The Heart Between Us: Two Sisters, One Heart Transplant, and a Bucket List

The Heart Between Us: Two Sisters, One Heart Transplant, and a Bucket List

Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide in her small Minnesota h...

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Title:The Heart Between Us: Two Sisters, One Heart Transplant, and a Bucket List
Author:Lindsay Harrel
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Heart Between Us: Two Sisters, One Heart Transplant, and a Bucket List Reviews

  • Melanie

    The Heart Between Us was a beautiful story. It was my first read by Lindsay Harrel, but it definitely won't be my last. This story, in my opinion, is a perfect example of contemporary fiction done well. There's romance, but there is so much more to the plot. In fact, the romance is secondary to the sister's (Megan and Crystal) journey...and what a journey it was!

    It took me a couple chapters to get hooked by the story but after that I was flipping pages quickly and couldn't wait to see what happe

    The Heart Between Us was a beautiful story. It was my first read by Lindsay Harrel, but it definitely won't be my last. This story, in my opinion, is a perfect example of contemporary fiction done well. There's romance, but there is so much more to the plot. In fact, the romance is secondary to the sister's (Megan and Crystal) journey...and what a journey it was!

    It took me a couple chapters to get hooked by the story but after that I was flipping pages quickly and couldn't wait to see what happened next. I think one of the biggest reasons why I loved The Heart Between Us so much is because the characters were very likable and the plot was believable. I also found the whole idea of a heart transplant recipient trying to fulfill her donor's unfulfilled bucket list to be an amazing storyline.

    All in all, The Heart Between Us was a phenomenal read and one I highly recommend.

    *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

  • Madison

    3.5 stars.

    The Heart Between Us contains an epic journey - both around the world and through the steps of relationship reconciliation. Two sisters, both trying to find answers, two love stories, both about second chances and new beginnings, and a whole lot of travel.

    Megan Jacobs is stuck - still living at home with her parents even though she is now in her thirties, still working part-time in a job that she likes but doesn’t love, still wondering what happened to her relationship with her twin si

    3.5 stars.

    The Heart Between Us contains an epic journey - both around the world and through the steps of relationship reconciliation. Two sisters, both trying to find answers, two love stories, both about second chances and new beginnings, and a whole lot of travel.

    Megan Jacobs is stuck - still living at home with her parents even though she is now in her thirties, still working part-time in a job that she likes but doesn’t love, still wondering what happened to her relationship with her twin sister, still regretting giving up on a chance to follower her dreams, still scared that her new heart and health will fail. When Megan meets the parents of her heart-transplant donor, she surprises herself by deciding to fulfil 24 steps on Amanda’s bucket list, and so begins a travel adventure. She is even more surprised when her sister, Crystal, joins her. Crystal, too, is searching for something - answers to her marriage troubles, inspiration for her career, and maybe a chance to face the fears she has held all her life.

    Admittedly, I didn’t love this book. It was good, just not great. Or maybe it just wasn’t the right book for me. There is so much happening in this story: 24 bucket-list travel destinations and the intertwining stories of two sisters and their love, family, faith and career troubles. And yet, the book feels slow, I often felt bored with the story, and it took me a long time to really engage with the plot. I enjoyed Crystal’s story more than Megan’s, but it was Amanda, Megan’s heart donor, who I really wanted to get to know, whose story I really wanted to read, and yet we are only given glimpses of it through her journal entries.

    With so many travel destinations and bucket-list steps, the majority are skipped over, and the others are simple steps in the story. It is not until near the end of the book that Megan reunites with her old friend, Caleb, and their friendship deepens. As I mentioned before, it was Crystal’s story in which I was more interested. She is battling conflicting pressures. She wants to succeed at work, but it is a huge drain on her time and energy. She loves her husband, but he wants her to work less and to start a family. Crystal is also holding onto a lot of fear and regret from her childhood, and that is effecting her ability to convey her feelings to those around her. Again, the end of the book brings more drama, complications, and energy to Crystal’s story.

    The Heart Between Us is a contemporary Christian novel, and faith is neatly woven into the story as both Megan and Crystal finally realise that the answers they search for cannot be found from within their own limited resources, but that they must instead learn to rely on God and the others around them for help.

    The Heart Between Us is a sweet story about family, love, travel and second chances.

