Hope and Other Punchlines

Hope and Other Punchlines

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...

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Title:Hope and Other Punchlines
Author:Julie Buxbaum
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Hope and Other Punchlines Reviews

  • Kara Gemian

    This was a fantastic read.

    As someone who has lived in Northern New Jersey all her life and remembers seeing papers floating in the sky on 9/11 after my Elementary school was evacuated to the field for a bomb threat, this book really meant a lot. I am lucky that I didn't know anyone personally that was lost that day and none of my close friends did either, but that of course does not take away from the tragedy.

    This is the first book I have read regarding the subject and I honestly didn't know it

    This was a fantastic read.

    As someone who has lived in Northern New Jersey all her life and remembers seeing papers floating in the sky on 9/11 after my Elementary school was evacuated to the field for a bomb threat, this book really meant a lot. I am lucky that I didn't know anyone personally that was lost that day and none of my close friends did either, but that of course does not take away from the tragedy.

    This is the first book I have read regarding the subject and I honestly didn't know it was about the aftermath of that day until I started reading, but Julie Buxbaum is an auto-buy/auto-read author and that cover is just gorgeous!

    I absolutely loved Abbi and Noah's story. I laughed out loud and cried and then laughed some more. Buxbaum did a wonderful job of laying out the grief of this fictional town and fictional picture while still keeping everything completely real and accurate. There is a town in NJ that has the highest number of deaths from that day, a thought that I had never entertained before, there is something called 9/11 Syndrome. This book is real and important.

    Hope and Other Punchlines is heavier than Buxbaum's other YA novels, but don't let that stop you from reading. IT WAS SO GOOD. Read it and you won't be disappointed.

    *Thank you to Edelweiss for the opportunity to read!*

  • Julie

    Is it tacky to review your own novel? Probably! But alas I wrote this book, and it's the one that almost killed me, and took a whole year longer than it was supposed to, and I'm super ridiculously proud of it, so I'm giving myself FIVE STARS. I truly hope you like it too.

  • Kathleen Glasgow

    This book is an exquisitely crafted look at public and private grief and what it means to grow up in the shadow of tragedy. Julie Buxbaum knows how to mix the sad with the funny in a brilliant, heart-melting way. Loved this so much.

  • Arlene

    There are events in my life I’ll never forget... where I was, who I was with, what I felt. September 11, 2001 is one of those moments that has stayed with me... forever.

    This novel takes me back to that time and adds a whole new layer to the story. Every character played an important role in this novel. Their stories mean everything to me.

    This book will require some recovery on my part and will likely land on my top 5 this year. I’m sure.

  • Catherine McKenzie

    Another fantastic YA read from Julie Buxbaum. She weaves a classic love story into the raw emotions of loss and life after 9/11. The subject is treated with sensitivity and - yes - humour. Because love and laughter is how we heal. I laughed and cried and I love this book.

  • Samantha (WLABB)

    Wow! I forgot how amazing it is to read a Julie Buxbaum book. Once again, she gifted me with a story that touched my heart, and its mere mention brings a smile to my face and tears to my eyes.

    I keep saying this, but 9/11 books are tough for me. That day left an indelible mark on me, and I will admit, that some of the tears I shed were the sad kind. The first chapter was so emotional, and the interviews with the 9/11 survivors were both touching and heartbreaking. But, why I value a book like thi

    Wow! I forgot how amazing it is to read a Julie Buxbaum book. Once again, she gifted me with a story that touched my heart, and its mere mention brings a smile to my face and tears to my eyes.

    I keep saying this, but 9/11 books are tough for me. That day left an indelible mark on me, and I will admit, that some of the tears I shed were the sad kind. The first chapter was so emotional, and the interviews with the 9/11 survivors were both touching and heartbreaking. But, why I value a book like this is because we now have a generation, who only know of the attack from their history books. Buxbaum managed to write a beautiful and moving story, which included romance and humor, and also helps remind us to never forget what happened that day.

    Buxbaum built this story around two very likable teens, and both Abbi and Noah quickly endeared themselves to me. Although I was quite frustrated with a secret Abbi was keeping from her parents, I still wanted her to be able to enjoy her summer free of Baby Hope's legacy. At the same time, I really needed her to get some answers with respect to her little secret. It was beyond stressing me, because I cared for her so much.

