The Opposite of Hallelujah
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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
of the moon, an almost impossible alien artifact laid in the palms of her hands. “Why?” “I wanted to help you,” I said. “I asked him to come see you, but—” “He didn’t want to.” She brushed lightly at her eyes. “No,” I admitted. “But there are still things he wants to say—he wrote them down and sent this to me, to give to you.” She pushed it away. “I can’t read it,” she said. “Why not?” “I’m afraid,” she told me. “I know,” I said. “I am, too. Mom and Dad and I couldn’t decide whether or not
the authors whose books I’ve had the pleasure of working on, for supporting me on the other side of all that we do together. All the religious who have ever taught me anything. Alex Bracken, without whom I probably would not have gotten through the past few years. It’s very rare to meet someone who is willing to read every bad partial manuscript and half-baked idea and is still capable of telling me not to give up and meaning it. And, finally, to the late Helena Bieniewski, whose devout faith,
begin with. “He ran into us at the DMV,” I said. “Come on, Pawel, help me find my cell phone, I’m going to call my parents.” I stood up and tugged at him, but he remained prostrate. “Why can’t your sister come get us? She has her license now!” he argued, the words pouring out sloppily. “Oh my God, Pawel, I’m going to kill you. Will you please stop talking about my sister?” I hissed. “Is that why you were at the DMV? You told me you were having your picture retaken!” “Erin, who cares why she
he your boyfriend?” she asked. “I don’t know,” I said. “But he is really drunk, so let’s just get him home, okay?” “Fine.” She put the car in reverse and pulled out of the driveway. “I’m going to need directions.” “I’ll tell you where to turn.” Before Hannah had gotten there, I’d woken Pawel up and made him program his address into the GPS on my phone. How people lived before mobile Internet, I’ll never know. I was just praying we could outrun the phone’s imminent death. We sat there in
down there, it’s a one-way street!” Erin shrieked. “I knew that,” Reb muttered, continuing straight. “We’re going to die, aren’t we?” Pawel asked me sotto voce. “God, I hope not.” After twenty more minutes of driving around in a haze of absolute cluelessness, we finally found a lot we could park in without a permit. The four of us tumbled out into the cold, only vaguely certain which way we were supposed to be headed. Erin had pulled up a campus map on her phone, but it was tiny and not all