Monday, September 19, 2016

Review: "Hello?" by Liza Wiemer

One HELLO can change a life. One HELLO can save a life. Tricia: A girl struggling to find her way after her beloved grandma's death. Emerson: A guy who lives his life to fulfill promises, real and hypothetical. Angie: A girl with secrets she can only express through poetry. Brenda: An actress and screenplay writer afraid to confront her past. Brian: A potter who sets aside his life for Tricia, to the detriment of both. Linked and transformed by one phone call, Hello? weaves together these five Wisconsin teens' stories into a compelling narrative of friendship and family, loss and love, heartbreak and healing, serendipity, and ultimately hope. Told from all five viewpoints: narration (Tricia), narration (Emerson), free verse poetry (Angie), screenplay format (Brenda), narration and drawings (Brian).

Thank you very much to Spencer Hill Press (via Netgalley) for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
This review might be full of gushy praise, because I loved it a whole lot! So, consider that fair warning...

Um, where to start? I requested this book a long time ago, not sure why (cover? synopsis? Couldn't tell ya) and then promptly put it aside. Again, not sure why, but if I'd known how good it was going to be, I would have read it way sooner! First off, the way it is written is very unique, and it really helped to give each character an individual voice. If you're put off by the thought of reading free verse poetry or screenplay format, don't be - it definitely works here! With the narrative style of this book, I felt I was really able to connect with each of these characters, empathizing with them and hoping for them to succeed and be happy in their future. 

I think probably my favourite character was Emerson. He was so layered, and really just all around wonderful! I can't even put into words why I liked him so much, but I really wanted him to get his happy ending. 

Brenda ended up being a big surprise for me. I had a hard time connecting with her at first, and maybe part of that was me getting used to her screenplay format. I've read plays for school, but I would not normally ever choose to read one, and I guess that felt a bit uncomfortable at first. Anyway, it didn't take long and she became one of my favourites too.

Another big surprise here was the setting. Tricia's lighthouse, and funky little island town, is definitely somewhere I would love to visit, and Wiemer paints such a vivid picture of this place that I felt I could visualize every element. Stunning!

Great writing, wonderful characters, an unforgettable setting, romance, heartbreak, music - what more could you ask for in a contemporary young adult read?  Absolutely recommended to everyone!

My rating: 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much, Roxy, for this magnificent review! You made my week!!! And who knows? Maybe someday you'll be able to visit Washington Island! xxLiza