Read A Matter of Heart by Amy Fellner Dominy Online

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High school swimmer Abby Lipman is on track to qualify for the Olympic trials when she's diagnosed with a deadly heart condition. Will she give up her dream or risk everything--including her life?...

Title : A Matter of Heart
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 18304337
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 391 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Matter of Heart Reviews

  • Paula M. of Her Book Thoughts!
    2018-11-15 00:25

    "This isn't how its supposed to be. How can the heart of a fighter be damaged?"This is such a meaningful novel. I enjoyed every moment I'm in Abby's head. I was with her when she was dreaming huge for her future, and I was also there when those dreams broke into pieces. But most importantly, I saw her pick it up again one by one... and dream again. Maybe different this time, but still dreaming nonetheless. And that's whats important. We first got introduced to a competitive Abby. She was living with a goal. I really loved how well research this book was. I can truly relate to Abby since I used to feel what she was feeling. She was goal oriented but not in a very annoying or frustrating way. She know she's good but she's not one of those who makes dramatic way to show it. Also, it was admiring how her relationship with her parents was written. Totally realistic and convincing. I love how she have this dream because of her dad, but also, because of herself. There was a lot of heartbreaking moments in here. Abby did not take well the news when she found out that she has a heart condition. Honestly, I don't blame her. I can't even imagine what to feel or how to react. It was painful for Abby and for me too because Abby is the kind of character you felt for. But Abby really shown how strong she can be. Even her parents. Abby's character development was the climax of this book, in my opinion. The way towards acceptance and moving forward was not easy. The romance was a complete surprise. It was not a love triangle, but from the first chapter.. I JUST KNOW that there will be an ‘other guy‘ No cheating in here or anything. But the few characters that Abby and her love interest has was pure heartmelting! The author sure know how to write a kissing scene. I loved every moment of it.Although I felt like the ending was kinda abrupt (I WANT MORE!) I still really enjoyed it. Every chapter. A Matter of Heart is one of the most character driven book I've read this year. I'm sure that not only athletes or even teenagers can relate to this book. If you're a person, dreaming, and feeling.. I highly recommend this book to you. You won't help but put yourself in Abby's shoes.

  • Daniella (Reading With Daniella)
    2018-12-08 02:31

    I'm so torn about this one. It was a very heartfelt and emotional read that pulled at my heartstrings, but I didn't love it. From the first few chapters I was immediately immersed in the story and thoroughly enjoyed it. Unfortunately, this didn't last the entire story. Towards the end of the book, I found that things were happening too quickly and weren't being resolved very well.The storyline of A Matter of Heart was interesting and very unique. I've never read anything similar to it before, and it was a really nice 'breath of fresh air'. I enjoyed going on the journey with Abby as she had to rediscover herself and live on despite the challenges she faced. Abby was an interesting character. She felt real, which I really liked. While she was often unreasonable and her actions weren't right, the way that she dealt with the issue of the heart condition was realistic. I feel that this is how somebody actually would react if this happened. And for me, it's always hugely important for contemporary novels to be realistic.The original love interest, Connor, was somebody that I immediately disliked. He seemed like such a phony, and didn't like him with Abby. I personally liked Alex, and was hoping (and expecting) him to end up with Abby. (view spoiler)[ When Abby and Connor finally broke up, I was thrilled and knew that she would go with Alex. When they did begin dating I found myself loving them together. But then all this stuff started happening between them, and before I knew it they had broken up. It occurred so quickly and unexpectedly, but not in a good way. I was almost confused in a way. And then at the end, they suddenly got back together, again very quickly. It just felt unnatural.(hide spoiler)]I wish the last section of the book was stronger, because it would have made the book a lot better as a whole. There were things that happened very, very fast, and I didn't find it to be a very good closure. Despite these flaws, it was still an enjoyable read. I would recommend it if you're looking for a quick and touching book.

