Review: The Helpline by Katherine Collette


Release date: July 23, 2019

Publisher: Atria

Genre: Contemporary Fiction


Germaine Johnson doesn’t need friends. She has her work and her Sudoku puzzles. Until, that is, an incident at her insurance company leaves her jobless—and it turns out that there are very few openings these days for senior mathematicians with zero people skills.

Soon enough though, Germaine manages to secure a position at City Hall answering calls on the Senior Citizens Helpline. But it turns out that the mayor has something else in mind for Germaine: a secret project involving the troublemakers at the senior citizens center and their feud with the neighboring golf club—which happens to be run by the dashing yet disgraced national Sudoku champion, Don Thomas, a celebrity of the highest order to Germaine.

Don and the mayor want the senior center closed down and at first, Germaine is dedicated to helping them out—it makes sense mathematically, after all. But when Germaine actually gets to know the group of elderly rebels at the senior center, they open her eyes to a life outside of boxes and numbers and for the first time ever, Germaine realizes she may have miscalculated.

Filled with an eccentric, totally unique, and (occasionally) cranky cast of characters you can’t help but love, The Helpline is a feel-good page-turner that will make you reexamine what it means to lead a happy life—and is bound to capture your heart along the way. 


I haven’t heard much about this book before I picked it up so I wasn’t sure what to expect at all, but I’m all about a debut author and the bold, bright cover kept calling my name from my nightstand! I’m so glad I did grab it because it was something totally different from the kind of books I’ve been reading lately and I ended up enjoying it.

This will most definitely get compared to Eleanor Oliphant in every single review, but honestly, it’s a dead on comparison, so what can you do? I actually liked this more that EO anyway, there was something both unique and distinct about the authors writing style that just worked really well for me and Germaine has such a strong, unique and quirky voice that I couldn’t helped but be charmed by her. She’s definitely eccentric but the woman is so confident in her beliefs that she never wavers and I’m all about a strong female protagonist. The supporting cast also consists of some unusual, albeit lovable characters so this really had it all in terms of characterization for me.

If you like dry humor an endearing cast of characters, and stories full of heart give this a try. It was a quick read as well and just really unique, sure to make you smile!

The Helpline in three words: Quirky, Endearing and Hopeful

Overall rating: 3.5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

3 thoughts on “Review: The Helpline by Katherine Collette

  1. indiefan20 says:

    I really like books about misfits and weird socially awkward people, and I’m going to try to finally read ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ soon. After that I might try to get ahold of this one and see how the two compare. I personally don’t care for the book’s cover art AT ALL (to me it looks tacky and off-putting) but the character and the premise sound cool (btw, SUDOKU champion? Does anybody actually do that for a living?) 😛 Great review!


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