What Hearts by Bruce Brooks is one of the many books I culled from my niece Sam’s book collection. It’s a book she really enjoyed, and it’s a really short book, so after I finished 13 Reasons Why I took What Hearts from the huge Sam pile of books in my bedroom.
What Hearts is written in an unusual style that I haven’t encountered before. It opens up with a young just-graduating-first grader named Asa. He’s carrying home his radishes, something the intelligent little boy grew himself and he’s very proud of them and their beauty. When he gets home his mom is waiting with devastating news- Daddy is gone and she and Asa are moving. Hours later his mom introduces him to her ex-boyfriend who will later become Asa’s step dad.
The book tends to fast forward as you’re given little snap shots of Asa’s life. His family moves around a lot, and in school Asa has learned to be whatever the person he’s talking to wants him, or needs him to be. His intelligence only increases, but his home life is floundering. Step dad and Asa do not get along very well, and his mom has emotional issues. The end leaves A LOT to the imagination, but I’m not a lazy reader and I can imagine with the best of them.
I can’t pin point what it is I loved about this book, but loved it I did. The only complaint I have is the excessive look at a baseball game, but others may not find that chapter as torturous as I found it.
What Hearts gets a Midnight Book Rating of 11pm- start reading it any you might just have it done before the midnight hour has waned.