“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 to escape the horrible house he and his mum have been assigned by the women’s refuge. 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.”
I do love some contemporary YA and when I found out about My Box-Shaped Heart, I knew it was going to be a book that I would adore.
This is the story of a powerful, unlikely friendship between Holly and Ed, who both find happiness through swimming. Over the course of one summer we get to see the pair grow closer while dealing with their own problems at home and in other aspects of their lives.
This was such a touching, adorable read that had me grinning from ear to ear. The blossoming romance between Holly and Ed was your typical first-time awkward-but-cute kind of romance. I liked how it wasn’t ‘insta-love’ and you got to see it grow gradually over time. It was just so beautifully written and one scene in particular had my heart leaping with joy.
Despite the cutesy feel, there are some quite dark underlying themes to the book. These include hoarding, depression and domestic violence, all of which are handled exceptionally well. Nothing is glamorised and it feels so real when you’re reading. I admire Rachael Lucas for this and for writing about topics that aren’t spoken about often in YA.
My Box-Shaped Heart is an easy, inspiring, uplifting, adorable read about the importance of family, friendship and finding your own happily ever after. A perfect read for summer.