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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 it 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.


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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 it 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.

30 review for Like Home

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    It’s so refreshing to welcome brand new indie authors to the literature town who truly help us to hear more different voices and experience brand new perspectives! This book is another brilliant, thought provoking story about gentrification and its realistic effects to the community. Chinelo or as her best friend rephrased: Nelo is the narrator, a young girl who already suffered from traumatic changes in her life when she was 10. After an unexpected incident, she lost two of her best friends be It’s so refreshing to welcome brand new indie authors to the literature town who truly help us to hear more different voices and experience brand new perspectives! This book is another brilliant, thought provoking story about gentrification and its realistic effects to the community. Chinelo or as her best friend rephrased: Nelo is the narrator, a young girl who already suffered from traumatic changes in her life when she was 10. After an unexpected incident, she lost two of her best friends because their parents found the place they lived dangerous and they moved away. Now Kate is the only friend she had. But after Kate’s family store also named Ginger Store was vandalized and a new big box spice store’s decision to move to the Ginger East neighborhood, Nelo has to face new radical changes in her life even though she resists with every bond of her body. The estrangement between she and Kate also makes her think she’s also losing her best friend, too. The street portraits the author drew and the voice of Nelo hooked me from the beginning but I wish the author chose to tell story from different voices. I’d like to read Kate’s and Nelo’s other friends’ stories and their perspectives as well because only getting stuck in Nelo’s mind , her stubbornness and resilience to the concept of change could be so repetitive, clunky. With more narrations and plural voices we may get better reflections of the real effects of gentrification! Instead of that issue, the story wrapped up well with great messages and presented us great portraits of Ginger Street! As a debut novel, this was fresh, provocative, realistic, bold start! I’m looking forward to read more works of the author! Because of that I’m rounding up 3.5 to 4 epic, friendship, resistance to change, I love to read realistic young adult novels stars! Special thanks to Netgalley and Random House’s Children’s/ Delacorte Press for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  2. 5 out of 5

    katie ☾

    — find this this review and more on my blog You know those books you’re overflowing with love for? This is one of those. Like Home was one of my most anticipated releases of the month! It’s a story with so much heart, banter, and friendship, and I’m so excited for others to fall in love with this too 💕 (This also got me out of a little slump. Thank you, book.) Like Home follows Nelo, a girl who has lived in Ginger East, her small neighborhood, all her life. But when her best friend’s store is vand — find this this review and more on my blog You know those books you’re overflowing with love for? This is one of those. Like Home was one of my most anticipated releases of the month! It’s a story with so much heart, banter, and friendship, and I’m so excited for others to fall in love with this too 💕 (This also got me out of a little slump. Thank you, book.) Like Home follows Nelo, a girl who has lived in Ginger East, her small neighborhood, all her life. But when her best friend’s store is vandalized, Nelo’s life is turned upside down and everything changes. She’s reluctant to accept this, and wants the neighborhood she knows so well to stay the same. Although it’s hard for her to realize, she has to live with the fact that her neighborhood is slowly being “restored”, whether Nelo likes it or not, and that Ginger East is next in a line of gentrified communities. Why does it seem like the older you get, the more everything changes and the more miserable you are? And nothing stays the same. Not one thing. What I loved most, above everything else, was ultimately the community of Ginger East as a whole. The way everyone’s lives were intricately woven—with one another, with the neighborhood, and with new changes—was a big part of the story, and how Ginger East united in the face of discrimination and gentrification was inspiring yet heartbreaking to read. Nelo was a character I loved reading about, her passion for defending her neighborhood not overtaking the story, which created a delicate balance. She wants everything to stay the same in a world that’s always changing, and I could vividly feel her anger at outsiders moving in to Ginger East. I don’t have it in me to struggle anymore. All I can do is watch. I also really enjoyed the character relationships that Nelo has, both with her friends, family, and new people she meets. Nelo reconnects with two of her childhood friends, Bo and Rafa, in the aftermath of the event. While her friendship with Kate is,, challenging at the moment, she gets to know Rafa better, and they become friends (and more). The dynamics between them were written so well! But I wished I got to see more of Bo (even though he was off visiting Kate all the time 😏)!! Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I can’t wait for more readers to get their hands on it! It’s a story of change, love, and discovering more of yourself. In addition to that, it has cute romances while capturing the nuances of friendship and grappling with social problems without making things too dark. I’ll definitely be watching out for Onomé’s next book! representation ☾ Nigerian MC, Vietnamese, Colombian, Black, Jamaican, and Trinidadian side characters content warnings ☾ (view spoiler)[blood, protests, police violence (hide spoiler)] --------------------- this was such a delightful story of love and change; be sure to have this on your tbr!! rtc 💞 thank you to turn the page tours and the publisher for sending a copy of this book in exchange for a spot on this blog tour!

