Hello? is the type of book that will strongly affect readers.
Book Review: Hello? by Liza M. Wiemer
Title & Author: Hello? by Liza Wiemer
Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher
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.”
Hello? is a deeply moving and emotionally moving book. This is a tough review to write because while I did connect with the story and enjoy the shifting points of view, I struggled with other aspects of the narrative.
First, Hello? starts off on a bit of a downer. Tricia has lost her only remaining relative – her grandma and her boyfriend Brian breaks up with her. Tricia considers killing herself but is saved by a random phone call she decides to make.
I’m a sensitive type, and a story that starts off so depressing is one I carefully consider continuing. In this case, I’m genuinely glad I kept reading.
Hello? did something really interesting with the alternating POVs. Some characters not only took on a different voice and perspective but a different writing style.
Angie’s chapters are written in poetry form, and Brenda’s in a screenplay format. I appreciated how this added insight into both girls’ personalities and backgrounds.
Plus when it comes to different POVs, I loved that Hello? wove all of their stories together in a way that made sense and sparked connections.
My biggest struggle with this book was an added spiritual/mystical that was never quite explained and resulted in a HUGE connection I found very hard to swallow.
The spiritual aspect only takes place between two characters and is sort of mentioned off-handedly. I found its inclusion sweet but strange and just personally couldn’t buy into its presence and purpose. It felt like selective magical realism in miniature.
There were two main characters who had the strongest stories, and although I did like hearing from the other characters, I would have felt a stronger emotional connection to the book had it just been them, giving the other characters less focus.
While some aspects of the story weren’t for me, Hello? is a smartly written, poignant contemporary that I think many readers will find moving and engaging.