Instructions for a Second-hand Heart

Instructions for a Second-hand Heart

Jonny knows better than anyone that life is full of cruel ironies. He's spent every day in a hospital hooked up to machines to keep his heart ticking. Then when a donor match is found for Jonny's heart, that turns out to be the cruellest irony of all. Because for Jonny's life to finally start, someone else's had to end. That someone turns out to be Neve's twin brother, Leo...

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Title:Instructions for a Second-hand Heart
Author:Tamsyn Murray
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Instructions for a Second-hand Heart Reviews

  • Jeannine Allison

    4.5 stars

    To be honest I didn't know what to expect. I bought this book on a whim when I was on Amazon purchasing a few other YA books. I was immediately intrigued by the cover and title, and as you can see, I loved it!! It's a very character-driven novel, and the plot is exactly as described in the blurb.

    is about more than romance, it's about Neve learning how to deal with her loss and guilt. And Jonny learning how to live when he's spent most of his life dyi

    4.5 stars

    To be honest I didn't know what to expect. I bought this book on a whim when I was on Amazon purchasing a few other YA books. I was immediately intrigued by the cover and title, and as you can see, I loved it!! It's a very character-driven novel, and the plot is exactly as described in the blurb.

    is about more than romance, it's about Neve learning how to deal with her loss and guilt. And Jonny learning how to live when he's spent most of his life dying.

    But be warned, these are

    teenagers. They can be bratty, stupid, and just plain mean (especially to their parents). I wanted to shake them at times, but I'm not going to say it was unrealistic because we've all been teenagers, we've all known teenagers, and they're known for being reckless and dumb. And that's not even factoring in the extreme stresses put on these two specifically.

    If you enjoy heart-wrenching YA reads, this is definitely a book to consider!

  • Aditi

    ----Cassandra Clare

    Tamsyn Murray, an English author, pens a soul touching and riveting young adult contemporary fiction in her new book,

    that is centered around two young teenagers, one suffers from a fatal and terminal heart condition where his heart is forced to pump throw external machines and is on the never ending waiting list for a heart donor, and the other lives under her perfect brother's shadow but soon tra

    ----Cassandra Clare

    Tamsyn Murray, an English author, pens a soul touching and riveting young adult contemporary fiction in her new book,

    that is centered around two young teenagers, one suffers from a fatal and terminal heart condition where his heart is forced to pump throw external machines and is on the never ending waiting list for a heart donor, and the other lives under her perfect brother's shadow but soon tragedy strikes and leaves her broken hearted.

    Jonny has stopped hoping that one day he would walk out of the hospital doors and live life to the fullest, even though his only best friend, Em, forever pushes him to have faith and hope and fulfill his bucket list before death claims him suddenly. Jonny has also lost hope from that never ending waiting list for a donor match for his heart transplant. Even though his parents' eyes silently hopes that someday Jonny finds his match for a new heart.

    Niamh never stops hoping that the world will be a better place without her flawlessly perfect twin brother, Leo, whose perfection forces Niamh to live her life under his shadow. Although Leo is her only friend, the only person whom she loves and trusts above all, but she keeps wishing for the otherwise. And that is when tragedy strikes and everything changes. Everything that demands and forces Niamh to face the world and so the future despite of the great loss that she suffered from.

    The story reads like a breath of fresh air amidst the hoards of so many "been there, read that" kind of YA contemporary fiction. The story line is fresh, unique and extremely enthralling even the story reflect some cliches. The story is high on deep emotions and sentiments that will hit the readers' hearts with its sharpness and vividness. The author successfully enlightens the young growing minds on how to deal with loss, pain and the also inspires them to take risks and think about the unknown future. The underlying message about pain, second chances and the future are strikingly portrayed through the story line that will easily seep into the readers' minds while reading.

    The author's writing style is extremely polished, and laced with evocative emotions that will deeply move its readers. The prose reflects simplicity and realism and that sync well with this coming-of-age story. Since pain plays a major role in this story, the author cleverly manages to instill light humor through the free flowing and articulate narrative of the book. The pacing of the book is super fast, as the author touches and pens only the necessary scenes for this story thereby making it worthwhile, and quick to read for her readers. So if any readers is looking for an escape getaway that offers fun, love, enlightenment about young life with a bit of touchy feel sensation, then this book perfectly fits the bill.