  3. 4 out of 5

    fanna

    June 24, 2020: When a debut novel says it's perfect for fans of Angie Thomas and Elizabeth Acevedo, I listen VERY closely. And after this cover reveal, my excitement for this one's release is HIGH. June 24, 2020: When a debut novel says it's perfect for fans of Angie Thomas and Elizabeth Acevedo, I listen VERY closely. And after this cover reveal, my excitement for this one's release is HIGH.

  4. 4 out of 5

    jenny✨

    you had me at on my block

  5. 4 out of 5

    ashleigh

    this cover 😍

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Shuttleworth

    This book was just all around beautiful. I don’t normally read things that aren’t fantasy, but this book—I tell you, right from the first page it drew me in and kept me reading straight to the end. I adored Chinelo, and Kate and Rafa and Bo. They all had such depth to them, such complexity both in the relationships with one another and their personality themselves. I adored that this was set in Toronto, and how well teen life was captured in this portrayal. It’s a fun, engrossing read but it’s a This book was just all around beautiful. I don’t normally read things that aren’t fantasy, but this book—I tell you, right from the first page it drew me in and kept me reading straight to the end. I adored Chinelo, and Kate and Rafa and Bo. They all had such depth to them, such complexity both in the relationships with one another and their personality themselves. I adored that this was set in Toronto, and how well teen life was captured in this portrayal. It’s a fun, engrossing read but it’s also an important read about gentrification, so all in all I highly recommend this ADD IT TO YOUR TBR

  7. 5 out of 5

    Althea

    Check out my review on the BookBrowse website! (Spoiler alert: I loved this book!) Check out my review on the BookBrowse website! (Spoiler alert: I loved this book!)

  8. 5 out of 5

    lauraღ

    Why does it seem like the older you get, the more everything changes and the more miserable you are? And nothing stays the same. Not one thing. This one took a while to find its legs, but by the end I was thoroughly invested and really charmed. I thought this was going to be a straightforward story about gentrification, wrapped up in young adult packaging, and I was totally on board for that. It's an important message and I enjoy the fact that it's being written for teens. I also loved that al Why does it seem like the older you get, the more everything changes and the more miserable you are? And nothing stays the same. Not one thing. This one took a while to find its legs, but by the end I was thoroughly invested and really charmed. I thought this was going to be a straightforward story about gentrification, wrapped up in young adult packaging, and I was totally on board for that. It's an important message and I enjoy the fact that it's being written for teens. I also loved that all of our main characters were the children of immigrants; it's an unspoken commonality that binds them all together, together with the neighbourhood that they share. And if that was all the novel was going to be about, I think I've have been satisfied? But after a while (and if I have a complaint, it's that it was after a long while; idk if I'm just used to different pacing, but it felt like it took so long before we started exploring things beyond the surface level) things got deeper. This is a story about loving where you're from, the fierce pride that can grow out of a neighbourhood; the outrage and fear when people on the outside see the place you love as something different and ugly; the confusion and frustration when not everyone who lives there feels the same way you do. Nelo is young and idealistic and a little naïve and so fierce, and she was the perfect vehicle for his story. Things got messy, and there were a few conversations that came up that I just wasn't expecting to see in this book, and made the experience even better. I also just love stories about friendships; how they can change over time and how we deal with that. I loved the friend group in this (though I was a little disappointed that it mostly focused on three of the characters we see on the cover) and I especially loved their text chains? Something about it was just pitch perfect, and exactly how you'd expect friends who've know each other for so long to talk to each other. This was a great debut; different in all the best ways. It's far from being typical YA read, and I definitely recommend it. ☆ Review copy provided via the publisher and NetGalley.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Rating: 3.5 Stars From something as small as a new bra to the gentrification of her neighborhood, Nelo was fighting changes to her world. But when a violent act strikes one of her own, she might finally have to face all the change head-on. As someone who grew up in a neighborhood I am now priced out of, I could relate to Nelo's fears of displacement and gentrification. She understood that Ginger East wasn't built around stores or buildings. It was the people, who were the heart of this community, Rating: 3.5 Stars From something as small as a new bra to the gentrification of her neighborhood, Nelo was fighting changes to her world. But when a violent act strikes one of her own, she might finally have to face all the change head-on. As someone who grew up in a neighborhood I am now priced out of, I could relate to Nelo's fears of displacement and gentrification. She understood that Ginger East wasn't built around stores or buildings. It was the people, who were the heart of this community, and that showed when they banded together to support one of their own and to repair damage done. Onomé assembled a great cast of characters. I loved seeing Nelo and her childhood friends, who had left the neighborhood, reunited. They shared a deep history and a traumatic experience, which I think bound them for life. But they also had a different perspective on things, because they left Ginger East, and we all know about distance, time, and perspective. Though Nelo fought tooth and nail to keep things the same, she could not stop the tide of change taking place in her neighborhood or her life. I thought her journey was very authentic. She was a bit angsty, but I understood where those feelings were coming from. I do wish the story had been told from multiple points of view or perhaps trimmed a bit, because parts felt redundant. I also would have liked to have seen Nelo grow more, and there were some loose ends that left me wanting. Overall, I think people will appreciate the social issues in this story and will welcome Nelo's fresh and genuine voice, as well as her unflinching loyalty to her community. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    Like Home By Louisa Onome This is a fantastic coming-of-age novel about relationships with our friends, our community and how we see our world from within. Chinelo loves her neighborhood and community of Ginger East but things are changing a lot with her friends moving out, and gentrification moving in, and affecting her beloved community. This is a wonderful debut novel with fantastic characters and a subject matter that is relatable and timely. I thought the writing was well done and really grab Like Home By Louisa Onome This is a fantastic coming-of-age novel about relationships with our friends, our community and how we see our world from within. Chinelo loves her neighborhood and community of Ginger East but things are changing a lot with her friends moving out, and gentrification moving in, and affecting her beloved community. This is a wonderful debut novel with fantastic characters and a subject matter that is relatable and timely. I thought the writing was well done and really grabbed my attention for its subject matter, plotting and wonderful characters. Highly recommend this amazing debut read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Liselle Sambury

