Hunter's Heart by Julia GreenDeath changes everything. At least that's how it is for Simon when his dad dies. His pain drives him farther and farther away from his mother and sister. Eventually they can't even recognize who he is anymore. To his mother's dismay, he takes up the extreme hobby of hunting, using slingshots and air rifles. Although she tries to change him, it never works. Then Leah comes along. As Simon grows closer to Leah, his mother begins to see Simon's art teacher, Matt. With Leah's help, Simon begins to grow and change into the person his mom tried to make him before. Although the process is slow, he begins to feel almost normal with his family again, like when his dad was around. Simon develops feelings for Leah, but she doesn't feel the same way; she falls in love with Matt instead. She begins to work for him which makes Simon angry. He follows her to Matt's house one day. The whole time, his anger builds up until he commits the ultimate extreme. That day changes everything for Simon. He realizes the mistake that he has made and finally begins to change, but is it too late for Leah and Matt?
I had high hopes for Hunter's Heart, but it fell short of what I was expecting. The book isn't something to read straight through, but to read in small doses. The author, Julia Green, uses such strong emotion that it becomes overwhelming. Although it is powerful, it gets monotonous very quickly. Every single day Simon is angry and in pain. At first his pain is realistic, but as the book progresses it gets to be overdone. Instead of giving the reader his emotion in doses, Julia Green gives it to you very vividly at the beginning. Since his feelings don't change drastically through the course of the book, it gets to be overdone. The changes that he goes through are extremely gradual that it makes you lose interest. I felt that the author left the book open enough that she could have taken it in many directions. Throughout Hunter's Heart there was a mysterious feel to it and I think that if it had gone in that direction, it would have been more interesting for the reader. Overall, Hunter's Heart is a book about how emotions can grow out of control and drive you to the edge of what you can handle, but it falls short of being the powerful book it could have been.
Reviewer City, State and Country: Champaign , IL USA