  • Krystianna
    2018-11-16 22:29

    A Matter of Heart is a whirlwind of a story. Abby Lipman has spent her entire life focusing on swimming. Every day she wakes up really early to get to the pool and then she swims again later at night. She's the fastest swimmer on her school's swim team, and this year, she knows that she could qualify for the Olympic trials. Her times keep getting better and better, until she gets diagnosed with a heart condition. Now she can't swim competitively or work herself as much as she used to, because she needs to use beta blockers. How could she live her life without swimming every day?This book made me realize how much people focus on sports. Some people really do that, and that just blows my mind. I couldn't imagine having to live my life without the one thing that I rely on to keep me happy-my books. Poor Abby had to learn to live without her crutch. I felt so bad for her at times, because no matter how many times she was told that she shouldn't swim competitively, she kept saying that she still wanted to. It was heartbreaking to read when she said things like that.One thing I loved about this book was the relationship between Abby and her father. Her father had been a super fast swimmer who wanted to hopefully end up at the Olympics one day as well, though he was injured and hurt his collarbone so his dream got passed on to his daughter. I love how Abby was always talking about how she and her father always talked about their dream as well. Relationships like the one that Abby and her father have are important. Abby's boyfriend, Connor, absolutely got on my nerves from page one. He was so annoying! My favorite character was definitely Alec. He was training hard to hopefully end up at Stanford with a scholarship for his swimming abilities. Alec was also way nicer than Connor was, especially to Abby. I just wish that Abby hadn't hated Alec so much!A Matter of Heart was an eye-opener. It's heartbreaking to know that the diagnosis that Abby received actually does effect tons of athletes in today's society, even causing some deaths. Amy Fellner Dominy definitely did her research with this topic, and I think it's great that she's getting the word out about it. This book is worth a read if you're looking for something different!

  • Kaitlyn Abshire
    2018-11-10 21:15

    Thanks to the author and The Fantastic Flying Book Club for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.Abby Lipman has swam practically her whole life. When a fainting episode lands her in a doctor’s office, her Olympic dreams are on the line. She is diagnosed with a heart condition that she will live with for the rest of her life. Determined to not let her disorder get in the way of her dreams, Abby decides she will stop at nothing to achieve her dreams of winning Olympic gold.One characteristic of Abby’s I loved so much was her determination. She had clear goals and worked very hard for what she wanted. When she is diagnosed with her disorder, she refuses to believe that it can hold her back. She fails to realize how deadly her disease is and almost compromises her life because of her denial.While the relationship situations were slightly predictable, I was happy with how they turned out. I’ll keep who Abby ends up with a secret, but let’s just say Abby made the right decision! I also really liked Abby’s best friend. She was the perfect example of a true best friend, loyal, caring, and thoughtful.All and all, I really enjoyed this book. A Matter of Heart is a book that shows us what it’s like to truly “have heart.”

  • nick
    2018-11-24 21:18

    A Matter of Heart tells an interesting story of a young swimmer with Olympic aspirations who discovers that she has fatal heart conditions. This is the kind of book that could have the ability to punch readers in the heart with all kinds of emotions, but instead what I got out of it is a whole lot of frustration mainly because of the main character. Finding out that you have a deadly condition that destroys your career is never an easy thing. I mean I can't even imagine how devastating it can be. Abby, however, took the denial so far to the point of putting so much strain on her weak heart. I failed to understand why she didn't act like her age. Listen, I get that it's a difficult situation, but would you just dismiss what a world renowned cardiologist diagnosing you and assuming that it was all a mistake and go ahead and put yourself in a position that could literally kill you? I don't think that is logical in any way at all. Even after getting a second opinion, Abby continued to make these dumb and baffling choices that more than enraged me. And don't get me started on a father. Excuse my french, but what an asshole. I could not believe how he was willing to risk his daughter's life just so he could live vicariously through her success and bask in her glory because he missed his chance at the Olympics. When a person you look up to puts so much pressure on you, like Abby's dad did on her, it's hard to see reality clearly which is what happened with Abby. I did like some of the secondary characters in A Matter of Heart, particularly Alec and Abby's friend. However, I found the romance to be icky with the way it developed. A Matter of Heart wound up being one of the most disappointing reads of the year for me. It was a book with immense potential, but that lost its momentum because of the characters.

