Thursday, January 13, 2011

Review: Heart of Joy - Steve Cushman

Where I got it: For review from the author
Rating: 3.5 stars
Cover Rating: 2.5 stars (I like that it relates to the book, but I would never pick this book up in the store. 1. The cover is not as eye-catching and 2. It looks like an adult book.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 1, 2010
Publisher: Canterbury House Publishing
Page Count: 200 p.
Buy it: Amazon

 Julian Hale is fifteen years old. His mother has recently moved to Florida to run her parent's motel and finish her novel. His father decides he will start running in order to train for a marathon. With his mother out of the picture and his father working many hours, Julian takes over a lot of the responsibilities, mostly housework and cooking. Julian loves cooking and according to his father's taste-buds he is quite good at it. Another good thing about his mother being gone, is Julian and his father have a chance to form a closer relationship than they have ever had. One day an elderly neighbor calls for Julian for help with something in her yard. After this incident they form a sort of bond and Julian goes over often to visit, and help out with the birdfeeders and such.

This was a nice coming-of-age tale about a boy who's life is a little bit uprooted. Julian was a very nice boy, he seemed almost unrealistic, just because boys aren't often portrayed this way in Ya novels. They are usually either adventurous or mean or just very desirable. No one is ever nice anymore. I like the relationships in this novel and how different they were depending on which characters were involved and what their relation in general was. I loved learning little tidbits about birds, and I think Mrs. Peters backyard must have been beautiful. It was great that Julian was so passionate about cooking, it made him seem like a very interesting character, someone that you would want as a friend. Also, Julian's dad having been a potter was interesting too. It's odd to think of someone who is currently a nurse having been interested in something like pottery so deeply. This was an excellent book for everyone, though at times it had a slight Hallmark feel to it. It was funny would Julian would say "damn" it seemed to fit his character though as being one of the few bad things he would actually say. Julian's life was hard in a more typical way, that I think most teens have some trouble with. Not that everyone's mom moves to Florida to write a novel, but the trouble with forming relationships with your parents and having to re-examine not only those relationships, but also those of the ones you think are your friends. If you like sweet stories, make sure you check this one out.

First Line:
"The year after I turned fifteen two things happened that took me by surprise: my mother moved out and my father decided to run a marathon."

Favorite Line:
"But other times, I'd find her staring at the typewriter with something that could only be described as hate."   

1 comment:

  1. I read this one a while back and remember just how much it made me smile...and how hungry it made me. The food that Julian cooks sounds absolutely delectable.

    I have to agree about the whole Hallmark feel, but sometimes it's nice to read something so sweet and almost heartwarming.


Hello readers! I love comments, so please feel free to leave them. I do comment back on every comment I get, though it may take me a couple of days. Thanks for stopping by!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...