Friday, August 2, 2013

Heartstrings by Heather Gunter


Everyone thinks of me as this happy and upbeat person. What they don't know is that I carry a deep, dark secret. Something horrible happened to me a year ago, and I have kept it quiet all this time. I was fine for a while, but somehow it’s chosen this time to come back, and it's eating at me--like a cancer.

I need to tell someone about it, I just don't know how. I'm pushing everyone I love away, including my mom and my best friend Charlie.

Then there is Will. Handsome, sweet Will. We went out on a date a while back, but then the incident happened leaving me crushed and him confused.

How do you tell someone you care about all of your secrets, and will they still want you when the truth comes out?

Julie says:

Heartstrings is the sequel to Love Notes.  Where Love Notes was about Charlie, Heartstrings is about Tori, Charlie’s best friend.  This is Tori’s story and I would like to advise that this story involves rape and what it takes for someone to deal with the consequences.  This is also Heather’s story, with a little tweaks here and there so she can still have some privacy.

Tori is a senior, trying to finish up her last year of high school.  She suffers nightmares and when she tries to get close to Will, a guy she’s crushed on for a long time, those awful memories resurface.  A year ago, she was raped.  She has done her best to keep it to herself and realizes she can’t do it any longer.  She knows she needs help and has to deal with all the emotions involving what happened.  Charlie and her mom are her constant support.  She’s not sure how Will can handle what happened to her and if he will even want her.

             “I’m damaged beyond repair and I will never be whole.” - Tori

She finally tells Will and it is not the reaction she is expecting.  Will is unlike any guy I have ever seen.  I felt his emotions dealing with it all and what he thinks he has to do shows his true character even more.
After finding out what happened, he is devastated but feels responsible to a certain extent.  His love for Tori is so touching for a high school boy and shows how much of a man he really is.

                “I’ve never stopped caring about you, not even from a distance.”  - Will

Tori’s attacker was never found and she never went to the police.  She felt dirty and just wanted to forget.  Will feels he has to do the only thing he can do to help her, which is find the attacker, and believe me, he is persistent  With the help of his best friend Maverick, who is Charlie’s boyfriend, he goes in search of the guy who ripped his girl’s heart out.  But can he find him after all this time?

                                                                “You are the bravest girl I know.” - Will

Through seeking counseling, she realizes it was not her fault, which rape victims seem to think after it happens to them.  Will is her constant support and she knows she can’t deal with it without him.  “He is my haven, my place of safety; when I’m with him I feel protected and loved.”

This is a very tender subject and I became emotionally attached to Tori, not just from the rape but for the feelings she was dealing with by the aftermath and for Will.  I can’t imagine anyone having to deal with this and knowing Heather put it all out there on the line shows how strong of a woman she is.  I loved this story and I hope after reading it, that it will help someone else to get through their struggles and to seek help.  I definitely think this deserves 5 stars and encourage anyone who has had this happen to them or knows of someone to please read this and know you are not alone.  And, as Tori says:

                                                      “I’m not a victim, I’m a survivor.”

Author Links


When not writing or updating her Into the Night Reviews book blog, you will find Heather curled on the couch reading, surrounded by her children and four dogs. Her cravings for music and books are insatiable. One of her favorite things to do is sing and used to have a dream of becoming a singer. The dream has since changed and is now to become a full time writer. She holds a strong anti-bullying conviction and voices it regularly. She is the Author of Love Notes a YA novel and currently is working on the sequel titled Heartstrings. She resides in Canton, GA with her husband, 3 boys, 4 dogs, 1 cat and 2 ferrets.

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful Julie, thank you so much!! I'm so grateful to have you on this journey with me! <3