Have you ever wondered about organ donation? Did you know that 106,000 people in the United States need to receive organ transplants? If you have ever pondered upon the aforementioned questions, you should consider reading Change of Heart by Shari Maurer.
This is Shari Maurer’s first young adult novel. Married to a cardiologist, Maurer’s book is a gripping story about Emmi, a sixteen year old girl who needs a heart transplant after her life turned into a nightmare overnight. A star soccer athlete, Emmi contracted viral myocarditis. The condition damaged her heart permanently, requiring her to get a transplant.
The story explores many themes: love, loss and how mortal we all are. It is a story that will show you how to appreciate all that life has to offer, for no one truly knows when his or her life can come to an abrupt end.
The story also showcases the true behavior of the typical teenager. Though I did not care for the way Emmi treated her mother, that aspect of her character showed very well how most teenagers act irrationally.
The main character Emmi befriends Abe, a sixteen year old who also had a heart transplant. Through Abe, Emmi learns how to cope with her heart transplant. It was also through him that Emmi learns what true friendship and love is.
Emmi has two other close friends, Becca and Sam. Sam and Emmi became boyfriend and girlfriend, but later in the story Becca and Sam betray Emmi. The events that led to the betrayal are very real and believable. The author did a good job showing how human Emmi is and how she later forgave Becca and Sam.
The story kept me captivated to the very end. The one thing reading this moving story did for me, it showed me how we should never take life for granted. I also learned the importance of organ donations. Donating an organ may save as many as eight lives. I never gave a second thought to the idea of being an organ donor, but after reading Change of Heart I decided to become one.