ABOUT THE BOOK: This YA by Kasie West has it all: back-to-school nerves, family rivalries, class rivalries, romance and podcasting!
In Listen to Your Heart, Kate Bailey’s summer on her beloved lake has come to an end, and school has started with a bang. Her bestie has a crush on handsome Diego Martinez, her family rival Frank Young is taunting her as usual, her cousins are underfoot, and she’s suddenly thrust into hosting the school’s “Dear Abby” podcast with a trying co-host. Kate is a likeable character who readers will root for, even as her own interests conflict with those of the people around her. We cheer as she finds her footing as a talk show host and recovers from her past relationship to fall for someone unexpected.
The teen romance is drawn so well here by Kasie West, it took me right back to high school and left my heart fluttering. With lots of subplots and characters to keep track of, the book is meaty and ties everything up in a satisfying conclusion. I’d wholeheartedly recommend it to fans of realistic teen fiction.
WHY I READ IT: This was a review copy from KidLitExchange, a children's book reviewer group I belong to.
WOULD I RECOMMEND IT: Yes. It is wholesome and sweet and perfect for young teens (though the romance escalates a little too rapidly at the end for my taste). It shows a reluctant and likeable protagonist taking on new challenges and moving away from the safety of her home setting. That she ultimately thrives makes all our shared anxiety for her worthwhile.