A new heart saved her lifebut will it help her find out what really happened to its donor?
C. C. Hunter's This Heart of Mine is a haunting, poignant tale about living and dying, surviving grief, guilt, and heartache, while discovering love and hope in the midst of sadness.
Seventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie is heartless. An artificial heart in a backpack is keeping her alive. However, this route only offers her a few years. And with her rare blood type, a transplant isn’t likely. Living like you are dying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But when a heart becomes available, she’s given a second chance at life. Except Leah discovers who the donor was a boy from her school and they’re saying he killed himself. Plagued with dreams since the transplant, she realizes she may hold the clues to what really happened.
Matt refuses to believe his twin killed himself. When Leah seeks him out, he learns they are both having similar dreams and he’s certain it means something. While unraveling the secrets of his brother’s final moments, Leah and Matt find each other, and a love they are terrified to lose. But life and even new hearts don’t come with guarantees. Who knew living, took more courage than dying?
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)|
|Age Range:||13 - 18 Years|
About the Author
C.C. Hunter is the author of the young adult fantasy series Shadow Falls, including the books Born at Midnight and Awake at Dawn. She grew up in Alabama, where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and regularly rescued potential princes, in the form of Alabama bullfrogs, from her brothers. Today, she's still fascinated with lightning bugs, mostly wears shoes, but has turned her focus to rescuing mammals. She now lives in Texas with her four rescued cats, one dog, and a prince of a husband, who for the record, is so not a frog. When she's not writing, she's reading, spending time with her family, or shooting thingswith a camera, not a gun. C.C. Hunter is a pseudonym. Her real name is Christie Craig and she also writes humorous romantic suspense romance novels.
Read an Excerpt
ONE MONTH EARLIER APRIL 13TH
"You lucky bitch!" I drop back down on my pink bedspread, phone to ear, knowing Brandy is dancing on cloud nine and I'm dancing with her. I glance at the door to make sure Mom isn't hovering and about to freak over my language. Again.
She isn't there.
Lately, I can't seem to control what comes out of my mouth. Mom blames it on too much daytime who's-the-baby-daddy television. She could be right. But hey, a girl's gotta have some fun.
"Where he's taking you?" I ask.
"Pablo's Pizza." Brandy's tone lost the oh-God shriek quality. "Why ... why don't you come with us?"
"On your date? Are you freaking nuts?"
"You go to the doctor's office, you could —"
"No. That's hell no!" I even hate going to the doctor's office. If people stare long enough they see the tube. But this isn't even about me. "I'd die before I get between you —"
"Don't say that!" Brandy's emotional reprimand rings too loud. Too painful.
"It's just a figure of speech," I say, but in so many ways it's not. I'm dying. I've accepted that. The people in my life haven't. So, for them, I pretend. Or try to.
"But if you —"
"Stop. I'm not going."
There's a gulp of silence. That's when I realize my "lucky bitch" comment brought on the pity invite. Brandy's worried I'm jealous. And okay, maybe I am, a little. But my grandmother used to say it was okay to see someone in a beautiful red dress and think, I want a dress like hers. But it wasn't okay to think, I want a dress like hers and I want her to have a wart on her nose.
I don't wish Brandy warts. She's had the hots for Brian for years. She deserves Brian.
Do I deserve something besides the lousy card fate dealt to me? Hell yeah. But what am I going to do? Cry? I tried that. I've moved on.
Now I've got my bucket list. And my books.
The books are part of my bucket list. I want to read a hundred. At least a hundred. I started counting after I got out of the hospital the first time I survived an infection from my artificial heart. I'm at book twenty-eight now. I won't mention how many of them were romance novels.
"Leah," Brandy starts in again.
The chime of the doorbell has me glancing at the pink clock on my bedside table.
It's study time. Algebra. I hate it. But I kind of like hating it. Because I hated it before I got sick. Hating the same things as before makes me feel more like the old me.
