Review: Kaleidoscope Hearts by Claire Contreras

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There’s one phrase Claire Contreras used as part of her “Kaleidoscope Heart” heroine, Estelle’s, monologue. It’s also the title of one of Selena Gomez’s homage to the end (hopefully) of her relationship with a pop star I never liked:

heart wants what it wants

Whenever I hear Selena sing it, I cringe. When Estelle, a.k.a. Elle, said it, I groan in disbelief, for I am of the firm belief that the heart will go on. Ha.

heart will go on

Anyway, all cliches aside, I freakin love this book. Ms. Contreras tells an almost-poetic story of love the second time around, for two people who finally grew up and who know what they want out of life. Elle’s heart has been thru emotional roller coaster rides that I wouldn’t wish on my enemy (…wait, actually, I would). She expresses her pain in her art, art that I would have liked to see IRL. Her kaleidoscope hearts, made of broken glass, are her poignant reminders of what she’s been thru with Oliver, a.k.a. Bean. They are also mementoes of her strength and her love for her dead fiance, Wyatt. Where Oliver broke her young heart, Wyatt mended it back up with her, one piece at a time. When Wyatt died, that same heart goes thru the same, and yet completely different, excruciating process. I loved reading Elle’s story: she’s who I would want to be if/when I fall. She remained true to herself. While she did allow herself to change for Wyatt, and distanced herself from her family because of this relationship, I think I would have done the same. She coped… and then strutted on.

Her Oliver is an enigma. Smart, hot, nerdy, loyal, caring, scared. All that and more could describe Ms. Contreras’ hero. But, boy oh boy, when he finally mans up, he manned up. His and Elle’s story is precisely why I love romantic tales and why I would constantly bust my wallet on Amazon, looking for a happy-ever-after.

In the end, this much I can say. My heart definitely wants what it wants: the next installment to this series. Ha!

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