Pleading Hearts follows the story of Anna Fitzgerald and those around her as she studies Law at Aschcroft University.
As noted on the cover, Pleading Hearts is based on a historic tragedy. This was an effective way of building up suspense throughout the novel, as I was desperate to find out what the tragedy would be, and how it would affect our main characters. I was surprised at how long it took for the tragedy to take place, although upon reflection, I do think that its timing was perfect in relation to the overall narrative. Having read about the tragedy that inspired this novel, I can only imagine the detailed planning that would have been necessary for Hopewell to have incorporated it so seamlessly into Pleading Hearts.
The plot was very detailed, with every tiny aspect being described throughout. I really enjoyed this, as it added beautifully to the overall narrative. This was especially interesting at moments of tension, such as any descriptions of the tragedy, or emotions, as I felt like I was viewing the story from inside the characters’ heads, despite the story having a third-person narrative.
The prologue was definitely not what I initially expected, as it was a flash-forward to a small but significant event toward the end of the book. It was fixed in my mind throughout the novel, as I was unsure what it meant, or where abouts it would actually happen. I think that if perhaps there had been some more flash-forward moments in the lead up to the trial throughout the book, then more suspense could have been built up, in preparation for the ending, when the novel switchs back to the present day.
The ending did confuse me slightly in the sense that everything happened so fast, to the point where I couldn’t keep up with what was happening. I did like how everything wrapped up so neatly, however, I think that the events could have been spread out over several more pages, so that the reader had more time to digest what was happening, and to formulate their own thoughts on the shocking actions. I was very pleasantly surprised at how Pleading Hearts ended, as it is very rare that I find a book where each storyline is perfectly wrapped up in this way.
The main romance was definitely a slow-burn. At points, I was wondering if the two characters involved would ever get together! This definitely added to the tension, as with each second the two characters spent with each other, I was more and more desperate for them to admit their feelings to each other. And in typical Young-Adult-book-style, they admitted their love for each other at the most inconvenient moment! However, on reflection of the book, the romance does seem slightly strange (based on Margaret’s interpretation of events). This is definitely the first time that I have seen a romance like this in a book, so it was nice to read a relationship that was so different from what is typical for Young Adult books.
Overall, I would recommend Pleading Hearts to a Young Adult audience that are fans of romance, contemporary, or legal fiction.
Has this review inspired you to read Pleading Hearts? Have you already read Pleading Hearts? Let me know what you think in the comments!
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