"Gotta go. Ms. Strong is here." I bounce my heels on the bed. The beaks on my Donald Duck slippers bob up and down. Lately, I've been into cartoon- character slippers. They make my feet look happy. Mom's bought me three pairs: Mickey, Donald, and Dumbo.
"But —" Brandy tries again.
"No. But you're gonna tell me everything. All the sexy details. How good he kisses. How good he smells. How many times you catch him staring at your boobs."
Yep, I'm jealous all right. But I'm not a heartless bitch. Well, maybe I am. Heartless, really heartless, but not so much a bitch. I carry an artificial heart around in a backpack. It's keeping me alive.
"I always tell you everything," Brandy says.
No, but you used to. I stare up at my whirling polka-dot ceiling fan. Even Brandy's walking on eggshells, scared she'll say something to remind me that I got a raw deal, something that will make me feel sorry for myself. I'm done doing that. But I hate hearing that crunch as people tiptoe around the truth.
"Leah." Mom calls me.
"Gotta go." I hang up, grab my heart, and get ready to face algebra.
I really hate it, but it's number one on my bucket list — my last hurrah. Well, not algebra, but graduating high school. And I don't want a diploma handed to me. I want to earn it.
I spot Mom standing in the entrance of the dining room turned study. She's rubbing her palms over her hips. A nervous habit, though I have no idea what's got her jittery now. I survived the last infection and the one before that. She hears my footsteps, looks at me. Her brow puckers — another sign of serious mama fret.
I stop. Why's she so nervous? "What?"
"Ms. Strong couldn't make it." She's rushes off faster than her hurried words.
I hear someone shuffling in the dining room. I'm leery. Hesitant. I move in. My Donald Duck slippers skid to a quick stop when I see the dark-haired boy at the table.
"Shit." I suck my lips into my mouth in hopes I didn't say it loud enough for him to hear.
He grins. He heard me. That smile is as good as the ones I read about in romance novels. Smiles described as crooked, mind-stopping, or coming with a melt-me-now quality. I swear my artificial heart skips two beats.
He's one of the Kenner twins, either Eric or Matt, the two hottest boys in school. I used to be able to tell them apart, but now I'm not sure of anything. If I combed my hair today. If I brushed my teeth. If I have on a bra?
I close my mouth, run my tongue over my fuzzy-feeling teeth, trying to quietly suck them clean.
Glancing down, away from his eyes, I rock back and forth on my heels, my Donald Ducks' bills rocking with me. Should I run back to my room? But how pathetic will I look then? And if I do, he'll leave. Lifting my gaze, I realize I'm not sure I want him to go. I kinda like looking at him.
"Hey," he says.
"Hey," I mimic and realize I'm hiding the backpack behind my leg. I give my bright red tank top a tug down to cover the tube that extends from the backpack and pokes into me under my left ribcage. A hole that kinda looks like a second belly button. Yup, I'm hiding the very thing that's keeping me alive.
"Ms. Strong couldn't make it," he says as if reading my mood and realizing he needs to justify his being here. "She asked me to sub."
"For how many extra credit points?" I wait for him to tell me he did it just out of kindness. And, if true, it would mean he did it out of pity. I'm not sure I'd enjoy looking at him anymore. I'd rather be someone's means to a better grade. Brandy told me that everyone in school knows about my dead heart.
"Fifteen. I got lazy and didn't turn in some homework. You'll pump me up to a B."
"You should have held out for twenty."
He smiles again. "I don't think it was negotiable."
Moving in, I try to guess which twin he is. I try to figure out how to ask, but everything I think of sounds lame. Let him be Matt.
I had a thing for Matt since seventh grade. It might have been wishful thinking, but in tenth grade I thought he liked me too. Not that it ever went anywhere. He was football, I was book club. He was popular, I was ... not. Then I started dating Trent. A guy in book club. A guy I let off the hook as soon as I found out my heart was dying.
"Your books?" he asks.
I don't understand the question, until I see he's pointing to my backpack.
