A Healing Heart


Young Adult - Romance
270 Pages
Reviewed on 02/26/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

MELISSA A HANSON lives in Southern California, with her husband and two sons. Growing up in Southern California, inspiration for the city of “Riverview” is based on her hometown. "A Healing Heart" is her first completed novel and is book 1 of the Riverview Series. It is Bailey and Collin's story - "A Healing Spirit" is book 2 of the Riverview Series and is Mia and Dylan's story.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Michelle Robertson for Readers' Favorite

A Healing Heart by Melissa A. Hanson is much more than a typical high school, teenager-themed romance novel. The book introduces readers to the realistic scenarios of love, friendship, loss, happiness, and hardship. Bailey endured a horrific accident, leading to the death of her entire family. No teenager should ever have to experience such hardship. Bailey goes to live with her aunt Rachelle in Southern California, her mother's identical twin. Bailey has been with her aunt and uncle for 2 years and is still having nightmares, trouble sleeping, and often does not look healthy. Things begin to shift from bad to great when Collin comes into Bailey's life. Bailey believes Collin is the only reason for her strength, happiness, and will to go on in life as she begins to live a normal teenage life again. Then it all seems to be taken away from her at a high speed as she enters her Spring Break junior year which leads into her senior year of high school. Will Bailey survive the events that tear her life apart once again? Is it truly Collin that gives her the strength to go on?

Melissa A. Hanson skillfully entertains and captures the hearts of her readers right from the prologue as she sets the scene and mood for the story with a detailed description of a tragic accident. There are three main characters speaking throughout the book - Bailey, Collin, and Savannah. As you turn each page you will find the story unfolds as if the reader is reading a diary of the character or speaking directly to them at times. Through the dramatic jealous tendencies, love-struck hormones, and light romance, readers connect with each character by relating them with their own personal teenage life and experiences. The book was a great, light hearted, compassionate, and at times heartbreaking read. This book would be acceptable for readers from tweens (11+) age through adulthood to read and enjoy.

Valerie Rouse

A Healing Heart chronicles the love affair between Bailey and her high school sweetheart Collin. The meeting of the two lovebirds in the park sparked an attraction which came as a welcome distraction for Bailey. She was still haunted by the memories of the fatal car crash which took the lives of her beloved parents and her siblings. Bailey flourished under Collin's avid attention. They instantly became an item. This new romance was threatened when the conniving Savannah visited town. Savannah, an old time school friend of Collin, had intentions of her own. She develops an evil plan to disrupt the budding romance between Collin and Bailey, in hopes of claiming Collin herself. Who will win in the end?

Ms. Hanson’s story is a very touching one. I love the way that she relays the plot using the viewpoints of the main characters Collin and Bailey. This creates a more realistic feel. The story comes alive in front of the reader. A Healing Heart is a true love story. It allows the reader to believe in love again and the fact that love has no boundaries. According to Ms. Hanson’s story, love conquers all! Ms. Hanson’s use of simple language allows the reader to understand her work as well as identify with the characters. A Healing Heart is an emotionally gripping tale. It is a refreshing read amidst all the stories perpetuating violence, vampires, and the like that are so prevalent nowadays. This gem of a book stands out as a representation of the age-old values of love and loyalty between lovers or friends. I recommend this book to everyone because it is a lovely story about finding true love.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

A Healing Heart by Melissa Hansen is the quintessential teen romance. Two years ago, on the way home, a horrific accident takes her parents and her brother and sister, leaving Bailey the only survivor. She moves to live with her aunt and uncle but is reminded every day of the tragedy that surrounds her, especially as her aunt is her mum’s twin sister. One day, while in the park with her young charge she meets Colin, a senior from her school. Colin faces his own demons and together they learn to live and to love again. As they fall deeper in love, Bailey wonders if it can possibly last. Events take a turn when friends of Colin’s family come to stay, introducing another woman into the mix, a woman who wants Colin for her own and will stop at nothing to get him. More news awaits the young couple, forcing them to decide whether they can fight to stay together or whether they must accept the inevitable and move on.

