"A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe." — Madeleine L'Engle

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Heart With Joy by Steve Cushman

Title: Heart with Joy
Author: Steve Cushman
Published: 2010
Pages: 182
Rating: 5/5
Synopsis: In Heart With Joy, fifteen-year-old Julian Hale’s life is turned upside down when his mother suddenly moves from North Carolina to Venice, Florida under the pretense of running her parents’ motel and finishing the novel she has been working on for years. While Julian has always been closer to his mother and wants to go with her, she tells him he has to stay with his father until the end of the school year.

Six weeks after his mother leaves, Julian’s father decides to run a marathon. This surprises Julian because he has never seen his father exercise, but once he agrees to help him train the two develop the sort of close relationship they’ve never had before. Also, with the help of an elderly neighbor, Julian learns that the most important thing in life is to follow your heart. And Julian’s heart leads him to a passion for cooking and a young cashier at the local grocery store. By the end of the novel, Julian is forced to choose between staying with his father and going to live with his mother.

Heart With Joy is an uplifting coming of age novel about cooking and bird watching, about writing and pottery, and about falling in love and the sacrifices we all make. But ultimately, it’s about the importance of following your heart and trusting that it will take you where you need to go.

Review: This book doesn't need any paranormal stuff to be amazing and that's something that I don't find often!

Julian is trying to cope with his mother leaving to Florida. His mother refused to take him and said she had to help with the motel her family owned and to finish her fifth unpublished novel. Julian knows there's more to it than his mother tells him and when he asks her he finally gets his answer that he may not like. Throughout the book Julian makes a connection with his father that he never thought possible and also finds what he wants to do with his life.

I loved how Julian changed and matured through the whole book as he met people that help him figure out who he is. To me he seemed to be like many fifteen year old kids would be while at the same time being someone who was trying to figure things out in his life. Another thing that I loved was that he can cook! That's one thing that many male characters aren't able to do.

I liked how his relationship with his father changed so much. At first they didn't really talk and seemed to be two people who had to live together while not knowing who the other was. At the end Julian had to take a tough decision and the time he spent with his father greatly influenced him. I loved Mrs. Peters! She was a great character that loved birds but that also helped Julian deal with his life.

This is such a short read that holds many things. It shows that we need to do the things that make us happy and not try to something that will make us unhappy. This is one of those books that I think everyone should read just because it's something different to what's out there but that is just as good!

I received the book for an honest review.

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