What It Is About: Briana loves both her parents, but has a special bond with her father. At one time, she was close to both parents, but when her younger brother was born and required more of her mom's time, she found herself spending more and more time with her father. They "got" each other. Life went on and Briana and dad spent time together while mom and brother spent time together. This structure was blown up when Briana's father's heart "shocked out" and left the three family members alone. Briana wasn't sure she could go on without her dad, but when she felt and heart his "heart" inside of her, she began to life day by day. Her father would send her messages. At first she was confused by the words, but then began to rely on them. After her father's death, Briana's mother retreated to her bedroom, her brother was more of a handful than ever, and her grandfather did what he could, but was no replacement for her dad. Briana just wants to be a normal girl involved with the school newspaper and spend time with her friends. This proves to be difficult with the new demands of home. Will her father's messages be able to reach her own heart and help her navigate her new normal?
What I Thought Of It: When I began the book, I was drawn in right away. I'm a sucker for a sad family story with a middle-grade boy/girl trying to make the best of a horrible situation. The "voice" from her father was also intriguing to me. I wondered where the story was going and how Briana's "two hearts" would meld into ONE. As the story unfolded, the plot slowed down a bit and maneuvered in several directions. Briana was an enjoyable character to read about and I wanted the best for her. There were times I was frustrated with the mother's decisions, but I'm sure there was some truth as to how she reacted to the death and dealing with her two children.
Who Should Read It: I guess I would say this book would be best suited for a reader in grade five and six. It would also be appropriate for readers in middle-school. Female readers may tend to enjoy it more than boys, being that the story centers mostly around Briana, her girlfriends, and the boys they may or may not like. There is a lot "underlying" the plot and I'm not sure younger readers would get all the lessons and/or themes. Happy Reading!
Rating: 4 STARS out of 5 Stars