Review: Heart Murmurs by R.R. Smythe

heart murmursHeart Murmurs
written by R.R. Smythe
published by Astraea Press

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I received an offer to review this book. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book:
I didn’t hate it.  I didn’t love it, and I didn’t quite get it, but I didn’t hate it.  Let me explain.  No, is too much.  Let me sum up.  Nerdy high school girl works at nerdy Civil War reenactment site that happens to be NOT a stop on the Underground Railroad, but rather a magical mystery tunnel created and maintained by magical mystery super popular writers who happen to have magical mystery super powers.  You know, like Lousia May Alcott’s sister. Oh, and the nerdy high school girl had a heart transplant, so she hears the thoughts of her heart donor, who just happens to be – yep, you guessed it – a magical mystery super writer.

The grammar was fine.  The syntax was fine.  Smythe obviously knows a thing or two about literature.   The thing is, well, I don’t think the typical young adult reader has the literary knowledge to make this book meaningful.  Yeah, sure, they’ve HEARD of Little Women and Edgar Allan Poe (hopefully), but unless they’ve got a working knowledge of the literary classics, they’re going to find it difficult to relate.  Mysterious Handsome Strangers are COOL (and sooooo ‘in’), but if you don’t know a lot about Louisa May Alcott’s father, you’re not going to much care why he hates a famous writer’s dead dad, which means you’re not going to be able to figure out an important plot point, which means even when Smythe tells you what happens you’re not really going to be that invested.

I admire the sentiment: it would be awesome to write a book that rekindles a passion for the classics in young readers.  I just don’t think this is it.


Would I recommend it: Not unless you have both a significant knowledge of classic works of literature and the stomach for yet another teen romance…

Will I read it again: No.


About the book – from Goodreads:
Mia Templeton is dying. Or was dying. After receiving a heart transplant, her world is forever altered. Before her eyes open, she overhears her donor was a murdered girl of the same age. Whispers invade Mia’s head before she’s even left the recovery room. She develops tastes for foods she once hated, and dreams so vivid, she feels they’re someone else’s memories. Her personality is altered—once a quiet doormat, she’s now inexplicably flippant, and confident. And her unexplained longing for the new boy at school is borderline obsessive.

Morgan Kelley is new. Adopted by his aunt, a descendant of Louisa May Alcott (Little Women), he’s thrown into life at a new high school, and as a historical guide for his aunt’s store—a homage to all things Alcott. Conspiracy theories abound about his mangled lower leg—but no-one has been brave enough to ask. Till Mia.

Something is awry with the Underground Railroad tunnels beneath his aunt’s home. Mia and Morgan enter the world of a secret Literary Society–and are drafted to help bring a rogue Literary giant to justice, solve the mystery of her heart donor, the the real fate of Beth from Little Women.


Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!