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Foolish Hearts

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When Claudia accidentally eavesdrops on the epic breakup of Paige and Iris, the it-couple at her school, she finds herself in hot water with prickly, difficult Iris. Thrown together against their will in the class production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, along with the goofiest, cutest boy Claudia has ever known, Iris and Claudia are in for an eye-opening senior year.

Smart, funny, and thoroughly, wonderfully flawed, Claudia navigates a world of intense friendships and tentative romance in Foolish Hearts, a YA novel about expanding your horizons, allowing yourself to be vulnerable, and accepting--and loving--people for who they really are.

A contemporary young adult novel by Emma Mills about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream leads her to new friends--and maybe even new love.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published December 5, 2017

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About the author

Emma Mills

7 books1,825 followers
Emma Mills is the author of several novels for Young Adults.

She holds a PhD in cell biology and is known for her YouTube channel, Elmify. She is also the co-creator and co-host of the "life skills" channel How to Adult, which ended in 2016.

Mills lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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5 stars
5,793 (40%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,668 reviews
Profile Image for chai ♡.
322 reviews156k followers
September 5, 2019
First of all, who let me get so emotionally invested in this book that not only was I incapable of putting it down but I also wanted to flip back to its first chapter as soon as I had read the last line?

This book was like a face mask for my soul. And I think it could really use an extra page or two. Scratch that, maybe it's me, I just need more pages of:

✨ girls loving girls
✨ platonic displays of affection between boys
✨ siblings bonding over their shared love for video games
✨ just god-tier relationships in general
✨ boy bands and Shakespeare plays
✨ a game of fuck, marry, kill where Voldemort surprisingly doesn't get killed
✨ and a wholesome romance that made me painfully aware of the lack of cuddling I'm experiencing right now.
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,096 reviews17.7k followers
January 26, 2022
Okay, first of all, this book made me so deeply fucking happy. like, on a level of my soul I did not know existed I am happy. It was a weirdly emotionally cathartic read for me because it’s a happy book, but it also doesn’t shy away from the fact that these are all teenagers dealing with their own shit.

Foolish Hearts follows Claudia, who, after accidentally witnessing the great breakup of Her School’s Popular Sapphic Couple, is forced into a rivalry with the exceptionally closed-off and hurt Iris. Here are some things that resonated with me about this book:

➽There is a romance and it’s freaking adorable, but the main developing arc of this book is a friendship – that between Iris and Claudia. you wanted developed female friendships? you got developed female friendships.
I love Iris, so fucking much. Iris starts out the book as a really mean character, very closed off from other people and bad at pulling herself out of her shell, and then she develops into one of the most compelling and freaking amazing female characters of recent years.
➽I love the cast of this book so much. I would give my life for Iris and Paige and Gideon and Claudia and Zoe and Alex and Noah and Del and even fucking Lena, and I just… don’t know the last time I liked a full cast so much. Oh my god.
➽And of course, this book is freaking hilarious. Like, some of the best humor I have ever seen. I don’t know if this will be for everyone - humor is a super subjective thing, after all - but I found this book absolutely freaking hilarious in its entirety. Take a look at this shit:

”Kill Darth Vader, and marry Voldemort,” Zoe finishes.
“What the hell?” Alex says. "That’s the exact wrong answer.”
I don’t want to participate, but I can’t stop myself: “Why would you want to marry Voldemort? Why would you not kill Voldemort?”
“I think-“
“No, literally, who chooses not to kill Voldemort?” Alex says.
“I think I could change the course of his whole life,” Zoe says simply.
“You don’t think you could change Darth Vader?” I say.
“Nah, girl, Padme tried."
“I feel like I would fuck Darth Vader, because he’s got like powers and stuff, you know?” Alex says. “How would the force factor in? How would we negotiate the suit and stuff? It’s a guaranteed wild ride from start to finish.”

[I was screaming at this. It's so in character for all of them and it's also something I would say and I adore it. nahgirlPadmetried.gif]

The reason I really liked this book is that I think this book is a super authentic portrayal of the fact that teenagers are people, each with their own passions and obsessions beyond just “hanging out with friends.” Which seems like such a basic point, but trust me, in current contemporary YA, it's really not. The lead character being a gamer girl and bonding with a new friend over a boy band, without either of those things being belittled, is something I think I’ve literally never seen before. Also, the portrayal of being an unpopular person in high school is so… not-over-the-top. It’s not like Claudia is all alone and it’s all she ever thinks about and oh, woe is me; it’s just that she isn’t as close to any of her school friends and she wishes for more. Also, very accurate humor and dialogue; the phrase “my guy” was used properly within this book, and at one point a character calls another character “Straighty McHetero” and it’s basically the funniest thing I have ever read. And then there’s the entire portrayal of a high school drama department being accurate, and so much more. Basically, wow, finally someone gets what high school is actually like beyond the cliches.

in summary: it's a super emotionally real but also freaking hilarious book . I adored this and I could not recommend more.

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Profile Image for emma.
1,869 reviews54.6k followers
April 13, 2023

How did I wait so long to read it??? How was it so good???? How can I pull the high school experience of the protagonist out of this book and live it for myself, despite it being fictional and me being in my twenties?????

My ability to work out such questions is even more ineffective than usual, because I have DIED of CUTENESS. I have only recently been resurrected from DEATH ITSELF, because this book is so overwhelmingly ADORABLE it MURDERED me in COLD BLOOD.

Sporadic CAPS for EFFECT.

You can tell just from the number of shelves this is on that it's got the Me Endorsement. Let's do a list of them, for proof (and flair).

