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Heartwood Box

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  484 ratings  ·  145 reviews
A dark, romantic YA suspense novel with an SF edge and plenty of drama, layering the secrets we keep and how appearances can deceive, from the New York Times bestselling author.

In this tiny, terrifying town, the lost are never found. When Araceli Flores Harper is sent to live with her great-aunt Ottilie in her ramshackle Victorian home, the plan is simple. She'll buckle do
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by Tor Teen
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  484 ratings  ·  145 reviews

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Candace Robinson
I really liked the author’s Razorland series but I just couldn’t get into this one. Maybe because I don’t read a lot of mystery stuff? But her writing was just as good as her other books!
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
My first thought into this book was, “huh, it’s interesting, but I’m kind of picking up on some similarities with Stranger Things… is it a knockoff?” Then I got a promotional email from the author boasting “Stranger Things meets The Lake House” and had a good laugh. Who doesn’t love Stranger Things?! All that said, the story does stand pretty well on its own. You can definitely see the influence from the show, but overall it’s a very minor contribution to the overall plot.

Aguirre always has an x
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I loved everything about this cover and synopsis and I’m pretty much here for everything Ann writes.

I think I liked Araceli? She’s a little rough around the edges, but for the most part I liked being in her head. She’s sarcastic and strong. There are a lot of characters in this story and I’m not sure if that’s good or not. No one really felt fleshed out...if that was on purpose to show how Araceli was an outsider, it was effective.

Plot wise, it okay. There are loads of moving parts and plot th
Jessica Ryan
I will be 100% honest. I bought this book because of the cover and because the description promised some major creep-factors. The plot starts off strong, setting up a small town with way too many missing people and a seemingly haunted, aging house, but everything that comes after falls flat. The story takes a long time to get going, and it turns into more of a love story than anything else. The secret lab and time travel aspect remind me a bit of Stranger Things, but with less interesting charac ...more
Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
I read Like Never and Always last year and didn't think it could get weirder than that.  But Heartwood Box might have beat it for me.  Ann Aguirre writes the strangest books and I really like how her mind works.

This book is such a mix of genres.  It has a mystery, it's a thriller at times, there is some sci fi, some historical fiction, ghost story, and some romance.  I'll do my best to write what I can without giving anything away.

Araceli moves in with her great aunt for her senior year.  She us
Marta Cox
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-reviews, netgalley
This book was most definitely a surprise. The author clearly decided to mess with her readers heads and mix more than one genre here so if it’s YA paranormal mixed with time travel and suspense that intrigues you then pick this up. The author herself has likened it to Stranger Things meets the Lake House and I couldn’t agree more.
The story revolves around Araceli a young mixed race girl staying with her aunt in a town where people keep disappearing . The mystery apparently involves strange ligh
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

3.5 Stars

Heartwood Box by Ann Aguirre is a book that I picked up unsure of what to expect. It is thrilling and mysterious, and it blends multiple genres to create something that I have never seen before. I enjoyed the main character and her determination to makes things right in her new town, however the ending didn’t work out for me, and it impacted my enjoyment of the book. This is still a fantastic read, but I would have enjoyed a different outcome.

This book tak
The Nerd Daily
Jul 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Originally posted on The Nerd Daily | Review by Laura Erne

“This is where hope goes to die.”

I knew after just one sentence that this book was going to be good. It kicks off with the main character, Araceli, and her perspective is hilariously pessimistic. Her clearly sarcastic observations help lighten the very dark things that seem to happen in this new yet, seemingly old town.

“I like them all more when they accept that without asking a lot of questions. If we click, I’ll tell them about my life,
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult, Thriller, Science Fiction
*Rating* 3.0


Ann Aguirre's Heartwood Box is a cross between fantasy, and science fiction, and speculation. Thanks to her parents spending time in Venezuela covering a story, because why not? Araceli Flores Harper is sent to her great-Aunt Ottilie's home on Long Island to spend the summer before she attends her final year of High School. Ottilie's husband disappeared 20 years ago. She still lives in the run down Victorian ho
Caryn - iam.caryn
Aguirre herself tweeted that Heartwood Box is “Stranger Things meets The Lake House”. There’s really no better way to explain this book.

