Review: Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mils 
Release Date: December 5, 2017 
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)  
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary 
Source: Library 
A contemporary novel about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream leads her to new friends—and maybe even new love.

The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn't supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn't know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they're both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia's ever seen. As Claudia's world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.

I'll be honest: when I first heard about this book, it didn't really catch my attention. I had never heard of Emma Mills before (shocker, right?!), and books involving plays just aren't usually my thing. 

Then all of a sudden some of my favorite bloggers were talking about it (Sam, Nick, Alyssa, etc.). They were saying how wonderful it was, how the main character was great, the romance was swoony, etc. And I changed my mind: I needed this book stat! 

As it turns out, I'm freaking happy I have Emma Mills's Foolish Hearts a try, because I was so, so very wrong: this book was exactly my kind of read and I super duper loved it. I actually just requested all of Emma's backlist titles yesterday, so yeah, I'm hooked. 

Now let's get down to what I loved about Foolish Hearts... 

For one, the characters! Basically, Claudia is exactly how I was in high school. She's sarcastic, an expert of saying the wrong thing at the worst time, smart enough to hold her own but not genesis level smart, and, most importantly, completely content with her small little world consisting of her best friend, her family, and her hobbies. Claudia doesn't look for trouble or conflict, and most of the time, it doesn't find her. That is until the start of school party changes everything. Suddenly, Claudia knows something she shouldn't, and now she's on on the radar of the girl she's spent her high school career avoiding: Iris. 

I think I loved Iris just as much as I loved Claudia. I adored her bluntness and her unwillingness to care about what people thought about her. Basically, she's the type of person who marches to the beat of her own drum. 

Bringing Iris and Claudia together brought about one of my favorite YA friendships of the year. I loved how they pushed each other's buttons but at the same time inspired one another to be better, even live a little more. Claudia brought about the kinder, gentler side of Iris while Iris brought about the more confident, outgoing side of Claudia. I also just loved the natural flow that came about with their conversations. It was funny and realistic - honestly, I think I could read a whole book where they just talked. 

I will admit that some parts of me wished that Claudia and Iris would get together, but I was content enough with their friendship as well as Claudia's budding romance with Gideon that I was able to let that wish go almost painlessly. Gideon was a sweetheart, and just like Claudia and Iris, he was just so utterly his own person. I loved his random tangents and his quest to make Claudia come out of her shell. I do wish, though, that there was slightly more development in their romance. It was good don't get me wrong but I craved some more Claudia and Gideon time.  

In addition to budding romance and friendship, Foolish Hearts also offered up a family dynamic. I loved seeing a close-knit family, especially siblings that got along as well as Claudia and hers did. It was just so adorable. 

My only compliant? I thought the fallout from her brother's revelation was slightly over the top. 

In all, Foolish Hearts is a fun, upbeat contemporary about friendship, romance, and growing up. Lastly, I thank all the bloggers who raved about this one - I'm so glad I listened to your reviews! And most importantly, this shows how important bloggers and their recs can be. 
4 stars!! 


  1. So glad you loved this one, too! I loved Claudia and Iris' budding friendship.

  2. Aren't you glad you tried Emma Mills? I know I am hooked. I do agree with you, that the thing with Claudia's brother was blown out of proportion, but I guess she needed some sort of conflict in the book. It was all forgivable because of family gaming and dear, sweet Gideon. <3

  3. YAAAASSSS!!! I'm so glad you gave this book a chance AND you loved it!!! I'm so happy!!! Wasn't Gideon such a sweetheart? I definitely agree about the fallout with the brother though. But overall this was a wonderful contemporary, right??? I'm not even a contemporary person and I was (and still am) totally obsessed with this book. I'm glad you loved it, Lauren!!!

    Have a wonderful day. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  4. I do like the sassy characters and Claudia and Gideon’s relationship sounds like a lot of fun.


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