    This book truly has so much heart! It really gets to the core of how much your childhood home and friends can be a reflection of who you are, and how you deal with those things changing when you’re not ready for them to be different. Also, I loved these characters and their interactions. I was legit cackling over some conversations. And the friendships were so fantastic and authentic.

  12. 5 out of 5

    'nushka

    ★★ Oh no, I got lured by the cover. Although I partially enjoyed the plot from Nelo's perspective, I still found the single POV not much up to my liking. In a story where the MC's world revolves around a store that's like home to her and the act of vandalism or gentrification that completely upturns her world, multiple POVs would've suited much better, in an attempt to highlight not just the protagonist's views, but also, all the other important people who grew up alongside her. Personal preferences ★★ Oh no, I got lured by the cover. Although I partially enjoyed the plot from Nelo's perspective, I still found the single POV not much up to my liking. In a story where the MC's world revolves around a store that's like home to her and the act of vandalism or gentrification that completely upturns her world, multiple POVs would've suited much better, in an attempt to highlight not just the protagonist's views, but also, all the other important people who grew up alongside her. Personal preferences aside, Like Home barely managed to hook me in from the first page itself, although never wavering from the issues at hand like gentrification, displacing people and property tax. It's a feel good story, but according to me, it doesn't have the kind of high stakes I was looking for, when I'm the kind of person who enjoys a good made-me-sit-on-the-edge-of-my-seat story. So I was not as much invested in the story as I wanted to. The characters were interesting in the beginning but the further the story progressed, the more I wanted to close the book and never look at it again. They sucked so much. The friendship between Nelo and Kate never faltered, despite the unfortunate circumstances. But, gosh. These characters are so getting on my nerves. If you ever come across a person who has done something really terrible to you, would you let them get away easily? No. You wouldn't. There are very few people who would take the high road. And it really bothers me how a character here, who did something really hurtful, got away with everything without much actual consequences. It doesn't make sense. And Bo. There were a few mentions of him here and there, but otherwise he was completely out of the picture. How am I supposed to judge a character if he's not there? He was supposed to be a member of the friends circle, but instead, I got a character from another dimension who lurks occasionally, just there to remind me that yes, he exists. Sorry but I'm not up to occasionally visiting aliens. Despite that, I liked the power that is brought by a strong and united community, and the community of Ginger East is a prime example of that. Ironically, Like Home put me into a reading slump instead of igniting that interest in me, of finishing the story as soon as possible. Had I decided to read this book under different circumstances, maybe I would've liked it much more than present. But I was not up to wading through this work of fiction, as it didn't have many elements of sarcasm either, although that's understandable since this was not meant to be advertised as a comedy. Overall, I've concluded one thing, for sure, and that is: general (contemporary) fiction such as Like Home is not enjoyed by me as much as I enjoy other genres. So that was a pretty major disadvantage, along with all the other problems, otherwise, it's a pretty good story, and I might reconsider while picking it up for a re-read. Actually, I'm never going to re-read it ever again. I haven't read many works of fiction, so I'm not much good at recommending similar titles (I shouldn't be recommending in the first place), but I think people who love strong protagonists, with a voice that defies all the preconceived notions may have a special place in their heart for this book. Plus, it has received mostly positive reviews, so it can be liked by others. **All opinions are my own and my review has not, in any way, been influenced by anyone.**