    The story is very much addictive so I warn you before you pick up a copy of this book, you won't be able to look away from this book and you will be forced to keep turning the pages of this book until the very last. The characters from this book are not only well developed but are also laced with realism in their demeanor thereby making them relatable in the eyes and the minds of the readers. The main protagonist, Jonny, before his old heart, will come across as bit of a morbid guy, although its justifiable the way he behaves and acts like there is no hope for survival, but Jonny after a new heart, will come across as someone very lively and is not scared to take chances, even though he is bit of an idiot around his once-upon-a-time-only-hospital-friend, Em, who teaches him a lot about life and supports him from the background and their friendship will be bound to break the hearts of the readers, I felt tears in my eyes while reading about Em and her destiny. Apart from that, Jonny keeps the gloominess, sadness at bay for the readers, who after reading about Niamh's loss will feel an immense grief for the character's sad plight. Niamh is not that brave after losing her brother, yet the friendship between Jonny and herself uplifts her and keeps her moving forward.

    In a nutshell, the story is fun, poignant and extremely delightful enough to make the readers understand about pain, grief and loss through a sweet story of friendship, young love and trust.

  • Tracy Fenton

    Note to self. Don't judge a book by its cover or title!

    I read this book as part of a book challenge because the author is a member of my book club and to be honest I didn't read the blurb and assumed it was a chick lit/romance which really isn't my thing! Within the first chapter I realised my mistake (thank god) and quickly became engrossed in the lives of Jonny and Niamh. This YA novel deals with love, grief, friendship and family in a delicate and compassionate way.

  • Scrill

    After receiving a transplant Jonny can't help but try to find out who he is by finding out about the boy who donated his heart to him. Neve is battling grieving over her twin Leo after he dies because she spent so much time when he was alive in his shadow, and even now she can't escape the constant reminder about how am

    After receiving a transplant Jonny can't help but try to find out who he is by finding out about the boy who donated his heart to him. Neve is battling grieving over her twin Leo after he dies because she spent so much time when he was alive in his shadow, and even now she can't escape the constant reminder about how amazing he was. That is till Jonny comes by saying all the wrong things and still stealing her heart.

    -I was a little skeptical to start another YA contemporary romance involving a kid who gets a heart transplant because I thought I would compare it so much with

    too much. Fortunately it was just barely there nagging at my mind, and though there are some parts that are similar in story, it really was different, and still really good.

    Told in alternating POV we get to see both Jonny's and Neve's stories unfold. From the start my cold, stubborn heart became invested in the characters. The chapters were super short but hitting directly where it was going to hurt the most. Each chapter really brought about the struggle that both characters were going through, and how they eventually come together. 

    Extra points for the additional comic books from Jonny, it really added just that extra bit of flair that makes this book extra special and really help develop the character.

    -

    - a part of me really wanted to hate this girl. I like that from the beginning she has accepted that she was basically the grouchy child that gave her parents a hard time because her twin Leo had outshone her so much. Even through the grief of her twin dying she still sticks to the attitude that she had developed from living in his shadow. It was incredibly heartbreaking seeing how much survivor guilt she had because of the way her parents treated both of them so differently, and how she can never ever try to beat him again.

    -Okay, so despite what he does in the book, this kid is ridiculously naive and sweet. My heart hurt so much when he was trying to just figure himself out after being the sick hospital kid. Murray does such a good job using subtle moments to really drive that in, like when he is teased for having all new brand name clothes and he really didn't know what his style was. I loved how he battled with what he thought was right and how he ended up feeling, and even how he felt about getting a transplant in general.

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  • Milena

    Instructions for a Secondhand Heart is a poignant and beautifully written story about loss, grief, healing, and falling in love. It's emotional and heart-breaking but at the same time sweet and full of hope. I loved following Neve and Jonny's story. The book is an emotional roller-coaster, my feelings were all over the place but in the end I was very happy that Neve and Jonny found each other during the trying times of their lives.

    *ARC provided by the publisher and NOVL in exchange for an honest

    Instructions for a Secondhand Heart is a poignant and beautifully written story about loss, grief, healing, and falling in love. It's emotional and heart-breaking but at the same time sweet and full of hope. I loved following Neve and Jonny's story. The book is an emotional roller-coaster, my feelings were all over the place but in the end I was very happy that Neve and Jonny found each other during the trying times of their lives.

    *ARC provided by the publisher and NOVL in exchange for an honest review.

  • MyTimeOutShelf

    This was a very emotional and touching read.

    I really enjoyed Jonny's character! You get to follow him through a new start after receiving a donor heart and trying to find himself after having lived a life in a hospital for most his years! His new lease on life definitely brought on more complications then one would expect!

    My thoughts on the character Neve are a little different! I had a hard time liking her....I get that she's been through a lot but she is just cold and selfish the majority o

    This was a very emotional and touching read.

    I really enjoyed Jonny's character! You get to follow him through a new start after receiving a donor heart and trying to find himself after having lived a life in a hospital for most his years! His new lease on life definitely brought on more complications then one would expect!

