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A Beholden Heart

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4.64  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Have you ever looked around at your life and thought to yourself, this can’t be what the universe had planned for me?

This thought enters my brain…Every. Single. Day.

I have no clue what I’m supposed to be doing, but this isn’t it.

I don’t want extraordinary. I’ve never wanted extraordinary. I just want normal…whatever that is.

When I enrolled in Middleton High School, I was
...more
Paperback, 186 pages
Published January 15th 2016 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Average rating 4.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  44 ratings  ·  29 reviews


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Jen Andrews
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. This story shows you how just being kind to someone can change their lives. Simple words, simple actions, and sticking up for someone who can't stand up for themselves have a way of showing someone who doesn't feel important, just how important they truly are. Gwen's character reminds me so much of myself when I was her age I really could relate to her. Each character is their own unique individual and ML really shows that. This book has many great one liners that will have ...more
Becca
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars! - M.L. Steinbrunn’s foray into the young adult genre is a shining success. A Beholden Heart was sweet, hopeful, full of life, and incredibly poignant. The emotional weight of this story took me by surprise as M.L. Steinbrunn explored love, loss, and what it means to truly live. While Gwen and Matt were the main focus of the story, this book unquestionably also belonged to Sam and Spencer. These vibrant characters brought A Beholden Heart to life and made this story something truly ...more
Dani
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Why do we only get 5 stars? This book should get 10!

Every now and then a book comes along that completely blows your mind. After receiving the ARC on my Kindle, I sat down with an idea of what this story would be. After the first few chapters, meeting Gwen, and then Matt, our two lead characters, I was intrigued by their friendship.

Gwen is the new girl in town, the new girl at school. She's never been able to live life like a typical teenager. When she gets a chance at life, she grabs it with
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Megan | A Page to Turn
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My rating: 4.5

Together we will redefine normal.

Nothing about this book was "normal". It was completely extraordinary!

From the first chapter, I knew I could connect to Gwen and the positivity she surrounded herself with, despite living life with a heart condition. She was brave, open, honest, truthful, and caring. When her father's job takes the family across the pond, she convinces her family to let her stay in a tiny town with her estranged Grandmother, just to finish out her senior year in
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Shasta Mosley /Cherry0Blossom
4.5 Stars

Review to come soon!!!!!
Tina ( As Told By Tina )
Disclosure: I received a copy from the author/publisher, in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my review in any shape or form.

I wasn’t sure what A Beholden Heart was about but I wanted to read it because M.L. Steinbrunn wrote it. I absolutely loved her Redemption series and was eagerly awaiting a new novel by her. She writes the most beautifully broken characters that are often lost and have no hope and turns them into a beautiful woven story.

A Beholden Heart is no
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Chrissy
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
What a beautiful and emotional read!

In A Beholden Heart we meet Gwen, who hasn’t really lived life, and is entering her senior year of high school. When she starts a new school, and has some freedom to finally live, and not be cooped up in the house, she embraces it fully. She’s never really gotten to experience high-school, so her happy go lucky attitude doesn’t help her with the cliques at her new school. She instantly befriends Sam, who I adored, and also becomes friends with Matt and
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Sara Mack
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 emotional stars!

I have a confession. When I found out ML was putting out a new novel, I was excited. One, because I read her Redemption series and loved it. And two, I'm a YA reader. I did, however, assume I knew exactly the story I would get - high school kids, guy meets girl, a little angst, happily ever after, the end. And that was okay with me.

I.Did.Not.Get.That.Story.

A Beholden Heart is told from both Gwen and Matt's POV. ML's characters speak in such a way that they give you just
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Nikki Reeves
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing


There are books that you read in life and not matter what you will never ever forget them because they have such a huge impact on your life, heart, or emotions and this is definitely one of those books. This book is beautiful and beautifully written from start to finish. It left me speechless, smiling, and tears rolling down my face. Yes, grab tissues!

