While some of the books I review on my site are furnished by the publishers, authors, or publicists for the purpose of review all of my reviews are truthful, honest, and my sincere opinion.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Review: How it Ends by Laura Wiess

Thank you to Sarah with Pocket Books for sending me a review copy of this one.

About the Book
Laura Wiess, the acclaimed author who once brought us "a girl to walk alongside Harper Lee's Scout and J. D. Salinger's Phoebe" (Luanne Rice), brings us another memorable young woman, this one at the center of an extraordinary novel of how love ends, how it begins, and what it's worth to protect it...

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.

My Review
I had started reading this one quite a while ago and had put it down because I just wasn't that into it. However I am so glad that I picked it back up. Once I got into it the story just starts going and you are taken away with it.

The main character are Hanna and Helen. Hanna is a teenager who is dealing with things most teenage girls deal with. Helen is dealing with aging and the ravages that can have on the body. The story follows the two through their own issues and shows us how their relationship has shaped them.

This is as much a love story as it is a coming of age story. While I liked Hanna I didn't really connect with her. Even though her life seems pretty typical for a teenage girl I was not and never have been typical. So I could understand what she was going through, but I couldn't relate because I've never really been in her shoes.

I loved the audio book that Hanna and Helen listened to together. To me that was where the real story took place. The audio book has all the makings of a great story. Love, sacrifice, pain, suffering, and friendship. It was truly a story that examined the human condition in its many many forms.

It was a bit odd to read a story that was being read in a different story, it was an interesting idea and I think Weiss pulled it off without making it weird or distracting.

Hanna and Helen were very well developed. Helen's story really pulled at my heart strings and I cried on multiple occasions. There were a few points that I was close to sobbing. I really got lost in this book and just let myself become absorbed completely by the story.

This was a great book. I haven't cried this hard reading a book in quite a while. I will absolutely be picking up more of Weiss' work.

To learn more about How it Ends or to find where to purchase a copy for yourself please visit Simon & Schuster.