‘I Hold Your Heart’ by Karen Gregory

Hello, and welcome to my stop on the ‘I Hold You Heart’ blog tour! I would first like to thank the publisher for allowing me to be apart of this blog tour and thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my review.

Now for the review:

First of all I would like to point out that this book deals with issues such as emotional and sexual abuse, so please take care when reading this book if these things can be triggering for you. The book follows Gemma, a music lover and aspiring songwriter, whose family seem to overlook her desires and dreams by focusing on those of her younger brother, an aspiring footballer. She has extremely supportive friends, who always have her best interests at heart and also Aaron, who has her heart.

The book is written in alternating viewpoints of Gemma and Aaron, allowing us to see both sides of the relationships and how each character and their emotions grow throughout the book. I’m Gemma’s case, we are able to witness how quickly she fell in love with Aaron and how easy it was for him to manipulate her thoughts and feelings. In Aaron’s case, we are able to witness how he becomes infatuated with Gemma and are able to get into this mind and the process of his actions. Although we see Aaron from a first person perspective it is still extremely difficult to resonate any sympathy for him, as from the offset, there is an unnerving atmosphere surrounding him and you can’t help but feel creeped out by him.

Many aspects of this novel are extremely relevant to today’s society and its target audience. It’s not very often in YA that you come across novels that deal with such serious issues such as this and handle it in such a sensitive, yet informative manner. In addition to the major issue of abuse, something that happens to people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds, this book also raises issues surrounding the relationships between parents and their children. This is shown through the fact that Gemma is overlooked by her parents, and doesn’t feel as appreciated by them in comparison with her younger brother, something that is played on by Aaron, again showing his ability to manipulate any situation to push Gemma further into his arms.

Just like everybody, Gemma herself isn’t perfect, she has flaws, she makes mistakes and that too, is what makes her such a great protagonist, she is easily relatable, especially for me as, she too comes from a working class background which I feel we don’t see that often in novels.

If you happen to read this book, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and be sure to check out all the other reviews on the tour!

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