    The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

    Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog

  • Melissa

    I highly recommend this heartwarming and soul-challenging novel. The focus on God to help us through our fears and to rely on His control is something everyone needs a reminder of regularly.

  • Andrea Cox

    FTC DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, which was not required to be positive.

    This is Lindsay Harrel's second book, and it's becoming evident to me that her trademark is going to be incredibly deep character journeys. This book, as the title suggests, is full of heart. From beginning to end, the passion for life and figuring out one's faith and laying down one's fears make this journey one worth taking... several times. The fact that communi

    FTC DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, which was not required to be positive.

    This is Lindsay Harrel's second book, and it's becoming evident to me that her trademark is going to be incredibly deep character journeys. This book, as the title suggests, is full of heart. From beginning to end, the passion for life and figuring out one's faith and laying down one's fears make this journey one worth taking... several times. The fact that communication being key to relationships was featured made me smile and fall in love with this book even more. I've been saying for years that communication is crucial for any relationship to be successful, and it's wonderful when that outlook is emphasized and even featured in a fictional book.

    Another fantastic aspect to this story is all the travel. From Rome to Australia to Greece to Peru -- not to mention a couple of stops in the good ol' U.S. of A. -- this book came alive with atmosphere, culture, and adventure. I really should get a passport and save up some money for international traveling, because Ms. Harrel made each location seem like the ideal vacation spot.

    There are two reasons why this book only got four instead of five stars from me. Number one: God was called "the Big Guy" once, and I have always believed that this is an irreverent and too-casual way of referring to Him. Number two: There was an entire chapter devoted to skinny-dipping, and it was a "modest" character that was participating. It seemed out of character for her and the genre of Christian fiction. Were those two things done differently, this would have easily been a five-star read for me.

    I don't know what else Lindsay Harrel has on her writing schedule, but I know this: She is a must-read author. She brings a ton of heart, deep character journeys, and loads of hope to her stories. I can hardly wait to see what adventure she'll take me on next time.

    Content:

    * bikini swimsuit

    * skinny-dipping

    * sexual abuse (handled off-screen and with grace)

    * alcohol; pubs

  • Tin

    *I would like to thank Thomas Nelson for providing me a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book and opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*

    READ FULL REVIEW IN MY BLOG:

    It's so nice to read something different that I actually enjoyed from the usual genres I read. The story revolve around God & Faith, Family & Relationships and Travel. 

    Since this is a Christian fiction novel, th

    *I would like to thank Thomas Nelson for providing me a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book and opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*

    READ FULL REVIEW IN MY BLOG:

    It's so nice to read something different that I actually enjoyed from the usual genres I read. The story revolve around God & Faith, Family & Relationships and Travel. 

    Since this is a Christian fiction novel, there were a lot of God scenes that I don't mind because me myself believe in one true God. I love how this book showed restoring faith of the characters despite the struggles they encounter.

    Family was a big factor in this book as well. Megan's family has always been very supportive with her decisions even though traveling was not one of the things her parents wanted her to do because of her heart condition. Megan and Caleb's relationship from the beginning to the end is something to look forward to. 

    My favorite part of this book was the travel part because you guys know how much I love to travel. Megan needs to travel in order to achieve all the things listed in the bucket list. There were a lot more countries, and you guys need to read this book to know which ones are included.

    Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and I'm glad I read it. It was my first book read from the author and surely won't be the last. You guys should give this book a try because I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy it as much as I do, especially if you love to travel as this book will feed your wanderlust. If you're also on the verge of losing your faith, go get yourself a copy because there are really a lot of encouraging passages that will help you restore your faith. 

  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

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  • Staci

    Lindsay Harrel's sophomore novel is about twins Megan and Crystal. Megan had fragile health as a child due to a weak heart. Following a heart transplant she lives out the bucket list of her donor. This was a great opportunity for Megan and Crystal to work through some of their relationship issues as well as each sister to confront their own character flaws.

    While I enjoyed this novel overall, I struggled with at least one decision made by each sister. Also, I have a difficult time with the whirlw

    Lindsay Harrel's sophomore novel is about twins Megan and Crystal. Megan had fragile health as a child due to a weak heart. Following a heart transplant she lives out the bucket list of her donor. This was a great opportunity for Megan and Crystal to work through some of their relationship issues as well as each sister to confront their own character flaws.