Melissa Hansen has done a good job with A Healing Heart. I found it a little slow in the middle but it soon picked up speed again. Melissa has clearly taken the time to develop the characters and the plot, drawing the reader neatly in. I thoroughly enjoyed the read; it was easy to follow, not one of these books that requires you to make notes while you are reading just so you understand it! Good book, nice story, and very well stitched together. I would like to see more from Melissa Hansen.

Michelle Randall

Bailey is young and pretty; she has everything going for her until a drunk driver changes her world. In the blink of an eye she goes from a happy teen to the only survivor of a terrible accident. Why did she survive? How can she go on in life? Will the nightmares ever end? A Healing Heart is a wonderfully touching story that follows Bailey two years after the crash as she tries to rebuild her life and move on. It will take a chance encounter with another teen who has faced their own struggles for her to come to grips with the pain and move on. Melissa A. Hanson tells a remarkable story of loss, pain, and guilt that is slowly overcome by love and happiness. All this through the eyes of teenagers, making it a moving and inspirational story.

A Healing Heart is a wonderful book for teens, as the main characters are high school teens who have had to face some terrible events in their lives. How they rebound from those events and what happens next will leave you in tears as you journey with them to a healing place. Viewing the story through the eyes of the teen characters sheds a different light on the feelings and emotions they have to deal with. Melissa A. Hanson writes a powerful story of survivor guilt, and how to get past it with the help of friends and family. It is an inspirational story for young adult and teen readers, but at the same time, as an adult, it is a compelling read as well.

Mamta Madhavan

A Healing Heart by Melissa A. Hanson is a beautiful and endearing story of teen romance. Bailey Walsh loses her family in a tragic road accident. She lives with her uncle and aunt in Southern California. Bailey is still haunted by that tragedy in her life. It is at this juncture she meets Collin McKenna at the park where she takes Riley, a two-year-old whom she is babysitting. Though she finds happiness with Collin, a nagging worry of losing everything still haunts Bailey. Things change when Savannah comes back into Collin's life. It is a story of loss, redemption, love, and healing.

This young romance strikes a chord within the heart of readers. The three characters - Bailey, Collin and Savannah - are portrayed effectively. There is sweetness, sadness, love, anger, and many other emotions which makes it an enjoyable read. It is a story of healing and the author explores a lot of other emotions while leading to the healing. One can easily relate to Bailey and Collin and the author has done a good job in portraying the emotions of the teenagers. Savannah's entry is timed perfectly, giving that much needed twist in the plot.

The story is simple, yet it manages to capture reader interest and is fast paced. The author has written a story that will also interest those who like reading love stories. Many scenes from the story are reminiscent of your teen years, making it a heartwarming read.

Faridah Nassozi

Bailey's life had been completely shattered two years ago when a car accident claimed her entire family. She was now living with her aunt, and much as Aunt Rachelle really loved her like her own kid, the pain of losing her family could never go away. She still remembered the fateful night and had nightmares every single night. When she met Collin, a senior at her school, she could not believe how lucky she was. Collin changed her life so much and she was happy again; even the nightmares stopped. However, Collin also has family issues of his own, plus he is a handsome young man and a gentleman so Bailey is not the only girl after his heart. Bailey knows that if she ever lost Collin her new-found happiness would go with him and she would not survive that loss.

A Healing Heart by Melissa A. Hanson is a beautiful young adult love story about two teenagers whose love for each other was the healing they both needed to be able to reconcile their painful pasts and move on into the future and the unavoidable challenges that they had to endure. The story is so touching and feels so real that I sometimes needed to have my tissue nearby and at other times I found myself reading with a big grin. Any fan of the YA genre will definitely enjoy reading about the two remarkable teenagers who have endured so much loss in their lives, but somehow have to find a way to move on. It is simply amazing to follow their journey, feel their pain, feel their love, and root for them throughout all the drama.