12 October 2011

{Book Review + Blog Tour} Second Hand Heart

By: Me My Shelf And I | 12 October 2011 at 12:56 AM | | | | | | | |


Second Hand Heart
Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde
Pages: 460
Pub Date: Sept, 2nd 2010
Publisher: Black Swan
Reading Level: Young Adult/ Adult Fiction
Rating 4 Birds

Vida is 19 and has never had much of a life. Struggling along with a life-threatening heart condition, her whole life has been one long preparation for death. But suddenly she is presented with a donor heart, and just in time. Now she gets to do something she never imagined she'd have to do: live.
Richard is a 36-year-old man who’s just lost his beloved wife, Lorrie, in a car accident. Still in shock and not even having begun the process of grieving, he is invited to the hospital to meet the young woman who received his wife’s donor heart.
Vida takes one look at Richard and feels she’s loved him all her life. And tells him so. Richard assumes she’s just a foolish young girl. And maybe she is. Or maybe there’s truth behind the theory of cellular memory, and maybe it really is possible for a heart to remember, at least for a time, on its own.
Second Hand Heart is both a story of having to learn to live for the first time, and having to learn to live all over again.

We are the THIRD stop on the SECOND HAND HEART blog tour hosted by The {Teen Book Scene} for more reviews and interviews please click their name to be taken to their web site.


I have to say that I feel this book, just right off the bat didn’t feel “YA” to me. It felt more “Adult” then anything else. It didn’t diminish how I felt about the novel itself in anyway, it is just felt a little “deeper” then most the YA I have read as of late.

This all being said, it’s a great book. Vida has lived her life basically in a bubble due to a heart condition. She receives a heart transplant and because of it feels very close to Richard, the man who donated his wife's heart to her, when his wife didn’t survive a car accident.

We follow Vida and Richard with alternating POV’s through out the book, as if they are writing in their journals and it gives you a really deep look into the inner workings of a transplant/donor relationship with some romantic undertones. At first I was a little “ewww’ed” out at the thought of a 19 year old girl and a 36 year old man, until I realized I’m 32 and I’m not gross and disgusting and quickly pushed aside preconceived notions that it was wasn’t right or ok for her to crush on him. She was of legal age and it’s not like I’m dating a 19 year old, which I would feel weird about in my personal life (as I’m sure my husband would as well…lol), But this leads to the biggest plot twist of the book because Vida believes it not just her who thinks she loves him, it’s her heart. The one that belonged to his wife, it remembers him and things/places Vida would otherwise not know.

Medical science has for years studied this phenomenon, donor recipients having tastes change after receiving an organ. Memories, feelings all believed to he stored in the live cells that came over with said organ that the new owner can recall with no difficulty. All medically documented, and researched still. It’s fascinating to hear about it sure, but to have it put into a fictional story, one filled with heart break and loss, love and rebellion made it all the more amazing.

I’m giving the book 4 birds, I enjoyed it and loved the journey it took me. Catherine Ryan Hyde won me over years ago with Pay It Forward (you’ve seen the movie, I know you have. It’s also a book, and amazing) so I knew that I would really enjoy this novel as well.

Find Catherine Ryan Hyde:


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1 comment:

  1. This one sounds really interesting and I may have to look into reading it! (I'm the daughter of a heart transplant recipient - and sometimes I struggle with these stories, because like Denny on Grey's Anatomy - the little inconsistencies that come with fiction drive me BATTY! Such as the ability to meat the recipient in the hospital so soon? Very unrealisitc.) All that said? I'd like to give this one a try! Thanks for the great review.


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