Welcome to my stop on the blog tour hosted by YA Bound! Click on the link to see the full tour schedule. :) This is a really exciting day because not only do I have a review for all of you, but also it's my first time reviewing for a blog tour hosted by YA Bound!!! :D Enjoy!
Title: A Sliver of Hope
Author: Karla J. Nellenbach
Published: March 13, 2013 by Booktrope
Pages: 199 (Kindle)
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Average Goodreads rating: 4.47 / 5
My rating: 4 / 5
Blog Tour organized by: YA Bound
Source: Review copy
~ Synopsis ~
My twin sister was the only person in the world I thought I’d known inside and out. Apparently, I was wrong.
Twin sisters share a unique bond, one that can't be broken by miles, time, or even death. Hannah and Hope Morton are no exception. When Hope takes her own life, Hannah loses a sister and a best friend, a catastrophe she isn't sure she'll survive herself.
With her family in ruins, Hannah is slowly disappearing, drowning in a sea of misery. Even her wild, energetic best friend can't pull her out of her grief. Desperate to help Hannah, her brother comes home from college, bringing his best friend Julian along, the first boy to break Hannah’s heart. None of their efforts are enough to pull Hannah off her self destructive path, though. Julian is the only one who can get through to her, working his way into her frozen soul with cocky remarks and genuine love that warms her from the inside out.
As Hannah works to find answers, she continues to uncover new secrets and people that reveal a side of Hope she had never shared with her twin. Alone now, Hannah must make a decision of her own: move on and start a new life with the people she has left, or let the weight of her grief drag her down with her sister.
~ My Thoughts ~
Lately I seem to be reading books that delve into the subject of grief. I tend to gravitate toward books dealing with this topic as my own life at one time was torn apart by the anger and depression that come about as a result. After the death of my mom from cancer, there were understandably days where I wasn't sure if it was worth it to continue struggling to live. I wanted to see her again so badly that I did contemplate suicide. I don't know anyone who has committed suicide, so this book not only gave me insight into what it would be like to deal with the aftermath of a loved one's suicide, but also the devastating consequences after someone has taken her own life had I chosen that route.
The main character, Hannah, is left shattered and stunned after her twin sister takes her own life. She's drowning in her own grief, grappling with questions to which there are no concrete answers, and there doesn't seem to be anyone to pull her out - each member of her family is lost and drifting away alone. There were so many moments I wanted to shout at them all to band together and fight their way through this together. I didn't want to see them each go through this alone, but Hannah and her family's reactions were so genuine and so real that I knew they were only getting through each day as best they could. Grief is messy and complicated with no right or wrong way to express it.
Not only is Hannah dealing with the fallout of her twin's suicide, but she also finds out she didn't know her twin as well as she thought she did. Imagine finding out your twin had a secret side to herself that she didn't let you in on and now she's gone, unable to answer your questions. How would you feel? Hannah already felt betrayed that her sister decided to kill herself - now she feels even more betrayed learning there were huge secrets her sister hid from her.
Hannah's frequent outbursts of anger were definitely understandable, and I could completely relate to how she felt in those moments. Death is so final, and knowing that once it happens, there's no going back brings out ugly emotions that are uncomfortable. It's so easy to drown in grief alone that it made sense to me that Hannah secluded herself, even from those who desperately wanted to help her but weren't sure how.
There definitely aren't all heavy moments though, and many of the lighter funnier moments come from Julian, one of my favorite characters in the novel. He seems to be the only one who really can bring Hannah out into the light for at least a moment or two. I can't help but agree with Hannah's feeling that her parents took her to the altar of a therapist in the hopes that he could "fix" her. My only wish is that this book had been longer - I couldn't help but want more! What's the history between Julian and Hannah? What was Hannah's sister like, and why did she feel the need to keep things from Hannah?
The story is beautifully told, and you really feel every moment of grief and anguish as if the characters are real people you know and care about. You see how suicide affects everyone the person left behind and how it can drive them all apart. I'd love for a second book where Hannah's sister narrates. If you want to know more about the effect suicide has on family and friends whether you've contemplated it yourself or you have lost someone this way, you definitely need to read this book!
~ Purchase Links ~
~ About the Author ~
Karla Nellenbach divides her time between day jobbing, writing, and indulging in her Winchester obsession. The rest of her day is spent playing butler to a cranky old man masquerading as a housecat and two rambunctious puppies that closely resemble small horses. Born and raised in the wilds of Michigan, she knows two immutable facts: (1) it is entirely possible to live in a thumb, and (2) you definitely can go home again…you just might not survive the winter. Having resided in the sunscape of Florida for the last decade, she’s still on a quest to see a real live alligator outside of the “petting” zoo. Karla is currently at work on her next novel. You can find more information on Karla and her work at her website, The Last Word: http://www.karlanellenbach.com/
~ Author Links ~
5 copies of A Sliver of Hope
(Print for US, e-book for INT)