The Girl With More Than One Heart
by Laura Geringer Bass
288 pages – ages 8+
Published by Harry N. Abrams April on 17, 2018
Publisher’s Synopsis: There are times we all feel we need more than one heart to get through. When Briana’s father dies, she imagines she has a new heart growing inside her. It speaks to her in her Dad’s voice. Some of its commands are mysterious.
Find Her! it says. Be Your Own!
How can Briana “be her own” when her grieving mother needs her to take care of her demanding little brother all the time? When all her grandpa can do is tell stories instead of being the “rock” she needs? When her not-so-normal home life leaves no time to pursue her dream of writing for the school literary magazine? When the first blush of a new romance threatens to be nipped in the bud? Forced by the loss of her favorite parent to see all that was once familiar with new eyes, Briana draws on her own imagination, originality, and tender loving heart to discover a surprising path through the storm.
What I thought: The emotions Bass evoked from the reader were agonizing at times. I’ve read a lot of books about teenage angst and awkwardness lately. Not that those stories don’t have merit or are even really good, but they don’t match the realness and raw emotion in this book. Part of it is the seamless writing and story telling of Bass. The main character, Briana, is not only dealing with the typical teenage issues, she is dealing with the unexpected death of her dad. The person who was her anchor. Now she is floating in life with her clinically depressed mother and autistic brother, Aaron. At first she seems to resent Aaron because of the amount of time that is required for him but as the story progresses she begins to understand him more and realizes she does care for him a great deal. After her father’s death, almost as a coping mechanism, Briana imagines a second heart growing in her. She can feel the heart and it speaks to her in her Dad’s voice. I had to read this in one siting as I needed to know there is hope for kids in this situation. Bass gives us a heart warming ending that is very satisfying. What is amazing is that Bass crafted this emotion packed story that deals with some very heavy topics into a book that is very appropriate for middle grade readers. Young adults and adults will appreciate the skillful writing and a wonderfully woven story.
Five out of five bookworms