Heart in a Box by Kelly Thompson
Art: Meredith McClaren
This story was an unexpected surprise. I loved it quite a bit. McClaren’s art was a great style to accompany the story. She’s best with movement and Emma’s impromptu road trip kept her moving.
Thompson sets up the story when the main character Emma is depressed and heartbroken over her ex-boyfriend Alec. She can’t get out of bed. And her best friend and roommate Xan is determined to bring her back to the world of the living. Nothing can cure the blues like a night out, and maybe the fact that she’ll meet someone who will change her life.
Which she does.
Of course, who she meets is Bob, and Bob — like many people at clubs — promises to take away her pain. Only he means that he’ll literally take her heart. (And then give it to someone else, who will distribute it around.)
At first, Emma’s quest seems incredibly straightforward. She must find the pieces of her heart and get them back from those who now have them. The heartdealer guy was a creep, but even killing him in self-defense, Emma’s upset about the whole situation. Not to mention that she ingests/adds those other hearts to her own. (My only criticism of this book is that we don’t see more from the other hearts. Maybe in Book 2, Emma will be on a mission to give them all back.)
It was great that not all the other parts came back to Emma, and only the first one was Emma killing someone. I love Mae needing the confidence of Emma’s heart.
Brock the cat made me really sad. Especially when he ran off at the end. Seems like Brock needed someone to love him and that Emma was going to even if he gave her the piece back.
Of course, Mr. Jamison never gave Emma her heart back. No matter how much she took care of him or tried to make his last days happier. Emma had to instead dig up his body.
Oh, Pete, yeah, Emma might just be giving more of her heart to him.
I did love the twist of Lynda having the second to last piece of Emma’s heart. Which seems to say that it was Alec who gave it to her, not due to Emma getting rid of hers. This definitely says something really interesting about the function of love and how those we love stay with us, despite changes in relationships. Then on top of that Miles having the final one. Emma likely gave that piece to him of her own free will when they were children.
Interesting that by the end of this book, Emma perhaps has more love in her life than she’s ever had before. Such a warmer ending than I expected. Loved it.