Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Title: Hello?
Author: Liza Wiemer
Series: stand-alone
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Publication Date: November 10, 2015
Source: ARC gifted by author
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads
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).

Take the unique storytelling method of Illuminae, complete with five different perspectives, and add in a poignant story of grief, loss, love and hope, and you've got Hello? by Liza Wiemer. I was glassy-eyed and sniffling by page three, had the chills at page 23, and readying myself for an all-nighter by page 151. This is an extremely beautiful story, and I felt its loss whenever I had to be away from it.

I follow Liza Wiemer on social media, so I was familiar enough with the book when I won a copy from the author. (She sent the lovely package you see to the right, including an ARC, a Hello? bookmark, and cards featuring sights reminiscent of those in the book.) I was most intrigued by the format of the story. Using such varied means for each viewpoint gives you such insight into the characters. They're telling their side of the story the way they want to, and in this way, each character stood apart: in the way they see themselves and in the way they view each other.

When viewing Brian through Tricia or Emerson's eyes, I couldn't stand the guy. But when he was narrating or when reading Brenda's screenplay format was in use, I better understood him and his motivations. The same is true of all the characters, though. I normally don't prefer so many different points of view, but with so many perspectives in Hello? I felt that the characters were fuller, that I got to see the good along with the bad, the things they hid from others and even more importantly, the things they hid from themselves.

This story is about connections, coincidences and serendipity. I think from the beginning, I knew how the overall story would play out -- or at least how I wanted it to end -- but the lives of these five teenagers are so intertwined, their stories each so compelling, that I just couldn't stop reading. Not that I wanted to. ;) The narratives are so intricately woven that I forgot to worry about how everything would come to fruition and instead trusted that Liza knew what she was doing. (Spoiler: she does.)

The cast of characters was phenomenal. The writing and format were brilliant. Even the character interactions were perfection. It's agonizingly sad at times, but it's also unfailingly hopeful. There's not a single thing I didn't love about this novel...except maybe the fact that I still want to know what happens to each character and where life takes them. I might be a little too invested in the lives of these fictional characters. But that might be one of the best/worst #booknerdproblems to have. :D

If you were a fan of Illuminae's use of mixed media to tell the story but want to see a contemporary take on it, Hello? is your book. If you enjoy feeling the full spectrum of emotions while reading, Hello? is your book. If you just plain like reading extraordinary books, Hello? is your book. In other words, you should read this book.

GIF it to me straight:

About the Author:

I am the author of two non-fiction adult books, short stories, and newspaper and magazine articles. A pre-school to high school educator now writing YA fiction full time, which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! And I'm a diehard Green Bay Packers fan.

I started WhoRuBlog to address YA issues and share my passion for reading. Besides articles that address tough issues facing young adults, I have author interviews and book giveaways. Check them out. :D

Find Liza:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

1 comment:

  1. Great review! This book sounds so good. I'm definitely going to have to get it soon!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...