    While I enjoyed this novel overall, I struggled with at least one decision made by each sister. Also, I have a difficult time with the whirlwind speed at which they traveled and toured so many famous places. It just seems if you travel so far and at such an expense there would be a bit more savoring going on. It was very much a checklist type of trip.

    The ending was sweet and I look forward to what the author offers next.

  • Dayle (the literary llama)

    I liked THE HEART BETWEEN US but didn’t fall head over heels for it. That’s partly personal preference and part overall style, but I’ll get to all that, just keep reading.

    THE HEART BETWEEN US has a certain quality to it that reminded me of the Amanda Bynes film “What a Girl Wants”. The stories aren’t necessarily similar, but the vibes just felt the same. The American in a foreign land with strained family ties and sightseeing montages…something about it just made me think that there was definite

    I liked THE HEART BETWEEN US but didn’t fall head over heels for it. That’s partly personal preference and part overall style, but I’ll get to all that, just keep reading.

    THE HEART BETWEEN US has a certain quality to it that reminded me of the Amanda Bynes film “What a Girl Wants”. The stories aren’t necessarily similar, but the vibes just felt the same. The American in a foreign land with strained family ties and sightseeing montages…something about it just made me think that there was definitely a crossover audience in there somewhere. Cross that with a sweet and scenic made-for-TV movie, because that’s what the dialogue reminded me of, and I feel like I’ve pegged down the overall experience of this book.

    While this all came together as a perfectly lovely book, it was also a little too on-the-nose for my tastes. Everything was just a bit too perfectly placed and magically coincidental. I think it was the Philosophy student at the Colosseum who suddenly just steered the conversation into a succinctly apropos deep moment with one of our leads that pushed me into that determination. The entire book from then on was too neat and easy.

    Now here is where I want to shout, “Don’t let that reign as complete judgment”, because one of my best friend’s loves everything I’ve outlined above. Truly and seriously, once I finished the book, I knew it was something that I would recommend to her because it’s her type of story, from beginning to end. Just like I said at the top, it’s all about personal preference.

    I did enjoy the two main characters for the most part. At times Megan was written more like a 20 year old, instead of 32. I know that she’s supposed to have been sheltered because of her illness but it was still a bit OTT. Aside from that, I think this book was actually more about Crystal’s growth. Sure it was Megan’s journey that we were following, but it was really Crystal who was the mystery and had the more compelling story to tell. It was great to see how she evolved from city to city and moment to moment.

    There was a lot of travel that the characters had to get through, so it goes fairly quickly. The author bundled most sights and cities into short chapters that had our leads skipping across the globe. It made for a lot of situational storytelling and it kept the book moving forward fast. It could have easily been chapters and chapters of sights and sounds but I think the author edited it down in a very smart way.

    I won’t spoil anything but the book wraps up neatly with several messages to take away. Overall, the book was okay but not entirely for me. Still, I know that this book would be the perfect escape for other readers. It’s sweet but also has deep moments, with the added bonus of wanderlust and romances new and old.

    *I received a free copy of The Heart Between Us from the publisher to participate in the TLC Book Tour, and provide an honest review.*

  • Jemima

    The Heart Between Us is my first Lindsay Harrel book and honestly, I really enjoyed the idea of the book. This book is a contemporary book that has elements of Christian faith and it teases the hearts of those with a wanderlust soul.

    I really appreciated that this book touches the different aspects of love, family, sacrifices and the abun

    The Heart Between Us is my first Lindsay Harrel book and honestly, I really enjoyed the idea of the book. This book is a contemporary book that has elements of Christian faith and it teases the hearts of those with a wanderlust soul.

    I really appreciated that this book touches the different aspects of love, family, sacrifices and the abundant generosity of strangers in the most unlikely way.

    I loved the journey of these two sisters and their quest in rebuilding the bridge of sisterhood and also simultaneously finding ones individual identity.

    Having said that, The Heart Between Us is simple but at times I felt myself skimming through it. To be fair, I was expecting a powerful book but in some areas I found things to be quite childish and juvenile.

    All in all, The Heart Between Us is a lovely book filled with the story of courage, conquering ones greatest fear and a whole load of adventure.

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