Crap! I freak a little. I have several pat answers in my head that I came up with when Mom, afraid I was turning into an agoraphobe, insisted I get out of the house. But I can't remember them. The silence reeks of awkwardness.
So I go with the truth. "No. It's my ... heart."
"Shit." He spills my favorite word.
His eyes meet mine and he smiles again. Yup, it's kinda crooked. My mind's not working. And I'm melting.
"Oh, you're joking," he says. "Right?"
I nod yes then shake my head no as if I don't know the answer.
His smile fades like a light on a dimmer switch. "Seriously?"
"Seriously." I move to the desk in the corner. One-handed, I pull my math book from a drawer and drop down in the chair across from him. My heart lands in the chair beside me, so he can't see my tube.
When I glance up, he's doing exactly what I expect. Looking at the books so he doesn't have to look at me. People have a hard time facing me, facing my death, maybe even facing their own mortality. I understand, but it still bothers me.
He turns a page. The silence is so loud, I can almost hear the page float down to find its place. "Ms. Strong said we should start on chapter six."
"Yeah." Disappointed, I flip my book open and consider letting him off the hook, telling him I've got this, assuring him I won't mention it to Ms. Strong. But I look up, and I'm suddenly feeling selfish.
Hey, he's getting extra credit.
He glances up, and before I can look away, our eyes meet and lock. And hold. Longer than they should, because it feels ... too. Too much. Too intimate. As if we've passed some invisible barrier. Like when a stranger stands too close to you in line.
We both look away.
He smacks the book closed. He flinches.
"What happened?" He whispers the question. His tone sad, sweet, and somehow still sexy.
I admire that he asked. Most people don't.
"A virus. It killed my heart." I hate the haunted look I see in his eyes. The sexiness vanishes. "It's highly contagious."
The oh-poor-you look on his face flips right to fear. Joking with him feels right.
I lose it. A laugh bubbles out of me and I feel instantly lighter.
"Real funny." He chuckles.
A crazy thought hits, one that says there's something almost ... rusty about his laugh. And bam, I remember. I feel like the heartless bitch I swear I'm not for forgetting.
Not quite a year ago, his dad, a soldier, was killed. I'd been in the hospital, right after my condition had been diagnosed. His dad had been on the news, where they showed the pictures of soldiers and asked for a moment of silence.
I feel my smile slip from my eyes, my lips, and fall completely off my face. I know the look he sees in my eyes is probably the same pity-filled expression I saw in his seconds ago.
"I'm sorry," I say. "About your dad. I just remembered."
Ah, hell. Now I made his smile fall off his face. I should've kept my mouth shut.
"Yeah." He looks back at the book. "It sucks."
"Sort of like this." I motion to my backpack.
He glances again at the chair holding my heart. "Was it really a virus?"
"Yeah. The virus caused myocarditis."
His gaze sticks to my backpack. "How does it work?"
It's a question no one has ever asked. "Just like a heart. It's a pump. Sends my blood through my veins and throughout my body." I summarize the surgery to connect the pump that's in my backpack and the batteries I have to carry.
He makes a face, even rubs his chest as if feeling empathetic pain. "So you have a tube going inside you?"
I touch my shirt, right under my left rib, where the tube goes in. "Gross, huh?"
"Yeah, but it's keeping you alive, so ... not really."
I agree. The hesitant footsteps easing down the hall pull my gaze from his.
Mom stops at the door. "Do you guys need something to drink or eat?"
She's rubbing her palms on her jeans again. Her pinched maternal concern locks on me. She's worried I'm mad about his being here. It's odd that I'm not.
The only person from my old life I've allowed to be close to "Dying Leah" is Brandy. And the only reason I allowed it was because she wouldn't go away. Both Mom and Dad have been pushing me to get out some. Socialize. There was even mention of my going back to school. I nixed that idea really fast. I want to graduate, but facing my peers while carrying my heart ... Unh, uhh. Not doing it.
