Cover Image: Yerba Buena

Yerba Buena

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Member Reviews

Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Nina LaCour's writing sucks me in every time. Her voice is so unique and no matter the genre she dabbles into, I am always so thrilled to get to read her writing.
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What an amazing book! 
The story. The characters. The journey. All of it was perfection 

Emilie and Sara, at first glance come from very different worlds, in other ways they are so alike. With matching feelings of abandonment, betrayal and loss we watch these girls grow into women. And after a chance encounter their stories and lives twist into each other in a way that makes it clear they may never get free. 

This is the kind of book that when it’s done… you crave more. 
More pages. More story. Just more
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Yerba Buena is a beautiful, heartfelt story told with a dreamlike softness.  It is about two young women from very different backgrounds whose lives intersect as they both recover from past traumas.  Sara is a runaway who moves to Los Angeles and becomes a famous bartender. Emilie seems to be making a career of being a student, until she takes an interest in flower arranging and then starts a clandestine affair at work.  The relationships and issues each of them have are complex, and I loved the way the storyline in the book tied things together in unusual ways, and the Yerba Buena plant kept popping up in unexpected places.  The characters in this story are so well developed that they feel like real people telling us their story, and Julia Whelan is the perfect person to capture all this emotion on audio.  Absolutely lovely!

Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for allowing me to listen to an advance copy of this audiobook in exchange for my honest review.
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Yerba Buena is a dual POV story about Sara and Emily and their rather complicated relationship. Both women have an enormous amount of baggage after experiencing serious trauma throughout their lives. Please be warned, this book dives into some pretty dark subject matters. It is heavy and sad and will definitely tug at your heartstrings. But LaCour did a superb job with her character development and her beautiful writing.

And of course, the audio narration by Julia Whelan was amazing, as always.

A huge thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for this Audiobook ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for providing me an e-arc of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

While a novel for emerging adults, this book has many of the same themes of LaCour's earlier YA works, but with added life milestones which will appeal to LaCour's dedicated fans who have now moved into post-high school life. The novel is character driven, focused on the lives of two young women named Sara and Emilie. It has themes of finding oneself, recovery from past trauma and loss, family relationships, and of course there is a wlw romance.

I enjoyed the slow pace of this novel. It was almost dreamlike in the narration and the detail put into the settings really brought the book to life. I was under the impression that this book was going to be a romance from early on, but instead the reader really gets to know the characters--Sara, who ran away when she was 16 after her father predicted that her missing best friend/secret girlfriend would be found dead in the river, and Emilie, whose life is at a standstill after seven years of undergrad and too much pressure to be the one with her shit together. Toward the end they get together, after their paths have crossed multiple times over years inside a restaurant called Yerba Buena.

I listened to the audiobook version and I must say that I think the reader was an ideal choice for this work. Her narration is dreamy, fluid, and easy to listen to.
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4.5 stars

I think this is one of those rare times that I would have enjoyed the physical book rather than the audiobook. Even still, this was a great queer read. Definitely one of the better ones I’ve read thus far this year. Might give it another shot to up the .5 rating.

(I received an ARC for free via NetGalley in return for an honest review.)
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Sara and Emilie find eachother at Yerba Buena, but both of them are holding onto so much pain from the past.

This book really focuses on the main characters and the issues and emotions they are dealing with.  Sara running away after dealing with the death of a friend, and Emilie trying to find herself despite an affair with a married man.  Despite their emotional issues and struggles they find love for eachother.

There was so much sadness in this book that was almost overwhelming and I was just hoping for a glimpse of something that would help push the plot more.  It is well written, but I think I wanted more action.  

I listened to the audiobook version and the narrator's voice is so soothing that I struggled with feeling sleepy and paying attention.  Maybe a drastic difference in voices would have been more engaging.

Overall I enjoyed the book, but it was a bit too depressing for my personal taste.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a copy of this Audiobook for my honest review.
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The book follows the lives of two women, Emilie and Sara. Both are from California. Sara is from Guerneville (Northern) and Emilie from Long Beach (Southern). I grew up in a neighboring town to Guerneville. All the places and descriptions the author mentions of that area are real and it made me a little homesick.

