Sometimes a shattered heart needs to sing to love again . . . Sixteen year old singer-songwriter Shaynee Sullivan hasn’t so much as touched her guitar since her mom died six months ago.
But when she meets a gorgeous and surprising rocker named Dean, her shattered heart begins to mend . . . and then burst at the seams. Heart-wrenching, heart-warming, and sometimes even heart-racing, Heart Shaped Rock will leave you laughing through tears and rooting for love in all its forms.
2014 Readers Favorite Award Finalist in three categories: Young Adult, Young Adult-Coming of Age and Young Adult-Romance!
Check out the full music soundtrack for Heart Shaped Rock at www.LauraRoppe.com at the “Music to HSR” tab!
“If you liked the music collaboration of Maybe Someday, you’ve got to check out Heart Shaped Rock.” — New York Times best-selling author of Maybe Someday, Colleen Hoover
“Laura Roppé has written a moving and emotional novel of first love, accurately capturing the voice and mind of a dramatic and emotional sixteen year old girl caught in a maelstrom of grief and loss, love and heartbreak. And then there’s Dean…you’ll just have to read the book, ‘cause I can’t do him justice in a few short sentences.” –Jasinda Wilder, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of Falling into You
I wasn’t aware this book was set in San Diego when I signed up to review it. Somewhere in the first chapter, I not only discovered the setting is my hometown, but some of my favorite local establishments have cameos. My favorite local establishment is Sheila’s coffeehouse, loosely based on Java Joe’s in its Ocean Beach days (now located in Normal Heights). Java Joe’s is where Jewell and Jason Mraz got their starts. Yeah, that Java Joe’s. I’m not sure what locale Wang’s Palace is based on, but in my mind, I was picturing The Red Fox Room the whole time.
Even if you’re not a local, there is so much to love about Heart Shaped Rock by Laura Roppé. It’s a story of sixteen-year-old Shaynee, still reeling six months after losing her mom to cancer. She, her father, and little brother, Lennox, struggle to find a new normal, and Shaynee feels like she’s failing miserably. She’s angry, withdrawn, and believes her heart has shriveled up into a tiny, worthless shard. That is until her best friend, Tiffany, convinces her to get a job working at Sheila’s coffeehouse and drags her to a party on the beach later that night, where Shaynee meets not one, but two incredibly cute boys. Life is about to get interesting!
The story was a little slow to get started for me, but once it did, it took off at a crazy speed, like the first downward hill on the Giant Dipper rollercoaster at San Diego’s Belmont Park. As Shaynee struggles to understand who she is beyond a motherless teen, she discovers love, a different kind of loss and pain, guilt, and ultimately understanding. This angst-ridden teen novel is gripping, at times bittersweet, and extremely hard to put down. Like Shaynee, I found my pulse pounding in anticipation at points of the story. It may have been a few years since I was a teenager, but I don’t think anyone forgets what it’s like to be in love for the first time. That all-consuming desire deep inside to be with the object of your obsession. Laura Roppé does a fantastic job of capturing that and helping the adult reader feel it all over again.
I love the characters. Shaynee has a hard edge to her, but I can’t help loving her more because of it. Even when she talks about wanting to pound on her younger brother as he grieves for their mother. I understood what she was feeling and why. The fact that she didn’t act on those feelings made her even more human to me. Dean, one of the two aforementioned cute boys, is one of the better male characters in a young adult contemporary romance I’ve read this year. He’s not perfect, but he’s believable and sweet, and incredibly hot.
Sheila, Tiffany, and Shaynee’s dad and brother are more than just filler characters. They all add something to the plot and are well developed for their supporting roles. I loved Jared, the third in the love triangle. We probably only get a glimpse at the true Jared through a single phrase uttered by Dean’s buddy, C-Bomb, at the end of the story, but it was enough to put everything into perspective for me.
An unlikely character in the novel is the music. As a singer/songwriter, Laura Roppé has woven lyrics so perfectly into the story, they are more than just words. They take on a life of their own. You can download the soundtrack to the book from the author’s webpage, and I suggest you do that. The songs are wonderful, professionally produced, and bring the story even further to life.
Heart Shaped Rock is a solid young adult romance, filled with gut-ripping angst that will leave you breathless.
I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
About the Book
Title: Heart Shaped Rock
Author: Laura Roppe
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Soundtrack
About the Author
Laura Roppé is an award-winning singer/songwriter, author, audio book narrator, speaker, and former attorney from San Diego, California.
In 2011, Billboard Magazine ranked her as Number Three on its chart of the Top 50 “uncharted” artists in the world. In May 2013, Laura began hosting Amazon’s weekly podcast, “Kindle Love Stories,” for people who love hearing about love stories, romance, and happily ever afters.
Her first book is the non-fiction memoir, Rocking the Pink. Her latest is a YA-teen romance novel entitled Heart Shaped Rock, featuring a soundtrack.