  13. 5 out of 5

    Adira

    This book is really good! The way Onomé writes her characters had me nostalgic for 2000's/2010's television about Disney. Chinelo is probably going to be one of my favorite characters from this year! This book is really good! The way Onomé writes her characters had me nostalgic for 2000's/2010's television about Disney. Chinelo is probably going to be one of my favorite characters from this year!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kajree Gautom

    In Like Home, a sudden act of local vandalism suddenly changes the whole neighborhood of Ginger East, while also bringing closer four friends Chinelo, Kate, Raffa and Bo. Chinelo, our MC, is a bold and strong lady at the cusp of adulthood. Her love for her home and neighborhood and best friend Kate was portrayed so well through the words. Having lost two of her best friends after an unexpected incident, her only best friend is Kate. And when Kate starts to pull back after the local vandalism act In Like Home, a sudden act of local vandalism suddenly changes the whole neighborhood of Ginger East, while also bringing closer four friends Chinelo, Kate, Raffa and Bo. Chinelo, our MC, is a bold and strong lady at the cusp of adulthood. Her love for her home and neighborhood and best friend Kate was portrayed so well through the words. Having lost two of her best friends after an unexpected incident, her only best friend is Kate. And when Kate starts to pull back after the local vandalism act, Nelo finds herself lost and grappling onto old life, wishing for things to go back to the way it was. And one way she thinks she can achieve this is to find who was behind the vandalism that ripped apart her friend’s life. My favorite character has to be Raffa. Adorable and sweet, I loved Raffa’s innocence as well as his strength and presence of mind. Bo, on the other hand annoyed me and I really didn’t feel his character. He could’ve been excluded and I wouldn’t have bothered. Same was with Maree too. I wish she got more time to develop her character, perhaps, but she just seemed like a prop to stir the pot. Kate was, I guess, alright. While I was conflicted about her actions, I wish she didn’t pull back and do what she did. Lastly, when it came to Chinelo, I was totally conflicted about my feelings toward her. While I liked her in the beginning of the story, she got too much of a typical teen character for me later on – wants to take on every single burden upon herself, takes too much to heart, is very sensitive and emotional, will try to involve herself everywhere, pretend to be oblivious to the obvious. I just – there were certain points when I just didn’t vibe with her anymore and wish she wasn’t so nosy. However, I think the relationship between these friends was very well established. We see how that single incident manages to bring the four of them closer and the transition is so smooth, so swift – it just fits into the daily normal. I liked that. To see the lively chats between them also warmed my heart and brought some colors to the gravity of the story otherwise. Those little moments were some of the best. Coming to the writing, I loved the way the author portrayed the lives of the characters and painted distinctions of each other. The writing felt so fresh and fun to read. I was flipping from one page to the other in a swift way, and I think the author made everything very much relatable. It was seamless and beautiful. The focus was also on very important topics of gentrification, racism, the want and need for change and resistance, social justice. The character’s growth by the end of the book was, I suppose, commendable. They grow into somewhat mature beings with more trust and courage with each other and oneself. Friendship stories are one of my favorites and this really warmed my heart. But there were also a few little things that didn’t allow me to give this book a higher rating. As I had mentioned before, Chinelo’s character didn’t outrightly fascinate me. As a main character, I found her voice to be whiny and repetitive towards the end, her fears and dilemma surrounding the same single thought. I wish there were multiple POVs to this, maybe from each of the four main characters. I would have loved to see the events through Kate’s eyes, for one, to see what drove her, what made her do what she did. At the same time, while I did enjoy the writing, I also felt like the emotional aspect of the story was missing a lot. I couldn’t emotionally connect to Nelo’s desperation to save Ginger East, Kate’s shop and resist change. I wanted something more, I suppose, to feel. The climax also didn’t really sit well with me, I’ll be honest. I did guess it 50% into the book, and yet I wasn’t fond. I also didn’t like how quickly things were resolved at the end. The book definitely played with clichés, I won’t lie, but I’m ready to overlook them. But I think for a debut, this book was really good. It tried to shed light on gentrification, social activism, economic status and mobility, the power of media and the idea of change as a whole. The book is a lot fast paced but has a fitting end, I believe. The cast of diverse characters and their distinct ideologies, perspectives and personalities made it a fun and important read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Fondriest

