Release Date: October 9, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Edelweiss
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 To her, Hannah’s a total stranger, someone who haunts their home with her meek and withdrawn presence, and who refuses to talk about her life and why she went away.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.
I’ve been very anxious for a new book from Anna Jarzab ever since I closed All Unquiet Things. I really loved that book and I haven’t read a mystery that captivated me as much since then. The Opposite of Hallelujah is very different than Anna Jarzab’s first book. Honestly, I was just a tiny bit worried that it might end up being a Religious Book, but I’m happy to say that it did not.
I’ve had super low patience with unlikable characters lately. I’ve read an abundance of snobby, entitled girls this year and I’m tired of them. Caro is a brat. She’s spoiled and she thinks the world revolves around her, but I liked her! One thing that made her different, and more likable, was that she was usually sorry for being a brat. She was self aware, I guess you would say. She knew she was acting inappropriately but she just couldn’t help herself. She messes up a lot and tells lies when the truth would be easier, but she was believable.
The Opposite of Hallelujah is also filled with wonderfully realistic relationships. Caro’s parents are very involved in her life, much to her dismay. Caro also has two very close friends and I really liked seeing their interactions. There is a bit of romance in the story. Pawel was pretty adorable! I really wanted to shake some sense into Caro when it came to him.
The most important relationship in the book is between Caro and her sister Hannah. There’s a large age difference between them. Caro has never known Hannah very well and she’s often felt like an only child. The Opposite of Hallelujah really focuses on Caro coming to terms with the fact that Hannah is there and is very much a part of her life. There’s a lot of mystery surrounding why Hannah left and her reasons for coming back. That more than anything else kept me glued to the page.
If you like books about sisters and unique, but realistic relationships, you should definitely pick up The Opposite of Hallelujah.