ARC Review: The Heart Does Not Grow Back by Fred Venturini

20518854 The Heart Does Not Grow Back | Fred Venturini | Picador –  Macmillan | Stand Alone | Source: Review (Netgalley) | 320 pages | Adult | Sci-Fi 
Release Date: November 4th, 2014
ISBN13: 9781250052216

Goodreads Synopsis:


Dale Sampson is used to being a nonperson at his small-town Midwestern high school, picking up the scraps of his charismatic lothario of a best friend, Mack. He comforts himself with the certainty that his stellar academic record and brains will bring him the adulation that has evaded him in high school. But when an unthinkable catastrophe tears away the one girl he ever had a chance with, his life takes a bizarre turn as he discovers an inexplicable power: He can regenerate his organs and limbs.

When a chance encounter brings him face to face with a girl from his past, he decides that he must use his gift to save her from a violent husband and dismal future. His quest takes him to the glitz and greed of Hollywood, and into the crosshairs of shadowy forces bent on using and abusing his gift. Can Dale use his power to redeem himself and those he loves, or will the one thing that finally makes him special be his demise?The Heart Does Not Grow Back is a darkly comic, starkly original take on the superhero tale, introducing an exceptional new literary voice in Fred Venturini.”


To say I have been eagerly anticipating this books would be an understatement. As soon as I heard the title and the synopsis, I knew I wanted this book. I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of an E-ARC on Netgalley! I happy to report that even of hyping this up for so long, it definitely lived up to my expectations.

The Heart Does Not Grow Back follows the story of Dale Sampson, a young introvert who is trying to navigate the minefield of high school and life. One day a tragedy occurs and it becomes apparent that he has the ability regenerate limbs and organs.

I loved this novel from start to finish. It was a combination of all things from character development to the actual logistics behind Dale’s condition. The book is essentially asking what you would do. It is so interesting to see everyone’s reactions and moral compasses on the go. You definitely have a chance to see the darker side of human nature in this one, people’s justification for what their actions. You have a sudden realization that not everyone is as kind hearted as you think.

A small commentary on characters. Apart from Doc, I didn’t get along with any of them Doc is someone that you always feel for. He has a persistent need to seek redemption and sees Dale as his only chance. We have all had a friend like Mack. I personally thought he was a leech. I hated every other ounce of him. He is one of those friends that everyone has and no one will get rid of. At times he really was a good friend but at other times he truly was the worst thing for Dale.

Dale as a main character was quite complex. He did have a need to help people and even wanted to. His motivations were distorted and his chronic need for someone and crippling loneliness made his decisions for him. He is also turns out to be selfless when it comes down to it. All this added up to an amazing character to follow!

The ending to The Heart Does Not Grow Back is nothing I could have called and absolutely brilliant. What occurred was a true act of defiance and selflessness and I loved it.

Probably one of the vaguest reviews I have ever done but I would hate to spoil this for you. If you want a superhero novel with a difference, an intriguing set of characters and to questionable modern day motivation, this is the one for you!

Goodreads Average: 4.09/5 (out of 116 ratings)


There are so beautiful quotes in this one! Here are some I Instagrammed:



Graphic Novel Review: Marvel Adaptations – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice | Original work by Jane Austen | Adapted by Nancy Butler & Illustrated by Hugo Petrus | Marvel Comics | 4 Stars | Source: Bought | 114 pages | Collects Issues #1-#5
Classics | Romance
Release Date: October 28th, 2009
ISBN13: 9780785139157

Goodreads Synopsis:

“An adaptation of the original by Jane Austen that tells of Lizzy Bennet and her loveable, eccentric family as they navigate through tricky British social circles.”


As some of you may know, I have just recently got in to graphic novels. I was told by a few friends that the best way to get in to them is to check out adaptations of books you have already read instead of original works. With that in mind, I went to Goodreads and found this!

This is a review of the adaptation more than P&P since I would not know where to start reviewing that since I loved it so much!

This graphic novel sits at just over 100 pages has just under 300 so a considerable amount of the books has had to be taken out. Some of the descriptions have obviously been thrown and Mrs. Bennett’s nerves aren’t mentioned as much. In terms of maintaining the original story arc, I think it does this perfectly. In the same week I read this, I listened to the audiobook, watched the miniseries and watched the film so I had most of the book to memory.

If there is anything I remember Pride and Prejudice for, it is for how genuinely funny and witty it is. This adaptation definitely maintains that. I still laughed at Lizzy’s commentary and Mrs Bennetts hysteria.

Small note on the illustrations. For the most part, they are beautiful. The cover is kind of deceiving since the inside is not like that.  The only thing I found of putting was the fact that characters facial expressions were incredibly harsh. This works perfect for characters like Mr. Darcy or Lady Catharine, but when it came to the Bennett sisters (arguably apart from Mary!) It didn’t suit them at all. This only happens a few times in the comic so it is not too bad!

All in all, I think this is a great adaptation. I think it is good for lovers of P&P and also for those who have yet to read it and find the whole classic thing daunting like I do sometimes. I wish I had this back when I was studying the novel in school. The small overview would have been nice! I will definitely check out the rest of the Marvel Classics adaptations!

Goodreads Average: 3.76/5 (out of 2,720 ratings)


This originally came out in 5 separate volumes and in the back of this bindup of there were the covers for all of them. Here are two of my favourites.

#currentread: Marvel Classics Illustrated: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (adapted by Nancy Butler and Hugo Petrus)



Comic Newb – Graphic Novel Review: Saga Volume #1

15704307Saga Volume #1 | Written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples | Image Comics 5 Stars | Source: Bought | 160 pages | Collects issues #1-#6 | Science Fiction | Fantasy
Release Date: October 23rd, 2012
ISBN13: 9781607066019

Goodreads Synopsis: 

“When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From New York Times bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.”


To say I am a comic newb would be a huge understatement. I love looking at comics, I have probably sniffed a couple in my time, but I have never actually read one.

Up until a couple of months ago, I had never heard of this comic book series. High fantasy mixed with sci-fi are usually not my thing at all. However, after seeing this around so much I decided to take the plunge and buy it.

Saga was the perfect intro and start for me when it came to the world of comics. The rumour that comics lack in plot is blown out of the water. We have a strong female heroine in the form of Alana and Marco who a loving and caring father to their child who has just come in to the world. A world that is falling apart that is.

When reviewers were saying this series was funny, they were not wrong. Saga is hysterical from start to finish. I genuinely found them funny and the characters had whit all the way through.

A small commentary on the illustrations. They were absolutely beautiful. You can already tell you are in for a treat by the cover but they are still breath taking.

I wholeheartedly recommend Saga Volume #1. I think this is perfect for both newbs and people who have always loved comics. I will definitely be carrying on with this series and I can’t wait to get a hold of volumes 2 & 3

Goodreads Average: 4.37/5 (out of 28,289 ratings)

Small warning: See where it says for adults in the synopsis? It means it! Places in this graphic  novel are explicit and there is cursing so proceed with caution!