Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Whispers From the Heart

Author: Heather Hummel
Publisher: Pathfinder Publishing
Source: Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours
Link to Tour Reviews: http://chicklitplusblogtours.wordpress.com/authors-on-tour/heather-hummel/
Authors Website: http://heatherhummel.net/


Whispers.  The heart’s way of speaking…

Madison Ragnar is a high school English teacher determined to connect with her students, to finish the next running race with a respectable time, and to avoid ever falling in love again. But life has other plans for Madison. A man named Michael shows himself in the most unexpected places, raising questions from her best friend, Olivia, and issues around Madison’s last relationship. In the classroom, the death of a student prompts her grieving ninth graders to depend on her for answers. They turn to journal writing as a form of understanding the weight of what’s happened in the walls of their teenage existence. When Madison meets Phil, who throws a wrench in her declaration to not fall in love, it seems that her escape through miles of running is the only real footing she has in life. Will fate determine Madison’s life? Or will she have a say in its outcome?

My Review:

Wow!  I didn’t see that coming….
The above phrase could be used for multiple different elements in this book.  Whispers from the Heart tackles tough issues, from Madison’s rocky marriage that comes complete with a creepy ex-husband, to a possible stalker and student who commits suicide, this book is full of heartache yet it includes a lot of happiness too.  The novel definitely has some twist that I never expected.   In order to not reveal too much about this book I’m going to touch on a few key topics and leave the rest for you!
Flow & Pace – Great!!  This book hooks you from the beginning and keeps moving.  Though it has some tough topics, the mystery and suspense elements keep the book edgy.  I wouldn’t classify this book as a mystery or suspense but there is a slight sense of both due to the subject matter and mysterious characters.  The novel doesn’t take long to read because you simply can’t put it down.
Writing Style – I really enjoyed Ms. Hummel’s writing style.  It’s easy to read, clear and intriguing.  In short, I stayed with her throughout the book.  I never felt lost or displaced. 
Storyline – Wow, okay this one has quite a lot going on.  First, you have Madison’s ex-husband and the marriage that went along with it.  Anyone who has had a divorce will be able to relate to Madison.  If you’ve had a divorce from a crazy ex that has left you fearful, let it be duly noted that you will understand Madison even better.  Second, is the topic of the possible stalker.  Having been stalked this section creeped me out.  I felt myself siding with Madison’s best friend just because I don’t trust people easily.  I was surprised with the outcome of Michaels story, but pleasantly so.  I enjoyed the fact that I didn’t see it coming.  Hummel does a great job distracting the reader so they don’t easily figure out her twist.  The third topic you must be warned about in this book is the death of Madison’s student.  If suicide is a sensitive topic for you, be forewarned.  Though I’m not sorry I read this book, I would have rather been prepared for the topic.
Characters- They are wonderful, well developed, likeable, relatable, and a pleasure to read about. 
Overall – this novel is about life in the raw.  It’s not sugar coated and it doesn’t hide anything.   It simply is what it is.  Life throws things at us that we can’t change, but we can make the best of what we have, learn from our mistakes and help make the world a better place for those around us.  I felt Madison did all three of these things.  I really enjoyed this novel despite some of the more emotional topics that wouldn’t have affected me the same way if my past didn’t include experiences surrounding them.  This book has a little of everything in it and is well written.  It’s a great chick-lit, written by a talented author.  I would read more from Hummel based on this book.
Highly Recommended

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