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Reviewed by Lex Allen for Readers' Favorite
Nathaniel’s always been a loser—his only friend is his sister, and girls want nothing to do with him. His mother is an alcoholic and prostitute, never there when he needs her, but provides money to support both him and his sister. His future looks bleak. But when he’s given a miraculous gift that allows him to attract the girl of his dreams, he realizes that a gift can also be a curse. Rise of the Hearts by Antoine Bonner produces a fascinating tale that is, in my experience, unequaled in off-the-wall situational humor and dialog, paranormal events, horrific scenes, coming-of-age, urban romance novels.
I am a stickler for verisimilitude in fiction. The story must provide the reader with a solid sense of reality to give the reader the opportunity to suspend disbelief. Having said that, Rise of the Hearts is by far the most unrealistic novel I’ve ever read. What earned this book a five-star review, however, is the consistency of unreality throughout the story. Bonner expertly uses the first person point-of-view as the lead character, Nathaniel, describes his thoughts and the improbable, impossible events that affect his life. As several hilarious and weird events lead to the revelation of his “gift,” Nathaniel (or depending on the situation, Nate) meets a variety of characters, all of whom portray skewed characteristics borne upon the paranormal view that is Nathaniel’s reality. I loved the ending. There is no cliffhanger, no clue to a sequel. Rise of the Hearts ends categorically, and that is the single piece of verisimilitude in the book! Fantastic imagination, well written. Loved it!