Hope Was Here – Joan Bauer

19027140Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: September 11th, 2000
Publisher: Puffin
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: YA, Family, Romance, Realistic Fiction


When Hope and her aunt move to small-town Wisconsin to take over the local diner, Hope’s not sure what to expect. But what they find is that the owner, G.T., isn’t quite ready to give up yet – in fact, he’s decided to run for mayor against a corrupt candidate. And as Hope starts to make her place at the diner, she also finds herself caught up in G.T.’s campaign – particularly his visions for the future. After all, as G.T. points out, everyone can use a little hope to help get through the tough times… even Hope herself.


HOPE WAS HERE is a story of new beginnings and positivism.

Hope and her aunt have lost everything, and yet, they are both set on staying positive and making the best out of the little they have now, especially Hope, who feels as though she needs to live up to her new name.

New town, new job, new people, new challenges, Hope and Addie are ready to face it all. They are strong, independent women who do not back down at the first sign of a problem.

On the contrary, they want to help the owner of the new restaurant they work at make it more atmospheric. Hope was thinking she might find her father in the process, and she just might… in the most unexpected of places.

A very theme-filled novel. Joan Bauer weaves into the storyline politics in a small town, the definition of family and the importance of letting new people in our lives.

On the not-so-great-side, it has an uneven pacing: sometimes it’s slow, other times fast. The romance is never developed in a lyrical, heartfelt way. It has such a middle grade vibe. And, well, it’s too short!

But it’s pleasant and the kind of book I would read on the bus on my way to school. It has a calming effect on the reader.


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