Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Book Review: Hello? by Liza Wiemer

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publication: TODAY!! November 10, 2015
Acquisition: read a free eARC via NetGalley

Synopsis:
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).
(from Goodreads)
4.5 / 5 Stars

So good!

Wasn't sure at first - the 5 person narrative formatting took a little bit getting used to. We get full narration from Tricia, Emerson and Brain but poetry from Angie and screenplay format from Brenda. For this reason, Tricia, Emerson and Brian felt the most developed. Comparatively Angie came off as shallow and Brenda just seemed like a hot mess because screenplay format is not my thing!

Regardless of the format, the stories these characters have to tell are tremendous. Big on feeling, big on drama, big on history, big all over! Each character's life was so detailed but nothing felt overdone. We're getting a small snapshot of their lives, but in the end they all felt like long time friends.

But.

Sometimes your friends can be annoying.

Gotta say, for me, Tricia is that friend.

She starts the book, and she has a connection to so many of the other characters that she really dominates the story. And I didn't like her. And I didn't like where her story went and how other characters where involved in it.

She's going through something horrible, and she spends a lot of time feeling sorry for herself and it's not really her fault - it's all tied into her grief. But still...I didn't enjoy her narrative as much and I found myself not really caring what happened to her and the romance surrounding her past, present and future wasn't likable.

Still.

I was pretty blown away by the story as a whole. The way everything fit together, the format, the setting, the individual stories - it all worked for me. Tricia didn't work for me but Hello? is more then the story of 1 person. It's more then the story of 5 people. Broken up into pieces, or all together as a whole, this is a powerful story and a fantastic ya contemporary.

Highly recommended!

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