Wednesday 20 March 2019

A Review: Emma Mills's Foolish Hearts

Hi, and thanks for stopping by. 

Today's post is a review of yet another wonderful YA contemporary novel by Emma Mills. When I read her book This Adventure Ends, I was so hoping my love for it wasn't a fluke, and thank goodness it wasn't. Whilst I think that remains my number one favourite of her books (and the entire year so far), Foolish Hearts comes in at a very, very close second.

The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn't supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn't know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they're both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia's ever seen. As Claudia's world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.

"'I give a shit about you, too, you know. We all do ... it's like you're saying we're wrong. Do you think we're all wrong? All of us? To care about you like that? To...value you the way we do?'
I blink. The way she says 'value' makes it sound strikingly interchangeable with 'love'".

Possibly my favourite thing about This Adventure Ends was the fantastic sense of humour it had running through every single page. I was scared that that would be lacking here, but it absolutely wasn't. Almost all of the characters were funny in their own way, none more so than Iris. She constantly had me laughing out loud. I loved the way that she and Claudia bonded over fandom and boybands and how, bit by bit, Iris became softer. Their blossoming friendship was one of the best I have ever read.

"The best kind of awake, the purest caffeine pumping through your veins, where you never want to stop feeling what you're feeling, can't bear the thought of interrupting it, even with sleep."

The romance in this book is once again perfectly written, slow & subtle & swoon-worthy. I think I loved Gideon so much because he reminded me constantly of Levi from Fangirl. He had that natural, easy confidence, quirkiness and popularity, at ease amongst big groups of people, funny and charming. He's probably my favourite love interest from all four Emma Mills contemporaries that I have now read, actually. 

"It just ... sometimes it feels like I'm faking."
"Maybe everyone feels that way."

I think what makes the romance so realistic and lovable in itself is Claudia as a protagonist. She feels so realistic; she is flawed, funny, confused, caring, an over thinker, loving, insecure. You get the impression that up until this book began, she was somewhat comfortable just living in the shadows and getting along with life there, and that these 300 pages are her coming of age story, her deciding what she wants her future to look like, what actually matters to her. I loved reading her story.

"But I guess it looked how some little part of me wanted things to look. Even if it was just for a second. Like some TV version of high school."

It isn't just the boyband storyline that adds interest and uniqueness, but also the school play setting (I feel like I know A Midsummer Night's Dream off by heart, because we studied it about 13 times in school and then again in university, so maybe I was extra invested in that element) & the online gaming that Claudia loves and introduces her new friends to. Her pregnant sister struggling with anxiety and impending motherhood, balancing friendships with people at her private school vs. her oldest, best friend who she seems to be growing apart from a little, misunderstandings and playing cupid and once again some beautiful lesbian representation. 

"But everything's gonna change."
"That's not always a bad thing, is it?"

There is just SO much to this book, it does so much and does it all so well. There were so many (as you can tell from that hour long sentence above) storylines, both big and small, but the book never feels messy or crowded. It was only 312 pages long and I desperately wanted it to be more like 612. I want to reread it already. 

Till next time


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