The last week of May went differently than expected. I ended up with the flu and that made me miss my spot for Hope & Other Punchlines. I did read this story, so I still want to tell everybody about this book! A big thanks to the publisher and Rockstar Book Tours for providing me an ARC to read and review!
Title: HOPE & OTHER PUNCHLINES
Author: Julie Buxbaum
Pub. Date: May 7, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
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?
It’s hard thinking of not knowing about 9/11. I was 13 at the time and I remember where I was and all the emotions it brought with it. I was lucky not to know anyone that didn’t survive this devestating moment of history. The fact that this author took an event like this to the newer generation is really amazing.
Julie Buxbaum took such a sensitive and emotional subject and gave us such a heartwarming story that holds a lot of facts, but also some humor. The characters in this story deserve some happiness in all the sadness and to just be able to live.
One of our main characters Abbi turned one on 9/11 and was carried out of her daycare. She was on the front of the newspaper and has been an icon since then. Even though she knows her family was lucky, she just wants to be Abbi and not Baby Hope. This is her summer to just be herself.
Noah’s life changed 15 years ago as well and it takes awhile in this story to know what happened. In all honesty, I really didn’t like Noah in the beginning. I thought it was very selfish to use Abbi the way he did, even though I understood more as the story continued.
I really think this is the story that you need to read for yourself. There is so much emotion (happiness, grief, loss, etc.) and the family dynamics really make this story complete. We get a dual POV and that really works for this story. This author brings a tragic event to life in such a beautiful way. If you’re looking for a contemporary book that really sucks you in and makes you feel everything, definitely pick this one up! It’s hard to really put into words what I feel for this story without giving a lot of it away!
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.
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Hope & Other Punchlines is really filled with so much emotion and is such a touching story. It brings a big event in history to life for a generation that wasn’t born or old enough to remember. Have you read anything touching lately? Let me know in the comments!