  • Christina Mandelski
    2018-11-23 01:20

    My high school age daughter runs on her school's cross country team. She's a great athlete who puts 110% into each practice and meet. But there's another girl on the team who, when she starts running, is something to behold. Not that she doesn't train hard and work hard, but she's just got that extra something; her body knows how to move itself with perfect efficiency. Her times are incredible and she always, always wins. We've all known or heard of people like this.And this, in a nutshell, is Abby Lipman, the main character of Amy Fellner Dominy's A MATTER OF HEART. Abby is a gifted swimmer, quite possibly bound for the Olympics, when she receives a medical diagnosis that, quite literally, breaks her heart. What happens when someone who is defined by their talent, by their gift, suddenly has it taken away? This is the story -- and it's deftly told by Dominy. As Abby struggles to make sense of this diagnosis (starting with denial, moving on to a possibly life-threatening defiance), we understand and mourn her loss, but desperately hope that she will see that she is worth more than her ability to swim fast. I especially loved the budding romance, thought it was sweet and real, and her relationship with her best friend was spot on.As usual, Dominy's writing is stellar, and her stories make it clear that she has her finger on the pulse of what it means to be a teenager. I plan to point this book to lovers of contemporary fiction (including my own daughter) and also to readers looking for sports-related fiction. Dominy has clearly done her homework both on the sports aspect and the medical front.I look forward to Dominy's next book!

  • Kristen
    2018-11-16 22:18

    I went into this one with high hopes, and it had a lot of promise: swimmer discovers she has a heart condition, drama ensues. Unfortunately, it was just...okay. The story unfolded really slowly--there was little emotion or conflict until the last few chapters other than the narrator fighting with herself and making silly decisions. There's also a lot of Abby describing what her two boy love interests look like. Ugh. Okay...we get it. They're swimmers and they have nice chests...move on.Everything wraps up a little too quickly, too. Don't get me wrong, I like a happy ending--but it felt like the author decided "okay, I'm ready for the story to be over so...BAM". And other than the romance, the side stories (Jen's possible crush, the alleged cheating, the weird coach from the other swim club) are just left hanging. It's pretty simple for me: good ideas, poor execution.

  • Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
    2018-11-16 00:06

    I wanted to read this one because I am drawn to the heavy contemporaries, especially those dealing with teen illness. It has kinda been my thing since loving Lurlene McDaniel in middle school--well I still do really. Plus the aspect of her swimming competitively and the Olympic goals. I liked that I got a full sense of Abby's life before she got her diagnosis. I got to see how much she loved swimming and how it has been in her blood since she was young. I got to see how much time and effort she put into it and even though her dad was once an Olympic hopeful and his chance was ruined by an injury, I could see how much Abby took ownership over pushing herself, wanting to get to the next level, and her passion and drive that comes from within. I liked the family aspect in this one. It was nice to see a father being so involved. Yes, he would talk with Abby about her meets, giving her advice, and being supportive, but I could see that even though it helped her that he loved it and was there for her, the desire to compete and get to the next level was within her, and he just supported. Her mom was also a constant in her life, and as a mom myself, I can totally see where her worry came in. She worried that her husband pushed too hard, and that Abby was depriving herself of the normal teenage life. But she ultimately supported Abby. When she got sick, Abby saw her as trying to keep her away from her dream. But Abby didn't really grasp, or she refused to understand the seriousness of what the doctor told her about her illness. That getting her heartrate up could cause death or cardiac arrest. She heard the word that it was mild to moderate and she thought that meant that she was out of danger. Abby's mom just wanted to protect her and wanted to see her daughter live, not be involved in risky behavior and the sport she so loved end up killing her in what would have been preventable death. The romance was a little problematic for me. She is with a handsome guy and he is one of the top swimmers, but there is a lot of tension and she is hyper-aware of his competition Alex. They are thrown together a lot and I liked their chemistry but with she wouldn't have been with Connor, and there wouldn't have been the doubt on her part compounded by accusations from Alex. I wish it would have been one guy or the other, and not have her back and forth. Connor and her at first seem to be mostly the physical attraction and having swimming and being good as their main connection. But Alex is kind, and he is great with kids while they are working together giving swim lessons. He seems to be more understanding of her illness, and worried about her instead of freaking out. I did enjoy the friendship in this one. Her bestie Jen would tell it like it is, and that was something that Abby needed, she had her dad to help with the swimming, but Jen would tell it to her straight about both her illness, and boys. She was smart and she shared interests with Abby, but she was tough and bold, and I loved her for it.I like the way that things wrapped up and the important discoveries about herself, her passions, and what it means to have heart, even if there is a physical problem. I think that the only way for her to learn was the hard way, and since a lot of young adults really have a hard concept of not being indestructible, I think that it was a lesson that would only be learned by making some poor decisions and being faced with consequences. Bottom Line: Great look at a teen reevaluating her dreams and what she considered a fundamental part of her identity when faced with a heart condition.

