Read Coração em Segunda Mão by Catherine Ryan Hyde Online


Vida is 19 and has never had much of a life. Struggling along with a life-threatening heart condition, her whole life has been one long preparation for death. But suddenly she is presented with a donor heart, and just in time. Now she gets to do something she never imagined she'd have to do: live.Richard is a 36-year-old man who’s just lost his beloved wife, Lorrie, in a cVida is 19 and has never had much of a life. Struggling along with a life-threatening heart condition, her whole life has been one long preparation for death. But suddenly she is presented with a donor heart, and just in time. Now she gets to do something she never imagined she'd have to do: live.Richard is a 36-year-old man who’s just lost his beloved wife, Lorrie, in a car accident. Still in shock and not even having begun the process of grieving, he is invited to the hospital to meet the young woman who received his wife’s donor heart.Vida takes one look at Richard and feels she’s loved him all her life. And tells him so. Richard assumes she’s just a foolish young girl. And maybe she is. Or maybe there’s truth behind the theory of cellular memory, and maybe it really is possible for a heart to remember, at least for a time, on its own.Second Hand Heart is both a story of having to learn to live for the first time, and having to learn to live all over again....

Title : Coração em Segunda Mão
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789721061347
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 248 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Coração em Segunda Mão Reviews

  • Marleen
    2019-05-03 05:52

    Second Hand Heart tells the story of a 19-year old girl, recipient of a new heart transplanted from a woman that just died in a car accident. The grieving husband of the dead woman agrees to be contacted by the recipient's family and from there a strange relationship ensues. This might well be the least enjoyable book I’ve read by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Somehow this surprises me. I like this author - A few of her books are on my favorite shelf. Believe me, I did my best and absolutely tried to enjoy this book but I just couldn’t connect, nor empathize with the main character. Vida’s behavior is odd to say the least. That continuous childlike behavior was rather irritating. As for Richard, the dead wife's husband, I truly liked him a lot but his actions were equally hard for me to understand. Here and there, there were some valuable messages that I could take away about the human condition, the human heart and about cellular memory. The idea behind the story is interesting enough. There’s no doubt that people are affected by transplanted organs – that goes for the donor’s family as for the recipient, but I guess I didn’t connect with its execution, particularly not translated into Vida's story.

  • 🐢Eliza {Bat Tziyon}🌸
    2019-05-22 08:34

    After trying really hard, I unfortunately have to say I’m giving up on this book. The clicking just isn’t happening. I’m disliking the writing and I don’t think I’ve ever come across a character I am as disappointed in as I’m disappointed in Vida. She’s moody, egotistical, surly, and demanding. I don’t think I care one bit what happens to her.

  • Micki
    2019-05-06 04:51

    I had the good fortune of connecting with Catherine Ryan Hyde this summer as a result of an adolescent literature class I took. One of the books I was required to read was Ryan Hyde’s Jumpstart the World, which addressed some LGBTQ issues. I really liked Jumpstart the World, and was stoked when my class had the opportunity to visit with her via Skype. I was also thrilled to have the opportunity to get a copy Secondhand Heart in order to read and review it. I am so glad I did. I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it.The narrative of Secondhand Heart is shared between 19 year old Vida, who is in desperate need of a new heart, and 36 year old Richard, who is the husband of the donor whose heart finds itself beating in Vida’s body. Their story is told in form of journal entries, which may take some getting used to, but it helps make the character voices more authentic and distinctive. What I really like about this book is its sheer, raw emotion. Vida has spent her entire life in a fairly sterile, safe environment due to the fragility of her heart and health. When she gets the unexpected news she is getting a “new” heart, she is thrust back into the world of the living. She isn’t prepared to live because she’s been preparing to die. Richard has lost his wife in a tragic accident and he no longer knows how to live. He doesn’t allow himself to grieve, and instead agrees to meet Vida. Thus begins an interesting journey fueled by the cellular memories of Vida’s donor heart, and Richard’s inability to let go of the heart that is no longer his to love. Even if you don’t really believe in the whole cellular memory thing, the story of Vida and Richard will at least give you something to think about.

