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Heart on My Sleeve

Heart on My Sleeve

3.7 29
by Ellen Wittlinger

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"I'm not picking Cartwright just because I met Julian there. For all I know he'll change his mind and not even go! Although that would be a shame because I want him to be the father of my firstborn child. KIDDING! :-}"

While on a college visit, Chloe meets Julian, another prospective freshman, and infatuated, the two high school seniors begin a long-distance


"I'm not picking Cartwright just because I met Julian there. For all I know he'll change his mind and not even go! Although that would be a shame because I want him to be the father of my firstborn child. KIDDING! :-}"

While on a college visit, Chloe meets Julian, another prospective freshman, and infatuated, the two high school seniors begin a long-distance relationship. Chloe is thrilled that she'll have a boyfriend at college, although she doesn't know how to break the news to Eli, her best friend whom she's sort of dating.
As Chloe and Julian prepare to meet again, they must face the question of whether their relationship is based on who they really are or who they imagine each other to be.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...teenage readers discovering Wittlinger for the first time, as I have, won't be able to get enough of her."

LINDA NEWBERY, author of The Shell House.

"Wittlinger's novel - about genuinely connecting, not just communicating - will hook readers, both with its lovestruck but thoughtful main characters and with its realistic-looking but easy-to-follow layout of e-mails, instant messages, and handwritten letters flying back and forth among the protagonists and their friends and family."


Publishers Weekly
Two teens become smitten with each other during a college preview weekend, and readers learn about their lives through e-mails, instant messages and letters. "Chloe and Julian's fate may be fairly obvious, but most readers will applaud the author for imagining-and maintaining-such a complete world," said PW. Ages 12-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, July 2004: Wittlinger has been a successful author of YA novels such as Hard Love, Razzle, and Zig Zag. Here she tells a story through e-mails and letters, still somewhat of a novelty in YA fiction. The cast of characters are Chloe, looking ahead to college in the fall; Julian, a singer she thinks is coming to the same college; Ely, Chloe's friend and boyfriend; Genevieve, Chloe's older sister who reveals she is gay; Kate, Chloe's best friend; Julian's older sister, who has just gotten married, and Chloe and Genevieve's parents. The reader has to patiently go through endless e-mails, including instant messages, and some handwritten cards and letters to follow the events of the summer as the high school students make the transition necessary to leave home and go off to college. This includes dreams of new loves (Chloe and Julian imagine a future together), breakups of old loves, new understanding of parents' lives, and so forth. Everyone is well-meaning, stumbling along, making mistakes and having some successes as well. The final summer before college is a milestone in teenagers' lives, and Wittlinger uses the e-mail format to tell the story of one group of teens during this crucial time. KLIATT Codes: JS--Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2004, Simon & Schuster, Pulse, 219p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Claire Rosser
Children's Literature
Chloe is a high school senior who cannot believe her luck when she meets Julian at a college visit. The two immediately fall for each other and begin a long distance romance. The biggest problem is Chloe's boyfriend, Eli, who has no idea that Chloe wants to break up with him! Things come to a head when an unknowing Julian sends flowers to Chloe just as she is leaving for the prom. The aftermath shakes her world. Eli is heartbroken at this betrayal, her prom is ruined, and even her best friend stops talking to her. Forced to break up with Eli, Chloe wonders if she did the right thing. As she and Julian prepare to meet again, Chloe must decide if what they shared that weekend was real. In addition to her complicated love life, Chloe's sister Genevieve reveals a secret that completely throws Chloe for a loop. As her world turns chaotic, Chloe must sort through it all and figure out what it is she truly desires. Told entirely through letters, emails, Instant Messages, and postcards, this innovative novel is a pleasure to read. Wittlinger is extremely clever in how she structures this story, delivering a tale that is warm hearted and funny. 2004, Simon and Schuster, Ages 12 up.
—Zeta Shearill
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-This epistolary novel combines e-mails, instant messages, "old-fashioned" pen-and-paper letters, and postcards to tell a story that is familiar to many teens poised between the friendships and romances of high school and the promise of new social possibilities in college. Seniors Chloe, of Massachusetts, and Julian, from Florida, meet and create sparks with one another during a visit to the college each plans to attend. Back home, they cope with how to treat current or potential love interests, best friends, parents, and sisters who have their own baggage. The two teens fan the flames of their mutual attraction through regular correspondence, not only with one another, but also with their recently independent older siblings. Wittlinger handles all of these relationships credibly and engagingly. While the parents seem to be close to moronic-especially in Chloe's case-all of the involved young people, as well as more minor characters, are individuated and realistic. Subplots include Chloe's sister's gay identity, the uncertainties inherent in beginning college and learning to create one's identity anew, and class differences, which are gracefully and authentically depicted. While the novel's structure sometimes seems artificial-all of the characters are articulate and concise writers-the story is meaty and offers a variety of access points. The title is apt, describing a state known to many if not most older teens.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This modern epistolary tale (emails and IMs joining handwritten letters and postcards) is voyeuristically enjoyable. As senior year draws to a close, Chloe visits a college and meets Julian there. The two immediately bond and begin dating (sort of) long-distance. In Massachusetts, Chloe wrestles with how this affects her relationship with friend-since-kindergarten Eli; in Florida, Julian resists being set up with adoring Nina. When Julian's older sister suddenly gets married and Chloe comes out of the closet, sibling and parent relationships enter the picture. The parents are less believable throughout than the kids (ages 18-22). Chloe and Julian become so smitten over the summer that when he comes to Boston in August for a singing scholarship competition, they're shocked and resentful to discover that they don't know each other all that well. A successful use of multiple viewpoints and an interesting exploration of the implied intimacy of various forms of non-verbal communication. (Fiction. 11-14)

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: April

Subj: Are You Out There?

