Reni's Review: My Plastic Heart by Lisa De Jong

Plastic Hearts
by Lisa De Jong

Published: February 2013
When I read it: February 2013
Genre: New Adult/Coming of Age
Pages: 309
Series or Stand Alone: Series
       * Plastic Hearts
       * Glass Hearts

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My life has always been safe. I like it that way. I grew up in a fake society where plastic hearts rule. If our hearts are made of plastic, they can never be broken. My parents have expectations and I do everything I can to meet them, even if it means giving up on my own dreams. 

Now, all I want is to be free to make my own choices.

Dane Wright is everything I have been warned to stay away from. We met one night while I was with my perfect, parent-approved boyfriend and I haven’t stopped thinking about him. I don’t want to like him. I am doing everything I can to ignore his pull, but my heart seems to want what it cannot have, what it has never had.

Can he measure up? He may think I am too good for him, but maybe he is too good for me. 

Life is a series of choices and I have never been able to make my own. Until one day, when my heart decides to make a choice for me.

Recommended for mature readers due to sexual content and language

After many tears and a few laughs, I can honestly say that Lisa De Jong’s debut novel, Plastic Hearts is worth every bit of the 4 ½ stars I’ve given it. This coming of age story is laced with frustration, pain and heartache; yet peppered with hope, a huge heaping of love and the promise of a life made of more than plastic parts.

Alexandra Riley lives in a plastic world. Everything around her has been molded and shaped to appear perfect. The problem is it’s not. Her parents are stuck in a loveless marriage, pretending to be the ideal couple in public. Alex’s sister, Gwen is about to marry a man who is perfect on paper, but isn’t in her heart. And Alex? Well, Alex desperately wants to break out of the mold her parents have tried to place her in. She’s doesn’t want to follow the road map they have laid out for her life, but fear keeps her from taking those scary steps towards freedom. She’s two different women living in one body. Soon Alex will have to choose whether she wants to be Alexandra, the picture perfect plastic daughter or Alex, the independent, free spirited art major who follows her heart.

Every now and then, someone would tell me they wished they had my life. I may have a nice house, expensive clothes and a generous monthly allowance, but my life was nothing to envy. I would trade it all in a heartbeat for a bit of positive attention from my parents.

In a chance encounter, Alex meets Dane Wright. He is everything her parents would NEVER approve of. He’s rough around the edges, riddled with tattoos and comes from a less than upstanding family. She fights her attraction to this beautiful man knowing that he could never be her forever… Maybe having him for a little while is worth the pain she’ll experience in the end. Maybe, just maybe experiencing real love is worth the price she’ll have to pay.

Dane was the most exciting and scariest thing to ever enter my plastic world.

There were so many times during this read where I just wanted to reach through the pages and shake Alex. She’s obviously a beautiful, bright girl filled with life and she continuously let her horrid mother smother the light that shines so brightly from her. I can’t imagine growing up with a mother who cares more about appearance than her own child’s feelings. What kind of a monster is she and how in the world did she become that way? Some people just shouldn’t have children.

Dane… *sigh* He’s perfect in my book. Yes, he’s made his fair share of mistakes. He lived the bad boy lifestyle, but he turned that all around. How Alex could ever even contemplate letting him go because of her uptight family is beyond me. He makes her feel alive and sees what makes her tick. More importantly, he LOVES her.

“When you find someone you truly love, nothing else matters. I finally realized that being in love was worth the heartbreak that may follow. Nothing compared to how he made me feel and I was ready to feel more and try everything with him.”

I absolutely loved this novel. It made me laugh, cry and even want to pull my hair out from time to time. As I neared the end of the book, I began to sweat a little. It wasn’t looking good for the couple, and I was fearful I’d be left hanging! Thank goodness I got my answer. Of course all it did was make me even more eager for book two! I cannot wait to see what happens next! Lisa De Jong is a gifted story teller, and I very much look forward to seeing where life leads both Alex and Dane.

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