By Julie Buxbaum
5 out of 5 stars
When I hear that a new Julie Buxbaum is coming out, I go straight to the pre-order page. The lovely talented Ms. Buxbaum has never failed me and she is still on a winning streak. This book is wonderful, with a capital W. She never fails to elicit every emotion in me while I read her books. Hope and Other Punchlines was everything I hoped for and more.
Abbi Goldstein was Baby Hope, a picture from 9/11 that radiated hope in the sadness of the day. She was carried away from the smoke, ash, and rubble by the woman watching her in daycare. Noah Stern lost his father in the two towers yet he has hope when he sees the picture, one he has carried with him. There is a man in the picture running with the others and he is pretty sure it is his dad. Did he get out? When a job at summer camp draws them together, there will be a story to tell. Puns included.
I loved these two so much! Their relationship was written beautifully. It was that slow, easy pull. Their banter was natural, not forced. So many times I have read YA novels where you think that the conversations seem not very realistic but I enjoyed the back and forth between these two. Add other characters that brought so much to the story and you have the perfect read.
When I think of Abbi and Noah, I will always smile. I will always feel hope. (I used that word a lot, Hope, and you will too) And yes, I was in tears at the ending. Well, not just the ending, quite a bit throughout.
There is a line in the book about suddenly bursting with all the warm goodness surrounding you and that is the exact sentiment I felt reading this book.