The Opposite of Hallelujah review ¶ 103

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The Opposite of Hallelujah review ¶ 103 ß Caro Mitchell considers herself an only child—and she likes it that way After all her much older sister Hannah left home eight years ago and Caro barely remembers her So when Caro’s parents drop the bombshell news that Hannah is returning to live with them Caro feels as if an interloper is crashiCaro Mitchell considers herself an only child and she likes it that way After all her much older sister Hannah left home eight years ago and Caro barely remembers her So when Caro’s parents drop the bombshell news that Hannah is returning to live with them Caro feels as if an interloper is crashing her family To her Hannah’s a. Going into The Opposite of Hallelujah I had mildly high expectations knowing that my friend Katie of Blook Girl loved it Still I wasn't so sure about the subject matter and just really didn't know that much about it since I pretty scrupulously avoid reviews of books I plan to read even from my favorite reviewers Katie was completely right about this book The Opposite of Hallelujah gave me so many feels sadness awkwardness hope and fangirling happinessMy very favorite thing about The Opposite of Hallelujah what makes it stand out so incredibly fresh and original to me is that it centers around a family Yes there's romance and school and all of that but Caro's relationship with her family members comes first primarily that with her much older sister Hannah Caro scarcely knew Hannah eleven years her senior when she went away to live in a convent when Caro was just eight years old Caro didn't know how to deal with this what it all meant so she simplified things and told people her sister was dead This came out as such things tend to earning Caro the nickname Caroliar which also gave Caro another grudge to hold against her sister added to the sense of abandonment she already feltFast forward a few years to the summer before Caro's junior year of high school News comes to the Mitchell family that Hannah is coming home from the convent Caro's parents who have missed their daughter and been deeply hurt that she left them even for a vocation are thrilled to have her back Caro on the other hand wishes Hannah and the whole big confusing mess of resulting emotions had never come backThat sounds mean but Caro doesn't know this woman who appears off the train Caro feels like an only child and she doesn't appreciate her parents' orders that she behave a certain way to Hannah Honestly Caro does not feel that Hannah deserves to be so easily accepted back into the family since she abandoned them so utterly Immediately Caro falls back into her old pattern lying to people at school about her sister She does not even tell her best friends or boyfriend that Hannah's back from the convent Later when it's outed that Hannah is back she lies about where Hannah was When I first started reading I was momentarily put off by the writing not personally my favorite style and the formatting obnoxiously large font to make the book seem longer than it is but I soon stopped noticing or caring about any of that because Caro's character is so powerful She has such a strong authentic teen voice All of the stupid things she does make a messed up sort of sense because you're seeing through her eyes and you know how her mind works Besides aside from the lying she's such a funny clever strong spirited girl that you just root for her so hard to work through her issuesThe Mitchell family feels so much like a real family they have awkward moments they fight they love It's just so beautiful and so rarely depicted in young adult fiction because so much of it needs the heroine to be accomplishing some gargantuan feat not living through daily life Her parents love both of them so much They make mistakes of course because that's what parents do but they're always there to help or to punish as needed Jarzab includes some very typical parent child fights that totally had me flashing back to my teen yearsAt the beginning of the book Caro has a boyfriend or at least she thinks that's what he is Derek who has been gone at camp When he gets back he doesn't call and she does what any self respecting girl would do freaks out and calls her best friends for advice Reb and Erin agree this is bad news and that she should probably dump him before he dumps her She decides to do that and goes to his house where he beats her to the draw I share this to illustrate how high school and realistically awkward it is There are so many scenes that struck a perfect chordAnyway stupid Derek dumping her cleared the way for a wonderful adorable guy Pawel is stereotypically the new guy at school Yes I rolled my eyes at this but he's so damn adorable that I got over that really uickly For one thing he's Polish and has an impossible to pronounce name Caro's friends just call him Polish and for another he is one of the most sweet caring guys I've encountered in YA He and Caro have an immediate connection but don't declare it right off the bat You guys I totally said awwwww out loud so many times reading about themAnother well drawn character is that of Pastor Bob Religion is obviously a huge theme in this book what with Hannah's return from a convent and everything I can be a bit touchy about this subject but it was handled marvelously here Pastor Bob does not force anything on anyone and he's a genuinely caring helpful guy The discussions of religion are theological than specifically Christian in nature He and Caro develop a real friendship that I found very touchingThis review is approaching epic proportions so I'll wrap things up In short if you are a reader who bemoans the lack of real family interaction in YA you should probably get your hands on it right now Anna Jarzab has just joined my list of authors whose books I must stalk

