Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Book Review: Change of Heart by Shari Maurer

Change of Heart 
Change of Heart by Shari Maurer
Publisher: Westside Books
Publish Date: April 23, 2010
Hardcover, 294 pages
Young Adult

My Review:
Why I read this: When I saw it on tour, I read the blurb and thought it sounded really interesting, so I signed up.

How is the novel driven:  Character, it's all about Emmi and those around her and how they affect her life.  The character development is wonderful and I felt like I was right there with Emmi.

My thoughts:  I wasn't sure I was in the mood for this one when I started reading it, but mood didn't end up being a problem.  From the beginning of the book I was drawn into Emmi's life.  At times I saw her a very selfish and uncaring person, but then after getting a little further in the book you really begin to understand her and her actions.  How would it feel to be the girl on top of the world, a star soccer player with a promising college career looming.  A new and exciting boyfriend, good friends and a great year ahead when suddenly you are sidelined with a heart condition and a need to have a heart transplant.  Talk about life doing a 180.  Emmi's life does just that.  Change of Heart was a look into Emmi's life just before the illness, during the transplant procedure and after as she is learning to navigate life again.

Add into the equation two boys, Sam the handsome baseball player who develops an interest in Emmi just before all of this happens and Abe, the boy she meets who is a fellow transplant patient.  Emmi's interactions with both boys resonated with me and felt very real.  How she dealt with everything felt real.  No punches pulled, and even though I have never been in this situation I now feel I can understand it a little better.

Change of Heart is a book that will grab you from the first page and leave  you at the end wanting more.  And this is not because the ending is left open, but because you will really like Emmi and want to learn more about her and she will stay with you after the book is done.  The story is one that teaches you and encourages you and makes you thankful for your life.  It's beautifully written and I look forward to more books from Shari Maurer in the future.

My Rating:  4.5/5.0

About the Book:
Shortly after her sixteenth birthday, popular varsity soccer star Emmi comes down with an ordinary virus. But when she doesn't bounce back as always, she gets the worst possible news--she's had myocarditis that's destroyed her heart, putting her into congestive heart failure. This formerly energetic teen can now barely walk across a room without having to stop and rest. And the prognosis is bleak: without a heart transplant, she'll die in a matter of months. It's only her growing friendship with Abe, the funny, smart boy she meets in the cardiac clinic that finally cheers her up. But difficult questions race through her mind while she waits: Will she get a heart in time? Will she even survive the surgery? What if her body rejects the heart? When tragedy strikes close to home, Emmi must rely even more on her inner strength in order to carry on.

About the Author:
Shari Maurer's life has always been full of "heart." Married to a cardiologist, she is the co-author of The Parent's Guide to Children's Congenital Heart Defects. After graduating from Duke University and NYU, she spent six years at the Children's Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop) working on International versions of Sesame Street and other kids' programs. Shari lives in New City, New York, with her husband, Mat, and their children, Lissie, Josh, and Eric. Change of Heart is her first young adult novel.

Her Website

FTC Information: I received this book through 1 ARC Tours for review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.

Kindle Giveaway Blog Tour Announcement

Author Scott Nicholson and Amazon are giving away two Kindles as part of his fall book blog tour from September through November, including a stop here at My Reading Room on Sept. 27. A Kindle DX will be given away through the participating blogs, and a Kindle 3 will be given away through the tour newsletter. A Pandora's Box of free ebooks will be given away through Nicholson's "hauntedcomputer" Twitter account.

"The digital era coincides with Act II of my career," Nicholson said. "The Kindle has broadened many people's horizons and given readers more power than ever, and this is an opportunity to celebrate them and the book bloggers who spread the word."

Nicholson is author of 12 novels and five story collections, as well as four comics series and six screenplays. His paranormal thrillers The Red Church, Drummer Boy and Speed Dating with the Dead have all hit #1 in the Kindle "Ghosts" category, and his new releases are the sci-fi thriller Forever Never Ends and the multiple-personality romp As I Die Lying.

As a bonus, if Nicholson hits the Top 100 in the U.S. or U.K. Kindle Store during the tour between Sept. 1 and Nov. 30, he will give away an extra Kindle 3 through the blogs. Sign up for the newsletter at to get daily links to the participating blogs. Winners will be selected at the Watauga County (NC) Public Library in December. No purchase necessary, and the contest is international. Co-sponsored by Kindle Nation Daily and Dellaster Design. Details at

You can also check out this video link for more information: