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A Matter of Heart Hardcover – May 12, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Abby knows what she wants, and she is seconds away from achieving it: making the Olympic Trials in her premier event—the 100-meter freestyle. Weeks away from reaching her dream, she gets dizzy after a swim meet. Concerned, her coach wants her to get cleared by her doctor before he will let her swim again. Abby and her parents are shocked to learn that she has Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a medical condition that has been responsible for the loss of top high school athletes across the country. Abby and her parents each react differently after the doctor's diagnosis. Her mother incorrectly believes that her daughter's condition is fatal, her father is in denial, and Abby, knowing that she actually has a mild form that likely isn't terminal, decides not to give up on her goals. The teen continues to struggle with her decision to risk her life in order to achieve her dream. Even non-athletes will relate to Abby and her fight to attain a seemingly impossible aspiration. More than a sports novel, this book delves deep into issues of identity—how we identify ourselves separately from what we do well—and the importance of support systems while making life-altering decisions. VERDICT Give this to fans of Catherine Gilbert Murdock's "Dairy Queen" series (Houghton Harcourt, 2006).—Stephanie Charlefour, Wixom Public Library, MI
More than a sports novel, this book delves deep into issues of identity--how we identify ourselves separately from what we do well--and the importance of support systems while making life-altering decisions. --School Library Journal
A powerful book about finding yourself when everything around you is crumbling. This one is a must read - add it to your list. - YA Book Nerd
An enjoyable read even for couch potatoes -- Kirkus
"This engaging and fast-paced read expertly paints the world of high-school sports and the single-minded focus and commitment that some high-school athletes can have." --Booklist
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A MATTER OF HEART is a compulsively readable tale of a girl and her dreams, her values and resilience. Abby is a great character, because of her imperfections, she's at times selfish, dishonest, shallow and unkind, yet I never stopped rooting for her to be okay emotionally and physically.
Amy Dominy's writing engaged me from start to finish. I loved the subplot of the kids Abby coached. I wished the story had focused a bit less on her insta-love with Alec, though I loved his character. Plot wise, I wish Dominy hadn't left Conner's possible doping unaddressed and unresolved and I felt like the ending was a bit clichéd and predictable.
A MATTER OF HEART is an engaging story of sports, dreams, friendship and love.
The theme is strong and will resonate with anyone who has to give up a dream. What do we do when the thing that defines us is taken away? Another great novel by Amy Dominy.
And I especially loved all the kissing. Those scenes sizzled! Five hearts!
A few topics are not completely appropriate for a sixth grade girl, but gives us good discussions.