Review: This Old Heart of Mine by A.J. Compton

Note: This ARC was provided by Give Me Books Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

"I lost you like I loved you, love;
Deeply, endlessly, irrevocably,
And in stages."  

This Old Heart of Mine is a standalone contemporary romance novel from A.J. Compton and it also happens to be my first read by the author. This is the story of a twenty-two-year-old girl who was given new life because another's had come to an abrupt end. For so long, Ava Malone had to abide by every precaution and warning given to her by her doctors and mother, and each year that she surpassed the deadline that was predicted for her was a gift, until the realization that the heart she was born with had run out of extensions. But after bidding those who meant to her the most a final farewell, hope comes in the form of another heart, and with it Ava is able to truly her own life, one where she's able to appreciate new people, places, things, and experiences. When she meets the mercurial and gifted poet Gabriel Cruz, the pull to one another is both undeniable and unavoidable. His words inspires passionate feelings and his presence brings forth new emotions, but is Ava prepared to give Gabriel a heart that wasn't always hers? 

Just like her main character Gabriel, author A.J. Compton has a way with the written word. She's given us a touching and beautifully written story about second chances and it's a theme that resonates with more than one of the characters. Ava and her best friend Finn are both given second chances to live fuller and more fulfilling lives than the ones they had as "cotton wool" kids. Gabriel is given a second chance to find inspiration and embrace love and life. Ava's mom is given a second chance to experience a life where she is able to put herself first and without the worry and strain of whether Ava will live past her current deadline. This was an awe-inspiring story but just like any story, there are complications and difficulties that the characters need to undergo and surpass and that is where the greatest source of inspiration can be discovered. The twist in the story was one that I figured out very early on, but it wasn't as cut and dried as I expected and I'm glad that it played out differently than I thought it would because it kept me on my toes.

I always have an appreciation for stories that aren't like the ones we can easily find in bookstores, whether virtual or stone and brick ones, even with our eyes closed. Happily-ever-after stories are a dime a dozen, so finding that hidden gem in a stack filled with familiar tropes and story lines is a thrill for a voracious reader like me. The fact that I've discovered an author whose writing calls to me is an added bonus and since A.J. Compton debut release is the only other title she's published that I haven't read yet, it'll be easy enough for me to see if my current adoration for her writing was a one-time thing or if my suspicion is right and I've found myself a new author to keep my eye on. This Old Heart of Mine does, indeed, have angst but I would think that's to be expected when it comes to a story involving life and death. What I would prefer to focus on, though, is that this book is a hopeful one and that it shows how love, at its truest and purest, will always help us find our way back to that single person it beats hardest for. Five-plus stars. ♥

Release Date: 24 May 2016

Date Read: 24 May 2016

Learn more about A.J. Compton.

Purchase This Old Heart of Mine on Amazon | B&N | Kobo.


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