I read Second Hand Heart by Catherine Ryan Hyde.
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.
Okay, I really hate having to do this. But this book just did not do it for me. When I read the premise, I jumped at the chance to read it. I thought it would be emotional and pull at my heart strings, but unfortunately, it did far from that.
I couldn't care less about Vida. First of all, she's 19 but the writing style made her seem so much younger (and not just because she was sheltered. I think its because it was way too simplified). I didn't find her to be a sympathetic character at all. I got no emotion from her. And her relationship with Richard was creepy. I get the whole "memory" thing since she got his deceased wife's heart. But still. It turned me off completely.
I dunno. I guess I was just expecting something that would be either a tearjerker or something that would be heartwarming. And this wasn't it.
I do have to say however that I liked that the author brought light to the issue of organ donation. I am such a big believer in this and can't imagine why someone would choose not to help others live if they were able. And I think organ donation needs as much spotlight as it can get. So bravo to the author for that!
I gave the book a rating of 2.5/5.
This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2011 100+ Reading Challenge: 95
*FTC Disclosure: I was given this book for free for an honest review as part of the Teen Book Scene.