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Second Hand Heart

Second Hand Heart - Catherine Ryan Hyde Theoretically this is the kind of book I really enjoy: emotional challenges, difficult dilemmas and scenarios that you hope you never ever find yourself in. In reality, however, I struggled to get into this book. Admittedly, Hyde has pulled together all the ingredients for a fine story - a young flighty girl in need of a heart, a tragic death, a grieving husband, a confusing relationship between the recipient and the donor's widow - but I still felt the recipe didn't quite come off.

The girl, Vida, is extremely hard to like. She's selfish, thoughtless and has her head in the clouds. Perhaps it was Hyde's intention to make her a distasteful character but I think this was a key aspect of the story that really stopped me getting fully involved.

The widow, Richard, is also flawed and somewhat misguided in some of his actions but I found him more likeable than Vida and certainly felt he was a more compelling character.

There's nothing fundamentally wrong with this tale but I felt it had the potential to shine bright amongst the ranks of Diane Chamberlain and Jodi Picoult. It is well written and interesting but I felt it fell short of truly sparkling. Nonetheless, it has certainly captured my interest enough to look out for Hyde's future works.