    Note: The 4 star rating is reflective of the strong tween and teen appeal. While I liked it, I personally felt more meh about it as an adult (probably a 3 star), but I think this is absolutely wonderful book for that target audience and I don't want a lower rating to discourage teachers, librarians, and parents from recommending this to kids! Nelo is resistant to change - she's reluctant to accept her maturing body, is frustrated by changing friendship dynamics, and hates the gentrification going Note: The 4 star rating is reflective of the strong tween and teen appeal. While I liked it, I personally felt more meh about it as an adult (probably a 3 star), but I think this is absolutely wonderful book for that target audience and I don't want a lower rating to discourage teachers, librarians, and parents from recommending this to kids! Nelo is resistant to change - she's reluctant to accept her maturing body, is frustrated by changing friendship dynamics, and hates the gentrification going on in her neighborhood that is pricing long time residents out of their apartments. When a brick is thrown through the window of the local corner store, Nelo's anxiety about the future of her neighborhood amplifies. Like Home is sure to strike a chord with its target audience; realistic teen dialogue and emotions will make the cast of characters relatable. Despite being 16, Nelo and friends do read younger than their age which may annoy older readers, making this a better recommendation to tweens and younger teens. The writing is compulsively readable and the story is well paced. Discussions around gentrification, economic status and mobility, and activism make this a timely read. An unnecessary romance detracts from an otherwise important story about the inevitable changes (body, friendship, neighborhood) that come with growing up. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this novel. All opinions are, as always, my own.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Betty Maxine

    3.5 stars Okay WOW...... I’m not the biggest YA reader but this story kept me invested. I sort of knew who caused the problem but I liked the revelation. And the characters were nothing short of AMAZING. Especially Nelo. She was so strong and really cared about her community. It made me wish I even cared just a quarter when I was her age. And the relatability was off the charts. As a Nigerian, there were too many moments I found myself laughing out loud because I HAD EXPERIENCED IT. From the cha 3.5 stars Okay WOW...... I’m not the biggest YA reader but this story kept me invested. I sort of knew who caused the problem but I liked the revelation. And the characters were nothing short of AMAZING. Especially Nelo. She was so strong and really cared about her community. It made me wish I even cared just a quarter when I was her age. And the relatability was off the charts. As a Nigerian, there were too many moments I found myself laughing out loud because I HAD EXPERIENCED IT. From the chain messages from parents to constantly eating rice *hahahaha* I LOVED IT. Nelo was watching her community change right under her and she wasn’t having it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it right? I loved watching her fight for what she believed in even if she wasn’t doing so with who she wanted. She was independent and just utterly AMAZING!!!! It took me the beginning chapters to fully immerse myself in the story but once I did, I was sold. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Abbey

    I received this book as an ARC from Harper Collins and I really enjoyed it! It was very fast paced and I couldn’t put it down. I really liked Nelo’s character and found her friends relatable. I will definitely be recommending this book to customer at work when it’s released:)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    Trigger warnings: (view spoiler)[blood, protests, police violence. (hide spoiler)] Diversity: Nigerian, Vietnamese, Columbian, Black main characters. Jamaican, Trinidadian side characters. Oh this was a little gem and a beautiful surprise. I loved this story about change and growth, the characters and their relationships and friendships were all so wonderful, too. This one needs to be on your TBR, friends! Full review coming soon :) Thank you to Penguin Random House International for sending me an e Trigger warnings: (view spoiler)[blood, protests, police violence. (hide spoiler)] Diversity: Nigerian, Vietnamese, Columbian, Black main characters. Jamaican, Trinidadian side characters. Oh this was a little gem and a beautiful surprise. I loved this story about change and growth, the characters and their relationships and friendships were all so wonderful, too. This one needs to be on your TBR, friends! Full review coming soon :) Thank you to Penguin Random House International for sending me an e-ARC of this book via NetGalley. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating. My Blog - Drizzle & Hurricane Books - Twitter - Bookstagram - Bloglovin'

