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HEART TO HEART by Lurlene McDaniel


by Lurlene McDaniel

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: June 8th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-385-73460-8
Publisher: Delacorte

Those familiar with McDaniel’s tearjerker style won’t be surprised or disappointed by this latest iteration, in which teenager Elowyn Eden’s untimely death enables another teen, Arabeth St. Clair, to live through the gift of heart transplantation. Readers are briefly directly introduced to the charismatic teen, but fiery-tempered Elowyn lives on after her deadly car accident through the stories and memories of her best friend, Kassey, and, eerily, through Arabeth, who immediately after transplantation finds herself changed. Changes range from craving Elowyn’s favorite ice-cream flavor to the transformation of her timid personality into an outgoing style she has never known. At first, Arabeth is confused, but as she befriends Elowyn’s family, boyfriend and, especially, Kassey, she realizes that her transplant included more than just a heart. The author plays this as a positive sharing rather than a more sinister takeover, and woven into this emotional text are threads related to parent/child relationships, first loves and death and dying, which add depth and a sadness that is expertly tempered with hope and a love of life. (Fiction. YA)