Published on: May 18th 2015
Published by: Self Published
Genre: YA Contemporary
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(summary from Goodreads)
Samantha Marie Ramsden has three brothers. Craig, John and Matt. When tragedy strikes their family, Craig takes on the task of becoming his siblings legal guardian. It’s hard enough being someone’s guardian, but when you’ve only recently entered adulthood yourself it’s almost impossible to know where to draw the line between sibling and ‘parent’.
This is made even harder on him when Sam starts to get close to a long time friend, Jason. It looks like their friendship could turn into something more. An idea that Craig has never been too happy with.
Spanning six years, My Heart is Yours explores family, friendship, love and much more. As well as asking the question: Would you defy family for love?
I came across this book whilst searching for authors releasing their debut books this year (check out my progress for the 2015 debut author challenge here) and I was instantly excited.
Not all families are made up of “a mum, a dad and 2.5 kids”. This book embraced that with it’s unique ‘brother becomes guardian’ family story line and it was one of the things that first attracted me to this book.
Friends to lovers have got to be one of my favourite types of romances, along with forbidden romances. So Sam and Jason’s romance was the perfect mix of these two themes. I like that because they have known each other for practically their entire lives their relationship starts off with a very good foundation and feel more believable. Plus although it all happens quite quick, it doesn’t feel like insta-love because they already know each other so well.
I liked that we got a lot of time with these characters as the book was set over six years. It was only a short book though, so there were times when I would have liked a chapter to be slightly longer, but as a whole I enjoyed the story as it was structured and feel like we got more then just the normal ‘they get together, the end’ kind of story that we get with a lot of romances now a days. I also really like the reference to the 60’s, which is the period of time the book is set in, little things like Sam singing and Elvis song etc that are subtle but make the book that little bit extra special.
This book has a great group of supporting characters which make such a difference to the feel of this book. Amanda has given them this alternative family filled up with a great group of friends and there are some really nice parts of the book in which all of our characters are together and they feel like just one big happy family.
Amanda Leigh graduated with a BA in English and Communications and a double minor in Psychology and Creative Writing. She adores cats and has one named Sawyer – named after one of her favourite characters in Lost.
Amanda enjoys reading, writing avidly in a journal, writing poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction, cooking, listening to music, singing, swimming and art – particularly photography. Amanda is a bit of a chocoholic and is slightly obsessed with office supplies. She has many ideas for stories so keep an eye out for more work from her.
I got the opportunity to chat with Amanda about her new book, check out what she said below…
1) What is your favourite quote from My Heart Is Yours?
Good question. I hadn’t thought about it too much before now. Can I narrow it down to two?
“…their eyes stayed locked. Light blue into dark brown. Eyes holding dark pasts. No matter how dark their pasts were, they would build a brighter future together.”
“Jason’s dark brown eyes were warm, like the melted chocolate in a chocolate chip cookie just out of the oven. His father’s were flat, lifeless and cold. Like the bark on a dead tree in winter.”
2) What was your favourite part of the writing process for My Heart Is Yours.
My Heart is Yours started out as a short story idea that I got because of a dream that I had. The idea just started to grow until one day it hit me that this was too big of a story to tell in the length of a short story. That was a great moment.
The first few drafts were some of my favorite parts, too, because that’s when I was really working on the story itself more than structural and grammatical errors and things like that. Working on the cover was also amazing. So I’d say that those were my favorite parts of the writing process.
3) A lot of authors based their characters on real people in their own lives. Where any of your characters inspired by real life people?
There are really only two characters that I based on real people. The character of Juliana has some similarities to one of my best friends, Yulia.
The other character is Sam. Sam is actually a lot like me. Her love of books, Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost are two of her favorite poets and those are my two favorites, her love of journaling, her determination, the fact that she was in advanced classes and liked school, the fact that she gets stress headaches, her love for her family and friends.
Also, the fact that her eyes change color. That’s what my eyes do. Although they’re usually blue-grey.
4) What is your favourite bookish thing that you own that is not a book?
Hmmm…. I have a reading journal that’s pretty cool but no, I don’t think that that’s my favorite.
I have a really awesome bookmark with the entirety of Hamlet printed on it. Which is amazing because that is my favorite play ever. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read over it. So that and this next thing are my favorites.
There’s this independent bookstore near where I went to college. The bags that they use are brown paper bags with red print on them that say “Peace. Love. Books.” I loved it so much that that part of the bag is now framed and hanging up near my bookshelves.
5) Which book, not written by yourself, do you wish you had written?
here are five that popped into my mind. (I just can’t keep my answers to one thing, huh?) Two of those are series, though. Does that count? This may be breaking the rules, but I just can’t choose one so I’m going to list them all.
– Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
– Harry Potter Series (J.K.Rowling)
– The Outsider (S.E.Hinton)
– The Vampire Diaries (L.J.Smith)
– Te Great Gatsby (F.Scott Fitzgerald)
This one is a cute one that is perfect for fans of a friends to lovers type romance. Perfect for snuggling up on the couch with and having a swoon over!
I would recommend this book to fans of: friends to lovers type romances, unique families, close brother-sister relationships
Who is your favourite literary family? What’s the most unique literary family you have ever read about?
Are you a fan of friends to lovers type romances? Who is your favourite couple that started out as friends?