A Healing Heart by Melissa A. Hanson

Posted 25 May, 2014 by Paige in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Release Date: February 2012
Visit the Author: Website|Facebook
Buy the Book: Amazon|B&N
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
About the Book:
On a bitter cold winter night Bailey Walsh’s family was killed in a traffic accident. Two years later as she lives with her aunt and uncle in Southern California, Bailey is still plagued by the nightmares of that terrible night. Everywhere around her are reminders of what she lost. Even her aunt, in a cruel twist of fate, is not just her mom’s sister, but her identical twin.

Babysitting Riley, a spunky two-year old, is a sweet distraction and one constant light in her life. One day as she takes Riley to the park she meets Collin McKenna, a senior at her high school and her life is changed forever as he helps her find herself and realize her life is worth living.

As the romance between them grows her broken heart begins to heal. However, still nagging in the back of her conscious is the fear that her new found happiness could come crashing down and she could lose everything she loves, yet again.

Outside forces begin to tear them apart and Bailey must learn to trust in herself and realize that she is worthy of happiness. That sometimes love and healing comes in unexpected forms.

A Healing Heart, is a story about first love, life’s unexpected tragedies, and the miracles that make it possible to move forward. It will appeal to young adult readers and will be sure to touch your own heart.
My Thoughts:
From the beginning, you are immediately taken into the story. You read along as impossible happens to Bailey, as her entire family is ripped from her. Two years later, she’s still having nightmares and trying to pick up the pieces. She lives with her aunt, who happens to be her mother’s twin, and her uncle. Night after night, the nightmares continue to plague her. There is one bright spot in her life, though: two-year-old Riley and his mother, who lost her husband in a tragic military accident overseas. Babysitting Riley brings her much joy, and also brings along a chance meeting that changes everything for her.
Collin is a senior in high school, and since his mother abandoned their family a few years prior, he’s spent a lot of time moving around with his father and four-year-old sister. Settling into life in southern California, he really only allows himself one friend, until a little boy comes running up to play with his sister at the park one day. That’s where he meets(officially, at least) Bailey.
Immediately upon meeting each other, there is an instant connection between the two. I felt that it read pretty genuine, there are times when it toed the cliche line, but in a pleasant, comfortable way–if that makes sense. I really enjoyed this book, it was a lovely story and I felt one of the more realistic ones I’ve read as it went on. This couple has their problems, and there are definitely some bumps along the way. You learn a lot about each character, and I would love to read more. In fact, I know this itself is a young adult book, but I think it would be really nice to get a story for Riley’s mom, she’s been through a lot as well and definitely deserves her shot at happiness.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to young adult fans, and romance fans alike. There are ups and downs with emotions galore, but the end result will leave a smile on your face. To be honest, the only thing I’m not too fond of about the book is that the ending left me wanting more! Of course, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Bailey was put through something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, and yet through this journey, she begins to heal. Great for early teens on up!

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