Heart to Heart by Lurlene McDaniel

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Title: Heart to Heart
Author: Lurlene McDaniel
Release Date: June 8, 2010 (hardcover)    
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 224
Source: ARC received from publisher through Bookurious

Overall: 5 Stars

From Lurlene McDaniel, the bestselling author of young adult inspirational fiction, comes Heart to Heart. This emotionally charged novel explores loss, love, renewal, and the ways in which these complex bonds within families and between friends are tested at life's most challenging moments.

Elowyn Eden and Kassey Messechek are best friends. They share every aspect of their lives. But one thing Elowyn has not yet shared with Kassey is that she checked the organ donor box on her newly acquired driver's license. Kassey only learns of this in a startling and devastating way—when Elowyn's life-giving donor wishes are about to be honored.

Arabeth St. Clair has not had the luck to have a best friend. Due to her diseased heart, she's led a sheltered life. When Arabeth is sixteen, she and her mother receive the call that will change their lives—but they don't know to whom they should be forever grateful.

When the worlds of these three girls and their families intersect, lives are changed in ways never imagined. Most especially, it is Kassey who sees things differently, for she can keep alive the memory of her dear friend by sharing the renewed life of another teenage girl, while helping to ease the pain of the two families involved and coming to terms with her own. 

I've heard before that Lurlene McDaniel is like the the Nicholas Sparks of the YA world... and I wouldn't disagree. Heart to Heart is the first novel I've read of the author's many novels and prepare yourself, you'll need those tissues handy in no time at all.

Within the first 50 pages, I was already crying- not a few tears, but actually crying. The author pulls you in right from the very first page, and although you already know what's going to happen, as the back blurb explains, you can't help but cry or at least have some sort of emotional response. It tugs right at your heart-stings. 

There were moments when I had to put the book down and then take a quick a breather before plunging right back in because I was so overcome with sadness. On the one hand, I was happy that Arabel was finally receiving the heart she rightfully deserved after waiting so long, but on the other hand, I was also grieving with Kassey, who had just lost her best friend, Elowyn. Two very different emotions for two very different people who would be forever connected by the unfortunate and sudden death of a teenage girl. McDaniel tactfully deals with the heavy subjects of loss and grief, but ultimately, she teaches readers that there is a way to overcome life's obstacles and that road will lead to healing.

Heart to Heart is a realistic and moving novel that will surely touch your own heart.

You can visit Lurlene McDaniel's website here.

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