Gwen is one of the sweetest and most caring people I have ever read about. Life hasn’t been easy for Gwen. She has always been different
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Jen
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read the full review on Bookaholics Not-So-Anonymous.

Note: This ARC was provided by Enticing Journey Book Promos in exchange for an honest review.

While I didn't shed any tears, A Beholden Heart was an emotional read and one that I didn't see coming. I had this pegged as a young adult story about a girl who was different and the guy who everyone wanted to be like and together they showed how being different was okay. Gwen Parks and Matt Rhodes, who is the reigning king of their school but can't
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Neilliza Swaffar
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
**ARC provided by Author, in exchange for an honest review**

4.5 Stars

A Beholden Heart was sweet and heartbreaking. Gwen and Matt’s story was very intriguing. This book is all about friendship and life without friendship. Gwen was a breath of fresh air to the trio, Matt, Spencer and Sam…who lost their friendship along the way while growing up. Gwen was just what they needed to keep them together and to shake them out of their hate for each other. Matt and Spencer were the popular jocks and Sam
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Amy Neighbors Senethavilay
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-reads
A Beholden Heart is an extremely heartwarming, emotional, and beautifully told story about the impact one person can have on others. Through selfless acts of kindness, acceptance, and a love for light, even in the midst of darkness, one girl's impact on a small community has life changing power for those with whom she comes into contact.

After learning that her family was moving to London, Gwen finally sees a way to learn to stand on her own and find the freedom to make her own decisions,
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Vickie
What a beautifully written, highly emotive read that definitely pulled at my heartstrings. When I orignallly read the blurb the first line really spoke to me so I was eager to get started and once I did it captured me from the first word to the very last.

The story centres around Gwen and the impact she has on the people she is surrounded by, bringing perspective to their lives with selfless acts of kindness, acceptance and love. It's a real coming of age story but with so much more to it.

"What
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DreamsAndScrems Bookaholics
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
***** April's 5 Star Review ***** 5 Dreams and Screams

Have you ever looked around at your life and thought to yourself, this can’t be what the universe had planned for me?

This thought enters my brain…Every. Single. Day.

I have no clue what I’m supposed to be doing, but this isn’t it.

I don’t want extraordinary. I’ve never wanted extraordinary. I just want normal…whatever that is.
When I enrolled in Middleton High School, I was just looking to find some resemblance to the typical high school
...more
April Johnson
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever looked around at your life and thought to yourself, this can’t be what the universe had planned for me?

This thought enters my brain…Every. Single. Day.

I have no clue what I’m supposed to be doing, but this isn’t it.

I don’t want extraordinary. I’ve never wanted extraordinary. I just want normal…whatever that is.

When I enrolled in Middleton High School, I was just looking to find some resemblance to the typical high school experience.

Then I met Matt Rhodes. He lives the life of envy:
...more
Kate Benson
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was my first ML Steinbrunn book and I'm happy to report that I loved it so much! Now, generally speaking, I think spoilers are one of my least favorite things on the planet, so you won't be getting anything like that out of my review.
That being said, it would be a crime for me not to share a few words about what I thought of this book.
I will tell you that the characters, although described in the most delicate of ways, somehow managed to sneak into my soul and take up residence there,
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Laurie P
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016

I was given an advanced reader copy of this book for an honest review free of persuasion from the author or anyone else affiliated with this book.


This a great book for high school age and young adults. It gets very personal into cliques and who's popular and who's not and why that is supposedly the way things are supposed to be. You get into the lives of four students and get to feel their happiness, their sorrow, their frustrations and their accomplishments.

You feel how they interact. You get
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Maari
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This took me a few days to process..
and honestly, still at a loss as to what words can be put here to give this story any words of adequacy.. Such intense emotions evoked in this book!!
Some of my favorite writing in this book: 'Her skin is soft and delicate, like granules of sand that I would thread between my fingers. However my fear in that like the sand, she'll slip through my fingers and all I'll have of her is this single moment.' and 'The sound of her laugh is a smooth tone that fills
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Monique Tinline
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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5 Stars

What a beautiful book, one that left with tears rolling down my face with such emotion, a true testament to a wonderful, captivating heartfelt book.

