Summary from Amazon.com–
All Hanna’s wanted since sophomore year is Seth. She’s gone out with other guys, even gained a rep for being a flirt, all the while hoping cool, guitar-playing Seth will choose her. Then she gets him — but their relationship is hurtful, stormy and critical, not at all what Hanna thinks a perfect love should be. Bewildered by Seth’s treatment of her and in need of understanding, Hanna decides to fulfill her school’s community service requirement by spending time with Helen, her terminally ill neighbor, who she’s turned to for comfort and wisdom throughout her life. But illness has changed Helen into someone Hanna hardly knows, and her home is not the refuge it once was. Feeling more alone than ever, Hanna gets drawn into an audiobook the older woman is listening to, a fierce, unsettling love story of passion, sacrifice, and devotion. Hanna’s fascinated by the idea that such all-encompassing love can truly exist, and without her even realizing it, the story begins to change her.
Until the day when the story becomes all too real…and Hanna’s world is spun off its axis by its shattering, irrevocable conclusion.
Admittedly, I did not read all of this book. In fact, I barely even started it because I just had to put it down. Laura Wiess, to me, is one of those authors who turn out a really great book (in her case it was “Such a Pretty Girl”) and you keep buying her books expecting something to be as good as the one really great one, but you keep feeling disappointed instead.
So, that being said, obviously I had high hopes for this book. However, they were quickly dashed when I realized that a) one of the narrators was practically telling the story in second person (a la “Leftovers” but less icky) and b) the main character was one of the most annoying characters I have ever read about.
First, the second-person-ish thing. It’s not exactly second-person, but Helen is talking directly to Hana. I feel like that works in small doses, but for every one of her chapters, it was just too much and got a bit annoying.
Second, Hana. Good god, all she thinks about is Seth. I found her so annoying, between that and her attitude towards school. I think that you can have an unlikeable narrator, but there have to be enough other characters to make it bearable. Or, your character has to go through a significant change that makes them seem a little more human (ex. a short story in Kelly Link’s “Pretty Little Monsters” collection). Maybe this happens, but, like I said, I didn’t make it much past the first five chapters.
At least I only paid $5 for the book.