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My Box-Shaped Heart

Written by Rachael Lucas

Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 13+ readers Featured Books for Young Adults Recommended Children's eBooks Romance / Relationship Stories Sporting Stories Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE) Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE) Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE)

LoveReading View on My Box-Shaped Heart

Fractured families, First love, Fresh starts

16-year-old Holly feels like an outsider, except when she’s swimming at her local pool: “Under the surface, deep in the blue-lit water, nobody can see me. There’s nobody to judge the clothes I wear, or the way my hair frizzles”. It’s at the pool she meets Ed, who’s “not like the boys at school who are either geeky or cocky and smart-arsed and think they’re all that. He’s different”. While romantic feelings, evoked in all their dizzying wonder, swell poolside, at home the seas are stormier. Struggling with depression, Holly’s mum has “become so inward-looking that she hasn’t a clue what I do with my time”. But as Holly’s home-life begins to brighten, Ed reveals that he’s grappling with a serious domestic situation of his own. 

Warm-hearted, highly readable and romantic, with the bleaker elements of both teenagers’ lives handled with a sensitive lightness of touch, readers will undoubtedly root for Holly and Ed to find their happy ever after. 

Joanne Owen

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My Box-Shaped Heart Synopsis

My Box-Shaped Heart is a powerful story of an unlikely friendship from Rachael Lucas, author of The State of Grace.

Holly's mum is a hoarder, and she is fed up with being picked on at school for being weird . . . and having the wrong clothes . . . and sticking out. All she wants is to be invisible. She loves swimming, because in the water everyone is the same. Ed goes to the swimming pool because everything else in his life has changed. In his old life he had money; was on the swim team; knew who he was and what he wanted. In his old life his dad hit his mum. Holly is swimming in one direction and Ed's swimming in the other. As their worlds collide they find a window into each other's lives - and learn how to meet in the middle.

My Box-Shaped Heart Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our LoveReading4Kids Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Linda Brown, adult - 'As always Rachel Lucas writes in a style that is easy to read and engages the reader from the very first page. Making it suitable for 14+ confident and less confident readers. It has 255 well written pages that has lovely characters and an intriguing storyline.'
  • Millie James, age 13 - 'Holly feels she is never really going to fit in at school because she has the wrong clothes and seems a bit weird because she is always busy worrying about her mum. '
  • Edel Waugh, adult - 'This was an inspiring and uplifting read about domestic violence, the importance of family and friends and happily ever afters. Loved it!'
  • Anastasia Abdian, age 13 - 'My Box-Shaped Heart is a great read. It is about a girl named Holly. She meets a boy named Ed and with both of their lives in difficult places, they comfort each other. I would recommend this book.'
  • Felicity Kerswell, age 15 - 'This book was unique, I could not put it down and I enjoyed every minute of it. I would of never picked up this book in a store but I am happy I could read it!'
  • Melanie Chadwick, age 17 - 'It’s a story about navigating different relationships and finding your own self and making a place for yourself in the world.'
  • Rebekah Marsh, age 15 - 'My Box Shaped Heart is simply wonderful. I felt as if I had experienced everything that Holly had, with all her issues being explored in an immaculate way.'
  • Humaira Kauser, age 20 - 'Holly and Ed. Ed and Holly. Oh how they are my favourite characters.'
  • Erin Huxley, age 13 - 'This book showed that, although life may seem perfect that it isn't always. It was written so that you would feel as though you had the same emotions and were going on the same journey with them.'
  • Trinity Sadler, age 14 - 'I absolutely loved this book the characters were great and the story line really moved me.'
  • Charlotte Cassidy, age 13 - 'A wonderful book that you could easily relate to real life. I loved it, and couldn’t put it down.'
  • Amelia, age 18 - 'Everyone has different methods of withdrawing from reality, swimming is how Ed and Holly connected. They want to escape reality for different reasons but swim for the same be free.'

My Box-Shaped Heart Press Reviews

So vivid that the characters stayed with you long after the last page. Every character was completely true to life, the scenarios so easily recognisable. Not afraid to touch on difficult subjects - but done in a way that wove them naturally into the story. Highly recommend -- Cari Rosen  Gransnet

a fun, lighthearted, quick romance read. That deals with mental health too.   Ellie in Book Heaven

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781509839575
Publication date: 17/05/2018
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781509839575
Publication date: 17th May 2018
Author: Rachael Lucas
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 272 pages
Suitable for: 13+ readers, YA readers
Genres: Family / Home Stories, Romance / Relationship Stories, Sporting Stories, Personal Social Health Economic , Personal Social Health Economic , Personal Social Health Economic
Recommendations: eBooks, Reviewed by Children
Collections: 85 Brilliant Books about Friendships, Anti Bullying Week & World Kindness Day,

About Rachael Lucas

Rachael Lucas is an author, coach and freelance writer. Her bestselling debut novel, Sealed with a Kiss, has been downloaded over 130,000 times on Kindle. She lives and works in a Victorian house by the seaside in the north-west of England with her partner (also a writer) and their children. Her debut novel for children, The State of Grace, is about an autistic teenage girl, growing up and finding her place in the world.

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