The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae
Author: Stephanie Butland
Ailsa Rae has finally received the heart transplant that she has been waiting 28 years for, but after always living a careful, stressful life with her mother, Hayley, having a chance at a real life seems too good to be true. Now, Ailsa must learn how to adapt to normal life and embrace living to the fullest without forgetting the struggles and losses that she faced. With the help of her blog, friends, and family, Ailsa wonders what a normal life looks like for her and where this new heart will take her if she will trust it.
This book was sweet and interesting. I loved how the author made me feel as if I was a part of Ailsa’s journey through her struggles and recovery. This book felt powerful and real, and I appreciate the author’s willingness to discuss topics that may seem taboo. Stephanie Butland created a stunning book about a woman who received a heart transplant that saved her life, and the struggles that she faces as she learns to live her life. This book acknowledged the significance that an illness or disease can have on one’s life, but it also emphasizes that these things do not have to define people. In addition to these medical topics, this book discusses weight problems as Ailsa struggles with not being as slim as other women. There were weight comments made that made me feel very uncomfortable and upset, but I loved how the author dealt with these issues in this book.
Overall, this was a heartwarming book about Ailsa’s life as she reflects upon her past struggles and learns to embrace her life for herself. Ailsa’s journey is full of questions and uncertainty, but as she begins working, dancing, traveling, and falling in love, Ailsa discovers that there is more to her blue heart than a lack of oxygen…
Alright, this book was great, and there are a few parts I want to talk about…
Making decisions via blog voting. This was interesting to me because I don’t totally disagree with the method, but I understand how Ailsa was using it extremely. It was a powerful metaphor when she was sick and basically unable to make her own decisions anyway, but I’m glad that she changed methods by the end of the book and took control of her own life.
Her father. I can’t believe that he abandoned Ailsa and her mother as suddenly as he did. No wonder why Hayley was furious with him! It made me so sad that the argument over him began to drive a wedge between Ailsa and Hayley, and it’s upsetting that Ailsa didn’t even enjoy meeting her biological parent. That scene was annoying (the things that came out of that man’s mouth **eye roll), and I’m glad that Ailsa and her mom were able to make up!
Seb was amusing, and I loved reading the messages between him and Ailsa! When his weight comments went viral, I wanted to cry or scream. I had really enjoyed watching Ailsa and Seb get closer, and I can’t even imagine how betrayed she must’ve felt to hear him say such hateful things about something she is sensitive about. I do believe that he didn’t mean harm to come from the comments, and I do think he loves Ailsa, so I hope they can work through this. However, I understand Ailsa’s desire for some time apart to see if their relationship is for the best. (Although I do wish that a “2 years later” or something else was included!)
Alright! Well, I enjoyed reading this book, and I hope you pick it up if you haven’t read it! If you have, then what did you think? Let me know!