cover image Here We Are Now

Here We Are Now

Jasmine Warga. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-232470-2

Sixteen-year-old Taliah has never met her father. Her mother claims that he is someone from her homeland in Jordan, but after gathering some clues, Taliah believes he is rock star Julian Oliver, who grew up in the same Indiana town where her mother attended college. Taliah’s suspicions are confirmed when Julian unexpectedly arrives on her doorstep with a request that she accompany him to meet her dying paternal grandfather. On a whim (and since her mother is conveniently in Paris), Taliah decides to go. In Oak Falls, Ind., she comes to know her father’s mother, her cousins, and an interesting boy who lives next door, while gaining insight into her parents’ relationship and learning something about her own potential as a musician and as a friend. Warga (My Heart and Other Black Holes) skillfully combines three tales: one of introverted Taliah coming out of her shell, one of Taliah’s mother as a young immigrant, and one of Julian’s rising career and unrequited love. Intriguing, romantic, and honest, the book celebrates the new beginnings that can emerge from tragic endings. Ages 14–up. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Nov.)