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This Heart of Mine

Review

This Heart of Mine

C.C. Hunter is a young adult author with over 35 novels under her belt. She is best known for her paranormal series Shadow Falls and Shadow Falls: After Dark. C.C. Hunter is also the author of a new paranormal trilogy titled The Mortician’s Daughter; the first book, ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE, was released in October of 2017. THIS HEART OF MINE is a standalone young adult contemporary romance novel with elements of fantasy and mystery. This heartwarming novel was released in February 2018.

THIS HEART OF MINE is a novel about a young woman named Leah McKenzie, who was diagnosed with myocarditis after a virus. The myocarditis weakened her heart and caused it to fail, causing Leah to need an artificial heart to survive. She was on the transplant list, but had a hard time finding a heart because of her rare blood type.

"Because of the intriguing storyline, realistic characters, beautiful relationships and emotional moments I give this book five stars and it may go down as one of my favorites."

When Leah finally gets a transplant, she receives it from Matt’s twin brother, Eric. Leah has had a crush on Matt since middle school. The police said that Eric committed suicide, but after losing his father, Matt knows that Eric would never leave his family intentionally. He knows that someone killed his brother. When Leah starts having dreams that may be connected to Eric’s death, she and Matt team up to try to uncover the truth about what happened to Eric, while developing feelings for each other as they go.

Wow. That was my immediate reaction to this novel. I am not always the biggest fan of contemporary and romance novels, but this one took my breath away. It was very intriguing from the beginning and never had a dull moment. I never got bored as I flew through this story. It was so sweet to see so many different relationships woven into one novel such as first love, family and friends. I loved Leah’s relationship with her best friend, Brandy, and I loved her figuring out her feelings for Matt and watching their relationship blossom. All of these relationships are all important parts of the story and characters.

Leah, a senior in high school, seemed quite realistic to me. She was trying to figure out who she was, after losing her identity because of her condition. She was out of school for years and lost touch with her ex-boyfriend and old friends. When she came back to school, she felt that she had changed and didn’t fit into her friend group the way that she used to. I loved seeing Leah’s journey as she figured out who she was and became the young woman she wanted to be. THIS HEART OF MINE really is a beautiful and honest coming of age story.

Leah’s character development is truly beautiful. In the beginning she thought death was certain and lived without a thought of the future because she believed she didn’t have one. After she got the transplant, however, she was forced to look beyond just today and started to form a future that she wanted. Leah’s outlook on life had changed tremendously by the end of the novel and the last few pages really got to me and were super beautiful. Some of the things Leah and her family experienced and how they felt, especially at the end, made me feel quite emotional which is very rare for me when reading a novel. I think that everyone could relate to this novel in some way and it really warmed my heart. Because of the intriguing storyline, realistic characters, beautiful relationships and emotional moments I gave this book five stars and it may go down as one of my favorites.

This book has something for everyone. Because THIS HEART OF MINE is a coming of age novel, I would say that most people would be able to relate to it in some way. Anyone who loves contemporaries and romance is sure to love this heartwarming story. I recommend this to ages 13 and up because of some harsh language and sexual content (not graphic). I think anyone who is even a little bit intrigued by the synopsis should pick this up and give this book a go. There are so many lessons that can be learned through this book. It really causes you to step back and look at things and shows you how to live for today while creating beautiful tomorrows.

Reviewed by Shannon Cody on March 13, 2018

This Heart of Mine
by C. C. Hunter