Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review: A Healing Heart by Melissa A. Hanson

Published by: the author
Release date: February 14th, 2012
Number of pages: 260
How I got this book: sent to me by author in exchange for honest review
My rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads Summary:

"On a bitter cold winter night Bailey Walsh’s family was killed in a traffic accident. Two years later as she lives with her aunt and uncle in Southern California, Bailey is still plagued by the nightmares of that terrible night. Everywhere around her are reminders of what she lost. Even her aunt, in a cruel twist of fate, is not just her mom’s sister, but her identical twin. Babysitting Riley, a spunky two-year old, is a sweet distraction and one constant light in her life. One day as she takes Riley to the park she meets Collin McKenna, a senior at her high school and her life is changed forever as he helps her find herself and realize her life is worth living. As the romance between them grows her broken heart begins to heal. However, still nagging in the back of her conscious is the fear that her new found happiness could come crashing down and she could lose everything she loves, yet again. Outside forces begin to tear them apart and Bailey must learn to trust in herself and realize that she is worthy of happiness. That sometimes love and healing comes in unexpected forms."

My review:

First, a big thank you to Ms. Hanson for the opportunity to read and review her book!

Bailey has been through a lot in her young life - losing all of her immediate family. Many young people would not be able to cope with that at all. With the help of her aunt and uncle who take her in, and little Riley whom she babysits and gives her the unconditional love that she craves, she is slowly starting to come out of the dark place that she has been inhabititing for the last two years. And then she meets Collin - the sweet, romantic blue-eyed senior boy at school with a little sister who has experienced a similar loss. They quickly fall in love with each other and Bailey's nightmares which plagued her every night since her family's deaths completely went away. Things finally seemed perfect for her. But then, several events, including Collin's obsessed childhood sweetheart, Savannah, coming into town put their love to the test.

Many events in this book really reminded me of my own high school dating life. It was kind of nostalgic - it brought back all those exciting feelings that go with new love and first dates. Bailey and Collin's relationship was very sweet and innocent. I liked Bailey - she was easy to relate to. I liked how wonderful she was with little Riley. Now, there were a few times that I wanted to slap Collin. He was a bit clueless about the Savannah situation, and it annoyed me.

I thought some of the dialogue in the book was a little bit unrealistic. It seemed forced in places. Also, there were alot of places where it was just kind of slow to me. However, a young teen who has not yet experienced a romantic relationship may not agree that it was slow. Honestly, I think that my 14 year old daughter will love it, and I plan on passing it on to her next.

One of the things I LOVED about this book is that there was absolutely NO vulgarity in this book - no bad language and no sexuality. There was kissing, but that was it. It was very innocent - a perfect choice for a first romance book for a young teen. This is something that is hard to find nowadays, and something that I appreciate greatly! It's a great example of how these things are not needed to make a great romantic story!

I definitely recommend this book to young adults looking for a sweet, heartwarming romance! Great story!


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