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What if your gift was a curse?
Lilly has a gift, though sometimes it seems to be a curse. Lilly can peer into the hearts of others - their deepest, darkest secrets are there for Lilly to see - but to what end? Raised by aloof parents, Lilly has been independent her whole life, but soon she will need to rely on her friends to evade an evil that has sold her gift to the highest bidder on the black market.
Lilly and her four closest friends are immersed in a dangerous game of cat and mouse, that will not only reveal more about Lilly's gift, but also her link to an old Russian prophecy. Can Lilly and her friends escape the danger that is so close they can practically feel it? Where will their perilous journey lead them - to darkness or light?
“She who reads the hearts of many shall return the hearts of many to Russia.” So is the story of Lily Paige, a girl with extraordinary abilities – to read and understand the hearts of people. No matter good or evil, you’re bound to be revealed completely in the eyes of this girl.
Even though the main character is Lily Paige, Return the Heart actually focuses on five teenagers, Seth, Claire, Kyle, Andrew and Lily herself – each of them with a different ability that can merge together as one in times of danger.
Lily’s character is portrayed as diminutive but with the heart of a lion. She seems introverted to me at first - being shy, having no friends and always avoiding Claire whenever she approaches her. But eventually, the gang is able to gain Lily’s trust, and she in turn, becomes best buddies with them.
I like how the author incorporates foreign elements in this story – a reflection of the Russian literature she greatly enjoys. Many of the characters in this story are Russians. Nikolai, a member of The Family, is a good friend of Lily. Even the evil character is a Russian. But the author did not give us a chance to discover his identity, as Lily was able to tell who he was at the first moment.
Lily and Seth’s romance seems a bit rushed. It’s like putting two ends of a magnet close to each other – they undergo an instant attraction towards each other, and quickly fall in love. Nevertheless, it is still sweet as they are getting to know each other more in the process, and Seth’s composure and leadership is admirable.
The part where the teens work together to thwart an evil scheme seems a bit unrealistic. Yes, it is true that they have special abilities, but somehow, I was flabbergasted upon knowing their plans. It’s just too much – what these teens could do, despite the author’s explanation about how things work out.
Return the Heart is a fairly well read, but perhaps it is more suitable for the younger me.
Many thanks to T. K. for providing a copy of Return the Heart for this review!
Raised on the West Coast, she improves the lives of children near and far by advocating for abused and neglected children in her community, as well as sponsoring a Christian based orphanage in India.
She is the founder of Partners In Print, a book donation program for children in the foster care system, and runs The Writer's Resource Directory. Writing books and helping children are her passion. She lives in California where she is at work on her next novel.