Monday, May 20, 2019

Blog Tour: Hope and Other Punch Lines by Julie Buxbaum

Hope and Other Punch Lines

Julie Buxbaum

May 7, 2019

Delacorte Press


Hardback, eBook, Audiobook

Add To:

eARC from publisher for a honest review

Book Synopsis:

Sometimes looking to the past helps you find your future. 

Abbi Hope Goldstein is like every other teenager, with a few smallish exceptions: her famous alter ego, Baby Hope, is the subject of internet memes, she has asthma, and sometimes people spontaneously burst into tears when they recognize her. Abbi has lived almost her entire life in the shadow of the terrorist attacks of September 11. On that fateful day, she was captured in what became an iconic photograph: in the picture, Abbi (aka "Baby Hope") wears a birthday crown and grasps a red balloon; just behind her, the South Tower of the World Trade Center is collapsing. 

Now, fifteen years later, Abbi is desperate for anonymity and decides to spend the summer before her seventeenth birthday incognito as a counselor at Knights Day Camp two towns away. She's psyched for eight weeks in the company of four-year-olds, none of whom have ever heard of Baby Hope. 

Too bad Noah Stern, whose own world was irrevocably shattered on that terrible day, has a similar summer plan. Noah believes his meeting Baby Hope is fate. Abbi is sure it's a disaster. Soon, though, the two team up to ask difficult questions about the history behind the Baby Hope photo. But is either of them ready to hear the answers?


My Thoughts:

I absolutely love the gorgeous book cover of Hope and Other Punch Lines.  I was attracted to this story when I read the book synopsis.  I still remember exactly where I was and what I was doing on September 11th, 2001.  I was twenty-one, and I remember the feelings of shock, fear, vulnerability, anger, and deep anguishing sadness as I watched news of the terrorist attacks. I realized that I was officially a part of history, and that while students would one day be reading about what had happened; I actually had experienced it. September 11th having made such an impact on me, is what made me want to read this story.

Hope and Other Punch Lines is about Abbi Hope Goldstein and Noah Stern.  Abbi lives in a small town, and is recognized as "The Baby Hope," wherever she goes.  A photograph captured her on her first birthday wearing a crown, balloon in hand, as one of the trade centers collapsed.  Since that fateful day, she has become an icon and symbol of hope.  However, she just wants to escape this label, and live her life as a normal teenager.  When Abbi starts having trouble breathing and gets the cough, she knows that she has developed, "911 Syndrome," and her time left is limited.  She hides her cough from her parents and gets a job in another town as a summer camp counselor, so she can escape being "Baby Hope."

Unfortunately, Noah Stern, a fellow camp counselor, immediately recognizes her.  He approaches her, because he works for a school newspaper and needs her help locating all of the people that were in the photograph with her, to see where they are today, and if they will let him interview them.  While Abbi, is adamant about not wanting to participate in Noah's investigation; he won't take "no" for an answer.

As a character, Abbi, felt very "real" to me.  In many ways, she came across as a typical teenager, who just wants to truly live and enjoy her life.  Abbi hopes to make new friends at summer camp, since her ex-best friend Cat, decided to stop being her friend. She wants to go to parties, and is interested in meeting cute boys. 

However, we also see how the events of 911 have shaped her in many ways.  She is mature for her age, and has had to grow up quickly.  She feels the responsibility to enjoy her life and be appreciative of the fact that she survived, when many others did not.  She has had to mourn the loss of Connie, a family friend who rescued her when she was a baby; and consequently died from 911 syndrome.

Initially, Noah, came off as pushy, when he approached Abbi, with his own agenda.  He wouldn't give up, until she conceded.  However, I suspected that there was a deeper reason for why his investigation was so important to him. 

As Abbi and Noah embark on tracking down and interviewing the other 911 survivors in the photo, they begin to get closer to one another and experience the excitement of first love.  Noah, who wants to become a stand-up comedian when he grows up, will do anything to make Abbi laugh, and she enjoys spending time with him.  

The first half of the story was pretty slow moving, but the second half moved really rapidly and as the story picked up, so did my enjoyment of reading it.  I liked reading all of the factual information on 911 and found that to be the hook of the story for me.  The romance/love part of the story was okay.  I enjoyed the message that it's important to be able to laugh and find humor in the middle of tragedy.  When life gets us down, we can either choose to laugh or cry, and in this story, our main characters Noah and Abbi chose to laugh.

I liked that the chapters were short and told in the alternating viewpoints of Abbi and Noah.  I really liked the secondary characters.  My favorite was Noah's best friend, Jack.  Abbi's parents and Noah's mother and step-father added to the story, as did, Julia, Abbi's new friend and fellow camp counselor.  I shed some tears in this book, and it really did tug on my heart strings.

