Friday, June 28, 2013

Second Hand Heart by Catherine Ryan Hyde : Book Review

At first, I wasn't sure that I liked the style of Hyde's writing.  

She wrote the book in diary form from the perspective of a nineteen year old girl called Vida, who is suffering from a severe heart problem. 

Her diary appeared to be very straight forward, kind of like 'and then we went to the park.' Full Stop. 'It was nice.' Full Stop. 

Then I thought it through, how would you be writing as a nineteen year old girl who literally cannot do anything but sit and wait for a new heart to be available? Sit and wait for a donor to die??? Or... sit and wait for herself to die...
Even going outdoors is a risk for her, there's no wonder the poor girl writes with half-hearted emotion (pun intended). 
That is literally what I thought in the beginning, that this story lacked emotion.

I didn't even notice I had devoured half of the book in one sitting until I paused to make myself a cup of tea.

What a delectable, beautiful story!

The book was also written in a sequence of emails and thoughts from a man by the name of Richard, to his mother-in-law, Myra; as well as a journal he begins inspired by Vida.

Richard and Vida are connected in the most unfortunate but special way possible.
Vida was on the top of the heart-transplant list and Richard's wife was a donor. One night, a tragic accident happens on the roads, leaving Richard a widow. As his wife's organs are distributed to patients in need, Vida finds herself getting wheeled into surgery to receive the heart.

Although Myra attemps to keep Richard away from the hospital, he cannot help himself. He ventures into Vida's room and lays eyes on the frail, borderline-annorexic nineteen year old who now has his wife's heart enclosed inside of her.

Although Richard is in his late thirties, Vida begins to reach out to Richard. She claims to be in love with him and starts to remember certain things that she couldn't possibly remember - so she starts to research cellular memory.

Eventually she gets Richard's attention on the matter and he goes off on a journey to find out all that he can about cellular memory; to see if there is any possible way that this girl could actually 'love' him and remember him.

Vida herself embarks on her first journey away from the suffocating grip of her controlling mother and the rejection she felt from Richard.
She and her best friend, Esther, a ninety-something year old German woman get driven to an old concentration camp by Esther's driver, Victor, who has the serious hots for Vida.

It is the first time that Vida is able to experience life, but will she know how?

Her mother is frantic and worried, not knowing where she is.

Will Vida return?

Will Richard come to find her and confess he finally believes her?

Does Vida really love Richard? Is there really something behind this cellular memory theory???

Absolutely incredible story that I enjoyed 110%.

It is also completely unpredictable! Whenever you think you know what is going to happen next, you are always, without fail, pleasantly surprised.

This has been one of the best novels I have ever had the pleasure of reading and reviewing.

Do yourself a favor and get a copy of this book... NOW!!

This book gets a big thumbs up from me! 


  1. sounds like a good book. i have a stack that i need to finish before i move on to anything else though!

    Isabel @ Walk of Fashion

    1. Haha awesome, nothing beats a good book! With wine.... and a fireplace :)
      and / or a bubble bath.
      I just created my perfect night! Woohoo!

  2. Sounds interesting!! I have read some books with alternate formatting like the diary/email combo before and i love it. It makes them read so quickly!! I'll have to add this to my very long reading list!!


    1. My latest novel has taken to that format :)
      It's such fun to write and to read and you're right, it does make it go faster!!

  3. Definitely will be checking it out!

    1. Thanks Kierra!

      I'd actually love to know what your fav Nicholas Sparks book was? I really, really enjoyed Safe Haven!

  4. Thanks for sharing this! I'm always looking for a good book!

  5. HELLO!This is such a lovely post! I am about to follow you. Maybe you could head over to my blog and follow me too? I have an upcoming post about the LUSH COSMETICS event I was invited too.
    PS-Love the design of your blog

  6. you looking very lovely i am going to follow u hope u follow me back thax
    keep in touch


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