Getting Hit in the Feels: My Crimson Hearts Review

Happy happy release day to a very special book ... Crimson Hearts by Nicole Reeves! *bangs pots and pans in celebration* To mark this momentous occasion, I'm going to do what I do best -- give my opinion and all the accompanying tea about this new YA contemporary release. Let's get into it!

Book Title: Crimson Hearts
Author: Nicole Reeves
Year: 2020
Genre: Contemporary
Number of Pages (According to Goodreads): 290
My Rating: 4 out of 5

Book description (from Goodreads):

Military brat Hattie Tate is used to people disappearing from her life. Her mother skipped out on her years ago, and Sergeant Dad is always leaving for another dangerous government assignment. She’s learned not to rely on anyone, with the exception of her twin brother, Danny. It’s been the two of them against the world since the beginning.

Except now that senior year is kicking off, Hattie fears even Danny may leave her behind. Especially if he finds out she’s got feelings for his best friend, Kellan. Feelings that lead to a secret kiss behind the school  ...

Just when Hattie thinks her life can’t get any more complicated, tragedy strikes, and her world comes crashing down. Struck with guilt and fear, she must fight her way through the stages of grief to discover the girl she was meant to be all along.

Oh my goodness, THIS BOOK. I don't usually cry over contemporary books, but Crimson Hearts made me bawl several times! This story is such a beautiful, raw exploration of grief, healing, and family. Plus, it's set in my home state of Texas, which I always appreciate :D

I found the beginning of the book to be a little slow, but after the inciting incident, I feel like the author really came into her own. Reeves has an amazing way of hitting just the right emotional beats to make Hattie's feelings seem heart-wrenchingly real.

In a story like this, there can't be such a thing as a fairytale happy ending, but the conclusion is uplifting and hopeful nonetheless. It really drives home the point that life can't be perfect, but if we surround ourselves with supportive people, we can find meaning even in sadness.

Trigger Warnings for Crimson Hearts

This book might not be for you if you're sensitive to depictions and discussions of the death of a family member, toxic parents, and physical violence.

Final Thoughts

If you're looking for an emotional, introspective read reminiscent of Jeff Zentner's Goodbye Days, I would highly recommend Crimson Hearts! 

Thanks to Nicole Reeves for providing me with an advance review copy. If you're interested in swiping a copy for yourself, check out the links below!

Amazon | Goodreads

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