    My heart went out to Noah too. He was so cute and sweet and goofy in the best way. Watching that little spark ignite between him and Abbi filled me with joy. But, I also wanted Noah to get the answers he was seeking. He needed closure, and Buxbaum did a fantastic job giving it to him.

    I know I am making this sound all emotional, but it was actually a really well balanced story. I laughed, I cried, I cheered, I swooned, I even got a little bit mad. Buxbaum did a phenomenal job bringing me through the highs and the lows, and never, at any point, did she leave me hopeless.

    I could wax poetic about this book forever, but instead, I will give you a few bullet points:

    • Jack was an amazing best friend and I ❤️ him.

    • Abbi's parents were fabulous and I loved what was running in the background between them.

    • Grandmas - you know I adore them, and Abbi's was fantastic, even if her subplot was a bit heartbreaking.

    • Some of my father's friends are currently suffering from 9/11 cough, so I appreciate Buxbaum raising a little awareness of that.

    • Noah's comedic attempts were rather fun, and it's a little bit out of the norm hobby, which I liked.

    • The subtle shoutouts to Tell Me Three Things and What to Say Next delighted me.

    I cried a lot as I wrote this review, because the book was just that touching for me. Buxbaum is on my shortlist of authors, who produce YA perfection, and Hope and Other Punch Lines more than earned its place on that list.

    *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)

    This story kinda snuck up on me. There was good character moments and surprisingly a lot of humorous dialogue, but I didn't really connect with it for a large part of the story. But the last 50 pages really elevated the story. I felt the emotional weight and really connected with the characters. There was a lot of happy reso

    This story kinda snuck up on me. There was good character moments and surprisingly a lot of humorous dialogue, but I didn't really connect with it for a large part of the story. But the last 50 pages really elevated the story. I felt the emotional weight and really connected with the characters. There was a lot of happy resolutions (a few sad ones too), but if anyone deserved a bit of happy in their lives it's Abbi Goldstein who feels the weight of a legacy forced upon her on her sholders everyday. I LOVED al lthe family dynamics - with Abbi's family and with Noah's. Noah and Jack's friendship was truly amazing, and I thought the romance was cute. This story really has so much going for it - it's a wonderful exploration of grief, guilt, and survival all wrapped up in a single, inspiring picture.

    I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

  • Laura

    September 11, 2001 changed lives. Holes were created in communities, families, and hearts. But love, courage, and compassion can be found in times of great loss and pain too. The little moments—a helping hand up, a hug, a kind word, or even a laugh to break the tension--make a difference. Abbi and Noah reminded me that laughter can be found in and after our worst moments.

    Abbi Hope

    September 11, 2001 changed lives. Holes were created in communities, families, and hearts. But love, courage, and compassion can be found in times of great loss and pain too. The little moments—a helping hand up, a hug, a kind word, or even a laugh to break the tension--make a difference. Abbi and Noah reminded me that laughter can be found in and after our worst moments.

    Abbi Hope Goldstein is Baby Hope. A photograph captured her, on her first birthday, being carried out and away from the 9/11 devastation. The image, of little Abbi holding tight to her birthday balloon, gave hope to so many during a time of pain and fear. Now 15 years later, Abbi is still trying to find a way to live her life as “Abbi” not Baby Hope. She is much more than an iconic image. She’s grown up and changed, but no one seems to see or hear that. But this is Abbi’s summer. She wants one summer to herself to be herself without Baby Hope. So she heads off to summer camp, where she can blend in and start fresh. No one will know her as Baby Hope. But of course, who does she find at camp? Someone who recognizes her…

    Noah. I just want to say right here and now that this boy’s story made my heart hurt. *deep sigh* Noah Stern’s life also changed under that clear-as-can-be-blue-blue Tuesday morning sky in September 2001. And now he wants answers. With a little blackmail and lots of gummy bears, Noah sets off to find the truth and hopefully more (trying not to spoil!). But he needs a little help from Baby Hope.