characters ✓ eBook or Kindle ePUB ☆ Anna Jarzab

Reappearance But when those lies alienate Caro’s new boyfriend and put her on the outs with her friends and her parents she seeks solace from an unexpected source And when she unearths a clue about Hannah’s past one that could save Hannah from the dark secret that possesses her Caro begins to see her sister in a whole new ligh. The Opposite of Hallelujah October 9 2012 Random House Children's Books 464 pgsCaro Mitchell was a just young girl when her older sister Hannah left home to join a cloistered convent Hannah never really explained her reasons for becoming a nun and now eight years later she is not offering an explanation for her sudden arrival back home Caro has gone from feeling like an only child to sharing her home with a stranger The sisters' relationship is strained and awkward to say the least Caro's inability to cope with and understand her sister causes her to lie to her friends and new boyfriend When her lies are revealed her carefully compartmentalized worlds collide and things really fall apart It is not until Caro inadvertently uncovers the secret Hannah has been keeping that true healing begins Caro seeks solace in an unexpected source and this person helps to not only restore Caro's own faith but also help her to understand Hannah's loss of faithI have not come across many YA novels that tackle the issue of religion and faith and Anna Jarzab does so with grace The story is as much about loss grief and family as it is about faith religion and god There are so many things that I liked about this story I am a big fan of a flawed character who grows and develops over the course of a book Caro and Hannah both fit the bill perfectly Caro is pretty bratty and even unreasonable in the beginning not that I can really blame her Meek and passive Hannah has single handedly destroyed the comfortable family unit Caro is accustomed to and now no is happy As for Hannah she is so broken and closed down that she can not function Both sisters have a lot of work to do I love the romance between Caro and Pawel The work reuired to make their romance possible is refreshingly realistic especially when so many teen books are riddled with couples who instantly fall head over heels in love and overcome all obstacles together I also found Caro's love of science and the discussions of the relationships between religion and science interesting Teens will be able to relate to any number of issues addressed in this novel The religious aspect is not heavy handed preachy or off putting Teens looking for books about faith will welcome this novel Teens who enjoy books featuring family conflict and drama will also enjoy this book Readers should be aware that there is underaged drinking involved though the teens are responsible about not driving after drinkingThis book was provided by the publisher through NetGalleycomHappy Reading˜Megan

Anna Jarzab ☆ 3 read

The Opposite of HallelujahTotal stranger someone who haunts their home with her meek and withdrawn presence and who refuses to talk about her life and why she went away Caro can’t understand why her parents cut her sister so much slack and why they’re not pushing for answersUnable to understand Hannah Caro resorts to telling lies about her mysterious. This book was recommended to me by a family member who knows that I like stories of personal spiritual growth and also that I sometimes enjoy YA novels She thought I would like this and though I have decided to give this book a 3 star rating I'm going to uantify that rating by saying that if you are older than 17 as I am go for meatier stuff The uestions posed by Father Bob in his discussions with Caro the young girl who gives voice to this story would have given my long ago teen age self much food for thought but after a life time of experience and soul searching I find I am interested in reading the books listed in the author's acknowledgments page at the end of the book Some of those are even waiting for me on my to read list So the take away is this The Opposite of Hallelujah is a good novel for thoughtful teen age girls but it does not challenge a mature reader