Hope and her aunt arrive at a new Wisconsin town after leaving New York City to work as a waitress and head chef. She has become accustomed to leaving behind friends and moving from place to place, but this new town forces her to put down real root when the restaurant’s owner, GT, a leukemia survivor, decides to run against the town’s interim mayor in the next election. Hope joins the campaign believing in GT’s vision and passion for the small town and finds herself a permanent home with a full family.
Bauer, J. (2000). Hope was here. New York, NY: Puffin Books.
Hope quickly became one of my favorite female characters. Bauer created a leading female teenage character who is honest, complex, faulted, and most importantly, hopeful. As realistic fiction, this book provides a refreshingly optomistic and gentle examination of some of the more serious issues that some YA realistic titles explore through much more dramatic means. Issues realting to cancer, racism, political corruption, and non-traditional families are treated with dignity and honest perspectives of the characters who are affected throughout the story. GT, although he knows how precarious his life is and how close to death he came, chooses to–despite his relapse–stand up for a cause and become the leader he feels his community needs. The slow-to-grow romance between Hope and short-order-cook Braverman develop with patience and sincerity throughout the course of the novel stands in contrast to the “brooding boy meets girl-next-door” love story that populates many YA books. The secondary cast of characters including the villainous corrupt mayor, Eli Millstone, and Hope’s absentee mother round out the diverse array of human relationships and motivations and stand in stark contrast to heroic GT and Addie, Hope’s maternal figure.
Fletcherspear, K. (2001). Hope Was Here (Book Review) [Review of the book Hope was here]. Book Report,19(5), 56.