The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland #BookReview #PublicationDay


Ailsa Rae is learning how to live.
She’s only a few months past the heart transplant that – just in time – saved her life. Life should be a joyful adventure. But . . .

Her relationship with her mother is at breaking point.
She knows she needs to find her father.
She’s missed so much that her friends have left her behind.
She’s felt so helpless for so long that she’s let polls on her blog make her decisions for her. And now she barely knows where to start on her own.

And then there’s Lennox. Her best friend and one time lover. He was sick too. He didn’t make it. And now she’s supposed to face all of this without him.

But her new heart is a bold heart.

She just needs to learn to listen to it . . .

Publisher – Zaffre

Publication Date – 19th April 2018


Amazon UK  £7.03 – buy online and support a local bookstore  £6.09

Book Depository  £7.15



This was a touching read and introduces the lovely character of Ailsa Rae, who is determined to live life to the fullest after being given a second chance when she receives a heart transplant, after suffering with poor health throughout her childhood….. but only if the blog poll results help guide her decisions!

Ailsa has had to deal with ill health from the word go, and she has got used to the restrictions that this places on her lifestyle, and also blogs about life from her perspective and finds this a great way of helping her cope, and also helping her make big life decisions! While she was in hospital waiting for the heart transplant she loses someone very close to her, and this also really affects the way she sees life now that she’s been given another shot at things.

She has a close relationship with her mother who has always been there for her, but as she tries to act like an adult after being cared for like a child for so long, this does put a strain on the bond between them.

The timeline in this book does chop and change quite a bit which did get a little confusing at times, as it switches from life before, during and after the transplant, but doesn’t over complicate the enjoyment of reading. I didn’t feel a strong emotional connection with Ailsa as she is one of those characters who doesn’t want your sympathy, she just wants to be given a fair go and not be held back by circumstances, but I did feel for her with some of the things she went through which were out of her control and wondered how I would deal with them in her situation.

Her life is made a little more complicated by the friendship she makes with Sebastian who she seemed to connect with instantly due to his sense of humour and honesty about his transplant, and I loved reading their messages to each other and how they supported one another.

The blog posts were also another fascinating element as Ailsa could really open up on her blog about all her hopes and fears, how the illness had affected her and it was really insightful to see that side of her and how she struggled with the issue of what she does with her life now, as she’s always had a get out clause with her health issues.

I really enjoyed how this book didn’t sugar coat things and didn’t get over emotional with the issues that faced the character and just dealt with things with warmth and humour. It’s a book about being braver and following your heart – even if that heart isn’t yours!!



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