Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab

This is another book that was on the sale rack at Chapters- I love that rack! I tend to find some great reads, and they are hardcovers too. The Opposite of Hallelujah was a really great read! Caro is 16 and likes her life just the way it is. She lives with her parents, and even though they are pretty strict, she has a good relationship with them and she recognizes that they only want what is best for her, she has two best friends and a boyfriend. Caro is a great student and basically has a great life. But she does have one secret, she has a sister who is 11 years older than her who has been a nun for the last 8 years. Caro has no relationship with her sister and doesn't miss her at all. But then her sister decides to come back home and leave the life she has always known. As Caro struggles to deal with a stranger in her house, her parents response and to decide what to tell her friends, her sister Hannah is struggling to cope in the outside world. I really loved this book. Caro is a great character- she isn't perfect, she is kind of mean to her parents, but she is a good kid at heart. Hannah is a strange character who is very withdrawn and is basically the opposite of Caro. Watching the two try to sort out their relationship is very interesting. I even found the religious references to be interesting. One of the characters is a priest and he isn't what you would tend to think of in a priest, he is someone that relates well to younger people and I liked that about him. I even liked watching Caro's parents try to sort it all out- they aren't absent characters which is so often the case in YA books- they are real and present and flawed. Since Caro is 16, there are some references to parties and drinking, but it is totally appropriate and not glorified at all. This book is definitely going into my classroom next year. I've never reading anything by Jarzab, but I have just ordered her first book- All Unquiet Things. You can check out her website here.

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