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Like Home

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  377 ratings  ·  134 reviews
Fans of Netflix's On My Block, In the Heights, and readers of Elizabeth Acevedo and Ibi Zoboi will love this debut novel about a girl whose life is turned upside down after one local act of vandalism throws her relationships and even her neighborhood into turmoil.

Chinelo, or Nelo as her best friend Kate calls her, is all about her neighborhood Ginger East. She loves it
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published February 23rd 2021 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  377 ratings  ·  134 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Jan 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
It’s so refreshing to welcome brand new indie authors to the literature town who truly help us to hear more different voices and experience brand new perspectives!

This book is another brilliant, thought provoking story about gentrification and its realistic effects to the community.

Chinelo or as her best friend rephrased: Nelo is the narrator, a young girl who already suffered from traumatic changes in her life when she was 10. After an unexpected incident, she lost two of her best friends be
katie ❀
— find this this review and more on my blog

You know those books you’re overflowing with love for? This is one of those. Like Home was one of my most anticipated releases of the month! It’s a story with so much heart, banter, and friendship, and I’m so excited for others to fall in love with this too 💕 (This also got me out of a little slump. Thank you, book.)

Like Home follows Nelo, a girl who has lived in Ginger East, her small neighborhood, all her life. But when her best friend’s store is vand
Ashley Shuttleworth
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was just all around beautiful. I don’t normally read things that aren’t fantasy, but this book—I tell you, right from the first page it drew me in and kept me reading straight to the end. I adored Chinelo, and Kate and Rafa and Bo. They all had such depth to them, such complexity both in the relationships with one another and their personality themselves. I adored that this was set in Toronto, and how well teen life was captured in this portrayal. It’s a fun, engrossing read but it’s a ...more
Jun 24, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2021-releases
June 24, 2020: When a debut novel says it's perfect for fans of Angie Thomas and Elizabeth Acevedo, I listen VERY closely. And after this cover reveal, my excitement for this one's release is HIGH. ...more
Jun 24, 2020 marked it as to-read
this cover 😍
Liselle Sambury
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book truly has so much heart! It really gets to the core of how much your childhood home and friends can be a reflection of who you are, and how you deal with those things changing when you’re not ready for them to be different. Also, I loved these characters and their interactions. I was legit cackling over some conversations. And the friendships were so fantastic and authentic.
Check out my review on the BookBrowse website! (Spoiler alert: I loved this book!) ...more
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, arcs
Why does it seem like the older you get, the more everything changes and the more miserable you are? And nothing stays the same. Not one thing.

This one took a while to find its legs, but by the end I was thoroughly invested and really charmed.

I thought this was going to be a straightforward story about gentrification, wrapped up in young adult packaging, and I was totally on board for that. It's an important message and I enjoy the fact that it's being written for teens. I also loved that al
Samantha (WLABB)
Rating: 3.5 Stars

From something as small as a new bra to the gentrification of her neighborhood, Nelo was fighting changes to her world. But when a violent act strikes one of her own, she might finally have to face all the change head-on.

As someone who grew up in a neighborhood I am now priced out of, I could relate to Nelo's fears of displacement and gentrification. She understood that Ginger East wasn't built around stores or buildings. It was the people, who were the heart of this community,
Feb 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
Like Home
By Louisa Onome

This is a fantastic coming-of-age novel about relationships with our friends, our community and how we see our world from within. Chinelo loves her neighborhood and community of Ginger East but things are changing a lot with her friends moving out, and gentrification moving in, and affecting her beloved community.

This is a wonderful debut novel with fantastic characters and a subject matter that is relatable and timely. I thought the writing was well done and really grab
☆ Anushka ☆

Oh no, I got lured by the cover.

Although I partially enjoyed the plot from Nelo's perspective, I still found the single POV not much up to my liking.

In a story where the MC's world revolves around a store that's like home to her and the act of vandalism or gentrification that completely upturns her world, multiple POVs would've suited much better, in an attempt to highlight not just the protagonist's views, but also, all the other important people who grew up alongside her.

Personal preferences
This book is really good!

The way Onomé writes her characters had me nostalgic for 2000's/2010's television about Disney. Chinelo is probably going to be one of my favorite characters from this year!
Kajree Gautom
Feb 26, 2021 rated it liked it
In Like Home, a sudden act of local vandalism suddenly changes the whole neighborhood of Ginger East, while also bringing closer four friends Chinelo, Kate, Raffa and Bo.

Chinelo, our MC, is a bold and strong lady at the cusp of adulthood. Her love for her home and neighborhood and best friend Kate was portrayed so well through the words. Having lost two of her best friends after an unexpected incident, her only best friend is Kate. And when Kate starts to pull back after the local vandalism act
Samantha Fondriest
Feb 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Note: The 4 star rating is reflective of the strong tween and teen appeal. While I liked it, I personally felt more meh about it as an adult (probably a 3 star), but I think this is absolutely wonderful book for that target audience and I don't want a lower rating to discourage teachers, librarians, and parents from recommending this to kids!

Nelo is resistant to change - she's reluctant to accept her maturing body, is frustrated by changing friendship dynamics, and hates the gentrification going
Betty Maxine
Feb 26, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

Okay WOW...... I’m not the biggest YA reader but this story kept me invested. I sort of knew who caused the problem but I liked the revelation. And the characters were nothing short of AMAZING. Especially Nelo. She was so strong and really cared about her community. It made me wish I even cared just a quarter when I was her age.

And the relatability was off the charts. As a Nigerian, there were too many moments I found myself laughing out loud because I HAD EXPERIENCED IT. From the cha
Feb 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as an ARC from Harper Collins and I really enjoyed it! It was very fast paced and I couldn’t put it down. I really liked Nelo’s character and found her friends relatable. I will definitely be recommending this book to customer at work when it’s released:)
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-releases, arcs
Trigger warnings: (view spoiler)
Diversity: Nigerian, Vietnamese, Columbian, Black main characters. Jamaican, Trinidadian side characters.

