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Fierce Fragile Hearts

Written by Sara Barnard

Featured Books for 13+ readers Featured Books for Young Adults

LoveReading View on Fierce Fragile Hearts

Fresh starts, friendship, finding your way.

This companion to Beautiful Broken Things is a vital, powerful portrayal of the complexities of mental health, friendship and love.

Now a legal adult, Suzanne, the self-declared “queen of fresh starts”, leaves her foster parents, acutely aware that “this time, I’m on my own”. She’s moving back to Brighton, the only place she’s ever felt a sense of belonging. “I’m overdue some goodness”, Suzanne muses as she moves into a basic bedsit, with Auntie Sarah and dear friends Rosie and Caddy on hand to help her settle in. But Rosie and Caddy soon head off to their respective universities, leaving Suzanne feeling abandoned. Lonely and struggling to make ends meet on the wages from her café job, she forms a friendship with her 79 year-old neighbour, a storyline that swells with raw, life-affirming beauty. Alongside this, painful mental health setbacks are triggered, and further rollercoaster rides come courtesy of a confusing, overwhelming romance with musician Matt.

Honest, authentic, moving and entertaining, this all-consuming story is sensitive and wise on the complexities of growing up, and offers a guiding hand to young adults facing mental health struggles.

Joanne Owen

Fierce Fragile Hearts Synopsis

Fierce Fragile Hearts is the stunning companion novel to Sara Barnard's YA bestseller Beautiful Broken Things, which was selected for the inaugural Zoella Book Club. It is about leaving the past behind, the friends who form your future, and learning to find love, in all its forms. Two years after a downward spiral took her as low as you can possibly go, Suzanne is starting again. Again. She's back in Brighton, the only place she felt she belonged, back with her best friends Caddy and Rosie. But they're about to leave for university. When your friends have been your light in the darkness, what happens when you're the one left behind?

Fierce Fragile Hearts Reader Reviews

Some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were lucky enough to read and review Beautiful Broken Things, the first book in this sequence. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Charnell Vevers 'Beautiful Broken Things manages to feel fresh and new, like it offers something different to the reader, something they haven't read before.'
  • Natalie McCalla, age 17 - 'I really enjoyed this book and I absolutely loved the relationship between the different characters. My favourite part was seeing how the relationship between Caddy and Suzanna had grown throughout.'
  • Cesca Anderson, age 14 - 'It has a roller coaster storyline that gripped me right until the end, I couldn't put it down!'
  • Francesca Hughes, age 13 - 'Heart-breaking, emotive and fresh comes Barnard's debut novel. It’s hard to explain how much this book touched me.'
  • Humaira Kauser, age 17 - 'A beautiful love story- not between a boy and a girl or anything romantic- about best friends and the stuff we do for our friends.'
  • Jenny Duffy - 'This is very much a story of modern friendship...I think the ending was very realistic.'
  • Megan West, age 14 - 'You know those books that are completely unforgettable? Those books that have a beauty that stays with you long after the final page? Well, this is one of those books.'
  • Edel Waugh - I stayed up late into the night to finish this book and I am glad I did. The writing and the way the author makes you feel for these characters is truly inspiring. I loved this book.'
  • Rebekah Marsh, age 13 - 'Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard is truly inspiring, it shows that the incredible bond of friendship is truly powerful, no matter how much strain it comes under, it always survives.'
  • Destiny Maraj, age 14 - 'I loved this novel! It was a really moving, dramatic, intense novel.'
  • Olivia Dally-fitzsimons, age 12 - 'This book is really good.'
  • Rhiannon, age 12 - 'This book is amazing; it’s an emotional rollercoaster and really makes you close to tears.'

Fierce Fragile Hearts Press Reviews

'This book is exquisite' - Holly Bourne, bestselling author of Am I Normal Yet?

Praise for Beautiful Broken Things;

'I felt like I was living this book' - Zoella

‘Beautiful Broken Things is the book I’ve been waiting for. It made me want to go and rugby-tackle my best friends and give them a giant hug. It’s a beautiful tale of the power and complexities of female friendship’ Holly Bourne, author of Am I Normal Yet?

Beautiful Broken Things is a book that the YA world desperately needs – a book about the beauty, passion and extremities of female friendship’ Alice Oseman, author of Solitaire

‘Starkly realistic and ultimately uplifting, Beautiful Broken Things is a compelling tale of pain and redemption, growing up and growing together, and finding empowerment and strength in friendship’ Catherine Doyle, author of Vendetta

‘Stories about female friendships are hard to come by, especially ones with no romance, but Beautiful Broken Things fills that gap in an intensely compelling and passionate way’ Lauren James, author of The Next Together

‘A gorgeous, bluntly honest story of friendship, hardships and rebuilding. This book captures that feeling of be-all and end-all best-friendship so brilliantly’

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781509852888
Publication date: 07/02/2019
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781509852888
Publication date: 7th February 2019
Author: Sara Barnard
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 368 pages
Suitable for: 13+ readers, YA readers

About Sara Barnard

Sara Barnard lives in Brighton and does all her best writing on trains. She loves books, book people and book things. She has been writing ever since she was too small to reach the on switch on the family Amstrad computer. She gets her love of words from her dad, who made sure she always had books to read and introduced her to the wonders of secondhand book shops at a young age. Sara is trying to visit every country in Europe, and has managed to reach 13 with her best friend. She has also lived in Canada and worked in ...

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