I previously read Aguirre’s book The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things and I believe that it was the better book that I’ve read by her. My enjoyment of that book was why I was interested in reading this one. While Heartwood Box has an interesting premise, the execution wasn’t what I had hoped for.

There were many instances when the conversational scenes were slopp
My theory is someone switched books on me. I started Sunday night and was pretty into it. I got about halfway through, put it down for bed, and picked up back up Monday night and I DIDN'T GET IT.

For one, I definitely didn't get I was supposed to be shipping (view spoiler). And the plot got all weird. It's not really what I expected from the description. I wouldn't call it a thriller. (I'm not sure what I WOULD call it.)

Anyway, this ratin
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ann consistently writes stories that are unputdownable, timely, and leave me waiting for her next book. Heartwood Box has the cover from a 90s horror/thriller and one of the most unique sci-fi mystery within. Absolutely loved this.
Oct 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
Dnf somewhere at the beginning
Amber (The Book Bratz)
The full review + more can be found at The Book Bratz

I really wasn't sure what I was expecting when I began to read Heartwood Box, but I think compared to the summary I was expecting something a lot different. I also am not the biggest contemporary fan. I love fantasy and science fiction and things with heavy world building. So it was a little different reading something that takes place in the real world. Heartwood Box also takes place in New York, so I was really intrigued with that aspect. T
Jaye Berry
Jun 06, 2019 added it
Shelves: ebooks, 2019, ya
I won't fully review until closer to release date but this was okay, not what I was expecting at all. I think the cover and the summary just gave me a different vibe over what the book actually is and that was a shame. There were a lot of things in here I've seen before and I didn't really like the romance either. I don't think Ann Aguirre is a terrible writer or anything, this was just a miss for me.
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Have you ever encountered those stories, pieces of art, new foods, or other things that you weren’t sure about at first, but they slowly began to grow on you? This describes my experience with Heartwood Box. The weird thing is that this didn’t even happen while I was reading the book. It began to happen after I finished and thought about it. The story keeps coming back to me -- it’s the type that lingers. It’s an unusual tale and my instinct while reading it was to rate it 3 stars. When I finish ...more
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2019, ya, audio-book
This one started out slow for me. Araceli was a fish out of water as she arrived in town and knew something was up. Between the letters and the missing people things were weird. I was glad that Araceli finally started to confide in people, but that seemed to make things worse. Finally Araceli and her friends took action. It was here that things went a bit over the top, from the misfit band of teens fighting to fix things to Araceli and her falling "in love" with Oliver. I saw the twist at the en ...more
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
First off, huge thanks to you to NetGalley and Tor Teen for giving me an arc of the book to read

I was really excited to read this book as the mysterious and time traveling aspects were what caught my attention almost immediately when I read the synopsis. But then, I actually read it and I'm sad to say that I was disappointed. This letdown mainly stemmed from how the story was told and how it played out.

Heartwood Box Follows Araceli, A POC characters who move to A small subtly racist tone in New
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
What an odd, odd story.

There was so much happening, so many separate storylines that it had me confused. Was this sci fi? Was this contemporary? Was this a mystery? It felt a little all over the place...

Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Thank you to MacMillan-Tor/Forge and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this eArc.

Heartwood Box is a mystery story that builds slowly in the beginning and packs a punch at the end with an ending that is somewhat bizarre but it works. I thought it was creative and different. My reaction was more like, what?……🤔

While reading this book, I was wondering if this was a ghost story but some things didn’t add up especially when there are people going missing in this strange town. I
Jul 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for an ARC of this book!

First of all, I love Ann Aguirre. She is just a pro writer. This book is a little different than what I have been reading recently. I really don't want to give anything away, so this will be hard to write. The use of World War I makes me happy. It's not something you see a lot in YA, and it's such an important time in history to study. I am definitely checking out some of the stuff discussed in the author's note! The characters in
Annie Deo
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Review originally posted at my blog.