- 4-and-a-half stars:
That's a high-ass rating, boi!
- auto-buy-authors
Emma Mills made it to this list because her contemporaries are mediocre-to-good and the covers are beaut as hell. GUESS WHAT. This is my least favorite of her covers but the word mediocre belongs nowhere near this book I'll tell you that much!
- best-contemporaries
Yeah. I said it. It’s going on the most coveted shelf of all. (Just kidding favorites would be that, or at the very least favorites-2018, but please let’s not be ridiculous and just be grateful for what we have.)
- couldnt-wait-to-read
Honestly this shelf and its brethren, cant-wait-to-read, are lies. There is not a book on Earth I can’t wait to read, because this book came out a million years ago and has been on my TBR since pre-release and look how long it took me. BUT STILL. It conveys an excitement.
- funny
BOOKS ARE ALMOST NEVER FUNNY. Do people ever laugh at books?? I don’t. Except this time! Fooled you. This book is very hilarious.
- i-love-these-characters
This is...actually perhaps the highest praise I can offer any book. I Never love YA characters. They are always boring and interchangeable. Except, guess what, AGAIN NOT THIS TIME. This book: defying all expectations I set up for you in literally the previous sentence.
- recommend

THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD. The friendships are amazingly well-done. The family relationships (okay maybe not parents but definitely siblings) are fantastic. Gideon, the love interest, is the crown prince of my heart and my new favorite YA guy of all time, or at least this moment before I forget. Like, a boy with...charm? A personality? A sense of humor? In my YA? It’s more likely than you think.

I would say “book boyfriend,” if I didn’t hate that term and find it unbearably cringey/cheesy/embarrassing.

But I do, so.

Also there’s a FF relationship between two supporting characters (one of whom is indicated to be bi) and it’s just the sh*t. It does seem like Emma Mills may keep on writing hetero-ass romances for all times, but I’ll be more okay with that if she keeps giving me this fantastic adorable LGBT+ rep along the way.

The relationship development and the character development and the friendship development...it’s all just. <3.

The fact that I am losing the ability to use words and am instead using vintage-style pre-emoji emoticons is not a good sign. Time to wrap it up. EVEN THOUGH I COULD GUSH ABOUT THIS BOOK FOR A THOUSAND MILLION YEARS.





Profile Image for Melanie.
1,174 reviews98.8k followers
September 5, 2019

“He is my small son”

I’m going to write this review a little differently; instead of telling you the synopsis of this book right away, I’m going to show you the two parts of my heart.

Best Friends & Boy Bands - If you follow me on any social media, you will know that BTS has completely and wholeheartedly taken over my life. The amount of unconditional happiness that I have found within myself because of BTS could be a thesis statement all alone. But the pure joy I feel when I know that I will get to follow and enjoy BTS and everything they give ARMY, along side my best friends? That’s something I don’t have words for, and I don’t think I ever will, but it truly owns half of my heart.

Little Brothers & Video Games - I am very open in many reviews about my little brother being my best friend in this entire world. He always has been, and he always will be. Ever since I graduated college and moved across the country, we have kept our closeness because of video games. Don’t get me wrong, we play them nonstop when we are together, in the same room, too, but it is truly something that I’ve been able to do with him to never make me feel like I’m away from him, and because of this, this combination makes up half of my heart.

Foolish Hearts is a book that made me feel so seen and so very whole, because it combines those two halves of my heart seamlessly. Our main character, Claudia, spends her afternoons playing video games with her siblings and her best friend, not really looking to add any addition people into her life. That is, until the end of this summer, right before school is about to start up, where she has to go to a party where she accidentally overhears two girls break up.

Iris and Paige were the *it* couple at Claudia’s school, but now that they are broken up, Paige gets to still be the beloved, popular one, where Iris looks like the mean and heartless one. And when Iris and Claudia are forced to work together, not once, but twice, Claudia also uncovers Iris’s unconditional love for a boy band. And the start of a beautiful friendship blooms.

Not to get too personal in this review, but I am also pretty open about Jane being the reason that I got into BTS, and even though we were friends before, BTS really made Jane my best friend, and it really changed my life in the best way possible. The Iris and Claudia comparisons were just a little too real, but they were also a little too perfect.

So much more happens in this book, maybe with boys and them entering Claudia’s MMO and making me swoon because I’m nerdy and basic. Maybe with secrets that others were keeping from Claudia. And maybe this entire story is set with the backdrop of a school play. There is a lot to love about Foolish Hearts, but how real it felt to me and my personal experiences was really the brightest and shiniest star.

You can really tell that Emma Mills gets fandom culture. How it is so easy for people to be negative about things that (unharmfully) make people happy. But also how sharing your happiness and love for something with someone else is truly a magical feeling sent from the higher powers. How fetishizing is totally a thing that is very serious and very real, but most of the time fandoms just want to love, support, and bring happiness to the people that bring them happiness. (Protect Park Jimin at all costs!)

Overall, this was just a really personal read to me on a few levels, but I loved it completely with the sum of my being. Also, there is epilepsy rep in this story, too, and I really loved how it was written! This book is really just a love letter to friendships, and I really do feel so soft currently. But if you are into BTS, or any musical group, I really highly recommend this one. I had the goofiest smile on my face while reading this entire book, I swear. It is for sure one of the best things I’ve read all year. And even though this review already feels like a love letter to BTS, I just hope anyone who reads this review finds happiness in things they can love wholeheartedly.

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Content and Trigger Warnings: high risk childbirth, panic attacks, seizure mentions, and talk of past underage drinking.

