I really liked Hope Was Here. It was well-written and the characters, plot and details were nicely fleshed-out. I have not read any books by Joan Bauer, but I was extremely impressed with this one. The whole novel just felt homey and safe, but was also one that took risks and was emotional (I admit that I cried at the end). I liked how an underlying theme was the food service and how Hope and her aunt both felt most comfortable working in a diner or restaurant. It was also a nice touch how Hope's Aunt Addie was able to extract wisdom from the food that she was cooking - it showcased Bauer's unique style and insight. The characters, some of which could have had more personality, were fun to read about, especially G.T. He was a one-of-a-kind man, and probably the only honest politician out there. His run for the mayor was also a nice touch and gave the reader an interesting look into politics. I liked how the fact that he had leukemia never stopped him from doing something he loved or setting out to accomplish a goal. He was a wonderful model for how everyone should live their lives. I recommend this book to all readers, and even if you don't like it, your mouth will still be watering for some of Addie's delicious home cooking.
8 out of 10.