The Heart Does Not Grow Back by Fred Venturini

The Heart Does Not Grow Back by Fred Venturini
Publisher: Picador
Source: Publisher (via TLC Books Tours)

In an ironic twist of fate, Dale Sampson meets his best friend Mack during a rather cruel game of blind man’s bluff. Mack, charming, popular, and successful with girls, is the exact opposite of Dale. Dale, resident of small town southern Illinois, population 650, is a nonperson. He doesn’t really exist – except he’s smart and that will be his saving grace, right? Not quite. As he skates through high school on Mack’s social coattails, he’s status as Mack’s best friend is enough to make him a few enemies. One particular foe turns a simple rivalry into catastrophic violence. Dale does not recover. Yet he does. Completely.

Following a miraculous recovery – physical, not mental – he realizes that he heals from any wound. Remove a tonsil? They grow back. Chop off your toes? They grow back. Kidney…? His journey takes him from Illinois to California, from obscurity to the spotlight. And to places he never would’ve guessed to save those he (possibly) loves.

Heart Venturini

I’ll keep this short and to the point.

While this novel seems to be garnering mixed reviews, I loved it. LOVED. Capital letters and all. Everything from the small town atmosphere to the awkward coming of age storyline. The time I spent inhabiting Dale’s strange, dark world was brilliant and fascinating. From the realistic introduction to the fantastical twist, Dale is not your average superhero…or even a hero at all. He’s a teenager with a strange gift that he doesn’t want, it’s only as an adult that he realizes he may be able to do something more with his ability – if he survives it.

Highly, highly recommended for those who like their humor a little dark, their superheroes a little strange, and a bit of quirk in their fiction. And for everyone else too.

(You can thank me later.)

12 thoughts on “The Heart Does Not Grow Back by Fred Venturini

  1. Kind of reminds me of an X-Files character; the one who comes out from hiding every 20+ years. At least this guy sounds nicer. I will have to add this to my TBR pile.


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