Buddy read with Jane & Chelsea! ❤

❤ I read this for The Reading Rush, 2019!
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,958 followers
March 5, 2018
December Owlcrate ♥ Close-us and descriptions in the link below picture.


OMG! Stick me with a fork, I'm done! I gave this book 5 freaking stars because it made me feel all fluffy inside and I need some fluff because I'm losing my stuffing! < -- And my mind!

I loved it so much! I thought I wouldn't like it. Lol, just goes to show what I know!

I love all of the characters! Claudia is such a wonderful person! She has a best friend Zoe that goes to another school than her < -- reasons. And Claudia's older brother Alex and Julia. Claudia, Alex and Zoe play an online game called Battle Quest. I want to join them but I don't do computer games because my computer hardly works as it is and I suck and that stuff.

Moving on. Claudia overhears a couple breaking up and she ends up getting caught. Duh duh duh.. and it's one of the mean girls, Iris. But things are not always as they seem and Iris and Claudia become great friends. Then there is the love interest, Gideon. He's a nut and it's slow going with them leading up to anything. Claudia is not in a good way with boys since her first boyfriend was a jerk hole.

There are a lot of other people in the book that I loved. I loved everything about this book. The games, the music interests, the school stuff, some drama, just everything a ya book like this should be without some dumbarse story line.

And whether you love it or not, I do and that's all that matters to me. =)

Happy Reading!

Mel ♥

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
November 23, 2019
i wish could take the all of the warm fluffy feels of this book and fashion them into a cosy jumper to comfort my soul for the rest of my days. emma mills has truly perfected the art of a warm YA contemporary.

and i have to say that this story particularly stole my heart because of the shakespeare component and how it made everything so light-hearted and fun. this is the kind of book that doesnt take itself too seriously, so its easy to have a good time with it!

4 stars
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,838 followers
December 25, 2017
Full review posted:

Emma Mills must have like a special sauce she consumes before writing a book bc the way shes able to craft these fluffy, emotional, heartwarming stories with important undertones is truly a work of art.


1. fantastic sibling rep:
His eyes light up upon seeing the cookies. “Did you make them?”
“My sister did. They’re just the break-and-bake kind.”
“Those are my favorite.”
“No they’re not,” Victoria says.
“Hey, how about you head upstairs and start getting ready for bed?”
“It’s seven o’clock.”
“How about you head upstairs and just … stay there?”
They look at each other for a long moment and seem to be having some kind of nonverbal sibling communication. Finally Victoria sighs and steps away from the door.
“I get half of those cookies.”

2. A beautiful wholesome, strong bromance:

“Did you ever want a brother too?”
“I already have one, remember?” he says, nodding toward Noah.

3. Girl friendship:
She reaches out and pats my shoulder awkwardly.
I blink through the tears. “What are you doing? What is that?”
She pulls her hand away. “I don’t know, I’m bad at this. Do you want a bottle of water?”
“What? Why?”
“I don’t know! They keep them in the car! And you’re like … losing fluids. I said I was bad at this.”
I let out a weak laugh.
“Hey, look at that,” Iris says, and she almost looks proud. “Maybe I’m better than I thought.”
I wipe my eyes on the back of my arm. “Maybe.”

Nerd culture and epic family dynamics and friendships and accepting yourself and teenage drama if I try to quote them I’m going to end up quoting the ENTIRE book (im not even kidding, I was 0.4 seconds away from quoting chapters)

It’s cute, its funny, its fluffy, it’s got meaning and merit and it made me sob.

Idk how the heck but this book made me cry BUT I WAS CRYING OVER A GREEN BARRETTE things are getting bad wow
My heart just feels so FULL when I read these type of books aaahhhhhhhh

5 stars!!
Profile Image for Korrina  (OwlCrate).
193 reviews4,558 followers
January 25, 2018
Reread on January 23 2018: I loved it even more than the first time. I fell in love with all of the characters so much more. This has become one of my favourite contemporaries of all time.

Original review, posted on May 8 2017: Oh my gosh, this book was so fantastic! I feel so light and happy after reading it. It may just be the funniest book I've ever read...I honestly don't think I've ever laughed out loud so much while reading a book like I did this one. Bahhhhhh! SO GOOD.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,514 reviews29.5k followers
December 20, 2017
I'm between 3.5 and 4 stars on this one.

Every so often, after I've read a number of thrillers, crime novels, or even emotionally draining books in a row, I seek out what I like to call a "literary palate-cleanser," essentially a book which appears to be a little bit lighter in tone and one which won't have me eyeing my neighbors and delivery men, expecting a crime to break out.

The "palate-cleanser" term isn't meant to be a disparaging one—sometimes I'm just looking for a book that's funny and/or sweet, that won't send my psyche or my suspicious nature into overdrive.

Emma Mills' new book, Foolish Hearts , seemed to be exactly what I was looking for. And to be honest, when I saw the book was ranked #1 in Amazon's category of "Teen & Young Adult Theater Fiction," I thought, as a former theater kid, how can I miss? But this is so much more than a book about the theater—it's a book about friendship, family, telling yourself and others the truth, facing your fears, and realizing that people are so much more than they seem upon first (or even second or third) impression.

Claudia attends the exclusive Prospect-Landower School for Girls, mainly because her father is a teacher there. She's much more comfortable hanging out at home, playing video games with her best friend Zoe and her older brother, and living a life in which she doesn't have to interact too much with her much wealthier classmates, some of whom are obscenely rich, and some are private-island rich. Claudia isn't interested in stepping outside her comfort zone at all since her boyfriend broke up with her a few years back.

