Books, Read + Review, School, Teen Events

This Heart of Mine: A Novel by C.C. Hunter


Leah McKenzie has accepted that her death will arrive soon; yet, she never expected a severe case of Myocarditis to take away all life has to offer. Lugging around an artificial heart has kept her from going to school, and as a result, much of her learning is done at home. Out of sheer luck, one day, she arrives downstairs to her life-long crush, Matt Kenner, waiting to tutor her. Although things take off from there, Leah knows that her fling won’t last until she finds a heart transplant. In the same period of time, Matt’s brother, Eric, winds up dead. After receiving Eric’s heart, Leah begins to have peculiar dreams that have much in common with Matt’s. With Matt believing that his brother didn’t kill himself, could these dreams be the key to unlocking this mystery? Or is Matt simply cracking under death’s pressure?

C.C. Hunter has blown my mind with a mesmerizing fictional rendition based on the emotional turmoil she experienced with her own husband’s kidney transplant. I found the idea behind the book to be fresh and a nice break from the grasp of teenage dystopian novels. The plotline dug at the emotions of Leah and Matt, especially the feelings of guilt associated with the deaths of others. Although this is a fictional story, it touched on real-life questions that many people are too afraid to delve into, which made me even more fond of it. Leah struck a chord with me and others I know who have read the book because she was relatable in her feelings of understanding how to fit in, especially when labels were already placed on her. Saying C.C. Hunter is skilled at crafting her characters is truly an understatement, as I hated and loved them all as if I were in Leah’s shoes. Overall, there are many positives about this book, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a new type of genre to read.

One of the most memorable things about the story was Matt’s persistence. At the beginning, all the reader sees him as is a popular jock that is too afraid to break out of his shell. However, once he’s able to jump over that stereotype, we can see that his determination is one of the strongest aspects that keeps him going and helps the book progress. Moreover, Matt is constantly selfless and willing to put others before him, which is why he remained such a memorable character to me.


Mitali Barik, 10th grade – Henrico High School, Twin Hickory Library

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