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Heart in a Box by [Stine, Catherine]
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Heart in a Box Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Length: 207 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 580 KB
  • Print Length: 207 pages
  • Publisher: Inkspell Publishing (December 4, 2015)
  • Publication Date: December 4, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B017VM7250
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #759,612 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Heart in a Box was my first read by Catherine Stine, though I actually have both of her YA sci-fi novels. This contemporary undertaking was a really lovely story of a teenager on the cusp of womanhood who is struggling to define who she is. Josse (pronounced “You-see”) Olstad is a young woman born to a mother of Nordic descent and an Indian father. She kind of hates her “ethnic” name and prefers to go by Joss. She has a great sense of humor, not too snarky or snotty. She has solely lived with and been raised by her mother, who is....alternative, to say the least. She and her mom own and run a store, above which they live in a small two-room apartment in New York City. You’ll find out just what kind of store it is, and why her mother is so markedly different from the mothers of her friends. This leads to Joss being embarrassed by and about her mother, and as we meet her at the beginning of a new school year at a new-to-her public school, she has vowed essentially to keep the facts about her unusual family to herself. That vow gets broken pretty quickly on, but I could definitely understand why Joss would try not to spill the beans too soon!

Although Joss has a pretty good life with her mom and, for the most part, they work well together, as a person she feels very incomplete and unsure of who she is. Her mother has refused, repeatedly and without concession, to tell Joss virtually anything about her father. She pretty much knows only that they met when her mother was in India, he was an artist of some sort, he was never involved in the pregnancy or her life, and that he died when she was very young. These are the barest of bare facts, and, quite rightly, Joss feels she deserves much more explanation from her mother.
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Format: Kindle Edition
When she is seventeen, Joss transfers from a Manhattan prep school to a Brooklyn public school, where she promptly falls in love-at-first-sight with William Torres and befriends the wild, blonde beauty Katya. Joss's Nordic mother is unconventional, to say the least, but she doesn't want Joss to follow in her wild ways and is very secretive about Joss's father. The only thing Joss knows about him is that he was Indian, and the only thing of his that she has is a hand-made, painted box. Joss makes a box of her own - a heart-shaped box - as part of a school assignment, and then she can't stop making them. This obsession sets Joss off on a quest to find out more about her father - in order to find out more about herself.

Joss is an extremely likable main character, with an interesting and touching story to tell. The author gives us an insight into the Nordic, Indian, Puerto Rican, and Russian cultures through the cast of ethnically-diverse characters, each of which could have a book of their own (hint, hint, Catherine); I'd love to learn more about William, Katya, Leela, and Trenton, as we are only given a glimpse of them through Joss' eyes. The author maintains a nice balance between sentiment and humor throughout, and the cute chapter titles add to the quirky charm of this book.

Charming and heart-warming, "Heart in a Box" will leave you wanting more.

I received this book in return for an honest review.
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Format: Paperback
Heart in a Box by Catherine Stine is the first book by her that I have read and this was a different type of story that had me entertained till the end.

The cover and the unusual title were the first things that attracted my attention towards this book and then the interesting blurb sealed the deal for me.

The plot is simple and yet the author has implemented it beautifully. Intriguing the readers right from the start the book takes us on a journey of the ups and downs faced by the teenager heroine who is struggling in finding her identity and caught up in some usual and some unusual dramas that seem so life threatening when we are teenagers.

I loved Joss and her mom who are both strong characters, headstrong and stubborn. Joss' inquisitiveness regarding her Indian father and her mother's attempt at trying to protect her daughter from making the mistakes she made when she was her age are both sweet and then frustrating.

The story is well paced and develops seamlessly. It is moving, surprising and a story many of us can relate to.

All in all, a lovely experience, I enjoyed reading Heart in a Box and give it 4 out of 5. Recommended to all readers looking for a different type of story that teaches as well as hooks.

This review is also available on Njkinny's World of Books & Stuff
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Format: Kindle Edition
Joss Olstad found private school stale and stifling. As she starts at a public high school, she's determined to find herself amidst the diverse student population. Her hopes begin to crumble as one friend flirts with her boyfriend, the other Indian girls act judgmental, and her hippie mother refuses to tell her anything about her father. Joss is losing herself even as she trying to find herself. A school project draw out the secret wishes of her heart, and she dares risk everything by going to discover a family secret that will either tear her world apart or make it whole.

This is my favorite young adult novel from Catherine Stine. It's an amazingly written story of a teenage girl trying to build her identity. Joss feels she cannot because she never knew her father or any of his history or family. I loved reading Joss' struggles in trying to find out who she is and how this helped her bloom into someone she did not expect. It's all at once genuine, sweet, heart wrenching, and wondrous. Sensational characterization and a tremendously moving story.

What a fantastic book for teens and adults. This should be on everyone's must read list!
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