"In truth, we are rarely all on the same page. More often than not, they're all on one page, and I'm on a completely different one. It can't be helped most of the time. Society itself puts us on different pages. They drive Range Rovers and have celebrity deejays at their sweet sixteens. I had to scrape and scrounge and toast subs, and remake the subs that I toasted badly, just to buy a car."

But in an effort to try and be more involved in school for her senior year, she attends a luncheon party thrown by one of her classmates, and almost instantly gets herself into trouble, as she winds up inadvertently overhearing the breakup of the couple in her class, Iris and Paige.

"Together, [Iris] and Paige hold the titles of class president three years running (Iris), most popular girl in our grade (Paige), and cutest couple in our school (collectively). Thought 'cutest' isn't quite right. I don't think anyone who knows her would use the word cute to describe anything relating to Iris Huang...she's also ruthless and unforgiving and, some would say, ill-mannered and incredibly unpleasant."

When Iris realizes Claudia has been eavesdropping on such a traumatic moment, she threatens to destroy Claudia if she tells anyone what she heard. And when an assigned pairing for an assignment goes completely awry, their "punishment" is to audition or be in the crew for the school play, A Midsummer Night's Dream . Although Iris gets a small part and Claudia gets to work on the costume crew, the two are thrown together more times than either can count, and Claudia starts to wear Iris down, at least a little, until Claudia realizes that Iris is uncharacteristically obsessed with a boy band that she enjoys, too.

As the two try and build something resembling a friendship, Claudia also keeps getting thrown together with Gideon Prewitt, the goofy, handsome star of the play. Gideon keeps sending Claudia signals that he'd like to get to know her better, and everyone, except Claudia, seems to understand this. But the more she starts thinking about Gideon that way, the more her fears keep tripping her up, so she keeps finding reasons to keep their relationship as fun and platonic as possible, because she can't imagine Gideon would reciprocate her feelings, or if he did, would she be discarded just as quickly?

Foolish Hearts is sweet and funny, full of flawed characters who won't tell anyone how they really feel, but it utterly warmed my heart. While high school is so much more complicated than it was back in the dark ages when I attended, Mills still evoked an incredible feeling of nostalgia for me, a longing for simpler times, when the biggest anxieties were doing well on exams and wondering whether someone liked you back.

The plot isn't necessarily surprising, but it is tremendously enjoyable. I liked the way Iris and Paige's relationship wasn't a source of drama or controversy, it was presented in a matter-of-fact way, simply as another plot point.

Foolish Hearts definitely fit the bill for what I was looking for in a read, and I'll be sure to read some of Mills' other books. If you enjoy YA fiction that doesn't necessarily come with any heavy drama or messages, give this a try.

See all of my reviews at http://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blo....
Profile Image for may ➹.
494 reviews2,070 followers
January 1, 2023
12/31/22: Gideon Prewitt I would become straight for you I mean haha joke but not really like I’m kidding but also not

bumping up to 5 stars because this time really made me think wow romance is real? friendship is real? family is real? LOVE IS REAL??


4/16/21: no other book will give me the levels of serotonin that this book does

// buddy (re)read with the gang


3/6/20: if men were more like Gideon... then yeah I’d understand why they think they’re superior to women


I am so upset with myself that I waited so long to read this.... I’m never doubting you all again these 2 are officially added to my valid hets list and I am reading all Emma Mills books immediately
Profile Image for Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd).
332 reviews7,309 followers
February 27, 2022
This was so delightful. I sat down intending to read 50 pages and instead I read 270. I honestly cannot deal with how cute this book was gahhhh

Also, and I don’t really intend to type up a full review of this, but I just have to say: thank GOD for this book about girls who are friends with each other and aren’t competitive or jealous of their friends having friends. Thank god for these women being funny and loving and supportive. I love them. I love them all.
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,616 reviews10.7k followers
June 15, 2023
I will be forever grateful to OwlCrate for bringing this book and its author, Emma Mills, into my life.

YA Contemporary is not a genre I have really felt compelled to read prior to this.

After completing Foolish Hearts, however, I am ALL about it and have been scooping them up left and right!

I was blown away by how smart, witty and downright hilarious the dialogue in this book was. The banter between the characters had me literally laughing out loud on multiple occasions.

Claudia, our protagonist was such a good, sweet girl, not in a naive way, but in a really goofy and endearing way.

I found her to be absolutely relatable and loved her story arc of finding herself and opening herself up to give and receive love. So many feels.

The relationships between so many of the side characters were amazing as well. Particularly between Gideon and his best friend.

They were such a great example of what a supportive MM-friendship can be. It played out so well and added a lot of substance to this overall lighthearted story.

Additionally, the relationship between Paige and Iris, and eventually Claudia and Iris, was so well done.

The added bonus of having the story center around a high school production of a Midsummer Night's Dream was the icing on this delicious YA Contemporary cake.