  • JG (The Introverted Reader)
    2019-05-25 04:58

    Vida is 19 years old and dying. She's been dying her entire life. Not in the vague way that we are all destined to die, but in a way that has led her through multiple heart surgeries in her short life. This time, it's for real. Her doctors are talking weeks if she's lucky. She's been bumped to the top of the waiting list for heart transplants. And then she gets a new heart and she's able to start living.On the flip side, Richard has everything. A job and a wife that he loves. Until he loses Lorrie in a tragic car accident. He chooses to donate her organs and Vida gets her heart. Vida's and Richard's lives are forever entwined after that. The first time Richard walks into her hospital room after the transplant, Vida tells him that she loves him. She's never met him before, but she feels a deep, romantic love for him.At my old job, I was the tiniest of tiny cogs in the transplant process. I did electrocardiograms on the donors so that doctors could make sure the heart was in good working order from an "electrical" standpoint. I was glad that the families had chosen to donate their loved ones' organs, but I hated that part of the job. I never saw the recipients (the actual transplant happened in larger hospitals), so I only saw the donors, and I knew that this beautiful child, wife, father, loved one would not be going home to his or her family. They were all beautiful and they were all young. I didn't do it often, but I was never able to detach myself from the sadness on that end. It was hard for me, to say the least. It was nice to read a book where I could really sort of experience the life that comes out of such a tragic loss/beautiful gift. Vida, meaning life in Spanish, is a perfect mix of wisdom and innocence. She's led a very sheltered life by necessity. She hasn't been able to get out and run around and play, simply because her weak heart wouldn't let her. She's experienced most of her life from the inside of her house, looking out at the world through a window. Staring the reality of death down daily has led her to realize what is important in life though. Relationships, fairness, and honesty are always important to her. After the transplant, she wants to see as much of the world as she can and face everything on her own terms. She knows how much she's missed and she's making up for lost time. Richard says something that really made me think. Vida's mother asks him why he decided to donate, and his first response is a stock reply of "Wouldn't anybody?" He talks through it a little and eventually comes to a reason that feels real. "I know why I donated. I wanted people to never forget her. As many as possible. This way I knew you would never forget her, and neither would Vida. And anybody who loved Vida. And the woman in Tiburon who got her corneas, she'll never forget Lorrie, and neither will her family and everybody who loves her. And I could go on with the other organs, but ... I wanted as big a group of people as possible to think about Lorrie on an ongoing basis. Not just get over it and forget." That's possibly one of the most compelling reasons I've ever come across for organ donation. Sure, saving a stranger's life should be the best reason, but in the throes of grief, it's got to be hard to think about that. Something that helps others remember your loved one? That might get through.Vida's best friend is her neighbor, Ethel, a 90-ish concentration camp survivor. You know I'm drawn to concentration camp stories, so I liked the element. There was a reason for it though. After Vida's transplant, they have a thoughtful conversation about the purpose of a life that came so close to death. Ethel has lived her life in a bubble, almost afraid to live. Vida is choosing to seize the opportunity she's been given and squeeze everything she can out of it.The biggest part of the book revolves around cellular memory. I don't think I've ever heard about this, but I'm curious. Apparently there's a hypothesis that our memories do not reside solely in our brain; our very cells might retain memories. Think about what that would mean in organ donation. Scientists are studying recipients who suddenly develop traits similar to the donors whose organs they've received, or even "remember" things that never happened to them but did happen to the donor. It was pretty fascinating. There's a brief overview at the San Francisco Medical Society page. I liked the way things turned out. I won't go into it, I just wasn't sure that I was very happy with the obvious ending, but there was a twist that made me very happy. I was expecting sort of a light chick-lit book when I started this. I'm left with a lot to think over, and I'm very happy about that. There's a lot going on in this short-ish novel. I recommend it.