I have good reasons too. In seventh grade, Shelly Black had leukemia. She came to school bald, wearing a scarf. Everyone tried not to show her how difficult it was to see her that way. She wasn't even my close friend. But my heart hurt for her. I'd rather be alone than put people through that. Then I look at the dark- haired hottie sitting across from me and wonder if that's what he feels now.
Then again, he chose to come here. He's asking me questions and seems interested in my answers. And it feels good talking to him. Like I'm a normal high school kid talking to a friend. An extremely hot friend.
I'm still not going back to school, but why not take advantage of this?
"I have sodas and chips." Mom's voice drags me back to reality.
I wait for him to answer. He declines with a thank-you.
Mom leaves, and we dive into algebra. We spend the next twenty minutes reading examples; then I do problems for him to check and see if I understand. It's not really awkward, but it's tougher than it is with Ms. Strong. I can't concentrate on math, because I'm concentrating on him. About which twin he is. Matt? Eric? Eric? Matt?
I recheck my answers before I push him the notebook. While he's reviewing my problems, I'm studying him. The shape of his lips. The cut of his jaw. The slight five o'clock shadow that tells me he's shaving.
I rub my index fingers against my thumbs and peer up at him through my lashes.
"You got it." Pride sounds in his voice. His smile reflects the same emotion. He pushes the notebook back. "You want to do some more?"
I want to say no, but I'm afraid he'll leave. And I'm feeling greedier than ever. I want my forty-five minutes. "Sure."
Then without thinking, I blurt out, "Instead, can I just ask you something?"
We stare across at each other again. "If I can ask you something," he counters.
"Okay." I rub the soles of my slippers on the wood floor under the table. "Me first." How to ask it? "I ... I used to be able to tell you and your brother apart. But now ..."
He grins, but almost looks disappointed. "Now you can't? You don't know who I am?"
"Guilty." Frowning, I flatten my palms, now slick from nerves, on the table. "So which one are you?"
He shoulders back in the chair. His posture's crooked. One shoulder is higher than the other. Didn't Matt used to sit like that? "How did you tell us apart before?"
"You mean physically or your personality?" Now I'm thinking I should have kept my mouth shut.
"Both." Anticipation brightens his eyes.
It's as if my answer matters. As if I need to be careful what I say.
"Uh, Eric wore his hair a little longer. Matt's hair was a little curlier." Unable to stop myself, I look at his hair, remembering sitting behind Matt in English, studying how it would curl up, and wondering if it was as soft as it looked. A lot of girls, bolder than I, would play with his curls. I always wished I had the guts to do it. But I was gutless. The bravest thing I ever did in school was start a book club.
My gaze shifts away from his hair. "And one of you is a little broader in the shoulders."
"Which one?" He sits straighter, his chest lifts, his shoulders stretch out.
I'm scared to answer, but that would be awkward.
"Eric?" I try to read his expression, but he seems to purposely keep it blank. "Not that both of you aren't ... buff," I say for a lack of another word and feel myself blushing, because buff sounds ... sexy or something.
He grins. "And?"
"Personality wise, Matt's quieter, more of a thinker. Eric's more outspoken."
He picks up his pencil and rolls it between his two palms leaving me to think he's rolling my answers around in his head.
The pencil slows down. I swear my heart speeds up like my old one would have.
"So which one am I? Buff and outspoken or thin and quiet."
"I didn't say thin or quiet. I said less buff and quieter." The desire to say I preferred Matt over Eric tap dances on my tongue, but if he's Eric?
He laughs and that sound is like magic, less rusty, more melting.
I'm sure he's Matt. Eric didn't have the same effect on me. Maybe I imagined it, but I could swear that Matt actually ... noticed me. I don't think I hit Eric's radar. He had too many cheerleaders falling all over him. Not that Matt didn't have the girls flashing him smiles and playing with his curls. He just didn't seem like it went to his head as much. Sometimes, it even looked like it embarrassed him.
My backpack beeps, shattering that comfortable silence that we'd finally found. The dreaded chirp lets me know that I have less than thirty minutes of battery life left. Panic flashes in Matt eyes. Or is he Eric?