Oh this was a little gem and a beautiful surprise. I loved this story about change and growth, the characters and their relationships and friendships were all so wonderful, too. This one needs to be on your TBR, friends!

Full review coming soon :)

Thank you to Penguin Random House International for sending me an e
Jan 06, 2021 marked it as to-read
I just saw ‘fans and In The Heights’
Steve Dunk
Oct 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Louisa is a particularly good writer, that much is certain.

"Like Home" has a wonderful rhythm to it, the subject matter is timely and important, and the community of Ginger East has a personality all its own. The problem however as I see it, that, as an unlisted character, Ginger East is far and away the most compelling part of the story. The ebb and flow of its streets, the communal aspect of its people, and it is a mirror to our ever-changing society. All good things.

Try as I might however,
Jason June
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Louisa Onomé had me feeling all the feels in LIKE HOME. Following the aftermath of Nelo's best friend's family's store getting vandalized, Onomé explores gentrification and the way people outside Nelo's neighborhood try to "help" without asking the people who actually live in the community what is really needed. Meanwhile, Nelo deals with changes in herself and her friends happening at the same time, and her journey adapting to that change and standing up for her neighborhood is one that's going ...more
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, 2021, arc
Thanks to Harper Collins (via NetGalley) for the ARC!

LIKE HOME follows Chinelo (aka Nelo) as she deals with changes in her neighborhood. Her best friend’s store, Ginger Store, is vandalized, and a new big box spice store is moving into Ginger East neighborhood. Nelo is reluctant to see that things are changing, and wants the neighborhood she grew up in to stay the same as it’s been her whole life. It takes her a while to realize, but Ginger East has been slowly changing before Nelo’s eyes, so sh
Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader
What a GREAT contemporary novel. I tend to read more scifi/fantasy but this was an absolute joy to read. Louisa Onomé gives us this amazingly coming of age and dealing with change story while embedding so much more into it. There's learning to deal with the changes going on in one's own body, their friends, and even within their own neighborhoods.

Not to mention Nelo is such a passionate, vulnerable, stubborn, MC and Onomé is not afraid to show Nelo's fear through it all which makes it so easy t
Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader
What a GREAT contemporary novel. I tend to read more scifi/fantasy but this was an absolute joy to read. Louisa Onome gives us this amazingly coming of age and dealing with change story while embedding so much more into it. There's learning to deal with the changes going on in one's own body, their friends, and even within their own neighborhoods.

Not to mention Nelo is such a passionate, vulnerable, stubborn, MC and Onome is not afraid to show Nelo's fear through it all which makes it so easy t
Priscila Patatas
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This ARC was provided for review, but in no way affects the following review:

Pros: I'm going to be fully honest here and say that I cannot review this book without bias. Exactly like its title says, this story felt like home to me. As the daughter of African immigrants, as someone that grew up in an area considered by many as the ghetto, but seen by us as home, Nelo's story hit close to heart. I understand deeply feeling terrified of change, not only splitting up from your friends and acquain
Jaye Berry
Like Home is about a girl named Nelo who loves her neighborhood, Ginger East. She's grown up there with her friends and loves the vibe and sense of community. After a deadly incident at the local arcade, all of Nelo's friends moved away except for Kate. Kate's parents own the corner store and when it gets vandalized, Nelo is shaken to the core. Suddenly the world has its eyes on Ginger East, wanting to fix it.

I had an okay time with this book! I loved that it was all about community and friendsh
Nelo is happy the way things are.

Then things aren't that way anymore, and she is angry. She is angry that her best friend, Kate's, family story is vandalized. She is upset that people have moved away that were her friends, and she is upset that new stores are moving in to gentrify the neighborhood of Ginger East. She doesn't want any of these things to happen, but they do.

The problem that I have with this book, other than it moves at a snails pace, and has a subplot about young love that drags i
Jan 26, 2021 rated it liked it
Like Home wasn't really for me, but I can appreciate why others have really enjoyed it. I just couldn't connect with the characters, I'm not sure if that's my age or something else, but I just couldn't get invested in their story as much as I'd hoped. I felt that it was growing increasingly obvious how the window had gotten smashed, and so the big reveal fell really flat for me and somewhat ruined my enjoyment.

I did absolutely love the community and the setting of Ginger East, it felt like it c
Feb 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
The writing in this is gorgeous and worthy of the pre-release comparisons. This story is complex with such an amazing friendship at the heart of it. I can not wait to see what Louisa Onomé does next if this was only her debut!

I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley; however, my opinions are my own.
Feb 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
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Louisa Onomé is a writer of books for teens. She holds a BA in professional writing from York University and is represented by Claire Friedman at InkWell Management.

A part of the Author Mentor Match round 3 cohort, she is also a writing mentor and all-around cheerleader for diverse works and writers. When she is not writing, her hobbies include picking up languages she may never use, trying to bak

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“Kate’s sigh transforms into sadness and a vulnerability that I can’t understand. I wasn’t expecting it, and I’m hit so bad when I see it. All of a sudden, all the bitterness at being ignored vanishes because I remember that her family is going through a lot, and I couldn’t possibly understand. I couldn’t possibly. But I do, and I want to understand more. Maybe she forgot, but her family is like my family too.” 0 likes
“Dad wakes up mad early to get to the store, and Mom joins him around an hour later,” she continues. “They work all day, almost every day, and for what? We might own the place, but we don’t live there, so we also pay rent on our house—rent that just won’t stop going up because of who knows why. Bigger chains or newer stores with money buying up property ten feet away from them, or whatever.” 0 likes
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