Saturday, November 21

Liza M. Wiemer - Hello?

“I'm an answer, Frankie. Maybe you're an answer for me, too?


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).







Huge thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC, in exchange of an honest review. 

I was sort of skeptical about Hello? but the wonderful ARC reviews I'd read convinced me to request it on Netgalley and I'm so glad I got approved because this book is one of the most emotional and gorgeous Contemporary novels I've read this year. There were a couple of things in it that didn't work for me, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. 

In the beginning of books with so many viewpoints, I usually struggle with remembering who is who, but this wasn't the case here. The characters were brilliant, realistic and easy to relate to, and all five of them had a distinct voice. I was completely invested in their stories and was rooting for them to overcome their problems. 

Tricia's pain was so genuine and consuming that I had to stop reading a couple of times to remind myself that things will likely develop for her later in the novel. I was sad to see that she came out of this depressed, grieving state very quickly and without any professional help. I didn't feel like the place where she was for months was a place she could just abandon when she felt like it. The same quick change happened to Brenda at the end, too, and I wasn't happy about that either. 

I really appreciated that the author added a little something else to three of the main characters' chapters. Angie's free verse poetry was well done and fitted her perfectly, the same is true about Brenda's screenplays. Sadly, Brian's sketches didn't work for me, for some reason I couldn't fully believe that his art was such a huge part of him, but again, that might be because he was literally the only character I didn't like. Next to the others, Brian felt plain and, frankly, I don't even know what the author's intention was with giving him his own POV.

The coincidences were a bit too much for me at some parts, but I still think the author connected the characters in a very believable way. I really liked the way the relationships were portrayed - it was clear that Tricia and Brian still had feelings for each other, but it was also clear that they weren't good together. I can't really say anything more about the romance without spoiling it, but rest assured, every relationship is really well-done and doesn't feel forced.

I don't think there's much else to say about Hello? without telling too much and ruining this amazing story for you. Reading this novel was one heck of an emotional ride that made me super-excited for the author's future works. 

The story idea: 4/5
The realization of the story: 4/5
The characters: 4/5
The cover: 3/5
Enjoy factor: 4/5


   

2 comments:

  1. I'm not gonna lie when I saw the title I was very close to answer: "it's me....". I'm sorry but I'm in such an Adele mood now that her album has been released hahaha
    I'm not sure how I feel about the whole coming out of depression whenever the character felt like it and without help because that is completely unrealistic but I do feel curious about the writing style. It actually sound great; how every character has its own voice and therefore its own way of telling the story. Glad you enjoyed it Veronika! and thank you for sharing :)

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    Replies
    1. Oh no, I feel like I've been hearing that song and hearing about Adele EVERYWHERE - she's awesome but not my favorite, so it's a bit too much for me now.
      That part of the story sucked, but overall it was still very enjoyable and emotional - and the writing style rocked. :)

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