  • ExLibris_Kate
    2018-12-10 22:28

    Trying to figure out who you are is a common theme in many YA novels, but to say that those questions stop when you become an adult would be incorrect. I think that’s why many of the themes touched upon in A Matter of Hear will resonate with both teens and adults. Abby’s swimming career is everything to her, and, in her mind, it’s everything to her father, as well. I think that her relationship with her parents is very interesting because we see one parent who seems to be living a dream through Abby, and one who is cautiously going along with everything. Abby’s social life, her relationship with her boyfriend, and her own self esteem are all tied to her swimming, so when it all gets taken away from her, she is understandably thrown into a grieving process. When all of that is stripped away, she is forced to see things from a very basic building block perspective; she has a best friend who cares and she has adults, like her parents and her coach, who care, as well. There is also the darker side of her condition, which is the way people either validate her denial or are simply afraid to interact. All of that created a veritable firestorm for Abby and, without giving too much away, I thought the way everything unfolded was very well written. I also loved the surprise romance in the book. A Matter of Heart also made me think a lot about how much pressure we put on young athletes and how something like a hidden health condition can strip everything down to what’s really important in life.I loved that we got to see Abby struggle with her new normal. She acts out, she rages against the dying of the light, so to speak, and while her actions and reactions were sometimes dangerous, they were very real and I understood why she felt that way. Someone who is so focused on one thing would absolutely need help dealing with the kind of news that Abby received. Even if you aren’t an athlete, I think you will be able to relate to this story. While it focuses on Abby’s love of swimming, the idea that you are more than your interests or your accomplishments is one that I believe you never stop learning. A Matter of Heart is a thoughtful story about the way change can knock your world off of its axis and about the strength, both internal and external, we can all find to make it right again.

  • Jeff Raymond
    2018-11-21 02:31

    Closer to a 1.5. I've not despised a book quite the way I despised this one in a while.Abby is possibly an Olympic-caliber swimmer, the top swimmer at her school and held to a high standard by her father. She starts having fainting spells and shortness of breath in the pool, and quickly learns she has a rare genetic heart condition that is putting her entire swimming life in jeopardy.The big question in the book is whether she'll try to keep swimming or not. Take a wild guess as to where things go from here - the story very quickly becomes a tale of a girl risking her life in cavalier and stupid ways, egged on by people she shouldn't be and with friends who give her advice but do stupid things themselves. Everyone has a single dimension to them, no one is likable (and not in the ironic/anti-hero sense), and I just ended up hating everyone and everything involved in this. I get having dreams, I get having to make hard decisions. Teens need books that deal with that sort of issue, but they don't need ones that do it like this, with completely stupid reckless behavior that's basically encouraged without much of a reasoning behind it. If Abby was at all someone to root for, maybe the tone might work differently. Maybe if her friends weren't engaging in their own questionable activities, they might have some credibility. The only people who seemed to have any real positive claims were Abby's mother and the coach, and they're (of course) kneecapped as characters for the sake of the plot. Just terrible.Skip this one. There's not much to redeem it, and, especially for adult readers of YA, it will only serve to irritate you.

