|Article first published as Book Review: Change of Heart by Shari Maurer on Blogcritics.|
Have you ever wondered about organ donation? Did you know that 106,000 people in the United States need to receive organ transplants? If you have ever pondered upon the aforementioned questions, you should consider reading “Change of Heart” by Shari Maurer.
This is Shari Maurer’s first young adult novel. Married to a cardiologist, Maurer’s novel is a gripping story about Emmi, a sixteen year old girl who needs a heart transplant. Her life turned into a nightmare overnight. A star soccer athlete, Emmi contracted viral myocarditis. The condition damaged her heart permanently, requiring her to get a transplant.
The story explores many themes: Love, loss and how mortal we all are. It is a story that will show you how to appreciate all that life has to offer, for no one truly knows when his or her life can come to an abrupt end.
The story also showcases the true behavior of the typical teenager. Though I did not care for the way Emmi treated her mother, but that aspect of her character portrayed very well how most teenagers act irrationally.
The main character Emmi befriends Abe, a sixteen year old who also had a heart transplant. Through Abe, Emmi learned how to cope with her heart transplant. It was also through him that Emmi learned what true friendship and love is.
Emmi had two other close friends. Becca and Sam. Sam and Emmi became boyfriend and girlfriend, but later in the story Becca and Sam betrayed Emmi. The events that led to the betrayal were very real and believable. The author did a real good job showing how human Emmi is and how she later forgave Becca and Sam.
The story kept me captivated to the very end. The one thing reading this moving story did for me, it showed me how we should never take life for granted. I also learned the importance of organ donations. Donating an organ may save as many as eight lives. I never gave a second thought to the idea of being an organ donor, after reading Change of Heart I decided to become an organ donor.