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Second Hand Heart

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  1,090 ratings  ·  158 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,202)
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Posted at

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
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
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
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
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
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
Daisy Chain Books
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
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

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 have a goal of shortening my reviews, but I find I have a lot to say about this book primarily because I relate to it on a number of levels. First and foremost being experience with a child born with a heart condition. Two years ago, at the age of 1 week, my son was diagnosed with Velcardiofacial Syndrome (VCF). This condition occurs at conception, involves the absence of ½ of the 22nd chromosome, and unfortunately can manifest in over
Catherine Ryan Hyde has proven she has a way of touching hearts and brining books to us that touch some of the deeper meanings of life. Second Hand Heart is no exception.

Second Hand Heart couldn't be a more fitting title for the story of nineteen year old Vida and her heart. Vida's life is quite tragic, living an existence where every breath can be her last since she brushed death on the day she was born. Her heart condition doesn't only affect her diminishing heath and ability to live a normal
There is a full & more detailed review on my blog, Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing, but I kinda don't want to delete this one to add that one... SO. I'm leaving it :)

I don't know what to say or how I feel about this one. It's been about a week since I read it, and there are very definitely things I loved about it, but also very definitely things that REALLY bothered me about it...

(view spoiler)
Second Hand Heart is a love story, but it’s not your average love story. Then again, is it really a love story? This one is about a nineteen year old called Vida who has spent her short life preparing to die, then finally comes a new heart. But with somebody else’s death, along comes a new chance for Vida.

Then there’s Richard. He’s just lost his beloved wife in a car accident and hasn’t even begun to come to terms with his grief. Yet, he feels compelled to meet the girl who has been given his wi
Vida is a nineteen year-old girl who suffers from a heart condition. She's in hospital waiting for a transplant – time is running out, but before Vida can get a new heart, a potential donor needs to die. That donor turns out to be car crash victim Lorrie Buckner Bailey. When Lorrie's grieving husband, Richard, decides to visit the girl who received his wife's heart, Vida falls in love with him. But is it really Vida herself who loves Richard – or is it Lorrie's heart?

I really enjoyed this book.
I loved this book. Started it this morning and had to keep sneaking bits throughout the day as I was enjoying it so much.

I really loved the character of Vida, she was so sweet and trusting and she really wanted to have a life and this book isnt just about her having a heart transplant, its about her finding her own way in the world and being someone besides "the girl who is dying".

Richard was a good character as well, he came across a little annoying at times but then again his wife has not lo
Not my favorite of Hyde's, but that is purely subjective. This book was more about the plot rather than the characters and it's the characters in her books that draw me in; not the stories. You may prefer that, and the theme was very interesting. The primary plot is the life of a young lady after her heart transplant. Ms. Hyde has the ability to paint complete pictures with words like no other author I have read. Her talent for making the abstract concrete with only pen to paper still leaves me ...more
Cindy Burkhardt
I am not really sure where to start. This book grabbed me from the very beginning and wouldn't let go of me until the very end. This book is about a girl that gets a heart from this woman that was killed in a car accident. I will not say to much but that cause it will ruin the story. Yes, there are times I was laughing and crying. I would recommend this book to all. If there was a lesson to learn from this book it would be to live everyday to the fullest. Also,think another lesson would be don't ...more
Mrs. Mj
This was my first Catherine Ryan Hyde book... the one that got me hooked and wanting to read more of her stories... I loved the story line as it makes you wonder if the heart does have memory retention. The setting drew me into the baak as I could relate to the places she went as I have traveled to the very same places. Sweet story that heart warming. Love scenes left to the imagination not graphic.
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I'm the author of 24 published and forthcoming books.

My newest releases are Where We Belong, Don’t Let Me Go, Walk Me Home, When I Found You, When You Were Older and Second Hand Heart. Forthcoming is Take Me With You (June '14) and a young readers' edition of Pay It Forward (8-12).

Newer novels are Becoming Chloe, Jumpstart the World, Love in the Present Tense, The Year of My Miraculous Reappearan
More about Catherine Ryan Hyde...
Pay It Forward When I Found You Don't Let Me Go Take Me with You When You Were Older

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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.” 2 likes
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