"It's normal," I say, but because of that noise, of that damn tube, of my own dead heart, I feel anything but normal.
"So is this like forever?" he asks.
I shake my head. "No, it's supposed to be until I get a transplant."
"Supposed to be?" His gaze sweeps over me.
I look toward the hall to make sure Mom isn't around. So far, the truth has worked with him, and I decide not to waver from my approach. "I have a kind of rare blood type. AB. The odds aren't great."
"AB?" His brow wrinkles. "It's not that rare. I have it. If it was a kidney, I'd give you one."
I laugh, but this one's forced. I hate thinking about a transplant. Not just because I don't think it'll happen, but because someone having to die to give me life is all kinds of wrong. And that's what my parents and even Brandy are doing. Sitting around hoping someone will die.
That's even worse than wishing warts on someone.
"But ..." The pause seems to mean something. "You ... you just stay on this until a heart's available."
Excerpted from "This Heart Of Mine"
Copyright © 2018 Christie Craig.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
WOW! This was the best contemporary YA I've read in ages. SO EXCELLENT from start to finish. THIS HEART OF MINE by CC Hunter is a captivating page-turner, love story, mystery, and so much more. The idea behind the story had caught my attention, before I ever read the book. Can a transplant recipient feel what the donor felt? Many recipients, including the author's own husband, have reported dreaming specific dreams related to the donor, with information the recipient could not have otherwise known. Throughout this story, author CC Hunter made me feel ALL the feels: love, worry, anticipation, anger, frustration, sadness, fear, and hope. THIS HEART OF MINE was a non-stop roller coaster of emotions. Some of my favorite lines from the book: "Moving behind the mahogany desk, Eric drops into his dad's chair. It creaks as if complaining he isn't the man his dad was." (page 2) "[Mom] squeezes me, then lets go. 'I love that scar. It saved your life. You are here because of that scar. Because of it, one day, I'm going [to] be in a dressing room watching you try on wedding dresses.' Tears slip down her face." (page 154) "We changed the motto for graduation. It was Live for the Day. ... Our new motto is The Art of Making Tomorrows." (page 366) Thank you, CC Hunter for such a fabulous story. I highly recommend THIS HEART OF MINE to everyone who loves to read.
Loved reading this book!
This Heart of Mine is part contemporary romance and part suspense/mystery. The beginning seemed rushed, the middle in heavy on the romance, and then in the end the mystery kind of comes unfolds. I found myself rushing through the romantic parts, only interested in solving the mystery. I wanted to care more about the characters falling in love, but I think the short exposition just left me not feeling very attached to the characters. Leah, hooked up to an artificial heart, thinks she’s dying until a young man from her town supposedly commits suicide, and she gets a heart transplant. The boy’s twin brother is convinced it was a murder, and when Leah starts having visions, she’s the only one who believes him. The two pair up determined to solve the case, and they fall in love along the way. Some small details irked me at the beginning of this story, but I really tried to look past them and give the book a chance. The mystery was decent, and the romance, while predictable, was fine too. I guess the sum total just didn’t work for me. I can’t really articulate why. Maybe it just wasn’t what I was in the mood for at the time. Or maybe it was the continued references to twin telepathy. I don’t know. I didn’t love this book. http://opinionatedbooklover.com/review-this-heart-of-mine-by-c-c-hunter/
This Heart of Mine justifies why I'll read anything written by C.C. Hunter. First, I devoured this book; then I had to go back and savor it. This book had everything, and I loved every minute of it! Leah was strong and determined, and I found her to be very relatable. She was the kind of girl I hope I'd be if I was in her situation. Matt was sweet and loyal, the kind of boy I wish I'd have known in high school. I also loved the family dynamics between Leah and her parents, and Leah and Brandy's friendship was so great. I personally enjoyed the medical aspects in the book, as I find those kinds of things fascinating. I used to read Lurlene McDaniel's books when I was younger, and this reminded me of her books somewhat. Again, this book has it all: deep emotions, grief, personal growth and discovery, family and friendship, young love, humor/banter, mystery and even a touch of the supernatural. So many things! I will definitely be reading This Heart of Mine again. Loved it! ***I was provided a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***
