Thank you to the publisher who gifted me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Fierce Fragile Hearts is the latest novel by outstanding author Sara Barnard. This is the sequel to the Sara’s bestselling novel Beautiful Broken Things, but it can be read as a standalone! Fierce Fragile Hearts tells the story of Suzanne, who two years after a downward spiral took her as low as you could go is starting again. Suzanne is back in Brighton, the one place she feels she belongs, with her best friends Caddy and Rosie. With her best friends about to leave for university, Suzanne is unsure about what will happen. Caddy and Rosie where the light in the darkness and she is the one being left behind.
I absolutely adored this book! I devoured it in just a couple of sittings. When I read Beautiful Broken Things at the start of 2018 I was always intrigued by Suzanne’s character and wanted to learn more about her. So, when I found out that Sara Barnard would be releasing a novel set 2 years after Beautiful Broken Things from the perspective of Suzanne, I was immediately excited!
I will say there is a couple of trigger warnings that come with this book as it deals with an abusive history and talks about suicide attempts.
This book is in my opinion more character driven than plot driven. Although I do not feel it needed to be plot driven as it deals with so many important and different aspects that will certainly grab your attention. There were no moments when reading this book were, I felt bored. I was constantly captured by something new and drawn into the story even more.
Fierce Fragile Hearts deals with a lot of important and different topics. Suzanne has just come out of care, after being there for the past two years. She is having to learn to live by herself and deal with the fact she is not following her friends Caddy and Rosie down the path they are taking. I feel that this was important for Sara to show in this book. As Suzanne is living independently without any help from parents or guardians and she also isn’t going to university like her friends. I feel this is important to show to other young adults reading this book, whether they have a similar history to Suzanne or not. I found it incredibly refreshing to read about a character who wasn’t planning on going to university and was doing just fine even without her A-levels. I would have loved to read this when I myself was in the transition period between college and university.
Sara Barnard has done an excellent job of capturing so many different intense and important relationships in this book. Sara also tells the story and the character relationships as they are. It shows that no relationship or friendship is easy and the fact that there will be ups and downs.
My favourite thing about this book has got to be the characters and the stories each one brings to the table. I already knew I liked the characters Caddy and Rosie. This book made me want a book from Rosie’s perspective. There are a couple of new character that also hold a special place in my heart. I don’t want to say much as I feel it might spoil the story. Matt is just a wonderful character and warmed my heart. Dilys who Suzanne becomes friends with was the character who affected me most. The story Dilys tells affected me in such a way that I sobbed when she was apart of the story. The friendship that Dilys and Suzanne form is similar in many ways to a friendship I have previously had which made it mean even more to me. Suzanne as a character grows throughout the book. There are moments you want to help Suzanne and moments where she helps herself and you feel incredibly proud of her.
Suzanne’s story is extremely important, and I am so glad that it is out in the world for others to read. It is important to bring light to the issues Suzanne deals with, abuse, suicide attempts, issues with her family as well as her friendship struggles. This book has something that I feel everyone will relate to be that now or in the future.
Overall, Sara Barnard has done it again and has made me fall in love with her writing all over again. This book is beautiful, heart-breaking and heart-warming. It made me laugh, it made me cry and it made my heart full. This is definitely a book to pick up if you are a fan of contemporary novels whether you have read Beautiful Broken Things or not!