Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
“‘…You can fill your life with nice things, but nice things don’t fill the holes in your soul.’
‘What fills the holes in a soul?’
Samson’s eyes scroll over my face for a few seconds.’Pieces of someone else’s soul.'”
I guess you could say that I’ve been sitting on writing this review. It isn’t that I didn’t love this book. I adored it. I think it’s more about the idea of letting it go when I wanted to hold onto it a bit more. This is my second Colleen Hoover book, the first one being her last book, Regretting You. I know that her popularity comes from her stories such as Verity and It Ends with Us, and I have every intention of reading those stories. For me, Heart Bones, her newest book, along with Regretting You, have shown me the ways in which she pours herself into her storytelling in ways that are nuanced. That nuance makes for reads that impact you straight into your heart asthe secrets of her stories are divulged. And Heart Bones…it is no different.
The premise of Heart Bones is a young woman on the cusp of change (going off to college) is thrust into her father’s world, a father who can only be considered very absentee. This world is a world of privilege, a world that she did not live in with her mother. There, she meets Samson, the local rich boy. They agree to a summer together before she leaves for college, and they pour themselves into each other. However, as the summer comes to an end, the ability to let go of Samson seems impossible. It is also in that space where the secret of Heart Bones is shown.
What I loved most about this book is its elemental message about loving a person. As humans, we need people to “see” us, to seek to understand us without facade, and we oftentimes go through life without being regarded in elemental ways. It’s like we’re apparitions carrying ourselves through life, never fully engaging and becoming solid in the adoration of another. This is the underlying crux of this story. It’s the beauty of it, quite frankly. As Samson and Beyah encounter each other, (and this may sound corny), their souls acknowledge their similarities, and it creates this romance that is less about the physical (these two are slow-burn) and more about the emotional pull between them. This is a book about soulmates acknowledging their existence for the other, and that makes for a romance rife with depth and gravity.
Even more, Hoover pokes and prods at the notion of socio-economic influence. In many ways Samson and Beyah are the same person, yet they exist at odds in terms of wealth. There is a complication to this in the story that illustrates the farce that a person who is wealthy cannot understand a person who is poor. Hoover bridges this idea with that connection. It’s a reminder that money does not soften life experiences. That it’s possible to understand a person even if your past or upbringing or wealth or lack of it is different from your own. As Samson and Beyah realize this notion, they recognize the reflection of each other in the other. Over and over again, their connections draw you into Heart Bones.
And nuances of Colleen Hoover’s Heart Bones reside in the way it resonates in your soul even though it isn’t romantic by traditional romance standards. In this book and her last, the $exual relationship between her heroes and heroines are minimized in a way. The story isn’t about that. Instead, Hoover sets to tell stories about the human condition that transcend traditional romantic tropes. This is what has bowled me over about the two stories I’ve read thus far. Heart Bones is a story about learning to love yourself, as you find yourself reflected in another. It’s about recognizing that everyone has a story, and you aren’t alone. It’s about finding that person whose story connects with your own and loving them even through the difficulties of life. These messages roll over you again and again in Heart Bones, that when you’ve turned the last page, your heart feels like it’s grown its own heart bones, and you’re already nostalgic for a story that resonates with you in its basic truths about the human condition.
In love and romance,