Heartwood Box

Heartwood Box

by Ann Aguirre


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Stranger Things meets The Lakehouse in Heartwood Box, a dark, romantic YA suspense novel with an SF edge from New York Times bestselling author Ann Aguirre.

In this tiny, terrifying town, the lost are never found.

When Araceli Flores Harper is sent to stay with her great-aunt Ottilie in her ramshackle Victorian home, the plan is simple. She’ll buckle down and get ready for college. Life won’t be exciting, but she’ll cope, right?

Wrong. From the start, things are very, very wrong. Her great-aunt still leaves food for the husband who went missing twenty years ago, and local businesses are plastered with MISSING posters. There are unexplained lights in the woods and a mysterious lab just beyond the city limits that the locals don’t talk about. Ever. When she starts receiving mysterious letters that seem to be coming from the past, she suspects someone of pranking her or trying to drive her out of her mind.

To solve these riddles and bring the lost home again, Araceli must delve into a truly diabolical conspiracy, but some secrets fight to stay buried…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765397645
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 07/09/2019
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 243,424
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

ANN AGUIRRE is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English literature. She lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. She likes books, emo music, and action movies. She writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens.

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Heartwood Box 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Elena_L less than 1 minute ago
Araceli Flores is sent to stay with her great-aunt Ottilie in a small town and finds out that there are lots of missing people, also she starts receiving mysterious letters from a person from the past. The premise was utterly mysterious and I just wanted to discover the many secrets behind the plot. Nevertheless, the mundane facts distracted me from the main story and it took a while for the story to become interesting. While the interaction between Araceli and the person from the past kept me reading, I didn't care about the other characters and I wanted to jump some parts of the book. The storyline was written quite rushed, as well as the ending (though this one was emotional and beautiful). There were some things/facts unexplained and still a lot to explore. Having said that, the writing is easy to read. "Heartwood Box" has the vibe of "Stranger things" mixed with ghost story/thriller but lacking layers of story and depthness. [I received an ARC from Torteen in exchange for an honest review]
book_junkee 2 days ago
I loved everything about this cover and synopsis and I’m pretty much here for everything Ann writes. I think I liked Araceli? She’s a little rough around the edges, but for the most part I liked being in her head. She’s sarcastic and strong. There are a lot of characters in this story and I’m not sure if that’s good or not. No one really felt fleshed out...if that was on purpose to show how Araceli was an outsider, it was effective. Plot wise, it okay. There are loads of moving parts and plot threads and it was overwhelming and a little boring at the same time. I was intrigued by the story, but never really captivated. Overall, it was an interesting idea, but it felt like there was too much of something and not enough of something else. **Huge thanks to Tor Teen for providing the arc free of charge**
thegeekishbrunette 9 days ago
I was excited for this book because 1.) Look at that cover! and 2.) The synopsis just draws you in. For the most part I was pretty pleased with this book and only had a couple issues with it overall. The writing at first wasn't something that I liked but as the book went on it got better and with that I was drawn into the plot more. With the plot comes mystery and suspense. There are unique sci-fi elements included which have to do with time that I really enjoyed. It was probably my favorite part actually. Another interesting thing about the plot is that it leaves you to speculate a lot up until the very end when it comes to the disappearances and the plot twists that are introduced. Nothing is ever given away. As for the characters, I'm not sure I really ever connected with Araceli or any of the other characters but it didn't stop me from getting into the plot. Usually I need that connection but am glad it wasn't the case for this particular book. Araceli is like any regular teen. She loves social media and doesn't always make the best decisions, especially in a town that has major secrets. There isn't much character development, but again, it doesn't take away from the plot in any way. My issue that I faced, besides the writing in the beginning, was the stereotyping of southern people. I understand that with the history of the US and racial issues they are still deeply rooted today, I still felt uncomfortable with how the author chose to write two different instances. They could have been said more tactfully to get the point across without being quite stereotypical. I am sure others won't have this same issue but as a reader it is important to talk about how books make you feel and that is what I am doing here. You can take it with a grain of salt. Even with the couple issues I had, it was still a good read and kept my attention throughout the book. I am of course hesitant and worried about this review being taken in the wrong context and if you would like to discuss it further feel free to comment! I love to hear others opinions on topics. eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Yolanda_LM 9 days ago
