Does one sister’s past change another sister’s future?
Caro Mitchell considers herself an only child—and she likes it that way. After all, her older sister, Hannah, left home eight years ago, and Caro barely remembers her. So when Hannah returns to live with them, Caro feels as if an interloper is crashing her family. To her, Hannah’s a total stranger who refuses to talk about her life or 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.
Angry and upset, Caro resorts to telling lies about her sister’s mysterious reappearance. But when those lies alienate her new boyfriend and put her on the outs with her friends and parents, she seeks solace from an unexpected source. And when she unearths a clue about Hannah’s past, Caro begins to see her sister in a whole new light.
"Jarzab packs a lot into this story, questions of faith and forgiveness, science and religion, mental illness, guilt and possible redemption, as well as simple high school drama. But at its heart, this is a story about sisters."Booklist, starred
"A layered meditation on family and belief that will ring true for faith-questing teens."Kirkus Reviews
|Publisher:||Random House Children's Books|
|Product dimensions:||5.96(w) x 8.34(h) x 1.40(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
About the Author
ANNA JARZAB is the author of All Unquiet Things and Tandem. She lives in New York City and works in children’s book publishing. Visit her at annajarzab.com or follow @ajarzab on Twitter.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Author: Anna JarzabPublished by: Delacorte Books For Young ReadersAge Recommend: 12 YAReviewed By: Arlena DeanRaven Rating: 5Blog Review For: GMTAReview:"The Opposite of Hallelujah" by Anna Jarzab was truly one wonderful enjoyable read. The author Anna Jarzab was able to let us see how faith, forgiveness and above all sisterhood in the wonderful read of "The Opposite Of Hallelujah" could really be a exciting book for any YA. Yes, it deals with spirituality and Catholicism but in a very inspiring way.... not coming across as 'preachy or overbearing.' Although "The Opposite of Hallelujah" was a lengthy....it still was a quick dialogue read that covers a well packed topics presenting a lots of ideas to digest in terms of understanding grief and faith.... also this author brings in great elements in this story.... using, MC Escher and physics and science. Well done! The characters: I can't say enough about were quick and smart....Carolina, Hannah, Father Bob, Reb, Erin, Derek, Pawel, Sabra and Byrne Griffin. Truly these people made this story a worth read being so full of being sometimes witty and even funny. Even though their was much tension and anger that was felt in this read ...... you mustpick up "The Opposite of Hallelujah" to see how this all works out. The story centers around sixteen year old Caro, whose life as an only child is interrupted by the return of her much older sister, Hannah, who has moved home after suddenly leaving a convent and life as a nun....and the story really takes off. Truly this novel was a story of a family that needed healing....and in the end...just pick up this read to see how this happens.If you are in for a special wonderful YA read ... I would recommend "The Opposite of Hallelujah" for you.
At the heart of The Opposite of Hallelujah, I think the message is that your actions don't just effect yourself. A lie, a decision to leave, hiding from your problems, and pain can't be isolated to just you, it creates a wave to the people you love and that love you. Caro is a very relatable narrator. I could relate with her anger, pain and doubt about what was going on in the world around her as well as her curiosity whether related to learning or uncovering the past of her prodigal sister. She is a bit spoiled at times, but aren't we all. Thinking of ourselves is our natural state, but I love how she feels regret when she treats others badly, and at the end of the day I think that she strives to put others before herself. Pawel, Caro's friend and love interest is great as well. I loved his sense of humor, his sensitivity and the closeness that was featured in his family as well. The Opposite of Hallelujah definitily has something that is missing from a lot of teen novels, involved parents. It doesn't mean that they are perfect, but I love the relationship and the conversations that are in this book. I like that they are involved in school work, try to enforce a family dinner, and how they try to cultivate a relationship between Caro and Hannah. Anna Jarzab did a wonderful job writing the emotions of the characters. It got me to feel something for them, especially with Hannah. Even when I did not know what was the root of her pain and confusion, I still felt for her. I could see that she was trying to hard to reform a relationship with Caro as she sorted through her feelings. I guess one thing that should be mentioned in case you can't tell from the description, there is a lot of religious discussion in this novel, but I think that it all felt authentic. Caro was questioning what she really believed, if there was a God, her anger with him, and confusion at what made her sister join the convent and ultimately what led her to leave. Father Bob is a great presence in this novel too. I don't think that he ever tried to force his beliefs on anyone, but rather he was a listening ear to Caro, and tried to lead her on the path to discovering herself, and what she can do for her sister. Bottom line: The Opposite of Hallelujah is a touching story filled to the brim with emotions with a sweet yet rocky at times relationship and a strong narrator that I connected with.