  • Danielle
    2019-04-30 08:54

    Vida means “Life” in Spanish. Ironic enough, the actual Vida has a life that revolves around death, or at the very least the almost near certainty of it in her near future. When Vida is suddenly given a second chance at the hand of another she does what comes naturally, she seeks out the one her new heart has lost – Richard. It’s Richard’s loss and Vida’s gain that moves them both forward in life, their paths intertwining, but not exactly in the ways you’d expect. Both seeking something just beyond their grasp, but more important than either can comprehend in their current situations. Life.Obviously I’d be remiss to fail to mention how Second Hand Heart initially drew me in because of its similarities to the popular movie, Return to Me. It’s one of my favorites. But outside of the fact that both the book and the movie have heart transplant patients as the central character and a love story of sorts, they truly are very different. One major difference being that Richard, the husband who lost his wife chooses to remain in open contact with whomever receives his late wife’s organs. This is crucial, because were it not for this very unique interaction between Vida and Richard the story could be completely different. Both are excellent though, mind you.Vida. Her character was so well developed. Honestly. You could tell from the very beginning she’d had a lot of time to think. She was okay with death, which for most of us is quite the opposite. Once she’s given the opportunity to be free of this daily burden she hardly knows what to do with herself, and it’s evident even in the way she speaks. In the beginning of the story you almost want to shake her, she’s so passive. After a while though I came to realize that was just another way of coping, of helping those around her deal with the death she’s already come to grips with. After her life “begins” she’s like a kindergartner asking a thousand questions, making demands, and always seeming to wander aimlessly but with a purpose. By the end, she finally comes to a certain easiness with her new life and I loved the transformation.Richard was a completely different situation all together for me. I felt like I could relate so well to him in so many situations. His fear for his wife’s heart now in Vida’s small body and his utter confusion at how to proceed with life. I think so many of us are like this. We live life taking for granted the things we hold most dear, until one day they are just gone. Most of us don’t get the opportunity for long good-byes like Vida thought she had, although I’m not sure it entirely matters. I think what I was reminded of most with Richard was the importance of truly loving those we care for like we may not see them even a few moments later. Make sure we appreciate them, tell them and be mindful of them. Because you never know.Second Hand Heart was more than a story about a girl who got a second take on life and fell in love because of it. It’s about living and appreciating and loving. Never letting go, but remembering that life stops for no one. Both Vida and Richard had incredible journeys to struggle through, both extremely different in ways and so similar in others. And once they’d realized they needed each other, they were finally able to move forward and live.

  • Lorin Cary
    2019-04-29 11:56

    Second Hand Heart is now available in the US as an ebook, and that’s a good thing. Publishers here didn’t grab the book when it first appeared, and that’s puzzling because this is an excellent novel. A young girl, Vida (Spanish for life), gets a heart transplant and for the first time is free of the thought that she could die at any moment. Hyde could have left it at that. She does not. She probes grief, love, parenthood, resentment, friendship and a variety of seemingly unrelated topics. This is not fluff reading, nor is it merely the story of Vida’s heart transplant and her emergence into adulthood from the protective cocoon required by her sickly youth. Hyde transports us on a voyage in which Vida’s mother, the donor, an elderly neighbor and several other well defined characters provide threads woven together masterfully. As is always the case with her novels, Hyde’s protagonist periodically drops in memorable pieces of wisdom. I particularly loved the notion that worries should come with labels on them; I’ll leave it to the reader to find out why. In an afterword, the author discusses the personal origins of the story.

  • Carolyn
    2019-05-02 09:45

    Vida is 19 and has a life-threatening heart condition. Richard is 36 and has just lost his beloved wife in a car accident. When Richard is invited to the hospital to meet the young woman who received his wife's donor heart, Vida takes one look at him and feels she's loved him all her life. Is Vida just a sheltered and confused young woman? Or is there truth behind the theory of cellular memory? Can a heart remember, at least for a time, on its own? Everything about this book is unexpected. You think you're in for one thing, but you get quite another. The characters don't behave the way I thought they would, the story unfolds in a landscape utterly different to where it begins and instead of being pleasantly entertained by a sweet story...I found a moving lesson about living as opposed to just existing.

  • B Ware
    2019-05-21 09:38

    I enjoyed this unusual plot line of a young woman, sheltered all her life for medical reasons receiving a heart transplant. The second story line is about the husband of the heart donor. They become acquainted and the story evolves into their unusual friendship and relationship as the woman vpbegins to have inkings of the donors personality, likes and dislikes. Pretty easy to read, it wasn't a seriously compelling book, but I enjoyed the unique sorry of the young woman and the man's experience thru donation of the heart and the grief he felt losing hi sung wife.

  • Dee
    2019-04-26 07:48

    I thought the beginning was groundbreaking but lost its lust when she fell for the guy and somehow appeared to have a big personality change...wasn't the character I had from the start...however it pulled itself back and was an interesting read.

