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There You Are

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4.67  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Octavian Munroe is haunted by the life and death of his older brother in one of the most racially segregated cities in the country. Mina Rose has never quite fit in and wishes she was anything but white. Once lovers, now estranged, they both left St. Louis for fresh starts in the wake of grief and heartbreak.

In the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death and the awa
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Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 22nd 2019 by Amberjack Publishing (first published October 1st 2019)
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Average rating 4.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  33 ratings  ·  26 reviews


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Michelle
"No matter where you go, there you are."

Try as we might we cannot outrun ourselves. This is a lesson that our protagonist Octavian struggles to learn. He has run from his past for so long that he is besieged by anxiety. His only relief comes in the form of reciting KRS-One lyrics. When he finds out that the record store that was his haven and refuge during his youth will soon be closing its doors, he is at first wary of returning home. In addition to the haunting memories of his brother, there is M
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Krista
Rating: 5 musically fueled stars

Kudos to author Mathea Morais! She has written a thoughtful and creative book about race relations in America, and so much else. She artfully shows what it means to be a Person of Color (POC) in America over the last few decades. She has done it in a creative way with prominently featured musical references that provide the downbeat and the high notes for the story. We meet Octavian Munroe and is family in St Louis, Missouri as his mother is dying from
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Lorrie
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I almost forgot what color all of the characters were while reading this story because there were so many races. It was pretty wonderful. The tale took me back to my younger years, teaching in an inner city high school, while loving & appreciating most all of the students. Octavian & Mina, young interracial lovers, the 60s, a much freer time. Music & it’s importance. It’s hard to see this saga end. Thank you Ms Morais and Amberjack Publishing for the gift of a free ARC. I eagerly off ...more
Karen
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"There's no way for me to separate myself from my brother and no way to separate Francis from, I don't know being Francis. Do you understand?"
"I think so," Mina Said.
"I know it sounds crazy, but before I can even know what I, Octavian, want, I have to be sure that Francis is going to be alright first.:
"I understand," she said.
"How?"
Mina took a deep breath. "Because that's how I feel about you sometimes."


I loved every bit of this book. There's so much that's special ab
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Sally
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. I have read it twice, and I keep leafing through it wanting to inhabit it further, happy with whatever page I land on. I think this is because it is woven of so many appealing and expertly spun threads; I am happy to re-live and follow each of them. The crux of the joy of this novel is the complexity of its tapestry. I think this is why it is receiving so many favorable reviews, so many of them characterizing it in very different ways. It is a love story, it is nostalgic, it is ...more
Kim McGee
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two kids begin a love affair that will guide them through life even if they aren't always together. Octavian is black and Mina is white but it doesn't matter at all to them. It does matter to the world around them which is St. Louis in the 1980s. Mina moves away but still keeps in contact with her old neighborhood especially a record store where magically, she and Octavian reunite. Through a family crisis, racial tension and a host of other issues they are just to young to know how good they hav ...more
Continualknowledge
This book is a love story to St. Louis, its institutions, and its residents. In addition to bringing nostalgia to those who grew up in the area, it provides a new look to the area for those who know nothing about St. Louis. The book also lays out for all to see the racial history of St. Louis that has forever and continues to segregate its residents. In the mix of this historical and current narrative of race relations and the police and how it kills black boys and men particularly is a love sto ...more
Kathryn Berla
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I loved the characters even when they behaved in ways that angered me. I loved the tempo of the story and I loved the story itself.
Someone described it as THUG meets High Fidelity. That would be a good description to give one a superficial concept of the content but the novel is much more than that.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this advance copy.
Mrsk Stephen
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In her novel, There You Are, Mathea Morais, explores what it means to be a Person of Colour (POC) in the United States today. Her story of two star-crossed lovers, Octavian and Mina Rose, examines how POCs and whites view each other through the lens of both history and current affairs. Morais has an encyclopedic knowledge of American discography, and uses music as the background to her novel, which is partially set in a St. Louis record store which specializing in vinyl.

There is so much going o
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Edna
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Octavian Munroe is haunted by the life and death of his older brother and Mina Rose has never quite fit in. Once lovers, now estranged, they both left their hometown of St. Louis for fresh starts in the wake of grief and heartbreak.

Octavian and Mina travel homeward in the aftermath of the tragedy in search of answers. They seek out the music that once gave their hearts a steady beat and their lives a sense of direction. But the record shop where they fell in love as teenagers is clos
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Libby
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
A friend asked me if I could compare it to anything else and I could only come up with, "It's like if 'The Hate U Give' had a baby with 'High Fidelity'." In reality, it's not like anything else at all.
I loved the way this book told the intertwining stories of several different characters--shows how we affect one another in glorious, special, and sometimes even heartbreaking ways.
It's a coming of age story told from the zoomed out perspective of adulthood. It's not giving anything away to say t
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 Bookoholiccafe
In addition to Mina Rose , Octavian Munroe has the haunting memories of his older brother in his hometown of St. Louis. Mina was the love of his life once and now strangers. The story of these two adults who are looking back at their lives and regrets. With strange messages to the reader
The way that the characters are intertwined makes the story more powerful. It is a raw story of love and loss, with strange messages to the readers.
Complimentary copy provided by NetGalley in exchange
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jessica
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's 2014. In St. Louis, Missouri, Michael Brown has just been killed by the police in Ferguson, the city is in turmoil, and Rahsaan's Records is on the verge of closing. So begins the story of Mina and Octavian, who fell in love at the record shop in the 90s as teens, and are called back by its proprietor, Bones, to bid Rahsaan’s farewell.

