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.
Teen Reader (15):
Our daughter loved it so much she not only read it in one night, she read it again a couple of days later. She said she could relate to all the characters (including the boys) and the issues they were dealing with.
BTSYA / Teen Reader (14):
Hello? is a story of not only the hardships of life but also what makes us human. Built of the relationships of the five teens, the book rides on a theme of friendship and its importance in overcoming challenges, reminding the reader that no matter what you may face, you don’t have to go through it alone.
Heart wrenching yet hopeful and genuine, the complex networks the story builds as it twists and turns will leave you clinging on not wanting to let go. Laced together by mysterious serendipity, the book is ultimately a story of humanity but at its heart is a question: do you believe in fate?
What makes this novel so special is how genuine and yet surreal it feels. I was fascinated by the way that the stories of all the teenagers slowly knitted together by fate as they struggled through their own difficulties. Slowly all the mystery and secrets hidden within the stories were slowly revealed as they peeled away their facades and became true to not only themselves but also those around them.
I recommend this book as a gift for teens 13 and up who carry a burden, however big or small, in their hearts or think they need a little serendipity.
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.
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.
There are mature themes and subjects in the story, e.g., sex / sexting, that may not be appropriate for young teen audiences.
This is a young adult novel told from five points of view, with five writing styles.
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.
15 and Up
13 and Up
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 14. Also: Read by a 15-year-old girl.
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.
You May Also Like...
Check out these books you may also like
|Publisher||Abrams Books for Young Readers, Imprint Abrams Books © 2017 (Reprint Edition)|