This book caught my interest with that gorgeous cover and the blurb which per the author's pitch is Stranger Things meets The Lake House. I recently binge-watched season 3 of Stranger Things, I'm a massive fan, so those vibes got me excited, and I'm old enough to have watched The Lake House when it was released 13 (!!) years ago, which makes me feel decrepit as the main character notes "If my great-aunt knows about it, then it's probably pretty old."

Liz (Quirky Cat)
I received a copy of Heartwood Box through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Heartwood Box is the newest novel by Ann Aguirre, and it is an amazing blend of different genres. It's young adult, and has romance, supernatural, and science fiction elements as well. It's a time travel tale, but also a tale of a teenage girl trying to do what is right. And it's so amazingly dark and brilliant.
It's also a very introspective novel, in its own way. It makes you think. About assumptio
Dani Iglesia
Jul 08, 2019 rated it liked it
*A big thanks to the publisher for approving my request for this book in exchange of honest review*

This book give me nerves to the ultimate emotions, unexpected twists and unexpected ending. It’s clearly good book to read, you’ll have everything to feel in this book: Creepy, Suspense, and Romance. I didn’t get bored, for real, every chapter is moving in different scenarios and getting me a bit jumpy while reading. It’s dark and romantic read, it’s already one of my favorites.

The story have so mu
Kristie Elston
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dft-reviews
Heartwood Box by Ann Aguirre is a young adult novel that is part romantic mystery part science fiction thriller. This novel definitely packed the sci fi compared to Like Never and Always which was why I was kind of disappointed in that book. Heartwood Box follows the story of Araceli Flores Harper as she is sent to live with her Great Aunt in New York, while her parents are going to war torn Venezuela which they deem is too dangerous for her. Araceli has traveled all over the world but she isn’t ...more
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Teen for the chance to read and review this book.

This was just such a bizarre story! At first it reads as a mystery. Then quickly turns to paranormal. It goes through almost all the genres you can think of! Mystery, thriller, paranormal, romance, science fiction, and even historical fiction. And somehow it all worked!

Araceil comes to stay with her great aunt for her last year in high school while her parents are working in Venezuela. They think she will be safer i
Andrea Johnston
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I originally requested this book from Net Galley as it sounded like an ooky-spooky haunted house tale to thrill and chill. However, the further and further along I got into the novel, the more it appeared as though this work was having some serious identity issues. For quite some time, the work struggles with what it wants to be: a thriller, sci-fi, historical romance, relatable teen/YA fiction, but henny, that moment when it all comes together? That is what readers LIVE for.

Heartwood Box beauti
Ally Watkins
Jul 20, 2019 rated it liked it

I received an eARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

And, I’ll note that I had every intention of finishing this before it came out, but I just did not want to pick it up. I don’t think that’s the book’s fault, but I had a buggy file that wouldn’t let me make the text bigger, so I was reading tiny text on my average-sized phone and... it wasn’t great.

Araceli has just moved to a sleepy town where people just... go missing. She’s living wi
Zara P
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I think the theme of this book is to live in the present and look to the future, rather than be haunted by the past. This book is AMAZING, it's so creative, and I would recommend it to anyone. It starts out somewhat slow, but it's worth it. Here's a summary: Our main character is a girl who moves frequently because her parents are reporters. She has to move in with her great-aunt for a year or so because her parents are working on a story that's really dangerous, and they assume that she'll be s ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add cover 2 16 Jul 23, 2019 04:45AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Heartwood Box by Ann Aguirre - Starting June 7th 2019 1 7 Jun 04, 2019 04:31PM  

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Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. She likes all kinds of b ...more

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“I like them all more when they accept that without asking a lot of questions. If we click, I’ll tell them about my life, but I hate giving personal details for no other reason than to satisfy the curiosity of strangers. Any info I divulge should come by choice.” 0 likes
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