I would give this book ten stars if I could and will probably read it again someday. In short, I loved it!
Profile Image for emily.
255 reviews2,196 followers
January 27, 2019
foolish hearts deserves all the hype radio silence has been getting.

i know, right?


don't get me wrong, i liked radio silence a big deal and i'm not here to compare them in any way or pit them against each other, i just simply want you to acknowledge emma mills as the genius that she is!!!

foolish hearts gave me everything i want in a contemporary. and that comes from a fantasy type person. i do enjoy a contemp every once in a while, but usually they don't really do it for me.

so what makes this one so special and different?

honestly,,??y???Y????? i can't really tell you. maybe it's because it made me laugh out loud, which doesn't happen very often. maybe it's because it was so god damn easy to read with its deliciously short chapters and simple writing. maybe it's because it just spoke to me personally. i actually feel kinda attacked, to be quite honest. because this book was written about ME and i'm going to sue miss mills for ripping me off so blatantly and turning me into a fictional character called claude without even TELLING ME ABOUT IT. imagine the audacity

no but really, this book felt like a breath of fresh contemporary air. the romance wasn't forced at all, if anything it developed very naturally. i also love that friendship is still a main focus. enemies to lovers is the best trope, but enemies to FRIENDS?? bitch. bitch. i live for that shit. genius, i'm telling you.

there's also a w/w relationship in this. it's like emma mills asked herself how she could make this book even better and threw a lesbian as one of the main characters in there!! hell to the FUCK YEAH. iris is the literal embodiment of "gay panic" and i love her.

hey also, what the fuck was emma mills thinking when creating gideon prewitt?? she just created the perfect boy, and i'm kinda mad about it. how dare she just sprinkle some fairy dust and ✨ bibbity bobbity here's the most flawless version of a male specimen that you can think of?? literally PISS OFF i already have unrealistic expectations

in conclusion: all the characters (but especially gideon) make my heart go badump BADUMP and i would die for them all

the story is easy to follow, the characters are very likeable and the dialogue is actually realistic (emma mills really did a 5 year study to figure out how to capture the essence of Fangirling huh). i do wish it focused more on the theater plot and some of the scenes were less cringey but other than that i have zero complaints

foolish hearts is the equivalent of a soft warm hug from a person that you love. and i'm so glad i got to read this beautiful book! it's definitely worth checking out, if you ask me.

rating: ★★★★
Profile Image for l..
491 reviews2,137 followers
January 7, 2022
i genuinely can’t for the life of me remember the last time i so thoroughly enjoyed a YA contemporary … be right back, trying to reassemble the pieces of my heart that went missing somewhere in the depths of this book.
Profile Image for Misstdennis.
238 reviews85 followers
January 11, 2018
4.5/5 stars

"You need Google Maps to find your way out of my eyes, or at least a comparable navigation app"

Hello, hi, I'm coming to you from riding the longest a roller coaster ride of emotions of 2018.
Yes, we are like 4 days into the new year, but that's beside the point.
This book was so damn cute!
I read this book in almost one sitting, and I say almost, because for some unknown reason my boss thought my day job was more important than reading???

Yes, this is just another YA Contemporary but this was such a refreshing read!!
Not once did a read that eye rolling, cliche bullshit line "He smelt like sandalwood as I moved closer to kiss him"

This book had me laughing hard on one page, then the next I'm sitting in a pool of my own tears with snot dripping from my nose.
Foolish Hearts is the YA Contemporary you need to pick up this year. The characters in the book tug so hard on your heart strings they'll stick with you for a while.
Claudia, Iris, Zoe, Alex, Noah & Gideon... My sweet little babies, I love you so much.

"If you could have any superpower, what would it be"
"Super spit" he said without hesitation”

I'm giving this adorable page turner a 4.5 star rating because I'm not totally hooked on contemporary novels and this book(in my opinion) wasn't perfect, but that's okay!
But maybe, just maybe, this is the book that changes my view on this genre...
Profile Image for Christy.
3,918 reviews33k followers
June 5, 2020
4 stars
“Sometimes...around some people, I feel like I have to, like...try, you know?...But with you-- when I'm with you, I can just...exist. You know what I mean?”

I read my first Emma Mills book earlier this year and it wasn’t the biggest hit for me. After reading Foolish Hearts, I can see why so many love her. This was a great read for me and I’ll definitely be picking up more of her back list.

I enjoyed Claudia and her group of friends. I really, really loved the love interest in this book and my favorite thing about it was that it had some good old high school theater in it. Nostalgia at it’s finest. This book made me smile and gave me lots of feels. It wasn’t a five star favorite, but I enjoyed it lots!
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 9 books405 followers
March 16, 2023
This was a sweet, friendship-based story that reminded me a lot of a Morgan Matson type vibe. I really loved it. Iris and Paige break up in a terrible fight that Claudia overhears. She and Iris become the unlikeliest of friends, and as Claudia’s circle of friends expands through work on the school play, she begins to open up, as well as develop new anxieties. Very relatable, and the relationship that slow burns between Claudia and Gideon, as well as Iris/Paige is heartwarming. These characters feel so real. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Profile Image for Maggie ☘.
538 reviews658 followers
November 23, 2019
“It's like a snort," I say. "Like a snort chortle. It's a snortle."
"Is that a Pokemon?”

This book was so amazing! Emma Mills is fast becoming one of the best contemporary writes I've ever read! By now, I will pick up absolutely anything any everything she writes.

If you want to read a realistic YA contemporary, focusing primarily on awesome friendships - Claudia and Iris are such a brotp!! - and also family dynamics, try out this book! And then read This Adventure Ends. Both are as good as the other!

Seriously, there's something about the author's books, her writing, and especially her characters - how realistic and witty and completely loveable and just human they are. There are no high school YA stereotypes, every one of the characters in this book has a certain kind of depth. Even Lena, the girl who could be sorta mistaken for a 'Mean Girl' has shown depth to her. Each and every one of them are so loveabley human.

“Are you ready to put the ‘fun’ in Fall Fun Fest?” he says as I slap his palm.
“I can at least put the ‘trip’ in ‘Triple F.’” A pause. “By being clumsy, I mean. Not by, like, sharing drugs with the group.” Three sets of eyes are on me, and I can’t stop myself from talking. “I don’t have any drugs. In case you were worried. Or, in case you were … expecting me to have drugs.…���
Gideon grins.”

