SECOND HAND HEART by CATHERINE RYAN HYDE.
"Thanks for the heart," she said.
It was a surprisingly simple statement in the midst of all that life and death and indebtedness.
Vida is nineteen, very ill, and has spent her short life preparing for death. But a new chance brings its own story, because for Vida to live, someone had to die.
Richard has just lost his beloved wife in a car accident. He hasn't even begun to address his grief, but feels compelled to meet the girl who inherited his wife's heart.
SOMEONE ELSE'S HEART
In hospital Vida sees Richard and immediately falls in love. Of course he dismisses her as a foolish child. But is she? Can two people be bound by a Second hand Heart?
.... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Vida: On my upcoming death): I'm probably going to die really soon.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 33): Didn't she know the thrill of freedom I got from walking up those stairs by myself? How could she take an important moment like that away from me, when I had so few?
KEEP IT OR NOT?: Despite the fact that I did like this novel, I can't see myself reading it again and know my mam will love it.
Have you ever read a book and not been able to put it down? I'm sure most of you have but have you ever done so not really knowing quite what made you read page after page after page despite it being silly o'clock in the morning? I found myself doing just this with Second Hand Heart.
A fascinating concept, I loved the thought that memories could perhaps be stored in the heart as well as the brain, that a transplanted organ could contain memories of the previous 'owners' life as seems to be the case with 19-year-old Vida.
Not just a story of cellular memories but also a tale of relationships and journeys of self discovery I don't know exactly why I found Second Hand Heart so compelling as I found the story rather over stretched and most of the characters fairly awful - Vida especially so. Immature and selfish, all her actions seemed to revolve around her wants and desires. That said, Richard, the other main character, hardly seemed much better though it could be argued that his grief for his wife, the thought that part of her still lived on within Vida, informed many of his decisions.
Perhaps it was the romantic in me, perhaps it was some deep-seated belief that the spirit does indeed live on, perhaps it was just to find out how the story ended - I don't know what it was but, despite my thinking otherwise, I did enjoy this novel which certainly had me thinking about the issues surrounding transplants and how it must feel to know someone has had to die in order for you to live.
Whoopeeee, I'm half way there - the 50th book read for my 100+ Reading Challenge. Second Hand Heart was a reading group read but luckily I already had a copy, purchased free of charge from NewBooks magazine, on my tbr mountain.