  • Trisha
    2018-12-05 23:30

    "How can the heart of a fighter be damaged?"A wonderful story that not only brings awareness to a condition many don't know about, it also brings up love and heart and what it means to compete and love it.Abby was hard to love at first. She's so determined and headstrong and stubborn - but so true of a 16 year old. I loved her friend Jen and her swimming team. I even loved her little ones that she taught. Abby has heart.Alec was a wonderful distraction to the story, that kept things light at times - but also kept things true. Abby isn't all about swimming. I didn't much care for Connor (view spoiler)[ I didn't feel he was fully flushed out. But what I did know, I was unimpressed with (hide spoiler)]all in all, great story, wonderful characters and characters with heart you can't help but love.

  • Jillian Lopez
    2018-12-11 04:15

    AMAZING. This book was seriously BEAUTIFUL. From the writing to the story and the overall idea and plot, A Matter of Heart will surely grip you from the inside and twist you all around. This is the story of a young athlete who dreams to compete in State by swimming... but when a dangerous heart condition takes over, she is hindered by its obstacles and the dangers it could lead to.LOVED THIS BOOK. This should really take the book spotlight next! It deserves a round of applause!! <3

  • Daphne Atkeson
    2018-11-27 22:13

    Strong, emotionally moving story from an author I love. Amy Dominy is a remarkable author with a vivid voice, creating characters that jump off the page, full of humor and heart. Her books are always must-buys. Highly recommend.

  • Abigail Fed
    2018-11-14 03:03

    I selected this book because it was about a swimmer. My favorite thing to do is swim and I thought this book would be a great fit. It definately was the right choice. While reading this book, I got the feeling that I was in the book and the characters were my friends. The author did a great job of making the book feel real even though it was fiction. I would definitely recommend this book.This book is about a swimmer named Abby Lipman who is about to go to the Olyimpic trials when she discovers she has a heart condition. Her whole life is about swimming and now it is might be over forever. She has Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) which is a rare disease where the walls of your heart are too thick. This causes your heart to race faster than normal. This is not curable but you can take betablockers to help keep your heart rate in check. Abby had to take betablockers but while on them, they did not allow her to perform the way she usually does in the water. The author had a lot of emotion while writing this book. You could tell that she wanted to make the people who read this book aware of this horrible heart condition. She did this in a light way but still got across to the reader how serious and dangerous the heart condition was.The author made the ending a little too abrupt. The book never told the reader what Abby's life was like now that she was not swimming because of the heart condition and the medication. I would have liked to have learned whether Abby was ever able to return to swimming and if her dreams of going to the Olympic trials ever came true.

