FICTION

Hello Now

Philomel. Mar. 2020. 208p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399546952.
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Gr 9 Up–Novo is an enchanted boy who has fallen in love with Jude. Although he has followed Jude all her life, she is unable to see Novo until she moves to a small seaside town where her mother lived as a child. Their home comes with a tenant, an old hermit named Henry Lake. As Jude spends time with Novo, she discovers a connection between Novo and Henry. Just as Jude is ready to declare her love for Novo and ask him to permanently stay in “the Now,” Henry tells her about the consequences of her choice. Novo is happy to make the sacrifice and stay with Jude, but now that Jude knows what is going to happen, she is not so confident that the choice Novo wants is the right one. Does Jude ask Novo to stay knowing it will make both of them happy for her lifetime, or will she let Novo go to live an immortal life, free from the chains of her world? Love and sacrifice are hard lessons for Jude to learn, and her journey is well crafted. Jude starts off as selfish and moody, but during her time with Novo, she begins to realize how love can change one’s world, whether it’s human or magical. As Jude matures, she understands the responsibility that goes with love.
VERDICT The story is relatively tame for a romance, and the message about doing what is right, not easy, is an important one. A solid addition to any fiction collection.

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