  • Sandra Preston
    2019-05-02 11:59

    Excellent read well done Catherine

  • Pattie Anderson
    2019-05-19 12:52

    I really like all of Catherine's novels, though this is not my favorite, I still enjoyed her exploration of the human condition warts and all.

  • Judy Collins
    2019-05-14 08:59

    Review to follow!

  • Kathy Hartwiger
    2019-05-08 05:43

    I like the main character and loved her voice in the beginning of the book. The story line itself was a little lacking for me - some things just didn't feel right and felt forced or just didn't seem to go along with my thoughts about what the characters would really do or say. Had more potential with how it started - just didn't follow through with the depth I expected. Loved the Esther character also - disappointed with how her character was sort of dropped.

  • Patricia
    2019-04-29 08:41

    Had a very hard time getting into this book. It was really disjointed and hard to follow at the beginning and I really was not liking it until about half way through. Suddenly.... I got where the author was going with this book and then I couldn't put it down. So I gave it 3 stars... I really like other books this author has written.

  • Marcy
    2019-05-03 07:35

    Quick but powerful readThis is a great book to pick up for a weekend. It allowed me to think about my relationships as a daughter, wife, mother and friend and truly reflect on the power each one brings to my life.

  • Georgia M. Phinney
    2019-05-26 06:02

    Slow I love c Hyde's books but this one dragged for me to the point I put it down for a few days. The storyline was predictable but sweet in the end. After hearing teachings on cellular memory I believe not only our bodies but objects hold memory. Check out ray kurzweil.

  • Sally
    2019-04-28 09:52

    Another hit from Hyde. Every book she writes is completely different, but always hits home. This one was entirely different than any I've read of hers, and I'm so glad I picked it up.

  • Aaron
    2019-05-12 04:36

    Customer ReviewFor all of those who were deprived of see the country at a young age this novel is for you. This novel is also recommended to those who are trying to find where they belong in the country, where they call home.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-12 05:47

    Beautiful!This book grabbed me at the very beginning and even at the end I was wishing for more. Such a beautifully written story!

  • Wendy
    2019-04-26 09:03

    Another good book, but I didn't connect with the characters the same way I have with many of her other books. Quiet interesting read and still enjoyed it.

  • Diane Jorgensen
    2019-05-24 08:34

    InterestingI have this book a five star rating because it is not the type of book i normally read but it kept me so interested in what next that I had a hard time putting it down.

  • Remi
    2019-05-10 08:57

    Brilliant & Sad

  • Leah
    2019-05-03 06:02

    Nineteen year old Vida isn’t like many girls her age. She can’t go to school, doesn’t have many friends, and can barely leave the house due to the fact her heart is failing and she desperately needs a transplant. When a heart becomes available, and the transplant is successful, Vida is determined to live life like never before. When Vida meets Richard, the man whose wife’s heart now beats in Vida, she immediately falls in love with him but Richard dismisses her claims. How is it possible for Vida to love him when she doesn’t even know him? Could it be that the heart she now has beating in her chest is remembering the love for him, is that even possible? As Vida learns to live life again properly, she can’t shake the feeling that there’s somewhere she has to go and visit. But where?Last year I received a proof copy of When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde. I’d never heard of Catherine or her books but I decided to read it anyway as it sounded like my kind of thing. I absolutely loved the book and decided to pick up all of Catherine’s other novels. I then saw she had signed a new book deal with her British publishers and I couldn’t wait for the first book in that deal Second Hand Heart as it sounded brilliant. I managed to get a proof copy a while back and with the release date approaching I decided it was time to give it a read.Catherine Ryan Hyde’s books definitely fall into the ‘women’s fiction’ category than the ‘chick lit’ category but I read both styles of books and after reading When I Found You, I knew I liked Catherine’s style of writing. She’s been compared to Jodi Picoult which is a strange one; one I disagree with in fact as I think she has her own writing style. Second Hand Heart, I’m sure you can guess, is about a second hand heart and what it means to have a heart that was someone else’s. It’s an interesting subject and is one I’ve never actually thought of before but Ryan Hyde presents a great argument as to whether or not it is possible for a heart to take over memories and things into a new donor.What surprised me most about the book was how it was written. Instead of being written like a proper book, the book is actually written in the form of a journal. And while I was a little hesitant about that at first, what with the short chapters, I soon got used to it and begun to enjoy it. What also helps the book is the fact that it’s written with journal entries from both Vida and Richard with alternating sections of the book, giving us insight into both of their lives at any given moment. With that writing style it meant we got both sides of the story: what it was like for Vida to know she could die at any moment whilst waiting for a new heart before receiving the new heart and beginning to live life properly again. On the flipside we had Richard, grieving for his wife, who goes to visit this young girl who has received the heart and has to come to terms with the fact there is someone, Vida, that has his wife’s heart and has to deal with that fact.To complicate matters that little bit more, as soon as Vida sets eyes on Richard she falls in love with him and again we broach the question of whether Vida loves him only because of whose heart she has. It’s such a simple plot but it begs a lot of questions and I very much enjoyed getting lost in the story. What helped, though, was the fact that I loved both Vida and Richard. Vida just seemed to have an innocence to her that is very rare in books these days and I just wanted to shield her away from the world whilst I also wanted her to go out into the world and explore. Because Vida believes she’s in love with Richard, it would have been very easy for him to come over as a bit of a sleazeball, particularly since there’s an age gap between the two, but thankfully he didn’t and I actually liked him and felt sorry for him in equal measure. Another character I really warmed to was Esther, Vida’s elderly neighbour. She was such a lovely character.Second Hand Heart is a great book about surviving despite the odds, and I loved getting to know Vida, Richard, Esther and Vida’s mum. I don’t personally think it was as good as When I Found You but I still loved reading it nevertheless. Ryan Hyde seems to have found her very own niche market with her books and no one writes books similar to hers and I look forward to many more in the future! I hugely recommend you pick up one of her books, they’re really worth reading!

