Maria Padian’s new novel, How to Build a Heart, shows one girl’s struggles as life constantly tries to test her with hardships, staying true to herself, and being honest with those that she cares about.
Sixteen-year-old Izzy Crawford just wants is to feel like she really belongs somewhere. Her father, a marine, died in Iraq when she was ten years old, and Izzy’s family has moved to a new town nearly every year since, far from the help of her extended family in North Carolina and Puerto Rico. When Izzy’s hardworking mom moves their small family to Virginia, all her dreams start clicking into place. She likes her new school, even if she hides her scholarship-student status hidden from her well-to-do classmates, and is smitten with her new athletic and popular boyfriend. When Izzy’s family is selected by Habitat for Humanity to build and move into a brand-new house, Izzy finally feels like she’s found a home. But what will happen when all the secret pieces of her life begin to collide and the truth starts slipping through her fingers.
This novel tells a great story about a girl dealing with a lot of change in her life and struggling to find the balance between her old life and new life. Izzy’s story deals with her splitting her life up into all of these pieces: her school persona, her home persona, and her friend persona. She tries so hard to keep these pieces of her life separate and eventually it all comes crumbling down as the all start to mix together. Izzy must also find the courage to stand up for herself and not be embarrassed about who she is. As money, social class, school drama, and relationships swirl around in Izzy’s mind, she loses sight of what’s truly important and what separates true friends and family from phony ones. Izzy’s perseverance and strength during the hardships in her life is admirable and truly shows that you need to set the truth free in order to make things right.
While it seemed a bit cliché and predictable at times, fans of YA will fall in love with this book! With first love, self-discovery, and self-acceptance being major themes in this story, readers will resonate with Izzy’s story and fall in love with this book.
*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.*
Hi! My name is Elisa and my bookshelf is quite literally overflowing! Join me in my journey of reading as many books as humanly possible!