Benoit Lelièvre's Reviews > The Heart Does Not Grow Back

The Heart Does Not Grow Back by Fred Venturini
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it was amazing

What difference can a great ending make.

Here's the lowdown about THE HEART DOES NOT GROW BACK. It comes rip roaring out of the gates with the most original and daring sixty pages about high school you've ever read in your life. Then, the novel gets more complicated and by the time I was hearing into the final curve, I was wondering if I had been tricked into reading one of these annoying coming-of-age novel about proving yourself to people you went to high school with. But that ending. It was beautiful. It wrapped the narrative together. Gave it a spine and a life of its own.

I have to say that I had an adversarial relationship to the protagonist of THE HEART DOES NOW GROW BACK Dale Sampson while reading. I believed he was soft and that he could only define himself with his relationship to women. Maybe he reminded me a little too much of the boy I once was too. The only think I can say is that you need to trust author Fred Venturini with Dale and that he's got what it take to drive this booming tale home. Amazing coming-of-age novel. It will ring true to contemporary young men more than anything else that's on the market right now.

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Reading Progress

November 30, 2014 – Started Reading
November 30, 2014 – Shelved
December 2, 2014 –
page 15
4.81% "It's early, but here's a couple observations.\n \n 1) It's a high school dork story.\n \n 2) It's remarkably not cliché, although it's not actively challenging it. \n \n 3) The writing is engaging, but I'm not sure it what way yet.\n \n That is all for now. Further judgment is suspended upon further reading."
December 3, 2014 –
page 47
15.06% "I think I've finally found it. I found THE high school story that hasn't been written by a bitter asshole with an axe to grind with his past. I'm thoroughly enjoying this."
December 4, 2014 –
page 95
30.45% "The novel is entering the meat of the subject right now, and I'm praying it keeps being awesome. Pattern I noticed though: it's a lot livelier when Dale interacts with people, his internal monologues tend to be one note songs."
December 4, 2014 –
page 95
December 5, 2014 –
page 147
47.12% "The middle is sagging a little bit, I have to say. But if an author earns your absolute trust in the first 50 pages, this is actually acceptable."
December 7, 2014 –
page 233
74.68% "I guess you could call this novel the most allegorical 'learning novel' in the universe. It's about being a boy a little bit, but it's a lot about becoming a man."
December 8, 2014 – Finished Reading

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