Hope Was Here goes down like a piece of silky chocolate cream pie. The plot isn't full of twists and turns, and the vocabulary isn't exactly arduous (e.g., you won't find the word "arduous" in the book), but there's real substance in the novel's many themes. Bauer doesn't shy away from real-life issues. People get cancer, kids grow up without knowing their fathers, politicians are corrupt, diners serve meatloaf…but the author writes about them in a way that young people can handle. After all, Hope is only 16 years old, and while she might be wise beyond her years, she's still a teen.