Saturday, September 17, 2011

Review: Cold Hands, Warm Heart

Title: Cold Hands, Warm Heart
Author: Jill Wolfson
Publication date: March 31, 2009

Two people, two faces, two noses, four eyes, four ears, eight limbs, two livers, four kidneys, 10 liters of blood, 1,300 muscles, 120,000 miles of blood vessels, 200,000 hairs on two heads. Two people, two hearts. But only one of them working.

Dani was born with her heart on the wrong side of her body. In her fifteen years of life, she's had more doctors' appointments, X-rays, tests, and eaten more green hospital Jell-O than she cares to think about. Fourteen-year-old Amanda is a competitive gymnast, her body a small package of sleek muscles, in perfect health. The two girls don't know each other, don't go to the same school, don't have any friends in common. But their lives are about to collide.

I have very mixed feelings about this book. It had an interesting subject matter that let me learn a bit more about transplants and organ donation, and got me thinking more about the matter of organ donation, but I felt it lacked in many areas. The story is told by alternating between characters, so we get to see both Dani's side of the story - the girl receiving the heart - and Amanda's family's side of the story. It alternates between first and second person, and then includes many side stories such as the viewpoint from the guy who delivers the organs between hospitals, which made it really hard to follow,  in my opinion, especially because it's a relatively short book. While it was an interesting story, it almost felt like the author tried to tackle too many things at once, because not only does it deal with the transplant, but also a romance, Amanda's death, and the grieving of her family. So the reader gets a glimpse of each of these events, which may have been more successful in a longer book, but I felt that as it was, it lacked depth in many areas.

Overall, I enjoyed this book as a quick read on an interesting subject, but felt it was missing a lot. If it sounds interesting to you, I'd recommend picking up a copy through your library, as it was a nice story to read once but probably not something I'd want to go out and buy. 

Characters: 7/10
Plot: 7/10
Originality: 7/10
Writing: 6/10
Overall grade: C
Received from Book Divas for review

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