Friday, July 24, 2020

Hungry Hearts by Julie Hoag - OPTIONAL

Hungry Hearts by Julie Hoag, 273 pages. Swoon Romance, 2020. $15.

Language: R (137 swears, 69 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG



Landra, a sophomore in high school, is thrilled when her long-time crush, Hunter, notices her. She’s been eating less and exercising more in order to not be fat, knowing Hunter would see her if only she can be pretty enough. But Brian is constantly pestering Landra with his flirting, which has escalated to daily offerings of the most delicious food Landra has ever tasted. Eat or don’t eat? Brian or Hunter?

While not explicitly stated, Landra struggles with an eating disorder, and a lot of the book is focused on her personal growth. The romance part of the story -- her interactions with and thoughts about the boys -- are exaggerated to the point of ridiculousness; I didn’t know whether to laugh or roll my eyes at the cheesiness. If the book had just been about Landra and the boys, I would have put it down, but the growth that Landra makes with few characters realizing the change was powerful. Landra recognized that she needed to make a change and she wanted that change. The change she made might not have made a big difference to those around her, but it mattered to Landra. The mature content rating is for underage drinking, innuendo, and mentions of nudity, orgy, orgasm, and sex.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

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