on April 26, 2014 :
I was half expecting a typical YA romance, but the fact that this was a trilogy in the making had me intrigued. Whereas this type of material is usually hard pushed to fill one novel substantially, Amy McGuire has created a classic romance that just grows on you from the very first chapter.
As far as romance stories go, in my opinion The Hearts Discovery has more depth than the classic Romeo and Juliet. They only had each other to worry about and it all seems a little flat compared to Amy McGuire's romance with all its complex relationships.
There are more characters involved, more drama, more difficult choices to be made and agonised over. In short, it leaves you eager to read the sequel Worlds Apart.
(reviewed 45 days after purchase)
on Feb. 2, 2013 :
Anjaline Rodriguez, born and raised in Quito Ecuador, is ripped at the age of 14 from all she holds dear by her anthropologist stepfather who takes her and her mother to live in Hope Valley, a remote settlement in British Columbia, Canada. She is an exotic flower from a sun-drenched country dropped into an alien land of cold and snow, and a small village of strangers including—as you would expect in a YA romance novel—several very attractive young males. Angeline experiences all the tortuous angst that every young teen alive has ever felt when she gives her heart to one of them.
McGuire has a way of description that I like very much. Sparse but evocative. Few words paint the picture. Quito comes to life and you feel the bone-chilling cold of Hope Valley.
She develops her principal characters nicely. There’s rather a lot about the physical attractions of the two mains but I guess that’s what teenagers tend to focus on, so it follows that any story involving them is also going to focus on that aspect.
The ‘does he/she like/not like me’ begins early and continues for a major part of the book, but then that’s part of the conflict so resolving it too soon would have been awkward.
McGuire has a nice writing style, it flows easily and for the most part without padding. I was less impressed with the amount of angst. Do teenagers really agonise quite SO much. Still, it’s a few—quite a few—years since I’ve been one, so I’ve probably forgotten.
McGuire steers strictly away from anything controversial in the relationship area, keeping the book a safe but I imagine heart-stopping read for her intended audience of young adults, girls particularly. The closest she gets to the subject of sex (a word that is not used) is ‘His hormones were raging’ followed by a kiss.
Chapters 1 to 10 are told totally from Anjaline’s point of view, after that multiple points of view take over but stay principally with Anjaline and her love interest.
The book has everything: love, torment, happiness, tragedy and hope.
(reviewed 33 days after purchase)
on July 2, 2012 :
Anjaline or Angie Rodriguez led a happy life in Quito, Ecuador with her best friend Claudia and her cousin Jose. She was going to Cotopaxi Academy in the Fall. All of that changes when her stepfather tells her that they moving to Hope Valley in British Columbia, Canada. Her dreams are dash and broken to pieces. She is sure that she won't like anything in Hope Valley. Angie meets Gabriel, Evelyn, Leah, and Elijah Walker along with Seth. She tries making friends but is brushed off and she stops trying. Enter Damien Vega into Hope Valley staying with Karl Dettweiler. Damien becomes Angie's good and only friend which makes Evelyn or Evie very jealous. Damien feels that Angie is the key to gaining more friends in Hope Valley. Gabriel doesn't trust Damien or his actions. Angie thinks of Gabriel as her protector and hero. Will Angie be friends with Gabriel and Evie? What about Damien? Will Angie come to like Hope Valley? Your answers await you in The Heart's Discovery.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on July 2, 2012 :
The Heart’s Discovery is yet another touching and made-me-sob book! It was heartwarming, cute, fuzzy, warm… all that good stuff that should be in every chick-lit book!
The relationship between Anji and Gabe was definitely cute and fuzzy. It goes along the cliché (but enjoyable – it’s my guilty pleasure!) road: Girl Meets Boy -> Girl thinks Boy is hot/gorgeous/mysterious/whatever -> Boy thinks girl is weird or is completely obsessed with her -> Some embarrassing or life scarring thing happens -> Girl and Boy eventually fall in love but don’t dare to confess to each other -> Girl and Boy confess and get into a “perfect” relationship -> Something drastic happens -> Girl and Boy fight -> Something drastic happens -> Girl and Boy make up. It’s cliché – but I suppose at that time, I was looking for romance and a cute read.
The supporting characters really brought out the book. Evie has so much pain, and her portrayal is amazingly realistic! One of the reasons I’m looking forward to the next book is because I hope to see more development with her. I also liked Damian – he’s such a complex character. To be honest, I can’t tell if he actually liked Anji – but to me, that shows how complex he is. However, my one complaint is that after he leaves, his presence almost completely disappears. I was hoping that his presence on Anji would be a little stronger.
My other complaint is that Anji seemed to (almost) completely forget about Quito. After she leaves, she mentions the place and its festival only a handful of times.. I was half hoping this book would be about moving on, which it was, just not in the way I had expected it.
And one last thing – the main reason why I degraded this book from 5 to 4 in overall is because of the second book’s preview. Gabe’s depression didn’t seem realistic, seeing as how he mourned before. Moreover, I couldn’t believe his thoughts at the end. I really hope that he doesn’t change his mind about Anji…
Overall, however, The Heart’s Discovery is quite a sweet and charming chick-lit treat c: I recommend it to teenagers who like romance, haha c:
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
on June 26, 2012 :
Wow! Loved It! Very original and down to earth story!
Amy McGuire’s YA novel “The Hearts Discovery”
Anjaline Charity Rodriguez is from Ecuador. She has good friends that love her and are always together, until her stepfather informs her that they are leaving Ecuador and moving to Hope Valley only god knows where that is. Her world is shattered and she is sure she will be miserable in this new place without her friends. That is until she arrives and her vision lands on Gabriel.
While reading the story my emotions were everywhere! It had me laughing out load, sight at the tenderness that Gabriel showed Anjaline. Elijah had me shedding a few tears. I loathed Damian and his tactics, he just could not leave his life behind and I wondered what ever happened to him at the end. Evelyn had me so angry at her but understood her in the end. This story has touched me; it is one of those stories that will stay with me for a very long time. It’s very powerful story about coming of age that I will be giving it to my 17 year old daughter to read. I will always remember the relationship the two main characters shared so young and innocent when it comes to their first love and all their challenges that come with it. .
The fist chapter was hard to get threw but hang in there you will not regret it. I can’t really explain what it is, maybe the whole foreign customs that are described but I know and understand that it was necessary so that I as a reader could understand the relationship and love Angle has with her roots. The story is written where both Angel and Gabriel’s point of view, which I always like. Thanks you Amy McGuire for the wonderful story you have presented and thank you for the opportunity you provided by allowing me to read and post a review. I recommend this book to anyone that like to read and will definitely be recommending it to my friends and family. I am looking forward to the second installment and I hope that it has a little bit of the old characters in it.
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)