Both women have experienced some serious trauma and have tried to outrun their pasts. It doesn’t work for either of them. They meet briefly but it is not the right time. They meet again after some time passes and they have a chance to build a great partnership but will both need to confront their demons and learn to trust themselves and others. 

I liked the book. The first hour (I listened to the audiobook) was hard. The book starts with the women as teenagers and the trauma was intense. If you can make it through that the rest of the book is much easier.

Content Warnings: Drugs, Child neglect, Child Abuse, Sexual exploitation of children. 

Thanks to @netgalley and for an advanced copy of this book! It will be released on 5/31/22.
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This novel is Nina LaCour’s breakout into adult fiction from YA and I think if you’ve read her previous novels and loved them you’ll be pleased with this one as well. 

Yerba Buena follows two characters in slightly skewed timelines: Emily, a college student who dissatisfaction with herself and life show up in her ever switching major, and Sarah who after a tragedy in her hometown runs away as a teen to Los Angeles. 

LaCour’s writing is beautiful and dreamlike. She focuses heavily on descriptions of settings and locations. I wanted to eat at the restaurant described desperately. 

The characters are interesting and I felt like their journeys were relatable, especially Emily and her quarter-life crisis. I wasn’t necessarily cheering for them to be together but more so hoping for their own growth and finding happiness. This is not a romance and I think that’s important to note, these characters are alone more than together and their relationship is not a focus so much as the growth they achieve while being together. 

The dreamlike quality however, kept me at a distance from feeling like things were *real*. I felt a little lost in the plot and I couldn’t fully connect to their emotions. They always felt just a little fuzzy at the edges to me. I’ve felt this way with several LaCour novel’s now, so maybe its just something about her style that I can’t quite get into. 

I also think the POV switches muddle the story and give us two halves of a whole story for each character. I think I might have enjoyed it better to focus on just one of these women, though I wouldn’t know who I would choose if that was an option. 

Whatever it was though, it was still a lovely and slow story that felt gentle and beautiful to experience. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for this Audiobook ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I was super excited to have received this advanced audio from NetGalley. The cover is just striking, and I was interested in a fresh story with different perspective.

I was sad to find that I really didn't love it. It was OK. I think I just wasn't in the mood for a star-crossed lover / coming of age story with so many decisions made that made me cringe. I kept trying to remind myself that I made awful decisions too in younger years, but it just kept happening. I kept checking to see how much was left in the story.

I did really love the tie in to the Yerba Buena herb throughout and how it represented a sense of home. The writing itself was good and the narration was done well. I did appreciate the theme of at least some level of self healing and maturity before being ready for a relationship.

This was a pretty loved story on GR, and I believe I mostly saw great reviews on bookstagram, so don't just take my word. It just wasn't for me. I still may request anything Julia Whelan reads, though!
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Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour was a beautiful, heart wrenching novel about two teenagers growing up in families that are anything but perfect.  Sara Foster runs away from home at the age of sixteen after her friend, who is secretly her girlfriend, is found in the river near their home.  Sara's heartbreaking past is too much for her with this death and she heads to Los Angelos with a boy she doesn't know who is also running away.  Their journey is sad, their struggle is rough but they only have themselves and hope to guide them to better days.

Emilie Dubois is living life in a standstill.  She has been in undergraduate school for seven years, has been through five different majors and has no clue what she wants to do with her life.  As the stable child, Emilie feels the pressure of getting her life together, especially when her sister keeps relapsing.  

Yerba Buena is a story that is moving and you can feel the emotions oozing from each page.  I could not stop reading and finished this one in one sitting.  The audio was beautifully done and kept me engaged the entire time.   Yerba Buena is a must read for its beauty and because it is completely unputdownable!

Thank you so very much to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for this copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Yerba Buena is a beautiful story about two women who grow up in very different circumstances, but eventually connect via a posh LA restaurant. 

