ARC REVIEW: Heartborn – by Terry Maggert

Title: Heartborn
Author: Terry Maggert

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
First published: September 1st 2016
Finished reading: May 28th 2017
Pages: 238

“Sometimes, she thought books had been the only thing other than the love her parents that kept her from quitting. They were old friends who never left, and always took her by the hand to go someplace her broken body could not.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I haven’t read all that many books about angels before and I was intrigued by both the cover and blurb when I first heard about Heartborn. What I didn’t realize until later is that this is actually the first book of a series… And that’s probably why I was kind of surprised when I reached the last page of this story. Heartborn definitely ends right when things are starting to make more sense and the story was becoming more interesting. This was one of the main things I was struggling with as I was reading this story: the credibility of it all and the lack of worldbuilding/descriptions of the word the angels live in. I liked that Heartborn is a story that is a mix of the ‘real’ world and the fantasy, linked together through the characters, and it definitely made the story more interesting. But even though I liked Livvy’s character (‘real’ world) in general, I had serious doubts about her reactions to everything. I mean, she somehow takes the news of a completely foreign world being out there somewhere without even a complaint or thinking twice? And she just accepts and gobbles up everything Keiron and the others say without completely freaking out? Not credible at all. And then I’m not even talking about the insta-love happening somewhere in the middle.  Also, I can’t go into details without spoilers, but let’s just say that I felt there was a lack of balance in the plot; some parts felt rushed and lacked explaining, while others started to drag. The ‘angel’ chapters were interesting enough, but I would have liked to see more details and worldbuilding to properly enjoy them. This fantasy world has a lot of promise, but didn’t reach its full potential for me. All in all not as good as I would have hoped it would be.

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Livvy Foster was born with only half a heart, and has somehow completely surprised everyone and survived to reach her seventeenth birthday. Life hasn’t been easy on her and she bears the scars to prove it; forced to live slow as to not damage further her already weak heart. She has only just started working in the library when she meets Keiron. What she doesn’t know is that there is a whole lot more about him than just another library visitor… Because he has come from a place far away, a guardian angel pushed from high above with a mission to save her. What will happen to the two?

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Now I’ve read Heartborn I can’t deny there is a lot of potential in this story, and it’s a shame the fantasy world has been described only so briefly. An extra 100 pages or so would have helped develop their world better and that would probably help enjoying this story a lot better. I also had problems with the credibility of it all, mostly due to Livvy’s reactions to so many (for her) shocking details. The final part of the story also felt a bit rushed and the ending abrupt. All in all a lot of potential, but in the end it just didn’t work for me.


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18 thoughts on “ARC REVIEW: Heartborn – by Terry Maggert

    • Haha I actually like the YA fantasy genre every once in a while, but it can go either way for me and the romance tends to ruin things for me. In this case it was not the only problem I had with it; the lack of descriptions/worldbuilding and balance in the pace definitely put me off as well. Not one I would recommend to you. 😉

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  1. Credibility is so important… this is a great review with valid critiqure.. I read a short novella some time ago where everything was kind of explained away with the hand of god being involved and when characters found out that it was god who like make the life altering changes, it was just A-OK… for me, that was total and utter NO because no one was surprised, like at all.. no questions asked whereas I would have been mindblown if I was in the setting of the book… so I totally get your point here! 🙂

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    • I completely agree! I love a good fantasy story when the worldbuilding is right and things are explained correctly so everything is credible, but characters just gobbling every new fact without thinking twice, freaking out or at least doing something? Huge turn off. Sounds like you had a pretty similar experience recently.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I can completely agree with that! I feel that with more pages and more focus on the worldbuilding of the ‘angel’ world I would probably have enjoyed this a lot better, especially since the idea behind this story is quite promising.

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  8. Ah… credibility sure does play a huge role in our ability to enjoy books! Even in fiction, it’s just as important. Quite unfortunate that you couldn’t enjoy this more. Learning that it was a series was probably shocking too.. Did you feel like it justified the lack of some things? i.e. world-building? Do you plan on checking out the rest of the series now? 🙂

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    • After my experience with the first book I’m convinced to just leave this series be. I don’t think the fact of this being a series made up for the lack of certain elements and especially the worldbuilding. In fact, there should have been even more worldbuilding/introductions in Heartborn to prepare everything for the sequels if you ask me.

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