    My thoughts on the character Neve are a little different! I had a hard time liking her....I get that she's been through a lot but she is just cold and selfish the majority of the time. This did not turn me off from the story at all...the story felt genuine and it definitely pulled on my heart strings!

  • Olivia (The Candid Cover)

    I’m not sure what to think about Instructions for a Secondhand Heart. I enjoyed the concept, but not the characterization. I also found certain aspects of the book to be kind of creepy, and I didn’t enjoy the romance. This book had so much potential, but I ended up pretty disappointed.

    This book has such an original concept! It tells the story of a boy who receives a heart transplant and befriends the sister of his donor. Neve is dealing with the grief of her brother’s death, and Jonny is dealing

    I’m not sure what to think about Instructions for a Secondhand Heart. I enjoyed the concept, but not the characterization. I also found certain aspects of the book to be kind of creepy, and I didn’t enjoy the romance. This book had so much potential, but I ended up pretty disappointed.

    This book has such an original concept! It tells the story of a boy who receives a heart transplant and befriends the sister of his donor. Neve is dealing with the grief of her brother’s death, and Jonny is dealing with the guilt of getting a second chance at life while his friend is still battling cancer. I enjoyed how the narration alternates between Jonny and Neve, allowing the reader to understand Jonny’s reasons for wanting to know more about his donor and Neve’s regrets from the day her twin brother died. The story is pretty complex and is definitely a whirlwind of emotions.

    I’m not quite sure how I feel about Jonny’s character. I sympathized with him, and the challenges he faces are so real, but I found his actions to be kind of creepy. I understand his curiosity, but tracking Neve down and lying about the reason why is a bit unsettling. He shows up at a fundraiser she attends and sends her messages on Facebook, all while hiding his true relation to her and his motive. Even when he and Neve become friends, Jonny always seems to lead her on, and the constant back-and-forth got kind of annoying. I also didn’t enjoy Neve’s character very much. She is a bit whiny and gets overly jealous without knowing the full story. I would have enjoyed the book a lot more if the characters had been easier to connect with.

    My main reason for not loving this book is the subtle creepiness, but I also didn’t enjoy the romance. It seemed a bit unnecessary, and I would have preferred if Jonny and Neve had stayed as friends instead. Their forced relationship takes away from the impact of the story in my opinion, and the love triangle is kind of pointless. Instructions for a Secondhand Heart would have been much better without all the extraneous drama.

    Instructions for a Secondhand Heart is an intriguing story about grief and a second chance at life. I have mixed feelings about the main characters, and I just couldn’t really connect with them. Jonny’s borderline creepy actions and the forced romance take away from the story, and I definitely feel like the book could have been better.

  • Lola  Reviewer

    If

    had a cousin, it would probably be this book.

    Jonny is a robot. Well not quite, but he does have a mechanical heart. For him to live a long and happy life, he needs a new, human one.

    This is where Neve comes into play. Her brother just died, and his organs were donated to patients waiting for transplants. His heart went to Jonny.

    Jonny is so grateful and curious about the boy who died that he makes it his mission to become closer to his sister in order to learn more about

    If

    had a cousin, it would probably be this book.

    Jonny is a robot. Well not quite, but he does have a mechanical heart. For him to live a long and happy life, he needs a new, human one.

    This is where Neve comes into play. Her brother just died, and his organs were donated to patients waiting for transplants. His heart went to Jonny.

    Jonny is so grateful and curious about the boy who died that he makes it his mission to become closer to his sister in order to learn more about him.

    Jonny made me feel so much. I connected to him right away. What he is doing is wrong, of course, especially the lying part, but his intentions aren’t exactly bad. His voice is that of a teenager. Actually, all of the characters in this book have an authentic and distinct voice.

    The author did well in that department. Even her writing style is enjoyable. It makes you feel like what you’re reading about is based on a true story. That’s how real everything sounds.

    I found Neve’s chapters to be as important as Jonny’s, but unfortunately, not as compelling due to her personality. She is defensive, self-deprecating, negative and sometimes cynical. While I didn’t question the reasons why she blamed herself, since I understood them well, I still couldn’t connect to her.

    This is mainly why I was not moved by the romance. I shipped Jonny with someone, but that someone was not Neve. As readers, we were teased—not to say ‘‘manipulated’’—by the author in that area. She gave us certain signs about the girl who would have Jonny’s heart, only to take that hope away from us sometime after.

    I do recommend it, because it’s a good story with authentic characters and a balanced atmosphere, but I’ll warn you the romance is not a winner.

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  • Netta

    ספרון דק ונוגע ללב המיועד בעיקר לבני נוער. חבל שהטיפול בנושאים הכאובים שהועלו בספר היה כה קצר ושטחי, מכיון שהכתיבה היתה מעניינת ומרגשת בעיניי.

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