We are super excited to be kicking off our review tour for Like Home by Louisa Onomé, and we hope y’all are just as excited as we are to celebrate this gorgeous book!
Today, we’ve got an amazing interview with the author with questions surrounding the book, herself, and some hints into current projects/future publishings. We are also hosting an exciting giveaway, which you will find at the bottom of this post.
If you aren’t already, make sure to follow each of our hosts and add this book to your TBR!
by Louisa Onomé
Published by Delacorte Press
Releasing on February 23rd, 2021
YOUNG ADULT FICTION–Contemporary
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.
Can you tell us a bit about you and Like Home?
Hi everyone! My name is Louisa Onome and I’m a young adult writer based out of the Toronto area. I wrote Like Home as a bit of an homage to the place I grew up in, as well as the kids and the world I’m most familiar with living near Toronto. Like Home is about 16-year-old Chinelo whose world is turned upside down when a local store in her quickly gentrifying neighbourhood is vandalized. She really has to come to terms with what change means to her.
Is there a certain chapter in your book that holds more meaning to you than others?
I don’t think any chapter holds more meaning, but one of my favourite chapters to write was chapter 22. Most of it is just a long group chat message between the friends, and I loved being able to not only show off their personalities, but have them interact with each other in this way.
Can you give us a bit of insight into what your writing process looks like?
My writing process is, for the most part, quite chaotic. After I get an idea, I come up with
characters. The characters come to me somewhat fleshed out, and I’m able to finesse the plot based on what kinds of people I’m filling my story with. I don’t plan much during the first draft and instead, I do a lot of tweaking during my first revision. The story really comes together for me after that.
Out of all the characters in Like Home, which did you connect with and cherish the most?
It’s hard to pick just one! Sometimes I think it’s Nelo, but I really did connect with all the
characters in such a specific way. I tried my best to make them as multi-layered as they are in my head, so I hope that care comes across for readers.
If you had to choose one place in the world to travel to for a book signing, where would it be and why?
If I had to pick a place I’ve been before, I’d pick London because the bookstores I visited there were so pretty and had a cool presence. If I had to pick a place I’ve never been, I’d pick somewhere in South Africa because I shamelessly want to go there.
Are you working on anything currently, and if so, can you give us any hints/snippets?
I’m working on another young adult contemporary that will be out in 2022! This one deals with identity and culture, and I wrote a lot of my authentic experience as a Nigerian-Canadian into it. It’s been so much fun to write and revise and I can’t wait for everyone to read it!
Lastly, what do you hope readers take away/learn about from your book?
I hope readers will be able to look upon those in marginalized communities and neighbourhoods with more compassion. It’s important to recognize that just because someone lives differently or comes from a different place, they are still valid. It doesn’t diminish their value.
Louisa Onomé is a writer of books for teens. She holds a BA in professional writing from York University and is represented by Claire Friedman at InkWell Management.
A part of the Author Mentor Match round 3 cohort, she is also a writing mentor and all-around cheerleader for diverse works and writers. When she is not writing, her hobbies include picking up languages she may never use, trying to bake bread, and perfecting her skincare routine. She currently resides in the Toronto area.
Up for grabs, we have TWO (2) finished copies of Like Home by Louisa Onomé! This giveaway will run from February 21st to February 28th at 11:59 PM CST and is open to US residents only. To enter, click the link below!