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I just saw ‘fans and In The Heights’

  20. 4 out of 5

    Steve Dunk

    Louisa is a particularly good writer, that much is certain. "Like Home" has a wonderful rhythm to it, the subject matter is timely and important, and the community of Ginger East has a personality all its own. The problem however as I see it, that, as an unlisted character, Ginger East is far and away the most compelling part of the story. The ebb and flow of its streets, the communal aspect of its people, and it is a mirror to our ever-changing society. All good things. Try as I might however, Louisa is a particularly good writer, that much is certain. "Like Home" has a wonderful rhythm to it, the subject matter is timely and important, and the community of Ginger East has a personality all its own. The problem however as I see it, that, as an unlisted character, Ginger East is far and away the most compelling part of the story. The ebb and flow of its streets, the communal aspect of its people, and it is a mirror to our ever-changing society. All good things. Try as I might however, I just could not connect with or get emotionally attached to any of the characters, not one. Janet, Paco, and Mr. Brown came close, but they are set aside to further Nelo's arc which, aside from patching things up with Kate, essentially went nowhere. If I'm being honest, I didn't care for Nelo at all actually and that's a problem in a first-person novel. There's just not enough exploration of any one theme or character, and that's an issue, too many good ideas for one book. I know Louisa has a great story to tell, but for me just couldn't translate it to page well enough. Man, I really wanted to love this story so instead I'll very much look forward to what Louisa has up her sleeve!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jason June

    Louisa Onomé had me feeling all the feels in LIKE HOME. Following the aftermath of Nelo's best friend's family's store getting vandalized, Onomé explores gentrification and the way people outside Nelo's neighborhood try to "help" without asking the people who actually live in the community what is really needed. Meanwhile, Nelo deals with changes in herself and her friends happening at the same time, and her journey adapting to that change and standing up for her neighborhood is one that's going Louisa Onomé had me feeling all the feels in LIKE HOME. Following the aftermath of Nelo's best friend's family's store getting vandalized, Onomé explores gentrification and the way people outside Nelo's neighborhood try to "help" without asking the people who actually live in the community what is really needed. Meanwhile, Nelo deals with changes in herself and her friends happening at the same time, and her journey adapting to that change and standing up for her neighborhood is one that's going to stick with me for a long time.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anya

    Thanks to Harper Collins (via NetGalley) for the ARC! LIKE HOME follows Chinelo (aka Nelo) as she deals with changes in her neighborhood. Her best friend’s store, Ginger Store, is vandalized, and a new big box spice store is moving into Ginger East neighborhood. Nelo is reluctant to see that things are changing, and wants the neighborhood she grew up in to stay the same as it’s been her whole life. It takes her a while to realize, but Ginger East has been slowly changing before Nelo’s eyes, so sh Thanks to Harper Collins (via NetGalley) for the ARC! LIKE HOME follows Chinelo (aka Nelo) as she deals with changes in her neighborhood. Her best friend’s store, Ginger Store, is vandalized, and a new big box spice store is moving into Ginger East neighborhood. Nelo is reluctant to see that things are changing, and wants the neighborhood she grew up in to stay the same as it’s been her whole life. It takes her a while to realize, but Ginger East has been slowly changing before Nelo’s eyes, so she has to come to terms with the fact that her neighborhood is slowly being gentrified, and that Ginger Store is next in a long line of losses. I really liked the concept of this story. Nelo has to deal with changes in her neighborhood, a place that she’s loved her whole life. She’s reluctant at first to realize that things have been changing for years now, and that she maybe hasn’t noticed how much things have changed, but there were things about her character that just felt a little off to me. It takes several characters--adults, friends who have moved to different neighborhoods, etc.--telling Nelo that things are changing for her to realize it. Even then, she flat out denies that things are different. Several times. She just refuses to accept things are changing, and I understand that’s part of her character arc, but the way it’s handled is a little clumsy. She is so naive and stubborn to the point where it’s almost not believable that a person wouldn’t notice a new store in their own neighborhood. She’s so adamant that things stay the same and blind to the changes that have occurred, that it seems almost unbelievable. Another thing that bugged me was that the writing was a little clunky in places, especially regarding dialogue and descriptors. I felt like I read the same exact conversations multiple times, which had me going back to check if I was inadvertently rereading sections. And a lot of the times I felt like the descriptions of what characters were doing with their facial expressions or their tone of voice didn’t match what they were saying. Again, it was just a little clunky, which made the story flow a little less in my opinion. I’m hoping this is just because it’s a debut novel, and that Onomé’s writing will improve. Because, again, I did really like the story! There was definite character growth with Nelo from the beginning to the end of the book, and she goes on a journey, learning more about herself and the world she lives in. And the story itself is timely as well. LIKE HOME shows the importance of being connected to your community, and also gives personality, attention, and importance to a type of community that is often overlooked in the media. I look forward to what Onomé writes next because I haven’t read many (if any at all) YA books set in Canada, so I really enjoyed that setting. She has a unique voice, wrote a timely and relatable story, and came up with a lot of fun characters in this book, so I'm am eager to see what she does next.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader

