 11. On that fateful day, she was captured in what became an iconic photograph: in the picture, Abbi (aka “Baby Hope”) wears a birthday crown and grasps a red balloon; just behind her, the South Tower of the World Trade Center is collapsing.
Now, fifteen years later, Abbi is desperate for anonymity and decides to spend the summer before her seventeenth birthday incognito as a counselor at Knights Day Camp two towns away. She’s psyched for eight weeks in the company of four-year-olds, none of whom have ever heard of Baby Hope.
Too bad Noah Stern, whose own world was irrevocably shattered on that terrible day, has a similar summer plan. Noah believes his meeting Baby Hope is fate. Abbi is sure it’s a disaster. Soon, though, the two team up to ask difficult questions about the history behind the Baby Hope photo. But is either of them ready to hear the answers?
The cover of Hope and Other Punchlines is one of the prettiest book covers I have ever seen. I love the watercolor like look it has going on – those colors are absolutely gorgeous together, and I think this is such an amazing choice for the cover!
Julie is one of my favorite authors – I have read her other two books and found them both heartwarming, sweet, and enjoyable, so I was really looking forward to picking this one up, too!
I think my favorite part of this book is the characters. They are simply amazingly written and offer so much in terms of personality. I think because of how well the characters are written, it really rounds out the entire story, making it enjoyable and unputdownable.
Abbi’s character is my favorite. She is smart, funny, and while she has to deal with a lot, she does so in a really mature, great manner that makes her character incredibly believable and relatable. She has a spark that I simply adored – I wish all characters in books could be as well written and put together as Abbi!
The plot of this book has a lot going on, too. It’s fast paced but at the same time, slows down just right in all the perfect places so that you can really absorb everything that is going on and enjoy it all perfectly.
I love how the author touches on serious topics and still manages to bring light to the story, so it isn’t depressing. I have read a lot of books that I’ve found to have such good plot lines, but at the same time, has so much in terms of sad stuff going on that it’s hard to see any light in the story whatsoever. This book doesn’t have that problem. It’s lighthearted in the right places and deep in the right places, making it well rounded and enjoyable.
I honestly think I like this book more than I liked her previous two novels. For some reason, this one just stuck with me and I absolutely l loved it. It’s the kind of book that I’ll find myself reading again in the future!
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Julie Buxbaum is the New York Times best selling author of Tell Me Three Things, her young adult debut, What to Say Next and the forthcoming Hope and other Punchlines (out May 7, 2019.) She’s also the author of two critically acclaimed novels for adults: The Opposite of Love and After You. Her work has been translated into twenty-five languages. Julie’s writing has appeared in various publications, including The New York Times. She is a former lawyer and graduate of Harvard Law School and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two children, and more books than is reasonable. Visit Julie online at www.juliebuxbaum.com and follow @juliebux on Twitter.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of HOPE & OTHER PUNCHLINES, US Only.
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