Each Emma Mills book also does include romance, but when it comes to her work, I always focus on something else apart from the - admittedly adorable - romantic aspect of the story.

This Adventure Ends had Sloane and her writer dad, as well as a lot of new friendships.
Foolish Hearts primarily focuses on all the friendships. Claudia and her long time friend Zoe. But especially Claudia and Iris, and their character development.

The romance also starts out as friendship at first. To be honest, I didn't think I would love the romantic aspect here at first, as much as I ended up doing so. But then Gideon became very dear to my heart after a few chapters in, when I realized he really cares about all of these people around him so freaking much, he was just so open to everyone around him and such a nice, gentle soul in a way I have not encountered too much of in most YA contemporary heroes. And also: I have to say, slightly reminded me of a more flirty version of Gansey from TRC?? So yep, I ended up loving him alsongside the rest of the cast.

Though my ultimate favourite character ever was Iris // alias: a queer girl pretending to be all tough and uncaring and stuff while being an actual cotton candy inside (well sometimes)! Her character development and friendship with Claude was AMAZING.

“All these freaking cast bonding activities,” Iris said when I mentioned it after rehearsal on Wednesday. “I don’t want to bond. I specifically want to not bond. What’s the opposite of bond?”
“I want to alienate.”
“Well, you’re pretty good at it.”

This book aslo focuses on a Midsummer Night’s Dream school play, a roleplay video game and boy band love. One of which I can ehm, not relate to *the boy band stuff* But I immensely enjoyed reading about all of these things anyway!

Overall: I'd highly, highly recommed for you to read this book if you are in the mood for YA contemporary, written in a 100% enjoyable, relatable (and not dense at all) way, and are tired of seeing the focus being only on the romance. Emma Mills books do have amazing romances (my favourite, so far, being the one in here!!), but they have so much more going for them too!

Friendship, as well as family dynamics, are always the most central part to her books! I'd highly rec for you to go check out both Foolish Hearts and This Adventure Ends. Oh, and it was also loads of FUN, I love Emma Mills's humour! 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Maya ︎☁︎︎.
184 reviews149 followers
September 13, 2020
“Sometimes it's hard to know if something's for real? It's hard to believe it, even if you want it to be real. Even if you want it so badly. Sometimes it seems... safer, you know? Not to risk it.”
“Your second Emma Mills’ book in two days?” I hear you cry! Yeah, I’m trash for her work, and I’m totally not ashamed of that fact. I need tooth-rotting fluff periodically throughout the year or else my soul will wither and decay, and I’m pretty sure Mills’ catalogue has more than enough to get me through even 2020’s challenges with a smile on my face. Honestly, I really don’t know how I’m going to cope once I’ve finished all of her books, and I’m not sure who else could write touching, light-hearted, and passionate YA contemporaries with awesome, breath-taking friendships and tight-knit, supportive family dynamics quite like her. Basically, I need Mills to write at least two books a year for the next decade, but as that’s not likely to happen any time soon, you shouldn’t be surprised if you see me re-reading everything she has to offer within the next six months. I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of all of these characters, romances, and adventures that feel like they were written just for me.
So! Foolish Hearts starts off with our protagonist, Claudia, accidentally eavesdropping on the breakup of the school’s it-couple, Paige and Iris, at a party (she begrudgingly attends) one night. She’s caught by the latter once their fight is over, and despite Claudia’s apologies and promises to keep her mouth shut, Iris is determined to make her life a living hell. So, when Claudia’s thrown against her will into the class production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream alongside her newfound archnemesis, it all begins about as well as you'd expect. However, when she discovers Iris’ love of boybands, a beautiful friendship starts to blossom. And, if Claudia plays her cards right, love might be on the horizon with an unlikely, charismatic candidate…

I’m really struggling to put into words how deeply, fervently, and hopelessly in love I am with this book. Just like with This Adventure Ends, once I started Foolish Hearts, I couldn’t find it in myself to put it down until my heart had left my throat and my tears had finally stopped. I could feel myself falling in love with these brilliant, relatable characters from the very first chapter, and I couldn’t bear to let them go in the end. Claudia was easily my favourite, and I found her sharp, witty, and heartfelt inner monologue a delight to lose myself in for a few hours. She’s infinitely kind, compassionate, and loyal, and if I had to sum her up in one word, it’d be ‘Hufflepuff’. I don’t know many people who wouldn’t be quickly swept away by her unreserved and inviting personality, and while she had her flaws, they only served to make her more human in my mind. If you want a single reason to read Foolish Hearts, I’d look no further than her.

I love the relationships between Claudia and Gideon. They fell in love so slowly, so naturally, that I actually forgot they weren’t already a couple a few times! Gideon is a fantastic complement to Claudia, and he’s so adorably wholesome and caring. I don't think I'm ever going to stop swooning over how protective and considerate he is of his friends, especially Noah. I can’t name a more gentle, thoughtful character, but if I was making comparisons, I’d call him a softer version of Gansey from TRC, so if you love him, you’re going to love this adorable, flirty loser endlessly. <3
“It just feels like..." Her voice is small. "Sometimes it just feels like I'm faking.” “Maybe everyone feels that way.”
I’m always complaining about how criminally underrated strong and loving platonic friendships are in YA, which is why I’m so ride or die for Emma Mills – she writes beautiful, all-consuming friendships which are as important to the plot as her romances. Iris and Claudia’s relationship was so wonderful to watch unfold, and when I look back at the parts of Foolish Hearts I loved the most, it’s probably a scene that involves these two together.

