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Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills

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Content/Trigger Warnings: High risk childbirth, panic/anxiety attacks, seizure mentions, talk of underage drinking, minor bullying

“When I’m with you, I can just exist”

Friends, this book touched so many parts of my soul. I laughed, I cried, I probably swooned multiple times while I read this book. This book was truly everything and touched every inch of my soul. Foolish Hearts is a piece of my soul now and I want to share that with all of you before I tell you the synopsis.

πŸ’˜ Boy Bands & Video Games – If you have been following me, you probably already know that I’m a gamer and a LARPer. It has been a part of my life for the longest time and it’s a part of my soul that brings the happiest moments to my life. Add my never ending love for boy bands from Backstreet Boys and NSYNC all the way to K-Pop bands, they have always been there in my life. It’s not secret that I discovered BTS after a really bad accident and that band alone turned a dark, scary time in my life into something brighter and happier. Both of these things hold a large corner of my heart and there will never be words to say how grateful I am that I have them in my life.

πŸ’˜ Best Friends & Family/Siblings – I am always open about how much my family and my siblings mean to me. My family and siblings mean everything to me, they’re an important piece to have in my life, and I constantly miss them. Despite the calling my friends and family, despite texting and messaging one another, and despite all the video calls, I constantly miss them and feel homesick. They are my whole world, half of my heart, and I would an army to protect them.

Foolish Hearts is about our main character Claudia, who spends her time playing video games with her best friend and siblings, not really for any additional people to come into the mix. Until the end of summer comes along and she accidentally ends up overhearing two girl breaking up. Iris and Paige were the “it” couple at Claudia’s school, but now they’re broken up. While Paige still gets to be loved and popular, Iris gets cast as a villain for being heartless and mean. When Claudia and Iris are forced to work together, not just one, but twice in a row, they’ll each uncover things about each other and an unlikely friendship with grow.

β€œHe is my small son.”

Let start by saying, I have always been a boy band lover and even more so of K-Pop. Without getting too personal, Kayla from Book and Blends is truly the one who brings out the best in me and constantly right there talking about K-Pop with me. Every day I’m so thankful because Kayla truly is my best friend and to have someone understand my deep love for K-Pop, but also be there for things outside of that is a true blessing. And reading about our two main characters, it reminded me so much of the conversations Kayla and I have had. It really melted my heart and made me feel very soft.

However, so many other things happen in this book! Maybe I was swooning a bit too much from Claudia finding someone who sees her for her and wants to know about the things she likes, maybe it was reading Claudia make outfits and teach others their lines, or maybe, just maybe it was all the gaming that was occurring that had me swooning because I’m super nerdy and a little gremlin when I game. I mean, the majority of this story revolves around a play of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and that alone is enough to make me swoon. And the interactions during the play just felt so real, so natural, and how things truly are in drama class.

Of course, I have to talk about the family dynamic and the sibling relationships. It was the realest family dynamic that I have felt in a long time and I loved how it shows that no matter how good or bad things are, you can always be there for one another or fix things. I also really loved how this book wrote the expectations of siblings and how siblings can all be given fair chances, but if one siblings does better than the other, can be given more privilege. I also loved how the author thought to include what it’s like for the main character’s sibling and best friend to be dating. All the responses felt very natural and really felt like what it would be like to have that happen.

I also really fell in love with the love interest for Claudia. A lot of the things he says and does speaks to my heart and soul. They way he unapologetically loves so fiercely and cares about the people in his life. Even more so when he goes to such lengths to understand Claudia and really take part in the things she likes. I really loved his character and I loved how even in the serious scenes he was still a ray of sunshine. I just really appreciate his character and everything he represented in this book.

You can tell Emma Mills really understands fandom culture too. How sharing something with another person can be a truly magical experience and is a true gift. How many fandoms just want love, support and to bring happiness to the people who bring them happiness, but how many people can turn it into a fetish and how fetishizing is very real, very serious in many fandoms. The author truly understands on a deeper level and I wouldn’t be surprised if she even declared she was once a boy band fan.

β€œIt’s like a snort,” I say. “Like a snort chortle. It’s a snortle.”

He moves a little closer. “Is that a Pokemon?”

Overall, this was such a an impactful read that touched my soul with everything I hold dear. I can’t believe no one told me about this book sooner. I can’t believe I waited so long to pick this book up because wow… the actual blessings this book exists. To have a book touch your soul on an intimate level, to feel like a book has literally read you and the things imprinted on your heart, it truly is an experience to have. This book is the biggest love letter to friendships, fandoms and boy band lovers, to the nerdy gamers, the dreamers who are just getting started, and the ones who are still trying to navigate life when things are constantly changing. It’s been a while since I’ve been so soft, wrapped up in my feelings, and feeling the happiest that I can be. This book is just a ray of sunshine and I hope that if you have read this review, you pick this book up and it brings you some of the joy that it brought to me.

I read this for The Backlist Readathon 2020 πŸ’—

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6 thoughts on “Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills

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