The story begins when Sarah is a teenager and trapped in an a neglected existence leaving her open to abuse. Emilie’s story begins in her adulthood, and the book focuses on her adult life for most of the gap between Sarah’s teen years and adulthood. Both women at times feel helpless and without a voice, but manage to find their way to self reliance and eventually forming a connection when they are both ready. The complicated relationships with their families and paths to professions that fulfill without diminishing are very different for both women and not without struggle, illustrating how easy it is to get lost, but also find your way over and over again.

The audio narration by Julia Whelan was superb, as always.
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This is a smart book with two very layered,  interesting women at its focus. Both held back by childhood traumas and struggle to let go of past pain, trust themselves, and trust others to allow themselves to feel worthy of love and safe to love. As Sara and Emilie each confront individually what’s holding them back, they ultimately find a safe space in each other. While the author resists an overly simplistic “wrapped up in a pretty bow” ending, as readers we know the journey these two have been on, and feel strongly that they are in a sustainable place to flourish together and apart. I liked the Yerba Buena imagery, the meanings behind connecting with nature to embrace and enhance healing, pleasures, and beauty. Narrator is amazing . Some triggering themes
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I selected this audiobook due to the narrator because she is hands down my favorite! The storyline itself started slow and a little confusing but I stuck with it (probably longer than I would have with a different narrator) and ended up really enjoying the book.
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More realistic coming of age stories about women please!!! I don’t think I’ve read a book that I’ve wanted to be in that world more badly than this book. 

Yerba Buena tells the story of two girls and their completely different lives from childhood upbringing to adult lives and how they intertwine. The book is dripping with vivid colors and details so you as a reader are equipped to live in their world. The book does a good job of shedding light on topics such as sexuality, family trauma, abuse, addiction, and just life. I was in love with both main characters which is hard to achieve and I ached for their hardships and cried for their successes. I was floored by the artistry in every part of this story even as an audiobook, and would recommend it to anyone. 
Thank you NetGalley for sending me this ARC audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
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I received a copy of the Audiobook of Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 
    Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this novel. The dual perspective and riveting tale made for an interesting read. I will admit that it was very dark at times, so I recommend looking up the trigger warnings before starting it. However, I loved that it centered on twenty-something adults trying to find their way in the world, while dealing with their personal trauma. The main characters were fleshed out which helped with connecting to them. They each had dynamic character growth through the novel, with sections that really demonstrate just how human the characters are. Although the story starts when Sarah is 16, the story slowly reveals details that explain why things unfolded how they did, giving needed context to the earlier plot. 
    If you are looking for twenty-something sapphics trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives spanning multiple years, this book is for you!
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Genre : LGBTQ+, fiction, adult

TW : drug abuse, overdose (mention of), death of a parent, grief, child sexual abuse, prostitution

I felt like this book was super confusing at first, and I had to listen to the first chapter a few times to understand the change of POVs. Each chapter is very long, and so much happens in a single one. 

about the POVs : I did not expect for the two main characters' lives to be entirely separate for over half the book. I also felt like one of the POVs was less developed, so there was less room for character growth. 

Anyways. I really felt like an outsider standing on the outskirts of the book, unable to fully immerse myself. I was eager to finish the book, because I was tired of listening to it. I just feel disappointed.
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I absolutely loved this book! It’s a story of two women who find each other and fall in love despite having two very different backgrounds. I thought the characters were very well developed and had interesting storylines that made me want to know more about them. If you love lgbt fiction, buy this immediately.
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Thank you NetGalley for letting me review this book. This was a well written book, however it moved pretty slowly and that just didn't work for me.
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While reading this book I kept seeing the story as this beautiful, fine-point line drawing. The pencil gliding across a thick, cream parchment drawing me forward. 
I really can't praise this book enough. LaCour writes these two women in a way that felt tangible and tender. You are with each as they are learning their worth, boundaries and what they want out of life. The story is primarily character driven (which is not for everyone). But, their vulnerabilities and growth rang clearly true; a sterling ring of hope and love. 
I loved it...a lot. I have never read any of LaCour's other YA novels but I am definitely going to check them out now!
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