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The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James Kindle Edition
When Sunny St. James receives a new heart, she decides to set off on a "New Life Plan": 1) do awesome amazing things she could never do before; 2) find a new best friend; and 3) kiss a boy for the first time.
Her "New Life Plan" seems to be racing forward, but when she meets her new best friend Quinn, Sunny questions whether she really wants to kiss a boy at all. With the reemergence of her mother, Sunny begins a journey to becoming the new Sunny St. James.
This sweet, tender novel dares readers to find the might in their own hearts.
From the Publisher
- ASIN : B07F1QFXHQ
- Publisher : Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (26 March 2019)
- Language : English
- File size : 6150 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 385 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 657,817 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top review from Australia
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Every review of mine covering an Ashley Herring Blake novel starts the same way: I wish I had this book when I was younger. I wish I could read about a character who has genuine feelings for another girl and doesn’t feel ashamed of it when I was twelve. I wish I read from the perspective of a character that was questioning and has to force themselves to pretend to be straight when others find out. This may sound problematic now, but it’s something a lot of bisexual people have to go through at some point in their journey to realising their sexuality. And I definitely appreciated reading about it from a twelve-year-old.
Blake’s writing is stunning. At times, I barely even noticed that I was reading a Middle Grade novel. Of course, it could be juvenile at times and the topics Sunny got upset over were childish, but she’s twelve. Let her be a child. However, I loved how poetic and imaginative the writing was. I adored how Sunny would always describe her heart illness around the ocean. Not to mention, she explains the absence of her mother through this as well. The ocean is connected to Sunny in a multitude of ways: she could no longer be a normal girl swimming with her heart disease, she meets Quinn in her first foray into the ocean after the transplant, she refers to her mother as a mermaid and suggests that she was made for the land and not the ocean, and the ocean brings her back to her mother when she’s undergoing surgery. I loved the symbolism throughout the novel and definitely consider Blake one of my favourite authors.
Sunny was a fascinating character to follow. You’d expect it to be difficult to connect with a twelve-year-old when you’re past being a preteen anymore, but I did. Most of the time her age doesn’t show through her character and her experiences make her appear older than her years. I loved following her character development and appreciated that she was depicted as a flawed individual.
The commentary on questioning your sexuality – especially as a young girl and/or a person of colour – was lovely to see. Sunny has always imagined herself kissing girls and boys, but after she’s betrayed by her best friend, she forces herself to only like boys. Not to mention, it’s reaffirmed that Sunny’s feelings about her questioning are 100% valid. It’s something a lot of people who are attracted to more than one gender feel, and I greatly appreciated it. Also, I liked the message this taught about assuming someone’s sexual orientation. When Sunny first meets Quinn and proposes they go on a Kissing Quest, she always mentions that they need to find a boy and Quinn goes quiet. This book contains so many important messages for young readers to see and learn from, and I absolutely loved it.
The Mighty Heart of Sunny St James is a Middle Grade novel for all ages. Its protagonist is one that’ll inspire you to be brave yourself, no matter how old you are. Ashley Herring Blake’s latest novel is the heartbreaking, intense, and subsequently uplifting story of a girl with a new heart who restarts her life, starting with a new best friend and reconnection with her mother. I’d definitely recommend this book or any of the author’s previous novels.
Top reviews from other countries
All of this came to a terrible dénouement when her mother (my sister) was found dead of an overdose on the living room sofa.
By the grace of God her father has remained sober since he was released from jail. He reunited the family with a new, loving, stable and nurturing wife and what seemed destined for inevitable tragedy has grown into a “happy ending” for all.
And my niece? Last summer in one of the most fun and tender afternoons I’ve enjoyed she came out to me. I am gay and I cannot begin to express how different her experience is from mine. My early years as a closeted boy were fraught with fear and insecurity. The societal loathing was only matched by my own...and those painful and isolating years left deep scars.
I see none of that in my niece. The world has changed and at least in this way, for the better.
She is not a reader and remembering how it felt to watch television and see no characters who were “like me” I decided to find something private and affirmative for her to connect to.
Enter Sunny St. James, who, like my own niece has suffered and grown through that suffering to become wiser, braver, more steady, and deeply compassionate.
So my “not a reader” niece? It’s been less than a month since I gave her the book and she’s read it twice and starting it over again. I’ve never seen her hungry for the written word like this.
Yay for gay uncle!
Thank you to Ashley Blake Herring and to all the allies, friends family and members of my community past and present who have made this a safer, more loving world for LGBTQ people.