Author: Liza M. Wiemer
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Published: November 10th 2015
Page count: 417 pages
Goodreads | Amazon
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).
*The Chef's Review*
Actual rating: 4/5 stars
Hello? is a brilliant novel. It was such an interesting read and the story it tells easily captures the reader's attention. It talks about the lives of five main characters and how they are all connected to each other, no matter how far away they are. Each one of them has issues of their own that they have to figure out, which is very fascinating.
What I liked:
- The characters. This book talks about five different teenagers and each of them has their unique qualities and way of being that I believe made this book all the better. Tricia, Emerson, Angie, Brenda and Brian are in those difficult years where they have the pressure of what's next in their lives after high school along with personal problems. Tricia suffers from heartbreak after realizing that she doesn't have close family left with her. Emerson is traumatized by a childhood accident which he barely escaped and witnessed. Angie at first I thought was a bit clueless, but she just was in the wrong relationship and turned out to be an awesome friend. Brenda had a dark childhood experience that she was afraid to speak. Brian is a good guy, but he needed to step back a little and organize his thoughts ... See what I mean? This book had a lot going on with captivating characters that made it so engaging.
- The style of writing that the author chose for this book. Hello? uses different writing techniques depending on the character the author chooses for the chapter. I enjoyed reading and getting to know the characters in their own voice and point of view without jeopardizing their meaning.
- The settings. They change quite a lot since the characters don't all live on the same spot. It takes place in an edge of Wisconsin. I loved the way the author described the place, specially where Tricia and Brian lived. Tricia's house was a lighthouse in a beautiful town. I actually looked Washington Island just to get a clearer image of the place.
What didn't do it for me:
- I thought there were some parts that were too slow or too fast for my taste. Some parts of the book needed to speed up and other where I wanted to know more.
- I wish there was more to the story after everything clicked into place. I would have liked to know a bit more about everyone. Even though it hinted in some of the characters, in others there wasn't much information after it wraps up.
All in all, I give this book four stars because I thought it was a good read and it has a great story. To go along with this review, I baked these banana chocolate chip cherry muffins that Tricia mentions that she learned from her grandmother. I thought she had a really sweet relationship with her and—because they mention they were the best muffins and because I have a long time since I had that combination of ingredients—I decided to make some to go with this post (posted yesterday on our Bookstagram!). I hope they make Tricia's grandmother proud ;)