November 20, 2018

Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
Hearts Unbroken, an own voices YA contemporary by Cynthia Leitich Smith, follows Louise Wolfe, a Native teen navigating the difficult worlds of high school and racism. When her boyfriend makes some inappropriate remarks about Native people, she dumps him through email and moves on with her life. But when inclusion casting for the upcoming school musical The Wizard of Oz stirs up trouble, Louise realizes that racism and hatred go much further in the community than just her ex-boyfriend.

I really wanted to love this book. I think it brings to light a lot of issues and shows how we can all be more educated and do better regarding stereotypes and cultural appropriation (a specific instance mentioned is people dressing up like Native Americans for Halloween). I just think it could have been done better. 

This book tried to tackle so much: racism, cultural appropriation, slut shaming and sexism, bullying, the list goes on. I think the overall message was lost because the author tried to address so much. There were also an insane amount of side characters and subplots. The story often got confusing when the author would cut off a chapter at an awkward place then start the next chapter with something completely unrelated.

I liked the story fine, and enjoyed the main plot overall. This book read extremely quickly, which was good because I'm not sure how much longer I could have handled the awkward, jerky chapter transitions. Even though there were a lot of errors in execution, this book is an important one in the issues it addresses, which is why I'm still giving it a middle of the road rating.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

A big thanks to Candlewick Press for an ARC of this read! Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith is out now!

9 comments:

Tasha said...

Sounds overwhelming. great review.

Christina Loeffler said...

Sorry it wasn't a total win for you but an excellent review!

DJ Sakata said...

an admirable attempt, too bad it missed the mark for you. Excellent review - I know how hard writing this up must have been, I struggle with these

Whispering Stories said...

Sounds like an okay read but didn't blow you away. Great review.

Lovely Audiobooks said...

Fantastic review! I can imagine this wasn't easy but your critique is very well written. The book sounds interesting, maybe there'll be a revised edition at some point.

Bewitched Reader Book Blog said...

This is a new book and author to me. I appreciate the honest review. It sounds like one I may still try.

Joselyn Raquel Moreno Burke said...

this themes are actually good for teenagers nowadays since the're seem to be lees tolerance than other times in story right now, I feel like in the dark ages, now it will not actually suits everyone I think.

Gayathri Lakshminarayanan said...

I love reading books on these issues, but if the story or the characters do not appeal me it is a goodbye right away.

Gayathri @ Elgee Writes

Veronica @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf said...

Enjoyed your review. It's a pity the author didn't stick to a couple of main issues and explore them fully.