G. Bianco, 2019
From New York Times Bestselling authors Chandler Baker and Wesley King comes a young adult romance set during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Poignant and relevant, Hello (From Here), which comes out on September 7th, shows how in an uncertain world, it's the unlikely connections that keep us together.
Maxine and Jonah bump into each other in the canned goods aisle of the grocery store just as the state of California is going into lockdown, when everything changes completely. Could there be a worse time to meet? Max's part-time job at a supermarket is about to transform into a hellish gauntlet. Jonah's pre-existing anxiety is about to become an epic daily struggle. As Max, Jonah, and their friends live together but apart through hijinks, humanity, and heartbreak, their story cuts across urgent matters much bigger than a teenage crush. Differences of class, privilege, mental health, and sacrifice are thrown into stark relief by the profound and personal stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic. As thoughtful, probing, and informed as it is buoyant, romantic, and funny, Hello (From Here) looks at the first two months of the quarantine and adds falling hopelessly in love to the mess.
I thought it would be weird reading a love story set during COVID times, especially since COVID-19 isn’t completely eradicated yet, but I was so enraptured with this YA story and found it to be quite adorable.
This story reminded me that even though times were (and still are) different and frustrating and scary, it’s sometimes the little things or single people that make it just a bit more bearable.
I think the authors did a great job of highlighting the realities of the pandemic without being too carefree or doom-and-gloom about it. Additionally, the highlighting of different issues like mental health, privilege, and social disparities made this book more than just another young adult romcom.
This book made me laugh and cry while also making me grateful for the loved ones that helped me get through this pandemic. I think this book was such a great read and any fan of YA romances like Five Feet Apart and The Fault in Our Stars will enjoy this book, too.
*I received an ARC from Penguin Teen in exchange for my honest opinion.
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