Mia's Heart

Mia's Heart - Courtney Cole I adore Courtney Cole. Seriously. Her writing style, at least in this series, is light and fun and witty and I just cannot get enough of it. I ADORED "Dante's Girl", the first book of The Paradise Diaries, and as soon as "Mia's Heart" came out I downloaded it immediately and without hesitation.

I did not regret it.

Yes, I'll admit, this book was corny and cheesy and predictable and even silly in parts. It was as big a cliché as you can get, and cynical (or even just stubbornly realistic) readers will absolutely despise it. But that's okay, because for every cynic there is a hopeless romantic like me, absolutely in love with these books and the beautiful stories they contain.

In all honesty, it was a challenge for me to like "Mia's Heart", and I was not quite as enthralled with it as I was with "Dante's Girl". This is because "Mia's Heart" contains not one, but TWO, of my least favorite plot conventions of all time: a love triangle and amnesia. That said, I gave this book a fairly good rating, so it goes without saying that something made the usage of these plot conventions forgivable. Let me explain.

Firstly, as much as I hate love triangles (that would be A LOT, in case you were wondering. I hate them A LOT.) this one was done masterfully. I was honestly uncertain about who would end up together in the end, and it took me quite a while to even decide who I WANTED to end up together, an even bigger surprise for me, because I always have a preference in such matters. In fact, if it hadn't been for something I read about this book before it came out, I would have been totally stumped for a really long time. Additionally, this particular love triangle makes sense in the context of the novel, and goes far beyond a confused girl with one too many sexy guys to choose from. The motivation and explanation behind the feelings is genuine and justifiable. To me, a love triangle this good, this understandable, and this REAL lets me forgive Cole for using the biggest and most despised YA romance plot cliché of all time.

Secondly, the amnesia, while a little "convenient" as far as creating a plethora of plot directions to move in, actually works. The way it comes about makes sense, and the problems it creates seem legitimate. It allows for character development and, in some miraculous way, manages to be the center of the plot without being constantly harped upon.

Finally, those of you who read my review of "Dante's Girl" know that I was devastated to find out this book would revolve around Mia, and not Reece and Dante's continuing relationship. That said, Mia made a FANTASTIC lead character. She went from being a person I enjoyed as a supporting character to a person I wish I could be friends with in real life. Despite everything that happens to her, she doesn't whine. She's strong, smart, independent, and, to use her term: "bad-ass". Additionally, I wasn't sold on the idea of either Gavin or Quinn as a leading man, but they both put my doubts to rest pretty quickly. When Cole brought in Dante and Reece in an unexpected way, I wanted to hug her, but I was happy with the new focus on other characters, and even though I wasn't sure it would work, I am sold on the idea now. I can't wait to read the next book in this series and get better acquainted with even more characters in this fantastic cast Cole has created.

All in all, I can't say enough good things about this book and this series. If you haven't read them yet, you should really go fix that. And Ms. Cole: please get that third book out as soon as possible. I'm already looking forward to it.