Author: Liza Wiemer
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Publication date: November 10, 2015
Summary (via Goodreads): 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.
This was such an incredible book! I was a little apprehensive about it, because it had such high praise so far in the blogosphere and due to the fact that it had multiple POVs. I don’t know what it is about me with more than one POV, but I’m not a huge fan, unless they’re done well. Hello? was a great example of unique POVs that made each of the characters really stand out. Thank you to Netgalley for giving me a review copy in exchange for a honest review. This book was definitely 5 out of 5 stars.
First off, I love when books are set in Wisconsin, since that’s the state I was born in & currently live. I liked the different storytelling techniques (narration, poetry, screenplay, narration with drawings), even though it took a little while to get used to them. I think it really helped each of the characters stand out in their own unique way. I really liked Tricia and Brenda. I liked Emerson for the most part, but seeing him from the other character POVs (Angie/Brenda) kind of made him seem a little douche-y at times. Brian seemed kind of douche-y until I got to see his side of the story, got to see inside his head. I still think he’s a little douche-y though. Jury’s still out on Angie’s character. I loved reading her free verse poetry chapters, but I wasn’t really in love with her character. She was kind of one character I loved to hate, but I still sympathized with her.
My heart really went out to Tricia in this book. I lost count of how many times I cried while reading. I know losing someone close to you can really mess a person up emotionally. The phone call that eventually brings all the characters together, weaves all their stories together, was such a touching moment. The ‘Dear Reader’ part at the end of the book by Liza really spoke to me. This kind of story needs to be told more often, because one Hello? can truly save a life. Liza did an amazing job touching on this taboo topic, bringing to light that it’s okay to be overwhelmed with your feelings, but to stay strong. I don’t want to give much more away, but Brenda’s story also really touched me. I knew something like that had happened from the story context, but my heart breaks for her and anyone else that has gone through what she has.
The beginning of the story started off with a bang. Only about 5% into the eARC and I was crying, overwhelmed with emotions. The ending didn’t really surprise me (concerning Tricia and Emerson’s stories), because I was kind of expecting that as I was reading. This book was such a beautiful gem, so raw, so emotionally charged. I’ll be recommending it to anyone that’ll listen to me.
Some of my favorite lines from the book were: “You can’t write a script for this. My life’s not a two-hour movie.” and “The cold disappears, the past disappears, the future disappears. For one perfect minute I disappear.” and “He was deep-sea diving with my emotions, and my oxygen tank was near empty.”
I’m not 100% sure if Emerson will be added to my book boyfriend list. I loved when we saw him from Tricia’s POV, and when we saw his personal POV, but not so much from other people’s POVs. Brian isn’t on my book boyfriend list. He was okay, but he was a bit douche-y still in my opinion.
Final note: SUCH an amazing book. I purchased a copy yesterday on Amazon, but it’s sold out (!) right now, so I have to wait a little while until I get my paperback. If it was sold out on its release date, I think that’s a pretty great endorsement for how incredible this book is. But if you need more motivation to go buy a copy, here it is: GO BUY A COPY! You won’t regret it!