By: Emma Mills
Published Year: 2017
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): A contemporary novel about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream leads her to new friends—and maybe even new love.
The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn't supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn't know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they're both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia's ever seen. As Claudia's world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.
I really enjoyed Mills’ first novel, so I was very excited when I saw that she had this one coming out. The cover is unique and I really like all of the covers. The summary also piqued my interest, more so than her second book. However, I recently read her second novel (like no more than a few weeks ago) and LOVED it. I got even more excited about this one and couldn’t wait for it to come out!
What I thought
This book was just as fun as her previous two books. I think she has cemented herself as one of my new automatic read authors! A bit of a momentary tangent, but after reading (and loving) The Fault in Our Stars, I picked up John Green’s other two novels, Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska. Granted, he was not the first author that I binged after loving a novel of theirs. But, his style of writing was so strong, that I felt like I was reading the same book back to back and burned myself out on his books. When I started Foolish Hearts, I was a bit worried that’s what was going to happen with Mills’ books. Her voice is very unique, and while I loved it, I worried it was going to be overload having read two of her books so close together.
I can happily say, that was not the case! While there is a similar tone and even a bit of a similar theme, they were different enough that it didn’t feel like she was writing the same book but with different characters. I do feel like I can confidently share that Mills has a specific style, but it’s one that I love. Her books are very focused on friendship with characters who have a sarcastic and dry sense of humor. The main characters often feel like they are alone in the world with only one or two people who understand them, until they’re proven otherwise. There also is a male character who is popular, but that they’re not the stereotypical popular guy.
In Foolish Heart, Claudia attends an all-girl high school, while her best friend Zoe, attends the public school. As a result, she’s never found reason to make friends. During the final party of the summer, Claudia accidentally witnesses the gruesome breakup of Paige and Iris. This spirals into Claudia and Iris haing to be partners on a group project, failing terribly, and then being forced to take part in the fall play in order to earn extra credit. Oh, and there’s an all boys partner high school that they put the play on with.
In addition to Iris and Claudia learning how to tolerate each other while working together, Gideon (the popular for unconventional reasons boy) pulls Claudia into his orbit. I loved Gideon so much. His quirky sense of humor and just all around goodness made me smile every time he was in a scene. He might be my book crush of the year.
I also liked that she had a close relationship with her siblings. Her brother Alex is only a year older than her, but her sister Julia is 11 years older. Yet she still has a great relationship with both of them. There’s no pettiness, and during the moments that they need each other, they are there for one another. It was really nice to see, since I feel like a lot of brother-sister relationships, especially when they’re close in age, are not good.
The other thing that I’ve started to love about Mills’ novels, is that while they’re YA, there are storylines that are relatable for adults. In This Adventure Ends, there was the storyline about her father having writers block and struggling with some depression, in Foolish Hearts, her 29-year-old sister is terrified about becoming a new mom. It’s just seems to acknowledge a little bit that YA novels aren’t just for teenagers. There’s a little bit of everything in these stories for everyone, and I really appreciate that.