  • Stella
    2019-05-04 04:59

    My thoughts: Return to Me with Minnie Driver and David Duchovny (which is about "a man who falls in love with the woman who received his wife's heart must decide which woman it is who holds his heart") is one of my favourite movies, so of course as soon as I saw what Second Hand Heart was about I knew I had to read it. I was intrigued by Second Hand Heart' theme: cellular memory. That a person's life, memories are not only stored in their brain but in every organ and cell of their body, and the heart being one of the most important organs retains thus the deepest indentation or evidence of such memories. Second Hand Heart is written through Vida's and Richard's journal entries/e-mails and while I felt such approach suited a teenager girl it was a bit harder to imagine a 36 year old man purging his innermost thoughts on paper.Vida is a very sheltered 19 year old girl, who only starts living after her heart transplant. After the successful transplant the world opens up and she can finally step out and discover it. Yes, due to her very sheltered and inexperienced upbringing she is very naive and childish, but in an endearing way, and she is pure and honest. I loved how Catherine Ryan Hyde made her a layered character: that due to her previous sufferings and all she has gone through at such a young age she had a certain wisdom and objectivity to life, then on the other hand due to her inexperience of never having "stepped out" of her room and never having lived life, she also had a certain naivety and childishness. Vida was quite a unique and definitely interesting character.Of course writing Richard must have been harder. He is the grieving husband who lost the love of his life. How can he grieve for his deceased wife yet be intrigued by this young girl? I felt that Catherine Ryan Hyde's portrayal of Richard and how a griving husband tries to grasp the loss of his wife and how to survive every single day and go on with his life was done quite well, tough I didn't find the novel - despite its subject - emotionally powerful or overwhelming. It was a nice, quick read, and I would even say a "light" beach read.The journal format was one of the things that put me off most: the language and descriptions were quite simplified (I felt even too simplified, this book wasn't written for teens) and I had difficulties believing that a grieving 30something man would pour out his feelings in a journal. Verdict: The problem is that this novel isn't really a love story. At least not the love story of Richard and Vida. Second Hand Heart is the story of learning how to live and how to survive the loss of a loved one. It was a nice read but my complaint is that the blurb led me to expect something quite different than it was. I'll leave you with two of my favourite quotes from the novel:'No one can tell you when you are going to die, You die when you are done, Not a moment before. Not a moment after. No matter what anyone says. No matter what anyone wishes for you.''Well I stand by my answer,' I said. 'But it's not cynism. Just the opposite. I have too much respect for love to believe that [=to believe in love at first sight:]. I don't even believe in the concept of falling in love. The falling part, I mean. We should all be so lucky that love is something you just fall into. Like, "A funny thing happened to me today: I was walking down the street and I tripped and fell into some love." You don't fall down to love, you climb up to it. There's hard work involved. That's why I don't believe you can love someone you don't know. Loving someone is knowing them.' Plot: 7/10Characters: 8/10Ending: 7/10Writing: 6/10Cover: 9/10

