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The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  1,860 ratings  ·  392 reviews
Twelve-year-old Sunny St. James navigates heart surgery, reconnections with a lost mother, first kisses, and emerging feelings for another girl.

When Sunny St. James receives a new heart, she decides to set off on a "New Life Plan": 1) do awesome amazing things she could never do before; 2) find a new best friend; and 3) kiss a boy for the first time.

Her "New Life Plan" see
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Little, Brown
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Anna Seconding Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World; Drum Roll, Please; and One True Way. Also Lumberjanes, George, Star-Crossed, The Prince and the Dressmak…moreSeconding Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World; Drum Roll, Please; and One True Way. Also Lumberjanes, George, Star-Crossed, The Prince and the Dressmaker, The Cardboard Kingdom, and P.S. I Miss You. Lots of great options out these days, and even more upcoming!(less)

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Average rating 4.43  · 
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 ·  1,860 ratings  ·  392 reviews

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Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This is my third Ashley Herring Blake book that I've read and the third that I've given 5 stars. This was so sweet and so pure and my queer lil heart is absolutely soaring. Sunny was such a great character and tbh I found myself giggling multiple times while reading her inner monologue. THIS BOOK WAS JUST SO GREAT!

ALSO: I highkey want Ashley Herring Blake to write a novella or something about Kate & Dave because THEY WERE ALSO SO GREAT? Everything about this was fantastic. 10/10 do recommend re
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
I swear to god, every Ashley Herring Blake book I read ends with a goodreads review that’s just “made me cry a lot lol!!” and damn if she didn’t do it again
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Ashley Herring Blake is blessing us with another queer MG story and I'm just always gonna be here for it. ♥ While we wait on this precious little bundle to come out, can I interest you in one of her other incredible queer tales?
How to Make a Wish: YA f/f
Girl Made of Stars: YA f/nb
Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World MG f/f
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am so looking like a rotten tomato after all that crying and ... crying!

I didn't know that this book would make me all soft and cry like it's everything I needed to feel alive.

It's just one of the best books I have ever read with the most realistic characters. The character representation is quite diverse and represented so well that it literally makes you feel like you have adopted them as your family forever.

Starting from the cover itself (yes, I as a human has her shallow reasons), it's on
Trina (Between Chapters)
Loved this!

Audio: 5 stars. The narrator put so much of Sunny's attitude into her reading that I could practically FEEL all the eye rolling. She did multiple accents and voices very well also.
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
me after reading this instead of going to therapy: cured 😌✨🙈💖🤝🥰🧘‍♂️🤯
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mfeo, cry-me-a-river
The cover of the book grabbed my attention when I saw Carrie adding it to her tbr. I read the blurb, did some research on the author/book and asked Kid1 if she would like to read it with me. Thanks to Book Depository for making it possible for her to have a copy as I decided to read in style by getting the audio - no regrets, the narration was superb + I get to admire the stunning cover.

So why should we adults pay USD1O for this book just to read about a 12-year-old? Because we can and if you do
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Do you have a moment to talk about our lord and savior, Queer Middle Grade Books?

This was so lovely. Twelve year old Sunny St. James is adjusting to life after getting a heart transplant, reconnecting with her mother who she hasn’t seen in years, and befriending (and possibly falling for) a new girl in town.

Ashley Herring Blake deals with some tough topics with extreme care. The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James is incredibly touching and very cute, this is just the perfect Middle Grade book.
prag ♻
i'm smiling and crying and i've never experienced something so real and wow i really love ashley herring blake?? ...more
Sunny St. James is twelve and getting a new heart. She was diagnosed at the age of ten with cardiomyopathy: a failing heart. That was two years ago. Sunny’s been through a lot in her short life. Her dad passed away in an accident right after she was born. When she was four, her mom, Lena, couldn’t take care of her anymore, so she gave her to her best friend, Kate. Kate and Sunny moved to Juniper Island, where Kate runs Cherry Picked Books. And recently, Sunny’s best friendship with Margot ended. ...more
Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
Mar 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
This is a very emotional and deep novel, especially considering the main character is twelve years old. Not only could I not imagine going through what Sunny has endured at that age (or any age), I don't know if I would have been emotionally prepared for a story like this at that age. With that being said, I also truly believe that there's a twelve year old out there that needs this story in their life.

It's hard to imagine any of these circumstances happening to kids but they do, whether it be
Ashley Herring Blake is not one of my all time favorite authors for nothing. I actually plan to reread all of her books next year.

This story is so wholesome. Why can't I just teleport into this book and live the rest of my life in it?

Everything about Sunny was so loveable. The things she'd been through, the heart transplant, the FBF (former best friend), the poems, the confusion, her biological mother, the fact she realised Kate is her mom, despite the fact they don't share a dna. I love her so
Amelia Oswald
Yes I cried alot. My queer heart is malfunctioning over this book :<
. (not active on this account stop adding me)
full review now on my blog!

"I lost my heart but kept on
Now all the mirrors show the
same face,
but I don't know the girl inside.
Does anyone know her?
A thousand years ago, she was lost in the ocean
but now she walks on the land.
Is she me?
Or am I her?
Or is she a new girl
who looks like
someone I used to be?"

