Friday, March 13, 2009

Cold Hands, Warm Heart review

Call me strange, but I really enjoy books about medical issues. I went to nursing school right out of high school, before the dreams of libraries really set in, and that left me with this creepy yearning for knowledge of all things blood and guts. Jill Wolfson's newest novel for young adults fulfilled my need for medical knowledge, focusing on a heart transplant in a fifteen year old girl, leading to an emotional novel that one can learn from.

Cold Hands, Warm Heart is about two girls whose lives become melted together without them having ever met. Amanda is a tiny, muscular gymnast that loves being active and performing her gymnastic routines. Dani was born with her heart on the wrong side of her chest, resulting in a life of hospitals, doctor's visits, and sickness. When Amanda dies unexpectedly, her family is forced to think about the decision of organ donation, not knowing that Dani is slowing dying as well...needing Amanda's heart to continue to live.

So much more than an organ transplant book, this emotional story tells of first loves in hospitals, crazy families, and hatred for Jello. Dani is incredibly witty and really knows herself, despite not spending much time outside of a hospital. The reader also gets a small portion of the story dedicated to Tyler's perspective, Amanda's brother, allowing insight into what it's like to have to let a family member's organs go to a stranger.

Beautifully written and certainly thought provoking this was a really emotional read for me. It was only a few short months ago that I had to make the decision whether or not to donate my mother's organs, after she passed away unexpectedly. We didn't really have a decision to make, we knew all along that was what she and we wanted and we've already received a letter from one of her many organ recipients. Donation is a beautiful, though difficult path to take.

Cold Hands, Warm Heart is a wonderful book, one I will recommend to all my teens. I do have to make a tiny comment on the cover though...not thrilled with it at all. Pink on red on red? Sooo much could have been done with this cover! I'm looking at an ARC, but Amazon has an image up and it's the same one as I have...maybe they'll change it before the end of the month publishing date.

Despite my lack of enjoyment in the cover, this is definitely one to read.

To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon.

Cold Hands, Warm Heart
Jill Wolfson
256 pages
Henry Holt
March 2009


Abby said...

Amanda, that sounds great! I've added it to my TBR list. My mom's a doctor and I've always been interested in medical issues, too. One of the books I remember loving as a young teen was A Night Without Stars by James Howe, which is about a girl who gets a heart transplant.

Thanks for the review!

Abby said...

Dude, we must be reading soul twins! ;)

Jeane said...

I have several family members who work in the medical field, so I find books like this very interesting.