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Second Hand Heart

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  2,332 Ratings  ·  226 Reviews
Vida is 19 and has never had much of a life. Struggling along with a life-threatening heart condition, her whole life has been one long preparation for death. But suddenly she is presented with a donor heart, and just in time. Now she gets to do something she never imagined she'd have to do: live.

Richard is a 36-year-old man who’s just lost his beloved wife, Lorrie, in a c
Kindle Edition, 424 pages
Published June 14th 2011 by Andrea Brown Literary Agency, Inc. (first published July 16th 2010)
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2.5 stars

To be honest, I'm not quite sure what to rate Second Hand Heart. I liked the book and I read it in a heartbeat (sorry for that awful pun), but I'm not sure that I enjoyed it. The topic of the book is very interesting: cellular memory. Nineteen-year-old Vida undergoes a heart transplant, and receives some of the donor's memories and feelings. Including the donor's feelings for the husband she left behind, Richard. This means that Vida, still a kid at heart because she was too sick to liv
Second Hand Heart tells the story of a 19-year old girl, recipient of a new heart transplanted from a woman that just died in a car accident. The grieving husband of the dead woman agrees to be contacted by the recipient's family and from there a strange relationship ensues.
This might well be the least enjoyable book I’ve read by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Somehow this surprises me. I like this author - A few of her books are on my favorite shelf.
Believe me, I did my best and absolutely tried to enj
Oct 23, 2011 Micki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I had the good fortune of connecting with Catherine Ryan Hyde this summer as a result of an adolescent literature class I took. One of the books I was required to read was Ryan Hyde’s Jumpstart the World, which addressed some LGBTQ issues. I really liked Jumpstart the World, and was stoked when my class had the opportunity to visit with her via Skype. I was also thrilled to have the opportunity to get a copy Secondhand Heart in order to read and review it. I am so glad I did. I really enjoyed th ...more
Vida means “Life” in Spanish. Ironic enough, the actual Vida has a life that revolves around death, or at the very least the almost near certainty of it in her near future. When Vida is suddenly given a second chance at the hand of another she does what comes naturally, she seeks out the one her new heart has lost – Richard. It’s Richard’s loss and Vida’s gain that moves them both forward in life, their paths intertwining, but not exactly in the ways you’d expect. Both seeking something just bey ...more
Lorin Cary
Sep 10, 2011 Lorin Cary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Second Hand Heart is now available in the US as an ebook, and that’s a good thing. Publishers here didn’t grab the book when it first appeared, and that’s puzzling because this is an excellent novel. A young girl, Vida (Spanish for life), gets a heart transplant and for the first time is free of the thought that she could die at any moment. Hyde could have left it at that. She does not. She probes grief, love, parenthood, resentment, friendship and a variety of seemingly unrelated topics. This i ...more
JG (The Introverted Reader)
Vida is 19 years old and dying. She's been dying her entire life. Not in the vague way that we are all destined to die, but in a way that has led her through multiple heart surgeries in her short life. This time, it's for real. Her doctors are talking weeks if she's lucky. She's been bumped to the top of the waiting list for heart transplants. And then she gets a new heart and she's able to start living.

On the flip side, Richard has everything. A job and a wife that he loves. Until he loses Lorr
Apr 23, 2012 Carolyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vida is 19 and has a life-threatening heart condition. Richard is 36 and has just lost his beloved wife in a car accident. When Richard is invited to the hospital to meet the young woman who received his wife's donor heart, Vida takes one look at him and feels she's loved him all her life. Is Vida just a sheltered and confused young woman? Or is there truth behind the theory of cellular memory? Can a heart remember, at least for a time, on its own?

Everything about this book is unexpected. You t
B Ware
Feb 24, 2015 B Ware rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this unusual plot line of a young woman, sheltered all her life for medical reasons receiving a heart transplant. The second story line is about the husband of the heart donor. They become acquainted and the story evolves into their unusual friendship and relationship as the woman vpbegins to have inkings of the donors personality, likes and dislikes.

Pretty easy to read, it wasn't a seriously compelling book, but I enjoyed the unique sorry of the young woman and the man's experience t
Mar 12, 2014 Danielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-library
Ok so this was the first book I have ever read by Catherine Ryan Hyde. And when I come across a new author I am not 100% sure if I will enjoy their books.