Date: 4/22/02, 9:37 A.M.

From: smallboyonherbike@boscore.com

To: jghost@flowire.com

Hey Julian!

Some weekend, huh? I was so tired last night, but couldn't sleep at all — got up at 3 A.M., took my guitar into the downstairs bathroom (most soundproof place in the house), and started writing a new song. Too soon to tell if it's any good. (Maybe if I could hear you sing it, I'd know.) :)

I was so worried beforehand about going to visit Cartwright to meet hundreds of potential new classmates. You know, it sounded so perfect in the catalog, but what if I got there and hated the place? What if all the other pre-frosh were jerks? Or what if they were all brilliant or something? But I loved it, didn't you? Especially the open mic night — that sold me. Now I keep thinking, what if I hadn't applied to Cartwright, or what if I'd chosen a college based on something totally not important, like the advice of my guidance counselor (who thinks if you don't go to Harvard you should just forget about it and go to a state school). I told my parents to send in the money to Cartwright today!

You're probably too busy for much e-mailing this week since Godspell opens on Friday. After hearing you sing Saturday night I know you'll be amazing. Break a leg! (Do people really say that? Or just dorks like me?)


Subj: The Great Unknown

Date: 4/22/02, 9:57 A.M.

From: smallboyonherbike@boscore.com

To: ggillespie@Emmett.edu


You will NOT believe what happened to me this weekend at Cartwright! Okay, yes, I met a guy. How did you know this would happen? Oh, Omniscient Sister, you are so psychic — you should charge money. I totally wasn't expecting it. I was SO nervous when I got there and we gathered in this huge auditorium and there were all these other kids and we kept looking each other over and I knew I probably had bags under my eyes because I couldn't sleep the night before and I was seriously STRESSED. Besides which, I'm still going with Eli, sort of, even though that's been dragging on way too long already, as you keep telling me. But Eli would be so hurt if I broke up with him — he's my biggest fan — he comes to hear me any time I open for anybody or even do an open mic. He's so LOYAL — he's been my friend since kindergarten! Besides which, Meghan and Kate and Joey would be furious with me for screwing up our group. I don't think I even COULD break up with him — it would be like breaking up with your brother. What should I do? I love Eli, but I'm not in love with him. He's not my soulmate — when I gaze into his eyes, all I see are brown circles — so I probably shouldn't waste his time anymore.

This guy I met is named Julian Casper — isn't that a great name? And guess what? He's a singer and an actor! He's the Jesus character in Godspell at his school, which, as you know, is the LEAD! Yeah, yeah, musicals have never been my favorite thing — okay, I may once have said I hated them, but I'm young, I can change my mind. Anyway, Julian has a gorgeous voice, which I know because he sang at this open mic night they had during the weekend. There were a lot of kids who got up to sing or play music (including me, of course), which by itself is SO exciting — I can't WAIT to get to this school. Anyway, he's been auditioning for some national singing contest thing which gives scholarships and he's already at the second level, and if he wins the next two levels, he'll come to Boston in August for the final round! I'll be done working at camp by then, so we can hang out in the city and I can show him around. He told me he LOVED my voice and he wants us to work on a duet that we could do at some open mics in Boston! Would that be the coolest thing!?

Do I sound like I've lost it for this guy? I sort of have, but I'm trying to not admit it yet because I'm not sure he feels the same way. He ACTED like he did, but, you know, he might go back to Florida (where he lives) and forget all about me. I mean, maybe it was just a weekend thing. But how fun would it be to go off to college and already have a boyfriend there? God, it would be so great. He says he's definitely going to Cartwright now — he wasn't sure until this weekend, but now he is. I thought I was sure before, but now there's no doubt in my mind!

Veev, I have this feeling you're looking disapprovingly at the screen. You're rolling your eyes, aren't you? You know I wouldn't choose a college based solely on a guy, don't you? Cartwright has a fabulous music program and the campus is gorgeous. I'm not picking Cartwright just because I met Julian there. For all I know, he'll change his mind and not even go! Although that would be a shame because I want him to be the father of my firstborn child.


Meet the Author

Ellen Wittlinger is the critically acclaimed author of the teen novels Parrotfish, Blind Faith, Sandpiper, Heart on My Sleeve, Zigzag, and Hard Love (an American Library Association Michael L. Printz Honor Book and a Lambda Literary Award winner), and its sequel Love & Lies: Marisol’s Story. She has a bachelor’s degree from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and an MFA from the University of Iowa. A former children’s librarian, she lives with her husband in Haydenville, Massachusetts.