Purchase At:

Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Audible | iBooks | Kobo | TBD 

About the Author:

Julie Buxbaum is the New York Times best selling author of Tell Me Three Things, her young adult debut, What to Say Next and the forthcoming Hope and other Punchlines (out May 7, 2019.) She’s also the author of two critically acclaimed novels for adults: The Opposite of Love and After You. Her work has been translated into twenty-five languages. Julie’s writing has appeared in various publications, including The New York Times. She is a former lawyer and graduate of Harvard Law School and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two children, and more books than is reasonable. Visit Julie online at and follow @juliebux on Twitter.

Blog Tour Schedule:
Week One: 
5/1/2019- Dani Reviews Things- Review 
5/2/2019- Lone Tree Reviews- Review 
5/3/2019- Lifestyle Of Me- Review   

Week Two: 
5/6/2019- Jena Brown Writes- Review 
5/7/2019- Feed Your Fiction Addiction- Review 
5/8/2019- Ex Libris- Review 
5/9/2019- Here's to Happy Endings- Review 
5/10/2019- Struck by Stories- Review   

Week Three:
 5/13/2019- Belle's Archive- Review 
5/14/2019- BookHounds YA- Review 
5/15/2019- Life of a Literary Nerd- Review 
5/16/2019- Savings in Seconds- Review 
5/17/2019- Resch Reads & Reviews- Review   

Week Four: 
5/20/2019- A Bookish Escape- Review (You Are Here) 
5/21/2019- Book-Keeping- Review 
5/22/2019- Pacific Northwest Bookworm- Review 
5/23/2019- The Book Dutchesses- Review 
5/24/2019- Popthebutterfly Reads- Review   

Week Five: 
5/27/2019- Down the Rabbit Hole- Review 
5/28/2019- Do You Dog-ear?- Review 
5/29/2019- Two points of interest- Review 
5/30/2019- We Live and Breathe Books- Review 
5/31/2019- The Clever Reader- Review

Blog Tour Hosted By:


  1. I love this author so I'm a little sad this one doesn't seem to be as good as her others but, either way, I will still be reading it. ;)And I am glad you did still like it.

    1. The second half was excellent! For myself, the first half was slow-moving.

  2. Although the first half was slow for you I am glad that you enjoyed many aspects of this book. I have not read this author before but I will try her at some point. What a great review!

  3. I liked this one a lot more than you. I don't know. 9/11 played such a big role in my life. My father lost 43 friends, and it pushed me to quit my job and seek a career that let me be home with my daughter more. It was life changing. I thought Buxbaum really captured the emotional impact of this event, and she did so in such a wonderful way.

    1. I enjoyed the link to 911 and Abbi's character was a favorite of mine. I also loved all of the secondary characters as well. The story just started out a little slow as far as pacing for me. I though Noah was a bit difficult for me to connect with as well. He came off as more immature and his constant joking wasn't very funny in my opinion. He eventually grew on me, and I understood why he felt the need to try to turn tragedy in to a good punchline, but initially it hit me the wrong way.

  4. Fantastic review and I guess no one who lived through 911 no matter where in the world they were will always remember where they were. I was at work and scolded a co-worker for telling a not funny joke that turned out to be no joke. I actually love stories that are based around tragedies to see how the characters grow from that tragedy. Thanks

    1. I love stories based on tragedy, and seeing character growth as well. I feel like these types of stories model what it's like to live.

  5. Yeah, that day sticks in my mind like Pearl Harbor stuck in the mind of my grandparents. I'm curious about this one, now.

    1. Yes, it's a day that will always stick out in our memories... Thanks for stopping by Sophia!

  6. This topic is one that is always hard, growing up in NYC it definitely had a huge impact on my childhood, so I'm always hesitant when it comes to how its handled in media. Sounds like this author did a good job with it though. Great review!

    1. I agree. It's such a hard topic to tackle. Thanks Teresa!

  7. I haven't read many books that tie into 9/11 admittedly, but there are a few on my TBR pile I hope to get to. I remember exactly where I was that day too. Such a terrible tragedy. I will have to keep my eye out for this book. I love the title!

  8. I remember hearing about 9/11 and then watching about it on tv for weeks after. It was covered by all the stations. This sounds like a fascinating read and I love alternating POVs. Great review Lindy! ❤️

    1. Thanks Dani! Alternating POV's are my favorite! I like being privy to both main character's thoughts. It was a fascinating read!

  9. The cover is beautiful! I love multiple POV's and I honestly didn't know this was about 9/11. I still want to read this! Great review!!

    ~Kendra @ Kendra Loves Books

    1. Thanks Kendra! I love the cover too! I hope you enjoy it :)

  10. Wow... It's been a while since a came across such an accurate and relevant post. Excellent post from a genius.


We love to hear your thoughts, and appreciate you stopping by :)