Faith Rice-Mills's Reviews > Hope Was Here

Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer
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did not like it
bookshelves: read-in-2013

Hope is used to moving from town to town, finding a new job, and new set of friends. Butt , she never really seems to find a new home. When she and her aunt arrive in Wisconsin to run a diner, they find themselves in the midst of a controversial mayoral race and a lot of small-town drama. Will Hope find her place in this new town? Will she and her aunt stick around long enough for Hope to make friends? Will she ever discover where it is that she truly belongs?

This was one of my least favorite reads out of all the young adult literature I've read lately. As someone who was a teenager at the same time that Hope was supposedly a teenager, I felt that she was a rather unconvincing character. Even as a fairly squeaky-clean seventeen-year-old, I definitely never used the phrases "buzz off" or "geez!" That just was not the slang of teenagers in the early part of this century. Also, in all of the years I've worked with teenagers, I have never heard one say that they had any ambition of being a waitress. (Even those that, in the back of their mind, know that they will end up as waitresses, do not make this a life goal.) Hope loves being a waitress and has wanted to have a job as one since she was thirteen. Again, this is very unrealistic and highly unlikely description of a modern teenager.

The other characters also fell quite flat. Hope's aunt, who has essentially raised the protagonist, is never featured much more than to complain about other people trying to run her kitchen. Braverman, Hope's love interest, spouts off a lot of political opinions, but doesn't go much deeper than that. G.T. Stoop, the candidate for mayor and owner of the diner where Hope and her aunt work, is basically a perfect man. He never raises his voice, never makes any kind of mistake, and wants to save the town.

There are a many other unrealistic scenarios in Hope Was Here, but I will not go into detail. Since a large part of my job includes knowing what teenagers like to read, I do not think that, in 2013, this book would resonate with teenagers. Hope is a Hallmark version of a teenager with whom most of teenagers would not be able to identify. For a novel classified as contemporary realism, it is not very realistic at all.
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Reading Progress

September 22, 2013 – Started Reading
September 22, 2013 – Shelved
September 22, 2013 –
page 61
32.8% "I am not loving this..."
September 23, 2013 – Finished Reading
September 30, 2013 – Shelved as: read-in-2013

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

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Justice Simpson I'd like to respectfully disagree I am 15 and this was a book I related to very much. Granted it did have a few unrealistic parts but the stuff she struggles with are things many teens go through but do not talk about. Many feel weak if they talk about problems. But yes I truely would recomend this book to anyone whos grown up with out a parent, or who has moved around, or has had someone they loved go through cancer. This is just my opinon and people may think differently. ☺


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