Hope and Other Punch Lines

Hope and Other Punch Lines

eBook - 2019
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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. "A luminous, lovely story about a girl who builds a future from the ashes of her past." —KATHLEEN GLASGOW, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces 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?
Audience: Text Difficulty 3 - Text Difficulty 4
MG+/Upper middle grades (6th-12th)
Publisher: 2019
ISBN: 9781524766795
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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IndyPL_WillS Sep 07, 2019

Abbi's and Noah's lives were directly affected by the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. Abbi was there, carried from her daycare in one of the towers. Her rescue was captured in a famous photograph making her Baby Hope, a symbol of hope in the day's aftermath. Abbi is now 15 and just wants to put it behind her. Noah lost his dad that day. His mother never talks about him, so Noah must find another way to learn more. Noah considers it fate that puts he and Abbi working at the same summer camp. Maybe she can help him find some answers.

Those of us old enough to remember September 11 do not need reminders. But younger people should know what happened that day and understand why the aftermath will reverberate for generations. This story does a good job of bringing the horror and sadness of the day without recreating the actual events. Readers can experience the personal loss through these characters.

Aug 15, 2019

This is the 3rd book I've read by this author, which for me is the magic number that determines whether or not they become a favorite. Julie Buxbaum is now officially a favorite YA author of mine. (I still need to read her adult lit.)

Hope and Other Punchlines was in essence, a "9/11" story that focused on the tragedy's effect on two teens and their families. I'd recently read a couple of books with 9/11 as their backdrop, but not from the perspective of the children born on and around that date. I really enjoyed this shift in viewpoint. Noah and Abbi weren't actually there or weren't old enough to remember, but their lives were drastically altered because of it. At the same time, through their eyes, we meet a number of adults who were there and help fill the gaps in Noah and Abbi's stories. The book was emotionally stirring with a highly compelling writing style. Like this authors previous work, she has a quick wit when it comes to banter and commentary. That wit was a nice balance when paired with the heartbreaking turns to the story. Most importantly and not always found in YA lit, I felt that these were realistically written characters with authentic family relationships. I was immediately drawn in at the start and then didn't want to leave when nearing the end. A moving story by a consistently wonderful author.

SPPL_TKBTeenChoice Aug 14, 2019

From TKB Teen: Sophie: I think this topic (9/11) hasn't reached YA yet and I think it was interesting to read about and try to connect to teens who probably don't remember 9/11.

The last third of the book was pretty good just in terms of the author's writing style and pacing. I was overall disappointed in this book. I have read other books from this author and liked them a lot more than this. I felt like it was supposed to be a character-driven book given that the plot was minimal, but I did not feel attached to the characters. It seemed like there were parts of the plot that were just not relevant. Some of the conflicts were not very investing for the reader. I don't think we got enough background on the main character and her ex best friend. The romance developed extremely quickly in a way that didn't make sense and I didn't feel interested in the romance. I felt like the author wasn't truly addressing the effects of 9/11 and I wish she would have focused on the main character rather than having dual perspectives.

Jun 17, 2019

'Hope and Other Punch Lines' is a very complicated story. At the beginning I couldn't figure out why I was meant to care about these young people. They were pretty vacuous and not very compelling. The talent of the author is that she ever so slowly knits you into the story she is tenderly weaving. The characters though are but bit players to the star of the story which is the tragedy of 9/11 and the after effects on people's lives.

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