  • Ellie
    2019-05-20 11:52

    When reading Second hand heart, I felt I was on an educational journey. The ideas and questions Ryan Hyde proposes throughout this novel were both unfamiliar and at times left my emotions and empathy towards characters conflicted and confused. Ryan Hyde tells a story of a young twenty year old girl called Vida who has been waiting on a heart transplant for most of her adolescence. She has been waiting essentially for life, to be a teenager. The books opening sentence: 'I'm probably going to die really soon' is so simplistically heart breaking. In the beginning Vida is aloof and resigned to her fate. We are introduced to her Mother Abigail who is typically clucky and neurotic and clearly desperate to see Vida healthy. We are also introduced to Vida's only friend Esther, an old lady who has been neighbours and best friends with Vida since Vida was six years old. It is evident that the two identify with each other because they are both expectant of death. Then Vida gets news that she will have a heart and we meet Richard. His wife has died in a car crash, her heart becomes Vida's. This is the question that I had never pondered over before: can a heart ever truly be given to another? Will the owner of Vida’s heart always be Lorries? I am twenty one years old and I have always known of transplants: this type of surgery is not a big revelation to me; but it is clear that with every advance in science, there comes a whole host of questions, possibility’s and implications. How intertwined are our emotions with our physical organs? As soon as Vida has her new heart, she has feelings for Richard. Would a cornea transplant patient have memories of places and people their dona had seen? I really loved how this book proposes such questions.The book is told from two points of view: Vida and Richard. At the beginning I struggled to like Vida because I felt she had no sympathy towards her mother or Richard. I fell in love with Richard straight away and was pleased to read about bereavement from the viewpoint of the husband for the first time. Abigail is a Mother redundant when Vida recovers, she is experiencing an extreme empty nest syndrome as Vida shows no mercy in her rejection. Vida has a very child like attitude towards love and relationships, she never considers how Richard may be feeling and at several points I wanted to scream at her 'HIS WIFE HAS JUST DIED!!!' The part where Vida turns up at Richards in a coat and nothing else I found particularly frustrating. It is only when the story begins to peak and we are at the Grand Canyon that I began to understand that Vida is a child who has set out on a voyage to grow up. She couldn't do that with her neurotic mother by her side, she had to 'go it alone'....with her Goth friend Victor and his lovable hound (I really enjoyed those characters)... and her attitude towards love and relationships was immature because she was immature and had never had to consider anyone else’s feelings as she had always been the worse off in every comparison: she was a child about to die. The point where Esther dies is where I at last felt a great deal of sympathy towards Vida. I see that her flippant attitude is really just a façade. I liked how Ryan Hyde’s writing style meant that I could fall in love with characters slowly and have a greater understanding of there personality’s as the book progresses. I would also note that I have never been taken to the grand canyon in a novel before and the sensory description has made me want to visit. Definitely recommend Second Hand Heart!

