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Words, Pages, and Books

Jessirae's the name. Booksbooks&morebooks, please. Arizona Green Tea addict. Chocolate and ice cream lover. I'd kill to be a heroine in Tessa Bailey's novels.

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Another Little Piece
Kate Karyus Quinn
Wilde Nights in Paradise
Tonya Burrows

The Opposite of Hallelujah

The Opposite of Hallelujah - Anna Jarzab The Opposite of Hallelujah begins with a teenage girl, who was basically raised as an only child, dreading the return of her estranged sister. This is just the first layer of the story. In this book, we are taken along a journey of self-discovery through the eyes of Caro Mitchell. Anna Jarzab created a novel that shows the true strength and bond of a family and the meaning of love between sisters even through all the dark secrets and mistakes. Caro was a tremendous surprise in the book. On the surface, she was stubborn, tempered, blunt and albeit, extremely selfish girl. Even with her bad attitude towards her sister and her parents, I found Caro to be extremely real and likable. I understood her actions and feelings of resent and unworthiness when Hannah comes back into her life. Change is not easy and the adjustment of sharing her parent’s affection and attention was hard on Caro. Added to that is the unknown true reasoning of Hannah’s departure eight years ago, her unexpected return, and all the lies and secrets her parents have been keeping about what happened to Hannah when Caro was very little. Caro tries to find herself throughout the book, questioning why she does things, learning from her mistakes, and embracing her sister’s presence. Caro really changes herself, opens her eyes, mind and heart, and grows up immensely. The romance between Caro and Pawel is not prominent in the book, but a very wonderful addition to Caro’s overall growth. Along with her talks with Father Bob, I think Pawel really helps Caro. He was supportive and understanding. He was an adorable, cute guy that cared so much about Caro. He was there when she needed him and his absence made her realize her dire mistakes. What I loved most about Pawel was the funny, laid back side of him who was just fun to be around and one of the few people that saw the good in Caro’s heart. I have no doubt why these two fall for each other. While this book mentions some aspects of religious beliefs and philosophies, its’ prominence does not take away the overall enjoyment. In fact, it enhances the storyline and gives more depth and shape to Caro and her sister’s characterization. It helps the pacing go smoothly and it gives the reader a whole new perspective.Jarzab has an amazing writing style that gives her character life and meaning. Her writing kept me riveted and brought out genuine emotions. She made Caro’s life interestingly flawed and she portrayed real family struggles. Jarzab didn't just center the plot around Caro, but she brang forth the parts of her parents and Hannah with all the misunderstanding and miscommunication. She really showed the imperfectness of a family, but she also showed the unconditional love as well. The truth about Hannah’s past, while not quite surprising, did not take away from the inspirational feel of the book and all the hope it brought. Overall, The Opposite of Hallelujah was an enlightening novel about forgiveness, faith and the growing relationship between two sisters and a family. It’s a thoroughly delightful read.More Reviews on my blog: Words, Pages, and Books