but for this one this book kept me gripped and I enjoyed every minute of it. So your probably wondering what the plot is about of this book? Well its basically about a 33year old women who dies in a car accident. Her husband agrees to donate her heart and other Organs.
You get to meat other characters throughout the book which I loved, for exa
Feb 25, 2016 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The premise of this book intrigued me: the concept that cellular memory in the case of transplanted organs allows recipients to share the donor's memories. This was the story of a 19 year old girl named Vida who received the heart of the wife of a man named Richard. Vida recognizes that she has memories that she never lived and realizes that they belong to Lorri, Richard's wife. The book was written in a format of their journals and letters, which was a format that I did not enjoy. I found it di ...more
May 25, 2015 Gerald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: insight
Another touching Catherine Ryan Hyde story of common people, dealing with life's challenges. Vida's challenge at 19 years of age is that life and all its opportunities have opened up to her. Her defective heart has been replaced by a healthy one and she is no longer restricted in what she can and can't do, where she can and can't go. For her mother who has doted on Vida from the moment of her birth, this new freedom is frightening.
Then there's Richard, who is mourning the loss of his wife, whos
Jun 08, 2011 Dee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought the beginning was groundbreaking but lost its lust when she fell for the guy and somehow appeared to have a big personality change...wasn't the character I had from the start...however it pulled itself back and was an interesting read.
Oct 17, 2014 Lauren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really didn't enjoy this book, at first I thought it was okay but after a while it just became a drag and I didn't really look forward to picking it up. First off, I thought the characters were really weird, I mean the fact that a 20 year old had sex with like a 30-something year old was quite disturbing. Second of all, the main character, Vida was really strange and random and to be honest I just thought the whole book was so random and I didn't like the way the author didn't describe any of ...more
Bev Taylor
Feb 27, 2016 Bev Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
she's been given a chance to live - but does she know how?

vida is a 19 years of age waiting for a heart transplant and for her life to begin

when all seems lost one becomes available and seems to be a perfect match

she meets richard who has just lost his wife and it is her heart that vida has received. unusually he asked to get in touch with the recipient if they agreed. most prefer to stay anon

in hospital vida immediately falls in love with richard but he just dismisses her as a foolish child
Oct 12, 2016 Zoe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was hugely intrigued by the book description. The idea that a transplanted heart can hold memories/emotions of who it belongs to struck me as a fantastic plot-line. I really liked how this was told from two perspectives - 19 Year old Vida (The reciever of said heart) and Richard (Widower of Donor). Having said that, I found Vida's 'youngness' to be a little on the irritating side. She was portrayed as someone seemingly a LOT younger (perhaps 12 or 13) and whilst I think this may have been inte ...more
I was a little disappointed in Second Hand Heart. It didn't catch my attention like all other of Hyde's books. At about 75% of the way through I was wondering where she was going with this. The plot didn't have a clear direction and wasn't really that entertaining. It doesn't get much better as you progress either. If I could I would give this book 2.5 stars - somewhere between just liking it and not really liking it. But, I erred on the nice side. I wouldn't recommend it. It's definitely not th ...more
So I actually gave this book 4.5 stars but Goodreads still doesn't have half stars (why)

This was actually a reread for me. I first read this book when I was about 14/15 and I fell in love with it. It quickly became my favourite book of all time. I reread it a few times after and it still remained at the top of my list. However, this time, I didn't quite feel like I could give it a 5 star rating.

Don't get me wrong, I still really enjoyed it. I think that the story is beautiful, I love the charact
Apr 25, 2015 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazon-vine
I wanted to like this book more and feel that I have been generous in giving four stars. The story is at times very sad and also very uplifting, both in the right amounts so it doesn't become depressing.

Nineteen year old Vida is given a heart transplant after being ill for most of her short life. When, whilst still in hospital recovering from the transplant, she meets Richard the husband of the young donor heart and tells him that she loves him. I wasn't sure whether this was a love of gratitude
Shameeka Alexis
I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would.

I loved Catherine Ryan Hyde's writing.

The book is split into sections, each section being written from the point of view of one of two people: Vida (the heart recipient) and Richard (the donors husband).
The book is written in a journal form and has short chapters within each section.
The book is an easy read and I found myself getting lost in the story as the book progressed.

The book starts with Vida as a very ill young lady, who receives the call
Jan 13, 2011 Gaby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Posted at http://oh-my-books.blogspot.com/2011/...

Vida is a 19 years old women who is going to die soon. All her life has been about dying, so she isn't really afraid. But suddenly her life changes when she gets a second chance.

Richard's wife is dead, and a girl named Vida received her heart. He miss her very much, so he made the decision to met Vida. But as soon a they met, Vida knows she loves him.

Cellular memory is a theory that says a person's memories aren't only storage in the brain but in
Jul 28, 2010 Stella rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review, 2010
My thoughts: Return to Me with Minnie Driver and David Duchovny (which is about "a man who falls in love with the woman who received his wife's heart must decide which woman it is who holds his heart") is one of my favourite movies, so of course as soon as I saw what Second Hand Heart was about I knew I had to read it.

