hello?

Summary:

Like most teens, Tricia, Emerson, Angie, Brenda, and Brian are absorbed in their own lives, past and present. At nearly 18, Tricia is teetering between the overwhelming grief of losing her last living relative, pressure from a local real estate mogul to buy her childhood home, and a smothering boyfriend. Brian thought he loved Tricia enough to get her through it and live happily ever after; now he's not so sure what his future will be. Emerson knows he's ready to break up with Angie, but isn't sure how. For Brenda, being Angie's best friend and Brian's cousin makes it *easier* to keep life at bay. As they work through their own issues, they learn that their solutions might just lie beyond themselves and in their connections to each other.

Educational Themes:

In style, alone, there is a lot to explore (i.e., different ways of journaling / writing / telling a story). The story also opens opportunities for discussing some of the issues the characters deal with (e.g., death and grief) but also choices (sexting) with teens.

Reading Level:
5.7
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
15 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
13 and Up
Age of child:
Read by a 15-year-old girl.
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. This is a book that every teen should read (yes, boys too), and it is likely to be shared. Highly recommended for parents to read with their teens as a way of opening discussions on relationships, honesty, and tough choices.
Young Reader Reaction:

She loved it so much she not only read it in one night, she read it again a couple days later. Our daughter said that she could relate to all of the characters (including the boys) and the issues they were dealing with.

Parent Reaction:

In a word: Amazing. I was invested immediately, and couldn't put it down. Because each character speaks in first person, I quickly found myself immersed in the emotions of their lives: seeing events from multiple perspectives, reacting to their choices, and worrying about what is or has happened to them. As each character reveals more about their deepest worries, the suspense - and my hope - builds.

Each chapter is time-stamped, moving the story forward in time, but with a different voice at each interval. Each character describes narrates their life in their own way: Tricia journals, Angie's voice is free verse poetry, Brian uses sketches, Brenda *speaks* in screenplay. The variety and short chapters offer lots of options to readers of all levels and attention spans.

Pros:

This is realistic fiction at its absolute best. Readers will immediately connect with Brenda, Tricia, Brian, Emerson, and Angie. Some they may even call friends, as you think about these teens long after you've finished reading.

Cons:

There are mature themes and subjects in the story, e.g., sex / sexting, that may not be appropriate for young teen audiences.


Title Hello?
Author Liza Wiemer
Publisher Spencer Hill Contemporary © 2015
ISBN 9781633920491
Material Hard Cover
Cost $9.95
Genres Family, Young Adult, Friendship, Coming Of Age, Death And Loss, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
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