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Here, There, Everywhere Hardcover – December 19, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—A seemingly lackluster small town becomes more appealing when two musically inclined teens fall in love and realize their time together in Buffalo Falls, Illinois may be shorter than they think. Jesús Bjorn Gunderson (who goes by Zeus), his World War II—obsessed little brother Manuel (whom Zeus calls Grub), and their mother leave Chicago to pursue her dream of opening a vegetarian café. While delivering food to a nursing home, Zeus meets Rose Santos, who's there playing piano. Zeus begins to volunteer at the nursing home as a way to hang around Rose more, and it doesn't take long for them to start dating. Their fun summer filled with dates to the county fair, a polka fest, a psychic, and more takes an uncertain turn when Rose reveals that she may go away to a music conservatory in the fall and when Zeus learns his mother may want to move them back to Chicago. They try to abide by the rule of one of their elderly friends—just enjoy today—but that's easier said than done. The charming Buffalo Falls is populated with vibrant characters—from Zeus's new friends to the residents of the nursing home—but Zeus and Rose feel underdeveloped. The plot begins to lose steam midway through, and the couple's dialogue often feels stiff. The story takes some unexpected turns, especially regarding the nursing home patients, and the exhilaration of first love feels realistic if somewhat rushed to fit the compact time line. VERDICT This sweet but unremarkable romance is an additional purchase.—Amanda MacGregor, Parkview Elementary School, Rosemount, MN
“In their first novel together, Durango and Terrones masterfully weave together Zeus and Rose’s story with a series of minor conflicts, supported by a colorful cast of secondary characters.... Durango and Terrones’ story will easily please fans of Becky Albertalli and Tim Federle.” (Booklist)
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The main character is Zeus (short for Jesus), the only Mexiwegian in the new small town he's moved to. It's summer and he's tasked with looking after his little brother and doing food delivery for his mother who has just opened at cafe in the town. Zeus is pretty sure everything about the town sucks until he delivers a salad to the nursing home and meets Rose.
Pretty soon he and Rose are dating and Zeus is making other friends around town, mainly due to his deliveries and his mother's amazing brownies. Everything seems perfect until Zeus discovers that Rose isn't any happier in the small town than he was when he arrived. She's counting the hours until she finds out if she gets the scholarship that will allow her to go to New York to study music at the end of the summer.
With the romance feeling like it unfolds way too quickly, to a rather superfluous subplot involving theft at the rest home, this is a book that just doesn't quite gel the way it should. Some of the best characters are the supporting ones - rest home residents, the other kids in the band Zeus joins - which serves only to make Rose and Zeus appear more bland. Rose especially. She's one of those female characters who just seems to good to be true.
There are things I definitely enjoyed about this book, but it certainly wouldn't be one I'd be telling everyone I meet they have to read. But certainly not a bad way to fill in a Sunday afternoon,
Here, There, Everywhere is a sweet, feel-good wholesome read. It is also a slow and predictable read. A solid and safe read which I think will enhance its appeal to a wide audience. But it is also written without risk and includes a sprinkle of moral ‘preaching’.
The characters are one-dimensional, stereotypical and forgettable, which is unfortunate as the story, having no plot, is very character driven.
The themes, (which include adjusting and adapting to a new town, absent parent, following your dreams, first love, autism spectrum disorder, dementia, dealing with death) are touched on so briefly that they hardly make an impact.
Published on crushingcinders.com @crushingcinders
This book was so much better than I was expecting! I wasn't expecting it to be garbage by any means, but I thought it would be a pretty standard contemporary. And it was in some ways, but there was so much heart and warmth in this book I was immediately captivated. Here, There Everywhere is a story about family and finding yourself, and first loves. It was really a joy to read.
Things I Liked
I loved the diversity in the story! Zeus, the main character, is Mexican and Norweigan, his little brother Grub is Puerto Rican and Norwiegan. Rose, Zeus' love interest is Filipino. I loved seeing so much diversity in small town America, because diversity exists everywhere.
It was so easy to connect to the characters and the story. The best word I can use to describe this book is endearing. I didn't want to stop reading because I loved spending time with these characters.
I loved every single relationship in this book. Zeus and Grub and a fantastic brother duo, who clearly love each other very much. I loved seeing Zeus' close relationship with his mom. He came to her when he was upset and emotional, and I loved seeing so much support between them. I loved Zeus and Rose's getting-to-know-you phase, their dates were adorable. I liked seeing Zeus interact with all of the senior citizens at the retirement center - there were many vibrant characters. I liked that even after Zeus started dating Rose, he actually made his own friends too. This story wasn't only about the romance, we get to see great family and friend moments too.
Things I Didn't Like
I felt like all the points of conflict in the story were relatively weak. Because this is much more of a character driven story it didn't really bother me too much.
This book was such a pleasant surprise. It was so heart-warming and happy to read. I loved the characters and the relationships we get to see. Here, There, Everywhere is a great contemporary that is guaranteed to put you in a good mood. And it's really perfect for this time of year.
I received a copy of the book from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.