I read the book in one sitting. I simply could not put it down.


A new heart saved her life—but will it help her find out what really happened to its donor?Seventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie is heartless. An artificial heart in a backpack is keeping her alive. However, this route only offers her a few years. And with her rare blood type, a transplant isn’t likely. Living like you are dying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But when a heart becomes available, she’s given a second chance at life. Except Leah discovers who the donor was — a boy from her school — and they’re saying he killed himself. Plagued with dreams since the transplant, she realizes she may hold the clues to what really happened.

Matt refuses to believe his twin killed himself. When Leah seeks him out, he learns they are both having similar dreams and he’s certain it means something. While unraveling the secrets of his brother’s final moments, Leah and Matt find each other, and a love they are terrified to lose. But life and even new hearts don’t come with guarantees. Who knew living, took more courage than dying?

This Heart of Mine is a haunting, poignant tale about living and dying, surviving grief, guilt, and heartache, while discovering love and hope in the midst of sadness.



“You’ve got a future, Leah. Plan for it. Figure out who you are and what you want. Then go do it. Do it large. It’s people like you who make a big splash. Don’t be afraid to take a chance. Win or lose. That’s what life is, a bunch of chances.”

An ARC has been kindly given by the St Martin’s Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion


My rating: 4,5 stars


I loved Shadow Falls series its spinoffs. C.C. Hunter became one of these authors I kept recommending for someone looking for YA with great plots, relatable characters and lots of humor. I even pushed the books on my kids and these teenagers fell in love with her stories.


When I spotted This Heart of Mine on Netgalley I requested the ARC and crossed my fingers. The synopsis really called to me. I had not read contemporary CC Hunter and was really intrigued. Would she meet my expectations?

Well I read the book in one sitting. I simply could not put it down.


This story is:


We want to know first if Leah will get a new heart. Then will she reject it or keep it? More than that you want to know if Eric killed himself or was killed. If he was murdered who is the murderer and why?



 Leah has changed and she wants to discover who the new Leah is. It makes you think about what’s important in life. How do you want to live? Just one moment at a time or do you want to project your dreams and build your future?



Leah never complained. She was really admirable as she accepted her fate and tried to spare her beloved ones. Then when she was offered a second or was it a third chance again she tried to protect her family and friends because it’s not so easy! She also put Matt above herself. If she had worries they took a backseat when he was sad or angry or just needed a friend to listen.


C.C. Hunter knows her topic. In her personal parting note we understand why she mastered all the intricacies of organs transplant. Not only the “mechanical” biological aspects with immune suppressants and risks to catch illnesses. She addressed less known after effects of organ transplants.


Emotional and heartbreaking (sorry this is an easy one but it’s true).

You would think being granted another chance at life would mean everything. That life is now going to be all rainbows and unicorns. False! Leah had to battle with guilt. She lived because another one has lost his life. How fair is that?

She is better but not out of the woods yet and every time her blood pressure was a little high or …it was stressful. Would she begin rejecting this heart? Would her parents go through this hell again?

“I start counting. One. Two. Three. I get to ten. There’s no effort needed. Tears are falling from my cheeks. I’m fine. Then again, I’m not fine. I’m afraid. I’m afraid of dying. I put a hand over my mouth to keep the cry from escaping. I don’t want to go back. Haven’t I already been there? Forced myself into accepting death. Now is it too much to ask that I can accept living? That I can count on it? Plan for it.”


And now that she is better she is seen by some others like a “freak” or “the girl that was dying”.

“A little voice echoes in my head. Welcome back to high school. It’s the world of cliques, snobby chicks, and an occasional dick.”


Leah was also looking for who she was. What emotions were her own? What does she want in life now that infinite possibilities are offered again?


Grief is one of the main topics. Grief and death.

Leah had to accept her death and that’s not what a seventeen girl should think about.

Matt and his mom had to make peace with the death of Eric when not so long ago they already had been hit by a tragedy.

How do you grieve? How do you accept? Who do you speak to?


-Light and funny sometimes as C.C. Hunter writes wonderful banter.

The humor was part of this story even with this grave topic. It reminds us that humor is the best weapon to go on in life hard times or not.

Cuteness is also C.C Hunter’s trademark. It’s the beginning of young love. When you tiptoe around the other. When you hope and try clumsily to play this dance at first young love. You have the Uber cute quarterback flirting with the beautiful book nerd. Glances are exchanges, hands are held…


“Oh, I . . . I thought you were going to kiss me.” I hear my own words and wonder where I got the balls to say that. His eyes widen. Not in an oh-crap way, but in a surprised kind of way. “Do you want me to kiss you?” I grin. “If you’re Matt, I’ve wanted you to kiss me since seventh grade.”



Leah has another chance at life.

“Through the pain and uncertainty of my whole freaking life, a thought hits. I’m going to live. I’m not just going to graduate from high school. I’m going to read way more than one hundred books. I’m going to date boys again. I’m going to experience more toe-curling, blow-my-mind kisses. I can stop accepting and start hoping. It’s allowed now. Suddenly I’m past ready for the healing to be over. I want to start living. I’m tired of dying.”

Needless to say I experienced all the emotional spectrum with this unputdownable novel!


Added bonuses:

-The characters were relatable and loveable. Leah was incredibly strong and inspiring. Matt was the boyfriend you want to read about in a YA novel: handsome, smart, caring, kind, dedicated and loyal.

Leah’s best friend Brandy was also THE BFF you wish for your kids. Always supportive even when she does not share your opinion. Ready to listen every second and be your sidekick if you need someone. Not afraid to have your back against other friends and coming to see you at the hospital even if some aspects freaked her out.


-The pace was just right: not too fast not too slow and the plot had twists secrets and suspense when you needed them.

I even got some supernatural aspect with the special twin connection and Leah’s dreams.

Recommend it? Hell yes!


Have you read it? Or any other C.C. Hunter’s books?

Thanks for reading!



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  1. What a great Review!!! I adore the Shadow Falls books (I’m currently rereading the Series) and I’m really excited for the spinoff + her new books 🙂 I wasn’t sure if I would like a contemporary book written by her, but you really eased my worries as this book sounds amazing 🙂

  2. This was one of the books I enjoyed SO MUCH! The fact that organ donation has a beautiful place in this book, that she tells us at the end why she decided to include this is one of her stories and share that part of her life with us.. It made me love this novel even more!
    I read the eARC and I’m going to buy myself a physical copy as well. I just NEED it. Simple as that.

    1. I loved it to pieces Kathy! And CC has been so kind to let me interview her. Expect the interview by the weekend 😉

  3. Great review Sophie! This was amazing and I’m glad you liked it! I have read the Shadowfalls series. After Twilight, this was the next series that ruled my teenage life.