Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Scholastic Canada
Published: May 29th, 2018
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Summer Reads, Contemporary Romance, Friendship
Talking to other people isn’t Kate Bailey’s favorite activity. She’d much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school’s podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she’ll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible. But to Kate’s surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend … until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.
I did something terrible.
After being disappointed by my last Kasie West book, I claimed that she and I would part ways. Her books didn’t satisfy me as much anymore and I thought it was time to turn to other authors that understood me as a reader a little better.
It’s only when I noticed this new book from her that I realized how wrong I was to even think about avoiding Kasie West’s future stories. The moment I laid eyes on it, I knew, somehow, that this book and I would click.
And would you look at that, we totally did. This was exactly what I needed today. After finishing a pretty heavy read, it felt like heaven to pick something light, romantic and utterly fun. While Kasie West may not always get ‘‘me’’ personally, she does get teens in general. She knows what they want to see and what will hold their attention.
In this story, Kate is forced to co-host a podcast that she didn’t want to be part of to begin with. She also struggles to get over her ex and tries to understand her feelings for another guy on whom it may not be such a good idea for her to crush, seeing that her best friend Alana is smitten with him as well.
Although I did find the relationship between Kate and Diego adorable, my favourite scenes were between Kate and Alana. I remember complaining in my reviews of other Kasie West books that the heroines’ best friends don’t do much and are basically part of the story only so they can offer support to the heroines, which is not what real friendship looks like. It has to go both ways. Fortunately, it’s as though the author herself saw my comments because this friendship was wonderful in so many ways, and realistic especially.
This is Kasie West’s 10th book but like she says in her note, definitely not her last. I wish her more success in the future and I love how far she’s come. She’s growing not only as an author, but as a person as well, since she is including more and more diverse characters in her stories, which I’m sure many of us appreciate. I’m so proud of her and I’m genuinely sorry for saying I would stay away from her. I certainly will NOT. You couldn’t make me if you tried.
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I’m glad that you enjoyed this one! I thought Kate and Alana’s friendship was lovely as well.
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Yes :)) Alana is such a nice name too
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