Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Healing Heart by Melissa A. Hanson

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.

This is a different kind of young adult book. With the surplus of books on the paranormal, it was refreshing to read something a bit more literary.

The book’s premise is good. It captivates the reader from the beginning, and since the novel is fast-paced, we stay interested all the way through.
The main character, Bailey, is dealing with the loss of her entire family, and we get to see her change throughout the book, making her a well-rounded character. The rest of them are fine, not memorable, but Bailey is enough to keep our interest up.

The issue I had with the book had more to do with the writing style itself. I found that the author “told” more than “showed”. There were many instances of this that distracted me from the story itself. I think with another round of editing, this novel would have been an even better one.

It was entertaining, so I do recommend it, especially for young adult readers who like a nice romance with a bit of psychological tension.

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