Friday, July 6, 2018

Book Review: Listen to Your Heart

Title: Listen to Your Heart
Author: Kasie West
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Romance
Publisher: Point
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Hoopla

Talking to other people isn't Kate Bailey's favorite activity. She'd much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school's podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she'll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.
But to Kate's surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend ... until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder  (goodreads).

This book can be summed up with 'awwwww'. 
Plot: I'm typically not a contemporary reader but I've dabbled in Kasie West. There were some I thought were cute and others I was bored by. Without a doubt, Listen to Your Heart is my favorite Kasie West novel. 

Listen to Your Heart followed introvert Kate who just wanted to be left alone to float on the lake and spend her days in the water. With a best friend with a big enough personality for the both of them, she was okay to be in the background. All of that changed when she was selected to co-host her school's podcast on giving advice. Listen to Your Heart stood out because of its focus of getting out of your comfort zone and addressing your fears. The calls that Kate and her co-host Victoria received ranged from the hilarious (the pizza place skimped on the cheese) to the more serious (I'm being bullied). It was very important to me that West addressed bullying and how it was never an isolated incident. 

Characters: Kate and Diego's romance was nothing short of adorable. Their first interaction with each other set the stage for how comfortable their friendship was and showed what lengths Kate was willing to go to help her friends. I was really happy with how the romance played out, but more importantly, I loved what a focal point Kate's family was. Kate was very close to her siblings and numerous cousins and those interactions were sweet and complicated, everything that you would expect from a family. 

Worldbuilding: West is a popular author because of how authentic her characters' voices are and that everything is relatable to a teen. While reading, I kept having flashbacks to my high school years and that was due to West's appropriate research into how she wanted to present her world, including high school culture. I'm also very jealous that podcasting wasn't hip when I was a student, that would have been an awesome class!

Short N Sweet: If you're going to pick up Listen to Your Heart, make sure you have a full day to dedicate to it because you're not going to want to put it down!


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