The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones / ★★★☆☆
Summary: In a world in which body parts are exchanged to demons for wishes, Dee finds herself unable to pay for school and desperate not to return home. When she asks a demon for money, he asks her for her heart – and to take part in a mission.
She had walked willingly into a fairy tale, into a world where she could trade her heart for her freedom. She may as well have donned a red cloak and strode into a darkened forest.
She had always known there would be wolves.
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Sci Fi
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book from which I expected one thing, and got something so completely different. I expected this book to be about a heartless girl – which, technically, it was – but it wasn’t about a girl who acted heartless, which is what I was expecting. I was a bit disappointed about this, but when this book took on a very original plotline that required a heartless body more than a heartless soul to do a demon’s bidding, I was into it.
I will say that it wasn’t about halfway through this book that I decided that I liked it. I hovered for a while, very unsure of where the plot was taking me, but interested to see where it would go. This book very much gets points for originality. However, I would have liked more world building. The Hearts We Sold is set in a contemporary world with a sci-fi/fantasy flair, and the aspect of it concerning the demons could have gone deeper. I felt like this book touched upon the tip of it, which was slightly disappointing.
The pace of this book was also a bit unsteady. It would speed through action and fantasy scenes and spend far more time in the contemporary “real world,” developing the romance and relationships. I didn’t mind this terribly since I liked the characters, but these scenes did get a bit slow, and I probably would have enjoyed it more had I been into the romance, which I found to be rather bland and a bit cliché.
This book was unique, but I would have liked the plot to go deeper. I felt like it peeked near the middle, when I finally decided I was into it, and rushed the end. And there was a tiny twist at the end that was good, but I would have preferred a little more foreshadowing so it would have had a bit more of a punch.
I guess it’s not a great sign that, having only finished this book a week ago, I had to stop for a second to recall the main characters’ names. Well.
I did really like our main heartless girl, Dee, she was sweet and sad and a bit awkward, and I could find myself relating to her as her character developed over the course of the novel as she’s forced into crazy conflict. Our main man, James, was lovely and sweet, and I don’t really see how anyone could not like him. But to be honest I didn’t really care what happened to them as the novel progressed, along with the other kids Dee befriends. Even when tragedy struck, I was like, okay. They weren’t badly developed, but I felt like something about them could have been deeper. Or maybe I’m just heartless.
And the main demon, Daemon, could definitely have been delved into more. He should have been fascinating, but again, whenever he showed up I was rather “meh” about him. I either wanted to love him or hate him and I don’t really lean toward either. Alas.
The writing style was nice and sucked me in right away, but like I said, this story had some pacing issues, action scenes were a bit fuzzy and rushed, and I found that I wanted backstory to be a bit more smoothly revealed.
Was I satisfied?
This book had a very original and interesting plot, but the world building and characters left something to be desired. I liked this book, but in the end it was mostly okay.
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