    This quick moving story pulled me in at word one. The short chapters move you along to new friends, old friends, survivors, and memories. And that’s the word that keeps popping up here for me—memory or memories. Some people will never forget what happened on 9/11. Some can’t bear to think of it. And others, like Abbi, have no memory of 9/11, but it’s still a huge part of their lives. The memory of that day echoes in so many different lives in so many different ways. But memory is a tricky thing. Sometimes we hold on tight to a story or belief—whether it’s true or not---because it’s all we have of someone or something. Strength, memory, before & after, and the pieces of our lives after a loss all run through the heart of this book. Memories of who we were and memories of the ones we lost. We do what we have to do to survive the hole in our lives after a tragedy, but stories and memories change along with our hearts. We grow and hopefully heal.

    This powerful little book packs a wallop. There is a lot going on with identity and grief and surviving. For me, the best friend storyline made an already full book too full. Cat’s story needed more time. But alongside all that seriousness….there are a lot of laughs and smiles here too. Abbi, Noah, and Jack form a hysterical trio. Noah and Jack’s friendship and banter are pitch-perfect and punny. But…*shakes head laughing*…I never thought Phil would end up being my favorite comedian. :D

    Hope you meet these people and hear their stories.

    Highly recommended.

    **Quotes taken from ARC**

  • Andrea

    4.5 Stars!

    I’ve lived in California for over 20 years, but my New York roots run deep. I was born, raised and went to college in New York. On September 11, 2001, I experienced the horror from 3,000 miles away, but also intimately in the way you feel your past and community calling to you. Kids I went to high school with died that day, both in the towers and as dedicated first responders. I called home repeatedly in the days that followed, only to hear the suffocating news of those missing and not

    4.5 Stars!

    I’ve lived in California for over 20 years, but my New York roots run deep. I was born, raised and went to college in New York. On September 11, 2001, I experienced the horror from 3,000 miles away, but also intimately in the way you feel your past and community calling to you. Kids I went to high school with died that day, both in the towers and as dedicated first responders. I called home repeatedly in the days that followed, only to hear the suffocating news of those missing and not coming back.

    I’ve avoided all 9-11 books to date, and yet, I picked up this book because I knew the author would handle it with proper reverence. (Because she is GENIUS!) I was not disappointed. It was clever, thoughtful and sincere. There was even sweetness and humor sprinkled about. I will confidently hand this one off to my daughter soon. Well done!!

  • Lola

    This is my third book from Julie Buxbaum and frankly I don’t know if I should continue with her stories. The first book I read from her, Tell Me Three Things, I couldn’t finish. The second book, What to Say Next, I enjoyed but I remember disliking the love interest or not feeling particularly moved by the romance. Well, same thing happened here. Abbi and Noah are definitely a good match because they don’t annoy one another and simply care about each other tremendously. I know, my expectations re

    This is my third book from Julie Buxbaum and frankly I don’t know if I should continue with her stories. The first book I read from her, Tell Me Three Things, I couldn’t finish. The second book, What to Say Next, I enjoyed but I remember disliking the love interest or not feeling particularly moved by the romance. Well, same thing happened here. Abbi and Noah are definitely a good match because they don’t annoy one another and simply care about each other tremendously. I know, my expectations regarding soul mates are not very high nowadays.

    But I did not fall head over heels for Noah like Abbi does because his humour did not work for me. He is socially awkward, as in he doesn’t always understand (or care) when it’s time to be serious. Instead, he makes (bad) jokes whenever he feels like it. It’s pretty obvious he loves attention and making people react. But I didn’t outright hate him. He can be entertaining and sweet. Oftentimes I like characters because of how they interact with other people, not because of their ‘‘voice,’’ and Noah is good to Abbi (the majority of time).

    This is a gripping story about a teen survivor of 9/11 (Abbi, AKA Baby Hope) and the boy who needs her help seeking out other survivors who may provide him with answers to his questions. Abbi is reluctant to spend time with him in the beginning, since she disagrees with the idea of questioning survivors, but the more she gets to know Noah, the more she understands him and where he’s coming from. I found this to be a convincing romance and overall tale. I even learned from it. For instance, I had no idea many 9/11 survivors ended up developing cancer due to exposure to toxic residue. That’s heart-breaking. I also enjoyed the author’s writing style and the maturity she breathed into Abbi, despite her decision to lie to the people she loves.

    Yeah, I’ll probably read this author’s future release, too. Might as well since I’ve become fairly acquainted with her style and this was a well-told story, despite annoying Noah.

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