19 Sep 2012

Book Review: The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab

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 crashing her family. To her, Hannah’s a total stranger, someone who haunts their home with her meek and withdrawn presence, and who refuses to talk about her life and why she went away.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 answers.

Unable to understand Hannah, Caro resorts to telling lies about her mysterious 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 light.

Release Date:  9th October 2012
Publisher:  Delacorte
Source:  Netgalley Review
Links:  Goodreads  /  Amazon.co.uk  /  Amazon.com   

My Review     10 out of 10

I do not usually read books that have a religious feel to it but every now and then I come across a story that just sounds so good I like to give it a try and this is one of those.  Religion does play a part in the story.  This is a very relaxing, slow paced story and I absolutely loved it!

At first, to be Caro appeared to have a very bad attitude towards her family but as the story went on I understood that it probably wasn't a bad attitude but rather like a reaction to her family dynamic.  She has been an only child for so long and not really knowing much about her sister and then having been told that her sister is coming back.  It must take some adjusting to change from a situation that she has been living for as long as she can remember.  Caro has a great set of supportive friends who help her come to terms with what is happening around her.  Caro's family are very controlling and demanding but, again, this is something I understood more as the story went on.

This story, for me, is very much about family dynamic and family secrets.   The most enjoyable part for me about this story is the dynamic between Caro and her sister, the way they react with each other when Hannah comes back to live at the family home and the way their relationship changes as they spend more and more time together.  Another part to the story alongside the family dynamic is the story of Hannah and her life before being away, her life while she was away and her life when she gets home.   This story was not what I was expecting but absolutely loved it.

A really great story about families, sisters and coming to terms with the past.  A fantastic book, I would highly recommend...

Best wishes

Debs :-)