Review Blog

Aug 03 2017

Out of heart by Ifran Master

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Hot Key Books 2017. ISBN 9781471405075
(Age: 12+) Recommended. The heart is one of the most important organs in the human body. A heart donation can be a wonderful and generous thing, giving another person another chance at life. When Adam's Dadda passes he leaves a great hole in the family, a hole which seemingly no one can fill. That is until William arrives on their doorstep with seemingly no reason other than curiosity about where his new heart came from. William is all alone in the world, without family or friends to turn to. Thanks to Mr. Shah's donation William isn't just given another chance at life, he is given another chance to live.
As time passes William becomes a familiar figure in the Shah family home, almost like part of the family. Farrah adores him, Adam finally finds a man he can look up to and talk to, and Yasmin gets the kind of support she needs to continue providing for her family. Times are tough. With Dadda's funeral and Yasmin struggling to earn a wage, Adam must get a job to help his mother. But working, at the cost of his education, is something Yasmin frowns on, and so he must struggle his way through school, work, and adolescence on top of his grief for his grandfather. Things only get worse when the local thugs come knocking to call in Mr. Shah's debt, a debt no one in the family knew. Dadda was not a gambler, but Adam knows who is. Can he control the situation or will the situation control him?
With allusions to the story of Icarus, Master presents a YA novel with a focus on family, grief, and relationships, as well as the power of organ donation. This coming-of-age story is recommended for young people twelve and up.
Kayla Gaskell, 21

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