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Title: Like Home
Author: Louisa Onome
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: February 23, 2021
Genres: YA Contemporary
I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Fans of Netflix’s On My Block, In the Heights, and readers of Elizabeth Acevedo and Ibi Zoboi will love this debut novel about a girl whose life is turned upside down after one local act of vandalism throws her relationships and even her neighborhood into turmoil.
Chinelo, or Nelo as her best friend Kate calls her, is all about her neighborhood Ginger East. She loves its chill vibe, ride-or-die sense of community, and her memories of growing up there. Ginger East isn’t what it used to be, though. After a deadly incident at the local arcade, all her closest friends moved away, except for Kate. But as long as they have each other, Nelo’s good.
Only, Kate’s parents’ corner store is vandalized, leaving Nelo shaken to her core. The police and the media are quick to point fingers, and soon more of the outside world descends on Ginger East with promises to “fix” it. Suddenly, Nelo finds herself in the middle of a drama unfolding on a national scale.
Worse yet, Kate is acting strange. She’s pushing Nelo away at the exact moment they need each other most. Nelo’s entire world is morphing into something she hates, and she must figure out how to get things back on track or risk losing everything—and everyone—she loves.
Buy it here
Like Home is all about found family, childhood nostalgia, and learning to deal with change, even if it’s not always for the better. After a local grocery store–a store run by her friend’s family–is vandalized, Nelo has to learn how to handle a lot of different things. I loved the focus on found family and friendships, especially her messy friendship with Kate. Each of them want something different, and though neither of them handle it in the best way at first, what they end up learning from each other is so good. Nelo’s other friendships are interesting as well, as she has to grapple with crushes and old friends showing up out of nowhere. Nelo is an emotional person, and it shows on the page–every feeling of hers can be felt. Her frustration and loyalty come in equal measure at times.
The community of Ginger East is so vivid and wonderful. I loved strolling down the street with Nelo as she remembered different scenes from her childhood. I loved the people who made up the neighborhood, who helped Nelo and who challenged her.
I think this is a great book that will definitely appeal to fans of Elizabeth Acevedo and Ibi Zoboi.
Louisa Onomé is a writer of books for teens. She holds a BA in professional writing from York University and is represented by Claire Friedman at InkWell Management.
A part of the Author Mentor Match round 3 cohort, she is also a writing mentor and all-around cheerleader for diverse works and writers. When she is not writing, her hobbies include picking up languages she may never use, trying to bake bread, and perfecting her skincare routine. She currently resides in the Toronto area.
Up for grabs, we have TWO (2) finished copies of Like Home by Louisa Onomé! This giveaway will run from February 21st to February 28th at 11:59 PM CST and is open to US residents only. You can enter here!