Hello? by Liza M. Wiemer
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Release date: Nov. 15th 2015
Genres: YA Contemporary
*Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the eARC!*
I don't think I've ever read a contemporary book that affected me like Hello? did. I don't think I've ever read a contemporary like Hello?, fullstop (although I haven't really read that many contemporaries. I'm a bit of a contemporary newbie. But still). I will guiltily say that the gorgeous cover DID play a huge part in me picking this up, but this book proved to me that some which glitter are definitely gold. I can't tell you how glad I am to have read this amazing book!
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.
The characters. This book has the types of characters you want to hug very, very tightly and never let go. They were so real and three-dimensional. There are FIVE points of view, and each character has their own chapters allocated to them, but they all blended together perfectly, had distinct voices, and didn't confuse me at all. I love it when authors can pull off the art of multiple POV. Each character was so different, and to my surprise, I loved them all.
Tricia. Sometimes, when books begin with the death of a loved one, I can't really connect to the character's grief. With Tricia, that wasn't a problem at all! I truly understood her pain in losing her grandmother, and my heart ached for her.
Angie. Angie is the most flawed, out of all the characters. She is selfish, vindictive, bratty and unbelievably horrible to Emerson and Brenda. She was actually the antagonist for many parts of the book, and yet, I can empathise with her. I just can't hate her, no matter how awful she is. I LOVED how the author was able to do that to me. I am AWED.
Brian. Brian is sweet, but not without his faults. There were many times I was really angry with him for his insensitivity towards Tricia and his many mistakes when it came to their relationship. But again, I could still identify with him.
Brenda. Brenda is the most abrasive character, but there are reasons (which we find out later). Her character arc was really well-written.
Emerson. I saved the best for last, haha. I ADORE EMERSON. He is sensitive, slightly damaged and wonderfully sweet with a bit of a hero complex; he's one of those characters I label as "beautiful". The type of characters you can't help but fall for, not because they're perfect, but they are the best version of their imperfection as they can be (for those of you who read the book: haha, see what I did there?).
The unique formatting. While Tricia, Brian and Emerson have narrations, Angie's chapters are told in free verse, and Brenda's in screenplay format. Not once, I repeat, NOT ONCE, did this formatting disconnect me from the characters. If anything, it helped me understand them even more, and it doesn't come off as gimmicky in the least. LIZA WIEMER, YOUR TALENT KNOWS NO BOUNDS.
The complicated storylines that blended seamlessly together. Each character has a different conflict in their life, and while some authors could make a tangled mess out of those, they all blended and came together PERFECTLY in this book. I loved the inter-connectedness of the lives of the characters, and it really made me see how the decisions we make can always affect another person's life, for better or for worse.
The writing style. The narrations were really good, but it's the free verse and screenplay formatting that really amazed me. I loved how each character's personality came through, and let it be said right now that Liza M. Wiemer is a talented writer, both of prose AND poetry.
A wonderful, heartbreaking book that almost made me tear up in a lot of places (I don't cry that much when I read). The author has completely blown me away with her writing. This book is a MUST for those who love character driven novels, because I've never come across such an amazing portrayal of ordinary, everyday human beings. Hello? makes you realise how connected everything in life is, and will get you thinking about your own actions.
aren't authentic, relatable characters just the BEST?? do you think you will read this book? what are the books that have affected the way you look at life and at other people?