Iris also quickly became one of my favourite characters, mostly because I'm a sucker for complex, multi-layered women. She’s a queer teen who’s hiding her (numerous) insecurities behind the façade of the stereotypical ‘tough, uncaring’ popular girl act. I loved how her walls slowly started to crumble as her forced closeness with Claudia began to flourish into a genuine, lasting friendship. I also found her unapologetic obsession with her favourite boyband, TION, utterly endearing, and I was practically bursting with happiness when Claudia embraced her friend’s passion with open arms and ended up genuinely loving the band herself! I swear, the bonds teenage girls form over their favourite bands will never be broken!

Also, her relationship with Paige was stunningly, convincingly written, and I think a lot of young adults will relate to the tumultuous ups and downs the two experienced. Their last scene together made me bawl up so badly, and I can't get over how much I love them both together.
“It's like a snort,” I say. “Like a snort chortle. It's a snortle.” He moves a little closer. “Is that a Pokemon?”
Emma Mills also shines a spotlight on family dynamics in Foolish Hearts, and, of course, I was totally captivated by her realistic, healthy, and tear-jerking take on familial love. The relationship between Claudia, Julia, and Alex was like a breath of fresh air, and I hope Mills will tackle sibling relationships more often in the future because she’s terrific at this kind of rep. The three of them spent a lot of time together playing video games, and I couldn’t get enough of how wonderfully heart-warming and contented those scenes made me feel!! They were all so loving, and supportive, and attentive, and while they did fight occasionally, they would do anything for each other at the end of the day. Even though I wish they’d had a few more moments together throughout Foolish Hearts, the ones they did share were memorable and poignant. Julia, especially, was such a remarkable and nurturing character, and I can’t believe Emma Mills pulled that stunt during the last few chapters! I don’t think I’m ever going to emotionally recover…

Overall, I think you can probably tell how much I loved Foolish Hearts. It was fluffy, heart-breaking, and satisfying, and I wish I could've bottle up how I felt while reading this book and share it with the world. If you love charming romantic heroes, well-written and thought-out family dynamics, and intensely beautiful friendships, I’d highly recommend this book, quickly followed by This Adventure Ends! I promise these books will warm even the iciest of hearts!
“There's something soft in his expression that I don't know what to do with, so I take another drink and then say, 'There's also this wizard we really want to fight'.”
Profile Image for Hilly &#x1f390;.
709 reviews1,325 followers
April 26, 2020
4.5 stars

If you think I read this book because If We Were Villains changed my life and made me want to read more books about people who play Shakespearean characters...
You would be correct.
Though, I wasn’t expecting to laugh this much and melt into a puddle of feels in the process.

This book was something else. It was so easy to fall in love with all the characters, especially Claudia. I feel like it's the first time I encounter a character like her. She cares about everyone and makes friends with everyone, but still thinks she doesn't have a lot going on. She's open-minded and kind and respects people. I admire her way more than I should admire a fictional teenage character. Is it weird that I want to hug her?
Then comes Gideon, the perfect love interest. What this book shows is that teens can be responsible and not be exclusively living stereotypes. Like the other characters, Gideon is almost adult and teen all at the same time, which is how I think it should be, if that makes sense. I didn't know I needed to read about someone like him. I want more goofy love interests, please ☺️

Though, honestly, the thing that shines the most in this book is the unexpectedly close friendship between Claudia and Iris. I just love that two girls like them, who seemed like very different people with different interests at the beginning, get closer and closer and warm to each other. There is nothing better than sharing your passions with someone else and getting them into those as well. TION sounds like a really classy boy band, I wish I could listen to their music. Scandal Season would probably be my favorite song by them 😁

This book doesn't follow that usual linear rom-comy or coming-of-age story structure as most of YA contemporary books. It has that moment where everything goes wrong, but not in the way you expect. There are so many layers to this story that work perfectly together. If I had to compare these feelings I have to something more tangible, this book would be the incarnation of "not like other girls".

Foolish Hearts is a 360 degrees glance into Claudia's life. It talks about her relationship with family, friends, school, extracurricular activities and free time activities. It delves into all of this without ever getting repetitive or cliched or tiring. All these themes get proper page time and at the end you feel so satisfied with how the story went. Also, the dialogues between the characters feel incredibly natural and it's a pleasure to read them. These are my favorite things about this book and I'm going to read everything that Emma Mills wrote and is going to write in the future. This was just too good.
Profile Image for jenny✨.
578 reviews840 followers
July 13, 2020
I'm... crying in the club rn

This book was everything I could've ever wanted and then some, and *I* WAS TRULY THE FOOLISH ONE FOR DAWDLING PICKING IT UP

God. Stories about family and friendship hit me with all the force of a punch to the solar plexus—an uplifting, joyous, punch to the solar plexus, that is.

Below you will find quite possibly my favourite passage in the whole book (though it was pretty hard to decide; I highlighted the crap out of it):

“It’s not like I want to date him,” she replies.
“But… then what else is there?”
“What else is there besides wanting to date someone? It’s fucking sad you have to ask that.”
“Not like—obviously I know in general, I just meant, like, in… boy band circumstances.”
“He is my small son,” Iris says, and even though the words coming from her lips are completely ridiculous, her expression is 100 percent serious. “I want him to be happy, and healthy, and to be with people he cares about, and do things that he loves. I want him to know how much he’s appreciated and how much he’s changed people’s lives by… just being who he is. And by helping us be who we are.”