Seventeen year old Leah MacKenzie’s heart is dead, literally. She contracted a virus that killed her heart and the only thing keeping her alive is the artificial heart that she carries around in a backpack. Unfortunately the thing keeping her alive is also the thing going to kill her. Leah has had two bad infections from the pump that almost killed her. Her only hope is a heart transplant but with a rare blood type that doesn’t seem possible. So Leah has resigned to live as long as she call although those around her have not accepted her death. Matt and Eric are twins that lost their father a year ago. They basically are raising themselves since their mother is not coping well with his death. Both brothers are having a hard time too. Then Eric kills himself. Ironically, he is a match to Leah and she manages to get her lifesaving heart transplant. Leah learns whose heart she received and how he killed himself. But she is having strange nightmares that contradict this. She finally get in contact with Matt and learns that he is having the same dreams. Together they decide to find out what really happened to Eric. This is a touching story of one girl that was expecting to die and got so much more than a second chance at life. Leah is such a wonderful girl that it just brings a tear to your eye thinking that she will die. Of course it’s still hard to know that someone had to die for Leah to live. But it’s a cruel twist of fate that its Matt’s brother. But there is so much more to this story than just this. Something happened to Eric, something I didn’t expect, and I loved the journey Matt and Leah go on to discover the truth. If that wasn’t enough of a story, learning that this story is based of real life evens for CC Hunter that just adds a whole new layer to this creation. If you are looking for an amazing story, look no further. Katie Schorr does a fantastic job narrating this story and this book will appease the hardest of hearts. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
O...M...G... the feels! My heart is literally aching right now, in a good way! This book is full of so much emotion. I found it near impossible to put down once I started, unfortunately life does get in the way, otherwise it probably would have been a one sitting read for me. It's hard to imagine yourself in the position of any one in this book, there is so much grief, loss, and fear, but also so much love, acceptance, learning and moving on. And I am impressed with the underlying PSA the author has woven into the tale without being too preachy on the subject. The love story within the book was so touching and honest and real. I loved getting to see both sides of things with the dual point of view telling. Seeing them slowly falling in love was sweet and reminiscent of that first love feeling I'm sure all of us remember. POSSIBLE SPOILER IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BLURB... I was already an organ donor and have always felt very passionate about that, but if I weren't this book would have convinced me. I don't know what it would be like to know that your loved one had organs going to someone else after they passed away, I don't even know what it would feel like to be on the receiving end, but it just feels like the right thing to do. *I voluntarily reviewed an ARC copy of this book that I won via an online contest.*
Love. Loss. A very beautiful tale of one girl who is trying to move on after a second chance at life. Leah and Matt are both very relatable and loveable characters who are really true to themselves. Leah has a heart disease that leaves her living off of an artificial heart. While living her days away, she knows it is unlikely she will ever have a real heart. Then, that day arrives. Matt lost his father and now he is faced with the death of his twin brother, who everyone is telling him killed himself. Matt knows that this is not true, but how to prove it? Leah finds out her heart is Matt’s brothers and the two start to share similar dreams that lead them closer to each other and closer to the truth. I really loved this story. I’ve read C.C. Hunter’s other books and while I loved those too, this book is on a whole new level. The romance between Leah and Matt is sweet and the mystery of Matt’s brother is compelling to keep you reading all night. I highly recommend this book. I think it’s worth every bit of your time. I voluntarily received and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. Final Rating: 5 Stars
This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter did a number on this heart of mine. What an emotionally driven book full of loss, pain, family turmoil and love. Leah MacKenzie is a seventeen year old girl whose heart beats from a battery operated backpack. On a waiting list for a donor heart, she knows her chances are slim, as she has a rare blood type. Aware her time is likely limited, she homeschools and dreams up bucket list items that she may or may not accomplish. When Leah gets the call that a heart is available for her, she is shocked. With little time to think, she is rushed to the hospital and the transplant takes place. Once she is back home, she realizes she may have an idea of who the heart belonged to, and it’s a lot closer to home than she is comfortable with. A boy from her school died, and they label it suicide, but Leah’s dreams make her think there may be more to his death than people think. She thinks he may be sending her information she may be able to use to prove he didn’t kill himself. Will Leah be able to adjust to life with her new heart, return to school and be able to keep the secret of her heart donor while trying to unravel the truth? This book had it all. Young adult romance intertwined with mystery, some suspense, high emotions and high school drama. I loved the many speeds of this story and didn’t want it to end. Strangely enough, I thought it was nearing the end, and then it kept going. It delivered so much more than I anticipated and left me super satisfied with the conclusion. I felt like it was tied up perfectly with a pretty bow on top. What a wonderful read! 5 stars for this heartfelt novel by C.C. Hunter.
