Hummingbird Heart ARC Review

Hummingbird Heart
By Robin Stevenson
Published by Orca Books
To be Published on April, 1 2012

Summary taken from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Dylan has never met her father. She knows that her parents were just teenagers themselves when she was born, but her mother doesn't like to talk about the past, and her father, Mark, has never responded to Dylan's attempts to contact him. As far as Dylan is concerned, her family is made up of her mother, Amanda; her recently adopted younger sister, Karma; and maybe even her best friend, Toni.
And then, out of the blue, a phone call: Mark will be in town for a few days and he wants to meet her. Amanda is clearly upset, but Dylan can't help being excited at the possibility of finally getting to know her father. But when she finds out why he has come--and what he wants from her--the answers fill her with still more questions. What makes someone family? And why has her mother been lying to her all these years?

The cover:  I like this cover. I think it is simple and striking compared to other covers that are out on the market right now.  I like that it looks like a tattoo and that it ties into the story well.  I really have nothing negative to say about the cover- it is very pretty.  Another publisher (Penguin) has a YA title coming out this summer with a very similar cover, even the hummingbird tattoo.  I wonder if that is just  coincidence (it wouldn't surprise me).

The characters:  I really struggled with the characters.  I felt sympathetic for Dylan and for the struggles that she was facing, but I didn't like her very much.  To be honest, with the exception of Karma and Dylan's dad and his family- I didn't really like ANY of the characters.  It wasn't that they felt fake or flimsy- the characters were complete.  The choices that they made made me angry!  Every single character in this book was a "hot mess".  I was hoping that someone normal would come along and save me from the craziness.

The story:  I am incredibly conflicted about this story.  On one hand- I really did enjoy this story.  It was absolutely fascinating look at what it like for a girl to finally meet her real father after 16 years and the emotions that go through that meeting and developing a relationship.  But this is not the first book I have read where every single teen is smoking pot, getting high, getting drunk, and having sex every night.  Now I get that teens today are doing more, but really?  This book was EXTREME.  Am I really that disconnected from the world?  The way this book was written- it made it sound like if you were a virgin or someone who didn't get trashed or high you were abnormal.  Do I have any teen followers?  Is this really true? I admit, I am almost 30, but I really am tired about reading about teens that are train wrecks waiting to happen.  (But then again, maybe I am too stodgy).  There are numerous mentions of sex in this book, drug use is a prevalent theme, and there are many mentions of getting drunk and of alcoholics, and one pregnancy scare.  This was a good book, but not an uplifting one at all.

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