Add in a wholesome-as-heck love interest (seriously, I'm fed up with assholes. We need more Gideons in literature and irl); diverse characters; a high school production of A Midsummer's Night Dream; band fandom amazingness; online roleplaying games as metaphors for life; enough witty, quirky, banter to make you laugh until you pee your pants every other page—

And you have Foolish Hearts. AKA a fucking amazing book that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I don't remember the last time I laughed so hard or smiled so wide.
Profile Image for jaime ⭐️.
126 reviews6,473 followers
April 24, 2020
book 18 out of 100

I feel like such a harsh critic giving this three stars. I read this so quickly and I loved so much about it but there was also so much that frustrated me. I genuinely recommend this book to so many people, I'm honestly just such a picky bitch.

Okay, things I loved:
➽ The entire storyline about TION and that being how Iris and Claudia bond. That storyline is literally my relationship to BTS and one of my best friends. Emma Mills is so knowledgable about fandom culture, this entire aspect of the book was so satisfying.
➽ I love A Midsummer Night's Dream so the fact that this was the backdrop to the story? Obsessed.
➽ All the characters were very fleshed out, four dimensional, and totally believable. All the relationships were also exceptionally developed. I was particularly fond of Claudia's relationship with her brother Alex and her sister Julia. I swear to god, Julia was in like two scenes but I also got a very detailed sense of who she is and felt super connected to her? Honestly this author is incredible with her characters.
➽ The fantasy video game. This reminded me of my friends and made me feel very much at home.

And of course, things that frustrated me:
➽ I did not understand Claudia's intentions with Gideon. It was incredibly frustrating because the cause of her angst surrounding him was herself. It was really irritating sitting there and watching our main character making herself unhappy. I'm sure it's relatable to some people, but for me it was incredibly frustrating.
➽ Iris Huang. I love and hate this character. I mostly love her but she was so blatantly horrible to people that I could see why everyone hated her and it was hard to feel sorry for her. If she was just slightly cold and closed off, then I one hundred percent could possess some empathy for her but she was just mean-spirited. Paige was right, honestly. I did love how she developed however.
➽ Some of the slang Gideon used was slightly cringe. Still love him though.

I really loved this authors writing style and her characters so I'm definitely keen to give more of her work a go, especially as coming of age contemporaries have become such a favourite genre of mine. I wish I didn't get so frustrated with the most minor details because this could have had so much potential to be a five star read!

tw: panic attacks, epileptic seizures, high risk childbirth

read for book roast's O.W.L's Magical Readathon

Profile Image for Maureen.
574 reviews4,185 followers
July 15, 2018
4.5/5 stars

I THINK THIS IS MY FAVORITE EMMA MILLS BOOK? IDK. She has become an auto-buy author for me because she is so great at writing great characters and witty dialogue.
When Claudia accidentally overhears the breakup of the power couple of their all-girls school and is found out by Iris, the meanest girl she knows, she's pretty sure her school life as she knows it is going to end. BUT she ends up becoming friends with Iris who is the definition of a porcupine but once she opens up is one of the sweetest people and also really into fandom which i loved.
Gideon was another story. He's the kind of person that everyone loves a little bit, no matter who they are. I loved how slow the relationship was to start because both of them were so unsure, and I just really loved them together.
Profile Image for Alex.andthebooks.
325 reviews1,965 followers
September 3, 2021
To było mi tak potrzebne! Idealny czas, idealna książka.
Urocza młodzieżówka, trochę problemów, dużo ciepła i rozczulające love story w tle. Nie nastawiajcie się na niesamowite zwroty akcji, intrygi czy niepowtarzalne zabiegi fabularne - to po prostu miła, przyjemna książka - rozrywka na wieczór, dwa.

Ale czy to coś złego?
Dla mnie ideolo.
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,072 reviews51.4k followers
January 14, 2019
cute & forgettable

this is my first emma mills book and it went about as well as i expected. which is to say that i expected it to be a standard fluffy contemporary but not necessarily groundbreaking.

i will say that at times i was annoyed with the main character, claudia's, actions. she seemed pretty selfless for the majority of the book but her blatant ignorance to the love interest's interest was pretty annoying. and her reaction to a certain thing was.... a little childish (can't really explain bc spoilers).

the side characters were really fun and pretty realistic. i knew guys like gideon in high school. i knew girls like iris too... hell i kind of was an iris.

but overall i didn't feel any overwhelming love towards this contemporary. it wasn't funny or charming enough for me to consider it "fluffy." but there weren't enough teachable moments or takeaways for me to consider it impactful. it is definitely not bad, but definitely not something i see myself rereading.
Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
260 reviews4,948 followers
Want to read
June 10, 2017
I think this was more a *it's not you, it's me* thing, so I'm going to refrain from leaving a rating for now, perhaps til closer to the review date. I don't normally try out contemporary, and I'm a little older than the target audience, so I'll credit that to being part of it.

Without giving away much, I'll just say the plot definitely revolves around girl drama that seemed so silly and the trigger for it was kinda far fetched. I know girls tend to have drama over some silly reasons in high school but this was just like... really? This is what started it? Idk. I wasn't sold.

Another issue I had was literally being bombarded with names in the first few chapters. I still don't have a clue who half the people are.

The writing was kinda fun and definitely had a realistic edge, but the humor was lost on me. I think most readers will find it cute and funny though, to be honest, so don't take my word for that one.

So all in all, it just wasn't for me, but I think there will be plenty of readers out there that will love it.

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