Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Review: Heart Breaths by K.K. Hendin

Title: Heart Breaths
Author: K.K. Hendin
Author Info: Blog|Twitter|Facebook
Genre: New Adult
Source: Author
Publication Date: 5th November 2013

Tell Me About It
After a tragedy nearly ripped 21 year old Madeline Darlington-Gray’s life in half, she's spent the past three years trying to put the pieces back together. But pieces never just fit back together, and when she's betrayed by those she trusts, everything crumbles. Shoving everything she owns into the trunk of her car, Maddie drives south, trying to run from her past.
Eno, North Carolina seems like the perfect place to hide. Working at a local café is light years from Maddie's Manhattan existence and for the first time in a while, she's finding her family. There's Grandma, the café owner; Samantha, the hairstylist next door with plans to make Maddie's life unsuck and Noie, the three year old girl who's stolen Maddie's heart.
And then there’s Gabriel Mendez, Noie’s single dad. He’s intrigued Maddie since the first time she met him, and while he has his own secrets, he wants more from her than just friendship. But the past never stays past, and all too soon, Maddie realizes she can't hide from hers. If she can't put the pieces of her shattered life together this time, she'll have no hope for a future.
A future she desperately wants.
My Thoughts
I had not heard of the author or this book prior to being contacted regarding a review. After a quick visit to goodreads to find out more about the book, and also get a look at the breathtaking cover, I replied with a 'yes please' and soon found myself downloading Heart Breaths onto my iPad.

The beginning of Heart Breaths keeps things vague, the protagonist Madeline is running from something, with sporadic thoughts of traumatic event, and hints about something she wants to forget. It's not until that she settles in Eno that we start to discover what she is running from.

While it took a while to find out what was going on, it took no time at all to fall into the pages of Heart Breaths. Experiencing the emotions that Madeline is going through makes it easy to connect to her, and while I have not experienced what she has, my heart broke for her. As she begins to settle and get to know her new 'neighbours' in this small town I felt happier for her. When we meet Noie my heat melted, she is such a sweet little girl and I love how much she took to Madeline, especially when we see her usual reaction to strangers.  

Heart Breaths was a surprise read, while they synopsis gives us basic information, there is so much going on under the surface of it all and I love how seamlessly it weaves together to make this a unique story. Heart Breaths deals with love and heart breaking loss, about learning how to deal with your past but also find a way to live in your future, in your here and now. Its about not forgetting where you have come from, but using that to make a better person, using it like a building block, a small stepping stone on the path you want to take and to be the person you want to be. Seeing that wrote down sounds easy, but it's a struggle not only for Madeline, but also for Gabe, Noie's Dad.

The friendships Madeline has made with Sam, Mary Elizabeth and Sam are strong, and seeing how these girls have accepted Madeline into their group, but also how they all have each others backs makes is easier for Madeline, but also shows her what a real family does for you, blood related or not.

Heart Breaths had twists that I didn't expect but they were very fitting to the story itself. I read Heart Breaths faster than I expected to, and while it didn't have a confirmation of 'this is how it ends', it is left open for you to picture what you want to happen. I laughed, cried, and cheered the characters. K.K Hendin has a way of drawing you into the story and really making you feel part of it.

After getting the links for the author info, I also discovered that K.K. Hendin has possibly one of the funniest profiles info I have ever seen.
 KK Hendin's real life ambition is to become a pink fluffy unicorn who dances with rainbows. But the schooling for that is all sorts of complicated, so until that gets sorted out, she'll just write. Preferably things with angst and love. And things that require chocolate. 

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