Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on December 5th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Length: 320 pages Source: OwlCrate
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A contemporary novel about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream leads her to new friends—and maybe even new love.
The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn't supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn't know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they're both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia's ever seen. As Claudia's world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.
Claudia is perfectly happy in her bubble of existence. She had good grades, gets along well enough with her classmates and great with her siblings. She has one bosom friend, and that’s all she needs in the world. Is she happy? As happy as anyone is, she supposes. Mostly she just tries not to think about things and be relatively invisible.
Which is why it’s so weird that suddenly Gideon Prewitt is super interested in talking to her, asking her to go to parties, and to sit with his friends at rehearsals. And it’s so weird suddenly having to go hang out with Iris Huang (who’s a sarcastic grump) to do extra credit on school projects. Suddenly she’s into a new boy band and going to the carnival and WHAT IS HAPPENING TO HER LIFE.
This is not a book about a girl who was an introvert and learns that being an extrovert is the meaning of happiness, so I’m going to kill that right there.
Claudia is just… Claudia. She likes play Battle Quest and gets Shakespeare and own 70% of a car she gets to use 40% of the time (or something like that). She pushes herself into some uncomfortable situations and she doesn’t magically find herself happy. In fact, there’s a WHOLE LOT of uncomfortable and awkward going on around Claudia, and that’s just her vibe. She’s Claudia.
I was really hesitant going into this one. Foolish Hearts wasn’t on my radar AT ALL before it arrived in my OwlCrate box. I’d never even heard of the author. And it’s YA Contemporary Romance. That is not my genre at all. Instead of trudging though another boy-meets-girl book, Foolish Hearts was perfect. It was a slice of life, with a bunch of different characters in different stages of different kinds of relationships. I love all of the characters for very different reasons, and reading this at the end of 2017 which was a trainwreck of a year of me personally, this was just the right book.
Readers looking for FRIENDSHIPS in books instead of endless ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS… you won’t be disappointed here. Claudia and her best-friend-since-forever Zoe are fine, but I really enjoyed watching Claudia and Iris’ friendship. Noah and Gideon’s was also really good.
My favorite relationship, though? Claudia and her older sister Julia. They’re only together in person for one brief scene, but it was so perfectly real-to-life and just… great. One of my favorite scenes in the whole book.
Also, as someone who has spent years obsessing over MMORPGs, I adored the Battle Quest scenes. They made me laugh out loud, especially Gideon’s bits.
Alright, alright, I’m sorry… this review is getting a bit lengthy. Mostly I just want to encourage you to read this book. It was light, but it was real and interesting and the characters are fantastic and there’s some really great conversations in it. I loved it.
Foolish Hearts goes to the Gallery!
When I started reading this book, before I even read the first sentence, I remember looking at it and sighing and saying to myself “well, at least I can read this quickly and clean something off my shelf!”
I adore this book. It made me laugh and made me cry (Julia = relatable). I stayed up past midnight reading it which is a wicked rare thing for me to do. It was such a great parallel to A Midsummer Night’s Dream in exploration of character and intent. Not only am I keeping this one, but I’m going to seek out more of Emma Mills’ books and see what other stories she has to share.