Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books (1 Aug 2013)
Written with sensitivity, humour and a lightness of touch, HEART-SHAPED is a companion to Siobhan Parkinson’s highly-acclaimed novel, BRUISED – for fans of Meg Rosoff, Aidan Chambers and David Levithan.
Annie makes a startling discovery one day – and everything changes. She fears for the safety of her boyfriend Jono, who has vanished, knowing he is in desperate trouble. Feeling alone, she clings to her dad, her only parent, but he can’t fill in all the gaps in the puzzle that is Annie’s life. Nor can her best friend. To do that, Annie has to look into her past and understand who her mother was, what happened to her and why.
So the truth behind Jonno’s disappearance – which is the story in BRUISED – becomes a mirror for what’s happening in Annie’s own life. The reader is desperate for him to come back, so that Annie can fully fit the pieces of her existence back together.
I haven’t read Bruised but that hasn’t affected my reading experience of Heart Shaped.
Narrated by 14 year old Annie, we get to experience the hell that her life becomes after stumbling on something that traumatises her and brings up unhealed emotional wounds from her own childhood.
The people in her life – best friend Emma, her father, her brother Jaimie, the psychiatrist and teacher Mr O’Connell all have a part to play in supporting her. The anguish she feels over Jono’s disappearance feels very real. Peer Keith Butler brings conflict and is your typical bully.
Annie is such a fabulous character. I identified with her random thought processes and enjoyed her dry humour. The lists show just how the changes have affected her – from the starting point through to the healing and the final list. The letter to her mum brought tears to my eyes as did the time she spent with Julie.
Heart Shaped will give comfort to other teens who have been through a similar experience. The painstaking look at emotions and comparing them to the reality of the situation is something we all need to do in our lives … an important message to everyone!
I would like to thank the publishers for providing a proof copy in exchange for an honest review.