Author: Siobhan Parkinson
Publisher: Hodder Childrens
Written with sensitivity, humour and a lightness of touch, HEART-SHAPED is a companion to Siobhan Parkinson's highly-acclaimed novel, BRUISED - for fans of Meg Rosoff, Aidan Chambers and David Levithan. Annie makes a startling discovery one day - and everything changes. She fears for the safety of her boyfriend Jonno, who has vanished, knowing he is in desperate trouble. Feeling alone, she clings to her dad, her only parent, but he can't fill in all the gaps in the puzzle that is Annie's life. Nor can her best friend. To do that, Annie has to look into her past and understand who her mother was, what happened to her and why. So the truth behind Jonno's disappearance - which is the story in BRUISED - becomes a mirror for what's happening in Annie's own life. The reader is desperate for him to come back, so that Annie can fully fit the pieces of her existence back together.
Heart Shaped. The title instantly reminded me of Heart Shaped Bruise so naturally I was on the look out for any similarities between the books and whilst there were many difference I did seem to find one major; whether I was looking to hard or not, a lot of this book is Annie telling her head doctor her story... which is nearly identical to what happened in Heart Shaped Bruise. However that's beside the point. Overall it was a good story, well written and evoking a lot of emotion, but it just wasn't for me. I felt that even though it was a very small book some parts dragged a little and I'm not saying this is a bad book; it's really not, I'm just sort of showing the negatives I found before moving onto the positives.
For starters this is one of those books that although sad it's rather positive and keeps you feeling good inside. The story was fairly simple as far as it went and had a mix of sub genres focusing around one genre. I like the use of death but in a way that it wasn't so much a negative things in this. I mean the story really touched on parental death for youngsters and what would happen and I really feel like Parkinson hit the nail on the head with portraying that and the emotions of how they would all feel.
The writing was nice. Annie had a very distinct voice and although some characters seemed to blend in my mind Annie stayed strong and clear as the main characters. Her narrative was good and I liked the way the book was a little more mentally focused, because if someone close has died you going to mentally close in a little more and talk less and I like how we glimpsed into Annie's mind a lot.
I have mixed opinions on the characters. Although some were a little samey I felt as though each one was likeable and well formed with enough information to make them real in my mind. I just felt like sometimes characters would drop out for a while and then reappear for a long time before disappearing again. However the main characters did have distinctive voices that held me tight and I definitely wanted to know Annies story from when she first started to talk.
Overall I though the book was a little confusing but once you reach that ending it all makes sense and quite honestly: this book will leaving feeling warm inside.