A Beholden Heart is a book of how one person can change your perspective on life. How selfless acts can change the lives of many, by choosing the happiness of others over your own can mean so much more to them then you realise.

Though this is a YA, this book is very well written and has a great story and meaning behind it for
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Kim Mote
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great read! This book was way to short for me, the emotions and lessons in this book were great! Gwen didn't live a normal life as a high school senior but she did live a full life for her young age. She couldn't stand for anyone to be miserable and she had a way of making people work out whatever difference's they had.
The ending was what not what I expected but was done beautfully. I look forward to more of Matt, Sam and Spencer's story in the next book
Melissa Meyer
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I just finished the book this morning. With tears in my eyes I had to write down my thoughts. This book is AMAZING! The message it gives and the emotions it brings out is worth it! It will capture your attention from ML's first chapter to the last and leave you wanting more. The writing is beautiful and awesome! I can't wait to tell my book friends to go out and get it! Remember live everyday to the fullest and one person can make a difference!
Erin Everleigh
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This story was so much more than I expected. Once I started, I couldn't put it down - the connection that you will feel for these characters is truly powerful. It has been days since I finished reading, and it still resonates with me. It will fill your heart with hope, and it will also hold your heart in its clutches. This book is not to be missed!
"I would rather live a short life full of love than a forever of loneliness."
Veda Stamps
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This story was so good. I loved the main character Gwen. I could completely relate to her strength and commitment to stick up for others in need. She had a great sense of empathy toward others. Heads up, this book is heartfelt and will make you cry. You will find yourself connecting with all the characters. I recommend "A Beholden Heart" by M.L. Steinbrunn to both Generation X'ers and Mellinials alike.
Jeannette
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heart wrenching

Not what I expected in the end. Truly loved watching friendships develop and old ones heal. I love this line in the book.." Sometimes all we ever want, all we ever need, is right in front of us; we just have to open our eyes to see." How are you living your life?
Erica
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Such a strong, emotional, heartfelt book.
Bertie Welck
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic read

This book was so well written, I felt like I was there with Gwen, Sam, Matt and Spencer. This was for me an ugly cry so have tissues handy.
Candy Box
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Omg my heart has been ripped into. I too have a broken heart just like Gwen, Sam,and Matt. Being able to live is priceless but having restrictions because of the plan others have set out for you to do has to be terrible. I wish I would of had this book to read when I was in high school. This is one my daughter will read as soon so as she is old enough to understand. I really want Sam and Matt's story to continue! 5 stars wish I could give more.!.
Krista Ricchi
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing book that broke my heart and left me a sobbing mess. I loved every second of it. M.L has an amazing writing style, her plots are original and I can't find a flaw in any of her books. The characters in this book are easy to relate to and connect with on another level. Most of us have had similar experiences in our life which made this story have more of a real life feel to it. The main thing you will take from this book is that life is unexpected. There are ups and downs that ...more
Katie Montgomery
Amazing

A beautifully written story of friendship. I am actually speechless right now after reading this book. No words I write will give it justice. It is a beautiful story of how one person can change many peoples life's. I look forward to reading the characters next journey.
Marissa Tressler
rated it really liked it
Dec 16, 2017
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My name is M.L. Steinbrunn and I am a young adult and contemporary romance author. My work includes the popular Redemption Series and a young adult series, which includes my new release, A Beholden Heart.

In addition to writing, I work full-time as a high school educator and coach in rural Colorado where my husband and I are raising our four young children. Through education I have enjoyed guiding
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“Her skin is soft and delicate, like granules of sand that I would thread between my fingers. However my fear in that like the sand, she'll slip through my fingers and all I'll have of her is this single moment.” 0 likes
“The sound of her laugh is a smooth tone that fills the cockpit and invades my senses. The sound is addicting, like a favorite song you put on repeat and can't imagine ever tiring from.” 0 likes
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