Sunny St. James has just received a new heart transplant and wants to restart her life. Two years prior, she was diagnosed with a heart illness and bedridden, which det
evelyn hugo’s #1 fan
ivy aberdeen's letter to the world is by far my favourite of herring blake's books so far, so you bet your fucking ass off i'm excited for this ...more
4.5 stars
TW: surgery (heart transplant), hospital
Rep: sapphic MC, sapphic Mexican LI

The Writing
Sunny’s voice is very distinct and clear throughout the novel and I found myself really enjoying her narration. It was, of course, a bit juvenile, but this is a middle grade, so that was something I had expected going into the story. I thought the narration worked very well for this novel and the simplicity of it made it all the more beautiful and the message definitely packed a lot more of a punc
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt-characters
full review to come.
Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
This is the first book I've read by Ashley Herring Blake and it will not be my last.  I can in no way describe how much I loved this.

Sunny St. James lived with her mom's friend, Kate.  Sunny's mom, Lena, left her with Kate when she was four and she hasn't seen her in eight years.  Kate is amazing though and loves Sunny so much.  I loved this relationship.   Kate finally spoke to Lena because Sunny was having a heart transplant.  The book starts with a bit of her story, but mostly her fears and t
i did not cry
not even once
not even a single tear
and i most definitely don't want someone to take me to a beach right fucking now and love and cherish me with all their heart
i don't
no, sir

Lea (drumsofautumn)
This was absolutely beautiful! So much love to Ashley Herring Blake for giving us such wonderful sapphic Middle Grade stories.
Danni Green
I was honestly shocked when, after reading this book, I looked up interviews with the author to find out if she had a heart condition like her protagonist's and discovered that she does not. I absolutely believed it, 100%. I have a heart condition adjacent to the one the protagonist has -- not quite the same, and the specific experience of having a heart transplant isn't my own -- but I related so intensely to the way the protagonist narrated her experience of having a heart condition, I felt li ...more
Emily (emilykatereads)
It has been a pleasure to meet you, Sunny St. James. This book stole my heart and instantly became one of my fave middle-grade books.

This book is an emotional rollercoaster as Sunny deals with her life: a heart-transplant, reconnecting with her birth mother, coming to terms with her sexuality, and juggling friendships/relationships. It was such a sweet read and my heart melted during so many moments when I just wanted to give Sunny a hug and tell her everything’s gonna be okay.

The characters w
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
- well this just changed my mind about reading middlegrade
- I’ve always loved content, usually animated shows and movies, that are meant or marketed towards a younger audience and isn’t just mindless money grabbing fluff; until now I didn’t think to apply that same logic to middlegrade literature
- There’s something so pure about reading from the perspective of an mc so young (13 years old)
- Sunny’s thoughts are so unbridled in a bright and limitless sense, for example perceiving her absen
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I ugly cried the last like 20 or so pages I absolutely loved this book
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

After two years on the transplant list, Sunny St James finally has a new heart. Now she’s has a plan to be a new Sunny, to do the things she’s hasn’t been able to do including find a new BFF and kiss a boy (NOT a girl, which is how she lost Margot, her old BFF). She doesn’t expect her mom Lena to turn up eight years after abandoning her, nor does Sunny expect to have to fight off feeling for her new friend Quinn, who is definitely not a boy.

Tom Malinowski
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Middle schooler Sunny St. James is recuperating after having heart surgery. With a new heart she wants to try so many things as she couldn't do strenuous activity for two years. Making new plans with a new friend, Quinn, revitalizes her love of life. But things get complicated when Sunny's Mom re-enters her life, after being gone for eight years.

Told with such wonderment and honesty, Blake steers Sunny through a lot, but with that magical lens that only middle schoolers have. Really wow.
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
If Ashley Herring Blake could stop hitting me in the god damn feels with each book, thatd be great!

Ugh, so cute and sweet. I got so attached to Sunny. Her crush, figuring out what she feels for girls vs boys, survivivg a heart transplant, dealing with her mom coming back. Ugh *clenches heart* too many feels. Just take all the damn stars and stop hurting me!
This book is like a warm hug. It’s official, I would now read anything Ashley Herring Blake writes. I literally did not want this book to end, because it was just so darn lovely. Sunny was a wonderful protagonist, she was funny, and endearing, and plucky. I loved that there is finally some illness/disability rep in a middle grade book, the discussion around transplants and how Sunny feels about that was wonderful. It made me cry when she was saying that she was brave every day while she was poor ...more
Samantha (WLABB)
Seriously, I don't even have to read the synopsis for an Ashley Herring Blake book any more. I just know it's going to be spectacular.

Sunny was such a fabulous protagonist. After missing out on a lot of stuff, she was ready to recreate herself, but adjusting to a new heart was not the only new thing she had to deal with. Sunny was dealing with the loss of her best friend. She was questioning her attraction to other girls. She was dealing with her conflicting feelings regarding her mother's appe
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Ashley Herring Blake is a reader, writer, and mom to two boisterous boys. She holds a Master’s degree in teaching and loves coffee, arranging her books by color, and cold weather. She is the author of the young adult novels Suffer Love, How to Make a Wish, and Girl Made of Stars (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), and the middle grade novels Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World and The Mighty Heart of Sunn ...more

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“My heart is a wild beast, just like the dog. It’s barking and gnashing its teeth, chasing the rest of my body, which feels like it’s trying to leave my heart behind.” 1 likes
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