I read Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover in one day and it was a great 4.9/5 star rating! This was my favorite CoHo book so far (compared to Regretting You, It Ends With Us, Ugly Love, Verity and Layla). This standalone fit into the contemporary genre and had a first person, present tense point of view from just Beyah, our nineteen-year-old heroine. I didn’t understand the title’s name until this quote, that was closer to the end, “Don’t worry. Hearts don’t have bones. They can’t actually break.”
Chapter one started with teenage Beyah, who just found her mother dead from drug overdose. She was also evicted from her trailer home the same night so Beyah had to fly to her fathers’ as her only option before college starts. Her negative viewpoint on men mirrored my main protagonist in my current work-in-progress in The Linked Trilogy. I loved how realistic her life seemed and that Beyah felts like she was living and breathing next to me. At first I wasn’t sure if the story would be a father/daughter story or romance but was pleasantly surprised by the balance of both.
She was thrown into a new world of uncomfortable and unfamiliar riches with her new family, but don’t worry she picked up a best friend along the way in the stray dog, Pepper Jack Cheese. Of course he was my favorite characters. Or maybe Pepper Jack Cheese had tough competition with the odd neighbor. On page 115, I literally laughed out loud at her batteries comment: “surprise me.” The dialogue throughout felt natural, yet the lack of dialogue between the two main characters was almost more telling- the things they communicated through little gestures and eye contact mattered more.
Halfway through, the bits and pieces of secrets between Beyah and Sampson are being slowly revealed. I like that this story was conversationally based. It was simple yet deep. By the way, the list of questions Beyah wanted to learn at the end of the summer from Sampson was genius of the writer to make the reader flip pages faster. I needed to know!
Sidenote, I almost cried during the volleyball scene. It was such a random but touching moment and completely fit what needed to be shown.
My only reason for not giving it a solid five stars is because the beach setting and activities were a bit monotonous. If I’d add something in general, I’d also add a little more build up to the big scene. The timing of it actually caught me by surprise and I wasn’t expecting a blow out event. I knew it was coming soon, but it popped up out of nowhere and I wished there was more making me uneasy right beforehand.
In regards to inclusivity, I didn’t recall any characters of varied skin color, but they were all pretty abstractly shown in general so it felt like the readers had the chance to fill in the blank for what they thought the characters would look like. There was one mention of FF possibility at a college party at the end, but no other LGBTQ characters that I recalled.
I hated that there were gross men treating women disrespectfully, but it was all wrapped up into the theme, so needed overall. I’m looking forward to the day where women don’t feel like we have to keep speaking up against this issue, because one day there will be a time when men are all just good. Men, please change and just be good. I’m tired of reliving the same story.
I was highly satisfied with the ending and would even reread this in the future, and I rarely ever do that.
“Don’t worry. Hearts don’t have bones.
They can’t actually break.”