In all my time reading and loving to talk books with others, I have never ever been part of the kind of book club where you all read the same book and then meet to discuss it! So when my local bookstore announced that they had a book club starting up this month I was super excited to be a part of it. It helped, of course, that the first book assigned was not only by an Australian author, and not only was the author also a woman, but it’s also a young adult book (my three favourites right now!) – this month we read Shivaun Plozza’s Tin Heart.
When Marlowe gets a heart transplant and a second chance at life, all she wants is to thank her donor’s family. Maybe then she can move on. Maybe then she’ll discover who she is if she’s no longer ‘The Dying Girl’.
But with a little brother who dresses like every day is Halloween, a vegan warrior for a mother and an all-out war with the hot butcher’s apprentice next door, Marlowe’s life is already pretty complicated. And her second chance is about to take an unexpected turn…
Several of the characters in this were quirky to the point of being a bit caricature-ish, which I found made it a harder for me to engage with – I always felt that I was ‘watching’ the story unfold, rather than feeling immersed in it – but they, along with some of the slightly over the top events in the book – were certainly entertaining, and several times made me laugh. There were also a few bits that I found really moving (yes I had a tiny cry on the bus haha).
Overall, this was a fun read that dealt with some pretty full on issues in a light and often humourous (but not flippant or dismissive) way. The writing was super accessible, and I think this would be ok for readers towards the younger end of the YA demographic and up.
And my first book club experience? I had such a good time! Claire from Harry Hartog did a wonderful job hosting, and there was a good variety of views on the book. Tin Heart was a great pick for a book club discussion, since it touches on a bunch of issues, and also I think that being a book about a family gives a couple of different perspectives to consider (I always think it is fun to hear which characters people relate to). I’m super excited for next month (we are reading Whistle in the Dark). I’m planning to take better notes as I read this time, so that I can remember some of my favourite scenes & quotes better!