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3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
_frenchtoast_ More than 1 year ago
The book heart on my sleeve is written in a appealing and unique way. It is told through letters, emails, I-M, and post cards. It shows that talking through notes you came become more confident. The author shows that two people might think they know each other and are in love but really they aren't. This was between two characters, Chloe and Julian. Chloe's sister Genevieve also showed she had more confidence talking through letters. she comes out and finally tells the truth that she has been holding since high school.
I thought it was very creative how the author showed us the main character's senior year and getting ready for college. The book carried many surprises and twist that changed the reader's feeling towards different characters. I would recommend heat on my sleeve to anyone who wants to read a new and creative format.
Guest More than 1 year ago
well if you read you have to read carfully it confused me but i thought it a good book. people who are in love and untruthful will love this book. But who are not then check it out. Girls 13-19 will probaly like this it explain teens looking for friends. so please if you see it in local library then pick it and see if you like it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
----------------------------------------------------------------------------- * This is unexceptible! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- (* this is way too unexceptible for anybody.) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- * I am a single mother of 4 children. So yeah I do know what I`m talking about here all of you teenagers out there! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- * If these children out here were my children reading this,they would`nt be able to ever again. I`d give their book to the orphanage and then take all of their allowance away. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- * I`m not trying to be mean or abything but the people out there that are reading this are idiots! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- *BYE—BYE NOW! -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ballroomdancenonstop More than 1 year ago
I loved the storyline and the format. It was very cool to read a book written all in forms of communication. :)
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book. It was so sweet at the end. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves romance books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the main character was just a little too annoying and when the two characters that have been emailing each other meet up its quite dissapointing...
Guest More than 1 year ago
The only reason I read the whole book was because I had a few hours to kill and this was the only book I had with me. It was either stare blankly into space or read this. This book was boring. I cared little for the characters and the plot seemed very uneven, full of half-formed ideas.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Heart on my sleeve is the best book that I have ever read! This book is about a girl in her last year of high school, and a boy the same age. The two of them meet while going to Cartwedge. The two fall in a long distance love. Julian (the boy)meets up with
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was pretty boring and i kept waiting for a good part but it never came and just seemed pointless.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was interesting. I wouldn't say it was the best book that I have read. I would recommend it to mostly girls in high school. It was a fun and easy book to read and have fun with. The factor I liked best about the book is that it is told through emails, letters and instant messages. It is also easy to relate with as the main character goes through challenges faced with senior girls in high school going on to college.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is okay. It was kinda boring and confusing. It was confusing because of the characters. SOmetimes they would introduce characters and not really explain who they were but u can try reading this book
Guest More than 1 year ago
All of the characters were really annoying and self-centered. I liked the way it was written, like emails and instant messaging and letters. It would have been a lot worse if there wasn't a surprise about Genevieve. Chloe was a horrible song writer. The guys kind of had girly voices. I guess because a woman wrote the book. But she could've done a better job. The whole thing could have been written better. The idea of using song titles in the subject line of emails is cool. The only thing that kept me reading was it had a okay plot. And since the book had a picture of Chloe on the front that made her seem more real.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Heart on My Sleeve is a very interesting book. This book shows us kids and teenagers how difficult it can be to be with someone, or even just going away to collage, leaving your friends and everything. Chloe wants to go to a collage up in Connecticut. The incoming freshmen were able to go and see what the collage was like and to see if they would really want to go there. While she is there, she meets another incoming freshman named Julian. Chloe and Julian hit it off right from the start. They found many things that they had in common. After leaving the collage they decided that they would keep in touch because they wanted to become good friends. Then their feelings change from friends to more than just friends. Back at home, Chloe had a boyfriend named Eli who she did love but they had been best friends for so long that he considered him more a brother than her boyfriend. When she gets home she decides to keep her meeting Julian a secret. By keeping her meeting Julian a secret she hurt the people she loved most which was what she was trying to prevent. This book is awesome and in order to find out what happens to Chloe, Julian, Eli and everyone else you will have to read the book for yourself. It is awesome and I know you¿ll love it. Good Luck!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is 1 of the best books i have ever read. it is really realistic. there are parts in the book that are boring, but hey what book isnt kinda boring sometimes.well if u like reading about teens this is a good book 2 read. i would recomend this book for ages 11+. also if u have teen trobles u can relate to this book. well ttyl!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
it was good in the start of it i did not like it that much but as it went on i liked it a lot i think it is very true to some teen lifes
Guest More than 1 year ago
i thought this book was not the bst, but it was alright. I mean the writing was very good and the story was very original and good... but it was kind of boring and not-so-realistic. it was boring because the autjor might have made the e-mails thing too realistic without thinking so much about the reader. so lets say one of the characters had a story to tell two people,he would say the same thing to both of them. So that got king of annoying because you already know. also i wasnt so interested in many of the characters and every time they worte or somebody wrote to them i wasnt very interested, and a little bored. i only really mostly liked the parts where Julian and Chloe wrote to eachother. it was not very realistic because the way people talked to eachother just wasnt very believable to me. so the book was OK.