  • Nikki-ann
    2019-05-17 08:56

    Second Hand Heart is a love story, but it’s not your average love story. Then again, is it really a love story? This one is about a nineteen year old called Vida who has spent her short life preparing to die, then finally comes a new heart. But with somebody else’s death, along comes a new chance for Vida.Then there’s Richard. He’s just lost his beloved wife in a car accident and hasn’t even begun to come to terms with his grief. Yet, he feels compelled to meet the girl who has been given his wife’s heart.When Vida & Richard meet at the hospital, Vida immediately falls for Richard. However, he dismisses her feelings and thinks she’s a foolish child.Can a second hand heart bring two people together?The book is written in journal format and each journal entry is a chapter. The first few chapters of the book are Vida’s journal, then we get a few journal entries from Richard, before going back to Vida and it carries on like that. There’s also a few emails, mainly between Richard and his mother-in-law, thrown into the mix. It may sound like it could get confusing, but it isn’t and the story flows seamlessly between the two journals.Second Hand Heart isn’t just a love story, it addresses the subject of organ donation and transplantation as well as the theory of cellular memory (where the donor recipient takes on memories, habits, interests and tastes of the donor, that may have somehow been stored in the cells of the transplanted organ). While I don’t usually go for a love story type of book, I’m all for organ donation (as I’ve let my family know) and I’ve heard of cellular memory, so I thought this might be interesting.Much like Richard did, I found the character of Vida to come across as a bit childish for her age. However, after a while of thinking that, I came to remember that Vida had a different upbringing to most children. She was weak and spent most of her childhood at home with her mother, rather than out making friends etc. While I understood that, I did find her character to be a bit on the stalker-ish side too, in the way that she pursues Richard. Still, I found her to be a unique character (how many young girls have an elderly best friend?)Despite having never lost a loved-one as close as Richard has, I can understand his need to hang on to the life-force of his wife. His mixed emotions and on-going grief are understandable for somebody in his situation.I’ve never read any of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s books before, though I recognised the name. Catherine is a best-selling author (and deservedly so) and I think most people will have heard of Pay It Forward. I’ve not read the book, but I have seen the movie (though apparently the two are very different). Having read Second Hand Heart, I’m certainly interested in reading more of her work.I enjoyed Second Hand Heart and the journey taken through the Story. I found that you think it’s going to go one way and then it goes in another direction. This is definitely a worthwhile read and one I did in 3 sittings.Second Hand Heart is released in the UK in paperback on 16th September.Please note: I received this book free from Transworld Publishers as part of the Transworld Summer Reading Challenge. However, this in no way influenced my opinion of the book.

  • daisychainbooks
    2019-05-07 13:03

    This is the first book I’ve read by Catherine Ryan Hyde, so I was drawn to it, not out of any knowledge of her previous books, but due to the fact it seemed to me that it would appeal to me as a fan of Jodi Picoult. While this is similar in theme to Picoult’s books and will undoubtedly appeal to those who like her books, it lacks the emotional punch that Picoult packs. Her books have often left me in tears, and I was expecting this one to do the same. Instead, I consider this one to be a light summer read, despite the serious subject matter, and it didn’t really leave a lasting impression on me. The plot is pretty straightforward, and there are no major surprises here. It’s definitely a book for the garden or the beach, when you don’t want to read anything too taxing. It’s not one that’s going to stay on your mind long after you’ve read it, nor is it a book that’s going to keep you reading late into the night.The story here revolves around the cellular memory of a heart transplant recipient, Vida, and thirty-something Richard, who has lost his wife in a car crash. Vida is the recipient of Richard’s wife’s heart, and from the moment she sees Richard, Vida loves him, insisting that she retains some of his wife’s memories, the ones she held dearest in her heart. Cellular memory is not a topic that I’m all that familiar with, and although it was interesting and well-researched, the subject matter didn’t totally engage me.The story here is told in journal format, which I liked at the start, as it enabled me to get to know Vida pretty well very soon on. After a while though, the style seemed overly simplified for this book. Vida’s diary entries often bordered on the repetitive and she had a tendency to lose her train of thought right in the middle of an entry, which got distracting after a while. Also, while Vida is ultimately a likeable character, I did question her motivations towards the middle of the book, and she began to annoy me quite a lot. She is very childlike in her persistence towards Richard - frequently turning up at his house when he tells her not to. I realised by the end of the book that she was doing everything she could to help him come to terms with his loss, but in parts, she is portrayed as being quite childlike and aggressive. She wasn’t a character I could really connect with, nor was the grieving Richard.For the most part, the story is about love and loss - coming to terms with loss and learning to live again. For Vida, the book is a voyage of self-discovery. At age nineteen she hasn’t been able to live any sort of life. She has been ill from birth, has an over-protective mother and her only friend is a ninety year old concentration camp survivor. With her new heart she is finally able to live, not just survive. She can finally go out into the world and find herself. Vida’s road trip and coming of age was actually my favourite part of the book, and it was during these chapters that I started to like her again, and realise that her intentions were ultimately good. With Vida’s help, Richard is able to begin to move on with his life, and for all it’s themes of death, loss and grief, the book actually ends on a positive note of restoration, rebirth and rejuvenation.