Mina, the white daughter of a hippie feminist divorce attorney, and Octavian, the Black son of a university professor and a poet, met as children
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Jade
Funnily enough, I was just finishing up an essay on record store memories when I started reading this novel! It was as if I opened it at the perfect time, my own record store nostalgia meeting the fictional but oh so real record store nostalgia that is present all through There You Are. This book gave me all the feels, in so many ways.

There You Are is set in St Louis (mainly), and hops between 2014 (with the backdrop of Michael Brown’s murder by a police officer and the unrest that f
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Brenda
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There You Are. Simple right? This story is told in retrospect by two people who were friends since they were five years old, eventual lovers, and finally restrained in later years. It is a powerful story of love, hate, prejudice, the haves and have nots and it is all based around a record store where the color of your skin made no difference, it was in a person actions that reflected who they were.

I can’t say enough wonderful things about the characters in this story. I either liked,
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Juani
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, arc, kindle, 5-stars
This is a powerful debut novel with Octavian, the Black son of a university professor and poet, and Mina, the white daughter of a hippie feminist divorce attorney at the centre of the story, as they fall in love in 1980’s St Louis!

But make no mistake - this is no romance novel. It discusses serious matters like race, addiction, class and growing up in a place that values segregation!

Music plays a big part in the telling of the story with it being divided into 3 decades (the 80s, 90s
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Annarella
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating and engrossing book with so much food for thought!
I loved everything, from the style of writing to the well written cast of characters, from the music references to the well crafted plot.
It's the first book I read by this author and won't surely be the last.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Khin WT
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! I’m not a fan of hiphop, but I can certainly appreciate music and its universal power to bring so many different people together. Interweave that with pertinent social issues, and I’m sold.

This book is full of time jumps across chapters, opening in the aftermath of the Michael Brown incident. This already sets context for what issues are going to be prominent in the book. Octavian is black man teaching troubled youths, when he receives a message from his
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Kimberly (kimberly_reads)
I’d like to thank Netgalley for allowing me to read this arc in exchange for a honest review! This story hit me in ways I just wasn’t prepared for. It discusses race, anxiety, grief, and so much more in such a honest way that I had to reread some pieces at times because I wanted to be sure that the words had sunk in. The characters are flawed and real and I really appreciated seeing them develop and make mistakes while learning from them. The way music is a focus in this book was so well done, a ...more
James Hill
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A coming of age tale told in back stories with the overarching timeline centered around events in Ferguson MO in 2014. It's an excellent story with an abundance of musical references. You're going to need this Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/412...

Highly recommended if you're interested in music and character-driven novels with political undertones (that don't dominate the main story). Check out Beautiful Music by Michael Zadoorian, too (A coming of age tale told in back stories with the overarching timeline centered around events in Ferguson MO in 2014. It's an excellent story with an abundance of musical references. You're going to need this Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/412...

Highly recommended if you're interested in music and character-driven novels with political undertones (that don't dominate the main story). Check out Beautiful Music by Michael Zadoorian, too (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...).
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Wendy
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book takes place in a divided St. Louis, where Raahsan's Record store stands as a beacon to music lovers, especially those who are struggling to find their place in the world. At the music store, all that matters is music. Race isn't an issue and interracial relationships flourish, while being discouraged outside of the walls. As these teenagers confront some hard realities, like the death of loved ones, and drug addiction, they always come back to the music and the music see them through. ...more
Jenny
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 4-stars
I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This story is based around Octavian Munroe and Mina Rose. They were once lovers but they are now estranged. They have both left their hometown of St. Louis for a fresh start in the wake of grief and heartbreak. Now they both travel back home after a tragedy in search of answers. When the record shop that they fell in love in is closing for good, they both look for closure and answers.

I loved the way that this book told the characters' stories
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Lindsay Billsborrow
One of the best books I’ve ever read it had me hooked from the first page.
Coreena McBurnie
I loved this book and tore right through it. I love how the story used the record store as its touchstone for the book and the chapters were based around a mixed tape.
This is a powerful story of now and the past, of the characters as they are and as they look back on those formative teenaged years from where they are now. The book explores the characters figuring out what they want, what they like, what it means to be African American in a racially segregated neighbourhood.
There is t
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Zakary McGaha
Let me start this by saying there are definitely a lot of things I liked about this novel. The main plot-thread, concerning how a music store brought people together and helped foster a relationship between the two main characters, was very touching. Plus, there are many great music references. Sadly, VERY preachy politics entered the story at random times and completely messed the tone up. Things will be going normal, then bam: lecture-time. Said lectures were also entirely out of place for the ...more
Angelina
RTC!
Cyd
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Goodreads Librari...: Update Title 2 13 May 09, 2019 03:34PM  
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Mathea Morais grew up in St. Louis, MO. She has a degree in Literature from NYU and worked in music journalism for many years. Her work has appeared in "Trace Urban Magazine," "The New Engagement," "Slush Pile Magazine," "Arts & Ideas" and "Anti-Heroin Chic." She is the Director of the Noepe Center for Literary Arts on Martha's Vineyard and has taught creative writing to children and young adu ...more
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