  • Nicole Hewitt
    2018-11-21 01:05

    3.5/5 StarsThis review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction AddictionA Matter of Heart is about one girl’s struggle to accept the loss of a dream – the loss of everything that she believes makes her who she is. The thing that makes her special. It’s a story that we can all relate to, in some respects, even if we’re not particularly sporty people (as I said above, I’m certainly not!). All of us have things that we use to define ourselves – our talents, our jobs, our friends, our kids, our intelligence … the list goes on. So, we can all understand what it might feel like to have those things stripped away from us suddenly. This book will make you think about all of that.What I loved:Dealing with the loss of a dream. Abby’s struggle felt completely realistic to me. She had trained her entire life to be an Olympic level swimmer, and she had a real chance to make it. Then, the dream is suddenly snatched away from her. She doesn’t take this news lying down – she doesn’t just accept it. Sometimes she makes really frustrating and dangerous decisions that, as a mom, made me want to scream at her. But I could understand why. And there are even some people who present her with really almost-valid sounding arguments about why she should keep going (there really are plenty of athletes out there who put their lives at risk way more than the average person would find reasonable). So, Abby needs to decide what she values more – her life or her dream. It’s not as easy of a decision as you’d think!Family. This is a YA book with involved parents – Abby has two parents who adore her. Sure, they didn’t always agree about what was best for Abby, but this felt pretty realistic to me (I’m a mom – I know that parents don’t always agree), and it was nice to see that the conflict didn’t drive the family apart – as it so often does in YA books. For a little while, I was concerned that Abby’s father was too hung up on her swimming and might actually value it enough to risk her life, but that wasn’t really the case. Thought the family aspect of the book was great!!Friendship. I adored Abby’s friendship with her bestie Jen, who was there for Abby when things got hard but also gave Abby some tough love when she wanted to take chances with her love. I also loved Jen’s practical views on sex and romance – it was refreshing to see a teen character who was trying hard to think with her head instead of her hormones! Mostly, though, I just loved that Jen and Abby were there for each other through thick and thin and that they didn’t let arguments or petty jealousies tear them apart.Alec. I loved Alec and how his story ran parallel to Abby’s – his struggles and desire to prove himself were very similar to what Abby went through, and it was Abby’s recognition of this that drew her to him. Sure, this formed a bit of a love triangle, but the triangle was part of Abby’s story – her realization of who she could be outside of swimming – so it was fitting.The negatives:Not enough growth. When I read the synopsis of this book, I was thinking that the book was mostly going to be about Abby figuring out who she was outside of swimming, but this wasn’t really the case. It was more about how her life fell apart when she discovered that she couldn’t pursue her dream and how she fought against that new truth. Really, Abby didn’t accept the reality of her condition until the very end of the book, and we didn’t get any sort of glimpse into who she is without swimming. That’s understandable, considering how much of Abby’s life was wrapped up in her Olympic dreams, but I guess I just would have liked to see some of that transformation. Instead, we got to see her struggle without really seeing much of her ultimate growth.This is a great book for teens, especially for any kid who’s passionate about something – whether it’s sports, music, etc. I give this book 3.5/5 stars.***Disclosure: I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***

  • Liralen
    2018-12-04 23:20

    Abby's in high school but has Olympic-sized dreams—or, more specifically, she dreams of making it to the Olympics. With swimming times just shy of qualifying for the Olympic trials, those dreams are within the realm of possibility...until a diagnosis of a heart condition smashes her hopes.Now, Abby's in an especially interesting position because her father had hopes of the Olympics, too, until an injury ended his career—all of which begs the question, whose dreams are they anyway? Abby's, or her father's?Meanwhile, there's a love triangle established between Abby and the top two male swimmers at the school. Neither of them has the same level of potential as Abby, but they're constantly battling it out for that top spot...and one or more of them might or might not be using steroids to hang on to that edge. (Interesting to note that one of the potential love interests is Latino—I suspect that, had they reversed the roles of the male characters, he would have been written differently. There's not enough diversity in YA books to make the lone POC a boor.)Anyway. Abby ends up being pretty interesting. Realistic, to a degree, but with enough of a sense of teenage invincibility (and drama) to think that a) going without the meds that control her heart disorder will be no problem and b) better to die young but go out with a bang than live a long and normal life. She makes some lousy choices, yes, but they're pretty realistic lousy choices. And I did love the inclusion of her best friend, Jen, who displays none of the draaaamaaaa that so many YA characters overflow with.One thing I'm curious about—the Olympic trials. Abby can potentially qualify for them, but how much does that really mean? Wouldn't she have to be even faster to make it onto the national team? Just how realistic are those dreams? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • Tressa (Wishful Endings)
    2018-11-30 00:21