  • Kendra
    2019-05-05 08:37

    Review:Posted on: I have a goal of shortening my reviews, but I find I have a lot to say about this book primarily because I relate to it on a number of levels. First and foremost being experience with a child born with a heart condition. Two years ago, at the age of 1 week, my son was diagnosed with Velcardiofacial Syndrome (VCF). This condition occurs at conception, involves the absence of ½ of the 22nd chromosome, and unfortunately can manifest in over 180 ways in any combination. My son was afflicted with bilateral cleft lip, complete cleft palate, club feet, and a double aortic arch causing a vascular ring. At 10 days old, he underwent a vascular ring repair and began his second chance at life. He is one of the “lucky” children with VCF and has been thriving ever since the surgery despite ongoing medical care.Second, just last month my family experienced the miraculous beauty of the Grand Canyon. Pretty sad that as an Arizona resident it was my first visit there. Every detail mentioned about the canyon was spot on!Finally, and somewhat ironically, I read this book during a move because we had a 90 minute drive between the old house in Rimrock and our new house in Williams. The mention of Williams made me smile, as well as Vida’s visit to the Williams Visitor Center. This book follows Vida, a 19 year-old who has come to terms with death because of her life-long struggle with a defective heart. At the last minute she receives a heart and suddenly everything changes. Also followed is Richard, the husband of the donor and his struggle with moving forward. The story, to say the least, is a spectrum of the human ability to cope.What I disliked in the story was the absence of Vida’s father. His love for her is obvious, but I would have thought he would have played a slightly larger par considering the circumstances. I enjoyed numerous components to the story beginning with the format. The story is told through a series of journal entries and e-mail correspondences. Readers are given a change of pace through the telling, effectively giving life to the voices sharing their innermost thoughts. I also appreciated the thoughts and discussions surrounding cellular memory. Whatever personal belief one may hold, the theory is definitely beyond intriguing.I strongly recommend this book for all; especially those who blessedly remain unaffected by such traumatic events. The brief glimpse into such an experience is priceless. The tribute to and resiliency of humans and the ability to evolve, even in the face of such devastating circumstances, is both inspiring and not to be missed in this heart-felt story. (Kindle book received from author @cryanhyde for review)

  • Helen
    2019-05-15 10:46

    Vida is a nineteen year-old girl who suffers from a heart condition. She's in hospital waiting for a transplant – time is running out, but before Vida can get a new heart, a potential donor needs to die. That donor turns out to be car crash victim Lorrie Buckner Bailey. When Lorrie's grieving husband, Richard, decides to visit the girl who received his wife's heart, Vida falls in love with him. But is it really Vida herself who loves Richard – or is it Lorrie's heart?I really enjoyed this book. It could easily have been a slushy, sentimental romance, but it manages to avoid that. Instead, it's a fascinating and moving story which raises an interesting question: does cellular memory (where a transplanted organ retains the memories and characteristics of its previous owner) really exist?The story is told in the first person, alternating between Vida and Richard. Vida's section is in the form of a journal and she has a very intimate and conversational style, making her an engaging character. Through her journal entries we learn what it's like to have spent your whole life preparing for death and the emotions that a person goes through on discovering that they now have a chance to live after all. After meeting Vida, Richard also begins to keep a journal and his story unfolds both through his diary entries and through his email correspondence with Vida and his mother-in-law Myra. I enjoyed watching the characters develop over the course of the book as Vida learns how to enjoy life for the first time and Richard learns how to move on with his own life following Lorrie's death.Although Vida and Richard are the characters we get to know best, I found the minor characters equally interesting – particularly Abigail, Vida's worried, over-protective mother, and Esther, her elderly neighbour who survived life in a concentration camp during World War II.The style of writing used in this book, with very simplistic or incomplete sentences, would usually irritate me – and it did at times – but it was actually perfectly suited to the story and helped give the impression that Vida and Richard were talking directly to the reader via their diaries. The writing style, together with the very short chapters, makes this a quick and easy read, despite it being quite a long book. There are some detailed descriptions of heart surgery but nothing too gory for those of you who are squeamish (Catherine Ryan Hyde says in her author's note that she was given the rare opportunity to actually observe a heart operation whilst researching this book). Whether or not you believe in the theory of cellular memory Second Hand Heart is an interesting and thought provoking story.

  • Mary
    2019-05-07 10:01

    Found the style of writing much too childish