My Kind of Book Review: Foolish Hearts

I recently completed working on my second completed novel, Never Say Never. As I prepared to pitch, I asked my buddy/little sister/co-editor/beta reader person, Megan Manzano, for a book recommendation. I needed a comparison title to include in my pitches. She didn’t have anything right away, but with #Pitmad rapidly approaching, happened upon a book that had her rushing to me in excitement. The book in question felt like Never Say Never. It wasn’t exactly like it, but it had the same mood, the same vibe. That book was Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills.

Naturally, I rushed to read it. By chapter 3, I was in love. I rarely blog book reviews, but I’m planning to start doing more this year. My format will look like what you see below. Now, onward to the vital statistics.

Foolish Hearts Cvr

Book Summary: When Claudia accidentally eavesdrops on the epic breakup of Paige and Iris, the it-couple at her school, she finds herself in hot water with prickly, difficult Iris. Thrown together against their will in the class production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, along with the goofiest, cutest boy Claudia has ever known, Iris and Claudia are in for an eye-opening senior year.

Smart, funny, and thoroughly, wonderfully flawed, Claudia navigates a world of intense friendships and tentative romance in Emma Mills’s Foolish Hearts, a young adult novel about expanding your horizons, allowing yourself to be vulnerable, and accepting―and loving―people for who they really are.

What I enjoyed: The vibe of this book is fun and light, while still tackling real, human problems. Nobody is perfect here, everybody is a little odd, the dialogue is fun and snappy. I loved the relationship bits, and I have major love for the guy who snags Claudia’s interest, likable and over-the-top, Gideon Prewitt. With a cast of characters that truly felt like people cycling in and out of a real high schooler’s life, and an interesting plot about preparing for a play (the drama geek in me happy danced a bit), this story is all at once touching and relatable. Claudia is a fun heroine, a little deadpan, a little flawed, but a good person a heart. Tackling topics like avoiding change and fearing the unknown future, two topics that I’ve had a personal lifelong struggle with, Foolish Hearts follows Claudia into new friendships, new experiences, and new emotions. I clutched this book to my chest when I completed it.

What I’d avoid: I definitely wanted to feel more connected to Zoe. While the story is supposed to be about Claudia growing away from her and accepting that she must become her own person, feeling detached from Claudia’s best friend made it somewhat difficult to feel Claudia’s fear. It doesn’t truly harm the story, but there are places where I wish Zoe got a little more screen time, so I could truly feel the disconnect forming instead of simply be told it was happening.

Would I recommend it: For fans of YA Contemporary Romance, this book will make your heart flutter. But it’s not all about romance. It’s about friendship. The cast is diverse and realistic. Definite recommend.

What can I learn from it: I need to read this again and examine the ways she managed to introduce the reader to a large group of high school characters and keep them in the surroundings without diving too deeply into their character development, and also never really losing track of any of them. I attempted this in Never Say Never, and I’m truly hoping I managed this even half as well. Possibly? Either way, ALWAYS BE LEARNING.

In the end, Foolish Hearts was a fun, light and enjoyable read. I’d definitely recommend it, and it’s getting a place in my Pitmad pitches thanks to its very similar tone. Foolish Hearts + Greek Mythology = Never Say Never. That sounds fun, doesn’t it?


An Exercise in Perfecting the Elevator Pitch

I’m trying to sell a book.  I have a few books on the horizon, but only one of those will be ready to start sending out to agents and publishers within the next few months, so I’m struggling to work on my agent package.  Once I have completed my final draft (I’ve got a few more steps to go, but I’m getting there!), I fully intend to start going to a few networking events and networking my way to a book deal!  A girl can hope, anyway.

So, you’re my first pitch! I’m giving you a one line intro to my manuscript.  And I’m not just going to pitch you this book.  I’m going to tell you what I’ve got stewing on the back burners as well.  Because you guys are my blog followers, my loyal readers, and if I didn’t share with you first, what kind of a person would I be?

So first, the actual book I’m marketing, which would be Book 1 of a series of Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance.  I’ve got all 7 (at least) books of the series planned out, to varying degrees.

The Order of the Key: After discovering that she is the long lost member of The Order of the Key, a group that hunts interdimensional creatures, eighteen year old Jacklyn Madison becomes the prime weapon in a war between the group’s brutal leader and her idealistic son.  

The next book on the list is a romantic comedy.  It is complete, but needs MASSIVE edits, and perhaps a rewrite.  So, it will be a long time coming, but it’s there!

Legally Insane: A traumatic event leaves Leah Marinillo with an imaginary friend – her favorite television character, Carter St. James – who is on a mission to help her repair her boring, broken life.  

The final two are just twinkles in my eye.  I’m still in the outlining stages, so the distance from these will increase or decrease depending on the work it takes to make the other two shine.  Most especially, if the series gets picked up, these get put in the fridge or freezer to get heated up later.

First, the New Adult/Literary Fiction novel.

The Broken Hearts Club: Through a series of journal entries, recovering alcoholic and writer Grayson Butler chronicles the trials of his close knit circle of friends as they endure the “worst year ever” – a year rife with illness, backsliding, rediscovery, relationships formed and relationships up in smoke.   

And Second, the Paranormal Romance…

Soul Sight: All his life Martin Treadway has been looking for someone to tell him he’s not crazy, but when he finally meets someone who can, he learns that there is something worse than being haunted by ghosts – being hunted by one. 

So, what do you think?  Are you interested?  Would you like to read them?  Do you hate the very idea of them and wish to set them on fire before I even write them?  Be honest in the comments below!