Heart Breaths by K.K.Hendin
“New Adult” is a frustrating genre for me. Since I am an “older” Young Adult reader. A genre that focuses on more mature characters sounds really appealing. Too frequently, I have found the label “New Adult” meant very violent or highly sexual situations for the older characters. These two characteristics are the reason I shy away from some of the adult books. So I have been very picky with what I read in the “New Adult” genre. I am very pleased to say that Heart Breaths by K.K. Hendin was a pleasant surprise.
The way this story is told is my favorite kind of story telling, because you are plopped into a situation with the character and you are trying to figure out how they have gotten there. Maddie is escaping or running at the start of this story. You find out she has some sort of tragic past, tons to work through, and she is running from her old life. The reasons for her running are slowly revealed through the story and you meet, and get to know her much like the locals of the small town of Eno. Even though some of the thoughts that Maddie thinks are really hard she is also pretty funny. I enjoyed the internal dialogue even though you find out she is deeply traumatized, but it is not overwhelmingly dark.
I don’t want to ruin the lovely way this story unfolds, so I will keep the details vague. This may feel like a New Adult contemporary at first, but there is a bit of a paranormal bend to it that spices it right up. If you pay attention to small details it’s like a lovely scavenger hunt to work out what exactly is happening. It is drawing together Maddie and the very lovely Gabriel. His daughter Noie is adorable and is such a great catalyst to getting Gabriel & Maddie to meet. I was so drawn in by the locals in Eno, because Hendin slowly and naturally layered them all into the story to create the family Maddie never had.
Overall, YAY! I was so pleased to read a New Adult book that had mature characters, a layered dramatic story, a fun paranormal twist and some yummy romance. I give it four books out of five on the bookshelf.
After a tragedy nearly ripped 21 year old Madeline Darlington-Gray’s life in half, she’s spent the past three years trying to put the pieces back together. But pieces never just fit back together, and when she’s betrayed by those she trusts, everything crumbles. Shoving everything she owns into the trunk of her car, Maddie drives south, trying to run from her past.