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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Review: Anxious Hearts by Tucker Shaw

Title: Anxious Hearts
Author: Tucker Shaw
Publisher: Amulet
Pub. Date: Out Now, 3/2010
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Love, Friendship, Loss
Pages: 272
Plot (from back of arc):
"Eva and Gabe explore the golden forest of their seaside town in Maine, tracing the footsteps of two teens, Evangeline and Gabriel, who lived in the same idyllic woods more than one hundred years ago. On the day that Evangeline and Gabriel were to be wed, their village was attacked and the two were seperated. And now, in the present, Gabe has mysteriously disappeared from Eva.
A dreamlike tale of romance and unrequited love inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic love poem "Evangeline," ANXIOUS HEARTS avows that, even when lost somewhere on life's journey, true love can be found and there is a way home again."

ANXIOUS HEARTS left me lovestruck. It is a relatively short novel, but it pulled me in completely and had an almost cinematic quality.

I will admit to liking the present day parts of the novel narrated by Eva better than the ones set in the past and narrated by Gabriel. I liked the epic quality of Gabriel and Evangeline's story, but I didn't feel particularly connected to those two characters. Plus, Gabriel was a little bit too intense for my tastes. I appreciated the fact that his love for Evangeline drove him to such great lengths, but his interest in her before he even knew her bordered on obsession. On the other hand, I found Eva and Gabe's story almost comforting. Their passionate, sudden relationship began in high school, which I find very true to life. Many high school relationships flare to life suddenly and burn brightly. The difference between most high school relationships and Eva and Gabe's is that, even after losing one another for quite some time, their love survived.

In the years that Gabe is absent from Eva's life, she does not wither away or pull away from life. Gabriel, on the other hand, nearly died in his quest to regain his beloved Evangeline. I'm glad that Shaw wrote Eva as a strong character who carried on with life even after losing the love of her life. Eva does go through a difficult time after Gabe goes missing, but she eventually puts the shattered pieces of her life back together and forges on. I think that is a wonderful message to send, especially in a novel that could easily take the route of lovers falling apart when seperated. I like that Eva could be a girl in love and still be resilient.

Grade: A-

Cover Comments:
I love the colors of ANXIOUS HEARTS' cover. They remind me of autumn, which has long been my favorite season. I imagine that it is Evangeline on the cover, rather than Eva. I think it will look beautiful on the bookstore shelves - and my own shelf!


  1. I have this book and have been meaning to read it soon (story of my life :)
    Great review - thanks!

  2. I've heard such great things about this book! I'm glad you liked it! Great review!

  3. I can't wait to read this one! I definitely am in love with the cover as well... :-D Sounds like it'll be worth the wait!

  4. Great review! I'm looking forward to reading this book as soon as I can get my hands on it!

  5. Really looking forward to this, sounds awesome :)

  6. I am so glad you loved this book. I love the cover and anything based on classic literature or poetry. I can't wait to get my hands on this one. Great review!

  7. great review. I really want to read the book and I love the cover (:

  8. I like that Eva could be a girl in love and still be resilient.

    I'm sure I'll like that, too. Women in love do not have to be slaves to said love. :D

    Great review!

    And my favorite season is Autumn, too. :D

  9. While I am not familiar with the poem this review has sparked my interest. I think it is amazing when an author get inspiration from other authors or poet's work.

    Thanks for the review I will be looking for this book.

  10. I love the cover too. Can't wait to read this book and the two different point of views.

  11. This one really sounds like an interesting book. I'm looking forward to reading it!

  12. I have heard such great things about this novel. I can't wait to read it. Your right the cover is breathtaking, I want a copy as well.

  13. This sounds like a good balance between love and sensibility; I like the idea of remaking Evangeline. Also...the cover is gorgeous!

  14. Wow. Great review. You sold me. I MUST read this book.

    -Lisa B.

  15. Something else to add to my TBR list! Thanks for the insightful review.

  16. This book looks really unique and interesting. I love the cover as well.

  17. Great review! Sounds like a book that I would like to read. :)


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