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read and review This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter. Leah is awaiting a heart transplant and in the meantime she’s being tutored and doing her schoolwork at home with her teachers’ help. Leah’s story (first person point of view) alternates with the (third person point of view) story of twins, Matt and Eric, who are still reeling from the loss of their father. One of the twins tutors Leah for extra credit on a day that the math teacher cannot make it. Leah is unsure which twin it is and confesses that she’s had a crush on Matt for years. I’m not sure how much time passes before Eric ends up dying in the hospital from a gunshot wound. Leah’s family receives a call from the hospital letting them know a heart is available for her transplant. She discovers that she’s received Eric’s heart and she keeps this information to herself. Eventually Leah and Matt talk about the transplant and how they’ve both been having dreams about Eric’s death and believe that it wasn’t suicide. In the dreams, they hear a voice other than Eric’s and they also see how Eric was running from something before he was shot. The mystery progresses and finally Detective Henderson sees proof of foul play. The main point of the book is to experience the process of needing a transplant, receiving one and learning to embrace life all over again. The author shares her family’s experiences with transplants at the end of the book. These experiences brought this story to life. 4 stars for the strength and perseverance shown by the main characters! *I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary review consideration.
Leah MacKenzie doesn’t have much on her bucket list. Number one would be to live. You see when you have an artificial heart with a predetermined end-date, living is the only thing that matters. She’s offered a brief glimpse of life as regular teenager when Matt, her high school boy crush, comes to her house for tutoring. When a new heart becomes available, Leah gets a chance at a real life filled with school, friends, and love. Unfortunately she has to contend with the fact that her new heart came from a classmate... Matt’s twin brother. Matt doesn’t believe the stories he’s hearing about his brother committing suicide. He knows Eric would never take his own life, especially so soon after their father’s death. Determined to find out what really happened, Matt sets a course that leads to danger, not just for himself, but for Leah. She’s having strange dreams and she has to decide if these dreams are truly hers or did the heart come with strings attached. And did these strings cause Eric’s death? New York Times bestselling author C. C. Hunter expertly intertwines mystery and romance in This Heart of Mine. Fresh and full of drama, This Heart of Mine will command a spot on your “keeper” shelf.
A truly phenomenal novel that makes you stop and think about your own life and the decisions you make each and every day. it makes for a page turner that you can't put down. Leah is in high school, and has an artificial heart. She is waiting for a donor, which means "someone must die for her to have a chance at life." When Leah is called and told there is a new heart awaiting her, she does not know until a while later whose heart is was. Within a few days she finds out that she has received the heart of another student who died . A person who has a twin brother that Leah is falling in love with. So much is involved in this book, you will want to keep reading to find out what happened to the donor and who is really involved in the mystery and how can it be solved if the case is closed? Leah begins to put her life back and in the process discover's a new and improved Leah who states: "I know not every choice I make is going to pan out. But I won't know until I try. And not trying isn't living". A beautiful story.