    What a GREAT contemporary novel. I tend to read more scifi/fantasy but this was an absolute joy to read. Louisa Onomé gives us this amazingly coming of age and dealing with change story while embedding so much more into it. There's learning to deal with the changes going on in one's own body, their friends, and even within their own neighborhoods. Not to mention Nelo is such a passionate, vulnerable, stubborn, MC and Onomé is not afraid to show Nelo's fear through it all which makes it so easy t What a GREAT contemporary novel. I tend to read more scifi/fantasy but this was an absolute joy to read. Louisa Onomé gives us this amazingly coming of age and dealing with change story while embedding so much more into it. There's learning to deal with the changes going on in one's own body, their friends, and even within their own neighborhoods. Not to mention Nelo is such a passionate, vulnerable, stubborn, MC and Onomé is not afraid to show Nelo's fear through it all which makes it so easy to root and/or identify with her. Nelo loves her neighborhood but where other people (even within it) see a dangerous place to live, she sees it as a place full of good people with good hearts; where the good outweighs the bad that everyone else seems to focus on. When her best friend's father is a victim of vandalization, his store being the/a staple of the neighborhood, it feels like everything is changing and none it seems to be for the better. Queue Nelo having remarkable character growth and taking us on this wonderfully personal journey all the while handling the topic of Gentrification with the observance it deserves to have from everyone, not just those who have had to deal with it. I always feel it's a topic that doesn't get as much attention as it should and I loved watching Nelo handle it and point it out and learn her own feelings on the changes that come with it for her. Definitely, one of my favorite releases of 2021 so far and I really look forward to going back and reading this author's debut novel again, and for reading what comes next! 5/5 Cups of coffee, thanks to the Publisher and Netgalley for an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader

    What a GREAT contemporary novel. I tend to read more scifi/fantasy but this was an absolute joy to read. Louisa Onome gives us this amazingly coming of age and dealing with change story while embedding so much more into it. There's learning to deal with the changes going on in one's own body, their friends, and even within their own neighborhoods. Not to mention Nelo is such a passionate, vulnerable, stubborn, MC and Onome is not afraid to show Nelo's fear through it all which makes it so easy t What a GREAT contemporary novel. I tend to read more scifi/fantasy but this was an absolute joy to read. Louisa Onome gives us this amazingly coming of age and dealing with change story while embedding so much more into it. There's learning to deal with the changes going on in one's own body, their friends, and even within their own neighborhoods. Not to mention Nelo is such a passionate, vulnerable, stubborn, MC and Onome is not afraid to show Nelo's fear through it all which makes it so easy to root and/or identify with her. Nelo loves her neighborhood but where other people (even within it) see a dangerous place to live, she sees it as a place full of good people with good hearts; where the good outweighs the bad that everyone else seems to focus on. When her best friend's father is a victim of vandalization, his store being the/a staple of the neighborhood, it feels like everything is changing and none it seems to be for the better. Queue Nelo having remarkable character growth and taking us on this wonderfully personal journey all the while handling the topic of Gentrification with the observance it deserves to have from everyone, not just those who have had to deal with. I always feel it's a topic that doesn't get as much attention as it should and I loved watching Nelo handle it and point it out and learn her own feelings on the changes that come with it for her. Definitely one of my favorite releases of 2021 so far and I really look forward to going back and reading this author's debut novel now, and for reading what comes next! 5/5 Cups of coffee, thanks to the Publisher and Netgalley for an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Priscila Patatas

