Staci's Reviews > Heart with Joy

Heart with Joy by Steve Cushman
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Dec 29, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2010-reads
Recommended to Staci by: Jan von Harz
Read on December 13, 2010

Why I wanted to read this book: I read a wonderful review of this book on Jan's blog, Eating Y.A. Books,and just knew that I wanted to get my hands on this one. A week later I received an email from the author asking if I would like to review a copy and I had to say yes. I love YA books where the main character is a young man...just not enough of those out there!!!

What worked for me:

* I absolutely adored Julian. This is a kid who came out of nowhere and just stole my heart. I wanted to protect him, feed him, shelter him, listen to him, and tuck him under my wing to keep him safe from hurt.
* I liked Julian's dad...at first though I wasn't so sure. he does come across as someone who doesn't have time for others. But as Julian gets to know his dad better, so does the reader. I understood him as a parent and rejoiced when he finally decided to let his son know who he really was as a person, not just as a parent. It's not often that an author highlights and delves into the complexities of a father/son relationship. I found this to be one of my favorite aspects of the story.
* I've known many women like Julian's mom. Those that think they need to get away from it all and find themselves. She didn't mean to break her husband and son's hearts, and even though I honestly felt that she didn't see any other options for herself at the moment, I'm still on the fence with how I feel about her.
* Julian's next door neighbor was an absolute godsend. She was exactly what Julian needed in his life and I love the relationship that developed between the two of them. Julian became a much wiser and more thoughtful young man under Mrs. Peters' gentle guidance.
* As Julian's cooking really blossoms so did my interest in each of the recipes he tried out on his dad. I felt like I could cook also...he inspired me to try something new each day in the new year! His growing love for cooking was beautiful to watch unfold.

Recommend? YES! YES! YES! The story is all about communication and having real conversations with each other. Too many families are busy with life and nonsensical things. We've forgotten how to just be in the moment and relish the birds singing or to be really in the moment when a loved one is talking to us. Julian was able to make some "real" connections with people in this story and it touched something within me that has made me refocus my attention on my son's when they're talking to me. They deserve to have me there....really aware and fully alive. This is easily one of my favorite books of the year!
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Sheree Fabulous review, I'm dying to read this one thanks to your review Staci. I'll have to whisper in the birthday fairy's ear LOL


Staci I love that!!!


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