I was intrigued by Second Hand Heart' theme: cellular memory. That a person's life, memories are not only stored in their brain but in every organ and cell of their body, and the
Sep 10, 2010 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nineteen year old Vida isn’t like many girls her age. She can’t go to school, doesn’t have many friends, and can barely leave the house due to the fact her heart is failing and she desperately needs a transplant. When a heart becomes available, and the transplant is successful, Vida is determined to live life like never before. When Vida meets Richard, the man whose wife’s heart now beats in Vida, she immediately falls in love with him but Richard dismisses her claims. How is it possible for Vid ...more
Oct 12, 2011 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 out of 5 rating

Okay, I really hate having to do this. But this book just did not do it for me. When I read the premise, I jumped at the chance to read it. I thought it would be emotional and pull at my heart strings, but unfortunately, it did far from that.

I couldn't care less about Vida. First of all, she's 19 but the writing style made her seem so much younger (and not just because she was sheltered. I think its because it was way too simplified). I didn't find her to be a sympathetic cha
Apr 08, 2012 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book after reading another of Hyde's books that I really enjoyed. And while it's not like I didn't enjoy this one, I was a little surprised by the path the story took. Vida is a teenager who has had a crappy heart since she was a baby. She is approaching the end of her time, she's number one of the heart transplant receiver list, when suddenly she is given another chance when a donor heart becomes available. A 30-ish woman had a car accident and died, and her husband agreed to dona ...more
Holly Schindler
Sep 06, 2012 Holly Schindler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay—I'm a big fan of Catherine Ryan Hyde. Talking huge. Enormous. They don't come any more devoted than me. And Second Hand Heart is my favorite of all of Hyde's books.

There's just something about this book. In the first place, it was my introduction to the concept of cellular memory; I have to say that I'm fascinated by the idea that we don't just make memories with our minds but with our entire beings—leave it to Hyde to zero in on such a beautiful idea and build a book around it. But there a
Donna Brown
Theoretically this is the kind of book I really enjoy: emotional challenges, difficult dilemmas and scenarios that you hope you never ever find yourself in. In reality, however, I struggled to get into this book. Admittedly, Hyde has pulled together all the ingredients for a fine story - a young flighty girl in need of a heart, a tragic death, a grieving husband, a confusing relationship between the recipient and the donor's widow - but I still felt the recipe didn't quite come off.

The girl, Vid
This is the first book I’ve read by Catherine Ryan Hyde, so I was drawn to it, not out of any knowledge of her previous books, but due to the fact it seemed to me that it would appeal to me as a fan of Jodi Picoult. While this is similar in theme to Picoult’s books and will undoubtedly appeal to those who like her books, it lacks the emotional punch that Picoult packs. Her books have often left me in tears, and I was expecting this one to do the same. Instead, I consider this one to be a light s ...more
Dec 22, 2010 Maria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Um livro tocante, a estória de uma jovem de 20 anos a quem finalmente é dada esperança. Desde o nascimento que Vida, assim lhe chamou a mãe, espera por um coração compatível já que o seu não funciona normalmente. Por isso mesmo, sempre teve uma vida limitada, sem praticamente poder ir para a escola, vivendo a maior parte do seu tempo em reclusão. Vida sente-se presa ao seu destino e a uma mãe protectora em demasia, mas faz uma amiga, a sua melhor amiga: Esther, uma judia alemã, que sobreviveu ao ...more
Nov 30, 2012 Ellie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

When reading Second hand heart, I felt I was on an educational journey. The ideas and questions Ryan Hyde proposes throughout this novel were both unfamiliar and at times left my emotions and empathy towards characters conflicted and confused.

Ryan Hyde tells a story of a young twenty year old girl called Vida who has been waiting on a heart transplant for most of her adolescence. She has been waiting essentially for life, to be a teenager. The books opening sentence: 'I'm probably going to die
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I'm the the author of 30 published and forthcoming books.

My newest releases are Ask Him Why, Worthy, The Language of Hoofbeats, Take Me With You , Where We Belong, Walk Me Home, Subway Dancer and Other Stories, When You Were Older, Don’t Let Me Go, When I Found You, Second Hand Heart, The Long, Steep Path: Everyday Inspiration From the Author of Pay It Forward, Always Chloe and Other Stories, and
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“... even though it was beautiful and comfortable, and even though it was the world, it was also a little bit boring.

No, wait. Maybe boring isn’t the right word. What’s the word I’m wanting here? Lonely. That’s it. It was a little bit lonely.”
“My threshold for human contact had worn painfully thin. I felt like a car that had been running its lights too long on battery alone. I felt fresh out of charge, and as though I needed to plug in for days before I could have one more conversation with one more human being.” 3 likes
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