    This ARC was provided for review, but in no way affects the following review: • 5* Pros: I'm going to be fully honest here and say that I cannot review this book without bias. Exactly like its title says, this story felt like home to me. As the daughter of African immigrants, as someone that grew up in an area considered by many as the ghetto, but seen by us as home, Nelo's story hit close to heart. I understand deeply feeling terrified of change, not only splitting up from your friends and acquain This ARC was provided for review, but in no way affects the following review: • 5* Pros: I'm going to be fully honest here and say that I cannot review this book without bias. Exactly like its title says, this story felt like home to me. As the daughter of African immigrants, as someone that grew up in an area considered by many as the ghetto, but seen by us as home, Nelo's story hit close to heart. I understand deeply feeling terrified of change, not only splitting up from your friends and acquaintances, but also saying goodbye to the places you grew up in and that made you who you are, that got replaced by shinier, newer, stranger versions of themselves. Gentrification is a huge issue that is taking away people's homes and communities, that is increasing poverty and stealing opportunities for those who are just trying to provide for their families and find their happiness. Nelo's story completely resonated with me and like her, I also had to face my fear of change and other similar issues in my life. I'll be rereading this book till the end of time, I just know it. . Cons: I need a new-adult PoV of Nelo's story, I want to know what happens next in their world. . P. S.: It was actually extremely funny to me that the MC's name is Chinelo, which means slipper/flip-flop in Portuguese ahaha

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Nelo is happy the way things are. Then things aren't that way anymore, and she is angry. She is angry that her best friend, Kate's, family story is vandalized. She is upset that people have moved away that were her friends, and she is upset that new stores are moving in to gentrify the neighborhood of Ginger East. She doesn't want any of these things to happen, but they do. The problem that I have with this book, other than it moves at a snails pace, and has a subplot about young love that drags i Nelo is happy the way things are. Then things aren't that way anymore, and she is angry. She is angry that her best friend, Kate's, family story is vandalized. She is upset that people have moved away that were her friends, and she is upset that new stores are moving in to gentrify the neighborhood of Ginger East. She doesn't want any of these things to happen, but they do. The problem that I have with this book, other than it moves at a snails pace, and has a subplot about young love that drags it out even further, is the Nelo doesn't really grow in the end. She doesn't change. The neighborhood still changes, and she is stuck. I had so much trouble pushing myself through this because I didn't care about anyone. Hard to read a book where you dont' care what happens to the main characters. Thanks to NetGalley for making this book available for an honest review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    ThatBookGal

    Like Home wasn't really for me, but I can appreciate why others have really enjoyed it. I just couldn't connect with the characters, I'm not sure if that's my age or something else, but I just couldn't get invested in their story as much as I'd hoped. I felt that it was growing increasingly obvious how the window had gotten smashed, and so the big reveal fell really flat for me and somewhat ruined my enjoyment. I did absolutely love the community and the setting of Ginger East, it felt like it c Like Home wasn't really for me, but I can appreciate why others have really enjoyed it. I just couldn't connect with the characters, I'm not sure if that's my age or something else, but I just couldn't get invested in their story as much as I'd hoped. I felt that it was growing increasingly obvious how the window had gotten smashed, and so the big reveal fell really flat for me and somewhat ruined my enjoyment. I did absolutely love the community and the setting of Ginger East, it felt like it could so easily be home. There were a lot of important themes, in particular how gentrification negatively impacts on existing communities and businesses. But it felt like these aspects were often pushed to the side in favour of the romance/friendship storylines, and that was where I struggled as I personally wasn't as interested in those parts of the story.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    The writing in this is gorgeous and worthy of the pre-release comparisons. This story is complex with such an amazing friendship at the heart of it. I can not wait to see what Louisa Onomé does next if this was only her debut! I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley; however, my opinions are my own.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rendz

    Full RTC!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

    I feel like the comp titles for this were spot on seeing as I had the problem to connect with the protagonist and other characters just like I usually do in Acevedo's books which is VERY much a me problem and not the fault of the book. Regardless, while I adored the setting and atmospheric writing, the romance was so unnecessary and without being able to connect to the characters, this just wasn't it for me. Would recommend though if you need a fast, plot-centric read! I feel like the comp titles for this were spot on seeing as I had the problem to connect with the protagonist and other characters just like I usually do in Acevedo's books which is VERY much a me problem and not the fault of the book. Regardless, while I adored the setting and atmospheric writing, the romance was so unnecessary and without being able to connect to the characters, this just wasn't it for me. Would recommend though if you need a fast, plot-centric read!

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