How to Build a Heart Review

Title: How To Build a Heart
Author: Maria Padian
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: 28 January 2020
Source: Algoquin Young Readers
Format: Paperback [ARC]
Pages: 352
Rating: 4 Stars


All sixteen-year-old Izzy Crawford wants is to feel like she really belongs somewhere. Her father, a marine, died in Iraq six years ago, and Izzy’s moved to a new town nearly every year since, far from the help of her extended family in North Carolina and Puerto Rico. When Izzy’s hardworking mom moves their small family to Virginia, all her dreams start clicking into place. She likes her new school—even if Izzy is careful to keep her scholarship-student status hidden from her well-to-do classmates and her new athletic and popular boyfriend. And best of all: Izzy’s family has been selected by Habitat for Humanity to build and move into a brand-new house. Izzy is this close to the community and permanence she’s been searching for, until all the secret pieces of her life begin to collide.

Book Review:
Pre-reading Thoughts:

I was so excited to get started with this book. The publishers did an amazing job of describing this book, I was hooked from the first line of the synopsis. I couldn't wait to jump into this book.

Thank you so much to Algonquin Young Readers for providing me with a copy of this book. Just a quick disclaimer for those reading this review. I have received this book for free. Please note that this does not affect my opinion in any way. All thoughts are my own. 

Writing Thoughts:

The writing didn't pull me in as much as I had hoped. I struggled to get into the book and even after I was a decent way through, I felt as if the flow of the writing was sometimes disrupted. However, I really enjoyed the dialogue and often found myself swooning over some of the texts. 

Plot Thoughts:

The plot started quite late in this book. The author did an incredible job of setting up the book for the reader. But the plot that the synopsis described happened quite far into the book. However, with this being said, I absolutely loved following Izzy as she navigated her way through this new world filled with vast experiences. Sometimes her worries felt like my own and other times I was empathetic towards what she was going through. I often found myself laughing out loud or having a moment when something cute happened.

Character Thoughts:

I loved Izzy and her bother. They were so cute and I loved how accessible their relationship was. Roz and Izzy's friendship was filled with ups and downs but I loved how they could both rely on one another. As much as I loved the relationships, I felt as if the character depth was slightly compromised particularly when it came to the side characters.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It did take me a while to get into because of the writing but I found myself really enjoying everything that took place from beginning to end. The relationships between the characters is a strong selling point of this book. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys contemporaries or someone who is currently finding themselves in a situation unfamiliar to them. This book deals with the topic of identity and finding who you are. Thank you so much to Algonquin Young Readers for providing me with a copy of this book

Yours in Reading,


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