3.5 stars Thank you to MacMillan-Tor/Forge and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this eArc. Heartwood Box is a mystery story that builds slowly in the beginning and packs a punch at the end with an ending that is somewhat bizarre but it works. I thought it was creative and different. My reaction was more like, what?…… While reading this book, I was wondering if this was a ghost story but some things didn’t add up especially when there are people going missing in this strange town. I mean if it was just haunted, why would people go missing? Also, this is the second book I’ve read this month with references to World War I! That’s pretty cool since most people are engrained in World War II history, so I like having the spotlight be on WWI. I enjoyed the diversity represented with the characters. Araceli is a strong young lady who grew up abroad in Central and South America, so she’s seen a lot of things, especially with parents who are investigative reporters. But this town is something different and she has a challenging time figuring things out. I thought the ending was a nice twist and a bit strange. But I still enjoyed it because the story is well written. It flowed nicely from a slow mystery, which took me a few days to get into and then it took a turn with full on action and time-travel in the last part of the book. Yes, it did that. Overall, I like this book! It’s not usually the type of genre I read but it was a nice change of pace.
Marta Cox 9 days ago
This book was most definitely a surprise. The author clearly decided to mess with her readers heads and mix more than one genre here so if it’s YA paranormal mixed with time travel and suspense that intrigues you then pick this up. The author herself has likened it to Stranger Things meets the Lake House and I couldn’t agree more. The story revolves around Araceli a young mixed race girl staying with her aunt in a town where people keep disappearing . The mystery apparently involves strange lights in the woods but there’s also a creepy vibe in the aunts house so when a friend is ‘taken’ Araceli isn’t going to ignore it . Now here is when the author tricks us as she has also introduced a mysterious box that enables Araceli to communicate with a First World War soldier. See what I mean ? This book is a puzzle for the reader to solve with elements of the Philadelphia experiment alongside our intrepid heroine pitting herself against secretive and dangerous military types. Araceli most definitely leads the charge but the supporting characters just never really felt fleshed out to me. Plus the surprise at the end didn’t really feel right to my mind but I did like that everything got wrapped up neatly. This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair
BobbieLCLA 9 days ago
Through NetGalley, I received a free copy of HEARTWOOD BOX by Ann Aguirre in exchange for an honest review. Araceli Flores Harper’s parents are always in the middle of and sometimes the cause of foreign political troubles. Eventually, Araceli’s parents decide to send her to live with her Great Aunt Ottilie, so Araceli can finish high school in safety. However, the first thing Araceli notices when she arrives in the tiny town is all the MISSING flyers. It turns out, Araceli is in more danger than ever. When one of Araceli’s new friends joins the MISSING, Araceli, her parents’ daughter, develops a plan to stop the disappearances. Meanwhile, Araceli begins communicating through time with a WWI soldier. I enjoyed this book. I’m a fan of Ann Aguirre’s science fiction series YA novels. I like Araceli and enjoyed the story. I recommend this book to fans of Ann Aguirre, of time travel tales, and of mysteries with paranormal or science fiction elements.
tpolen 9 days ago
I've never read this author before, but when the book description mentioned a small town with secrets, and suspense with a sci-fi edge, I knew it was time to become acquainted with her work. This book grabbed me right away. Araceli feels a presence in the attic, and actually sees the string attached to a light bulb turn on by itself - I was all in. Mysterious lights in the forest, loads of people missing, a box that transports letters to a recipient decades earlier - it just got better. A lot goes on in this novel, and that's something I enjoyed about it. It's also an usual blend of contemporary, romance, suspense, and sci-fi, something that should attract readers of several genres. Traveling with her journalist parents for most of her life, Araceli has experienced things most teens can't imagine, so it's understandable that she dives into these mysteries head first. While I admire her bravery and determination, she also comes across as selfish and headstrong, since she doesn't always consider the consequences of her actions - especially when they involve the lives of other people. Then again, these are the actions of a teenager. I don't generally read YA contemporary, but with sci-fi, suspense, and time travel tossed into the mix, I plowed through this book in a couple of days. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.