    A Matter of Heart was a roller-coaster ride of emotions. Abby is on track to become a Olympic swimmer. She's a hard worker, loves the sport, is competitive, pushes herself, and has the heart to give it her all. But then everything changes and she doesn't know how to be without swimming. It takes time before she finds herself again.I loved the support group that Abby has. Her parents, even though her father felt like he was really pushing her to still swim - a lot of that was her own misconception and some miscommunication. Her friend Jen who was there for her and even went against her wishes because she was trying to protect her. Then there was Connor and Alec. For those of you who don't appreciate love triangles, I wouldn't really consider this one. Each boy had a role to play. I do have to say that I absolutely loved Alec. Then there was Abby's coach and the sweet kids she taught swimming lessons to.Abby's story was heartbreaking. A girl who loves to swim and hopeful of Olympic gold to have it all taken away. It was all she really knew and had known for so long. I felt like her emotions were so raw, so desperate and points, and yet so real. Thank goodness she had people looking out for her and that she eventually comes to terms with her heart condition. It doesn't come easy. She almost loses it all.I would recommend A Matter of Heart to those who enjoy contemporary YA, who know what it feels like to dream, to those who have lost a dream, and to romantics (because this one has some sweet romantic moments). Overall a beautiful story.Content: Some swearing, innuendo, suggestive content, and some make-out details that I could have done without.Source: I would like to thank the publisher through NetGalley for my complimentary ARC, which did not affect my review in any way.

  • Tara
    2018-12-05 03:15

    Sappy cute story - loved the ending!

  • Kelly Hager
    2018-12-07 00:02

    I am a huge, huge fan o f Amy Fellner Dominy's and I have been since I read OyMG a few years ago. This is her third book and I think it's easily her best yet.I think everyone has something that they consider "their thing," something that they're incredibly passionate about and something that makes their life worth living. For Abby, it's swimming. And it's not just a hobby for her; she's really good. In fact, there's a decent chance that she'll be able to make the Olympics.And then she learns that she has a heart condition and that if she over-exerts herself, she could die. But here's the thing. While her parents hear that sentence as "Abby could DIE," Abby hears it as the fact that she COULD die. And she COULD be absolutely fine. But being an Olympic swimmer is something that she's been working toward for pretty much literally her entire life. Swimming IS her life; even when she's not swimming, her life is structured around it. As she points out, it dictates her diet, her schedule and even when she goes to sleep and wakes up. And she refuses to give that up for something that may not even happen. (Because most of the time, she feels absolutely fine---so how could her favorite thing actually, LITERALLY kill her?)Because I'm 34, I feel like I understood the risks a little more and sometimes it was frightening to read Abby completely ignore the doctors...but then I thought, well, would I be able to completely stop doing something I love? And not even that, but could I stop doing something that I was really good at (as in literally one of the best people in the country at something)? Probably not. Highly recommended.

  • Shannelle
    2018-12-11 02:26

    Find more reviews and lettering on my blog The Art of Escapism.I think there aren't enough YA books with sports in them, so I was really interested when I heard about A Matter of Heart. It was a good book in so many ways, but I really can't say if the biggest failure was the book's or mine.A Matter of Heart is so well-written. As the chapters went by, I started to really appreciate the meaning behind the title. It doesn't only concern Abby's literal heart, but the figurative one as well.Abby's dream of competing in the Olympics disappears when she learns she has a heart condition that prevents her from ever racing competitively again. Amy Dominy did a great job of portraying her family's emotions about it, and I really related with Abby's reaction to it. She's bitter, and she can't help but think that someone is going to replace her on the team and how easily replaced she is. It's something I would do.The romance is also really realistic too. I correctly guessed how it was going to play out, and I really appreciate how it wasn't so dramatic. I really think that relationships are messy around my age, and it's not such a big deal sometimes. They don't always result in drama.I just didn't feel a thing, though. I read it all completely ambivalent. I was unable to empathize with Abby, and that is such a big factor on how much I enjoy my books.All the same, A Matter of Heart is a book I would recommend. It's very well written, and it as wonderfully realistic portrayals of people. I didn't love it because it failed to impact me emotionally, but who knows? It has all the potential to be your next favorite read.

  • Ms. Yingling
    2018-11-26 22:05

    Things are going well for Abby. She is an excellent swimmer, and might possibly make the Olympic team, a life long goal for her, as well as her father. She has a really hot boyfriend, Connor. When she gets dizzy after a swim practice, her coach demands she see a doctor, even though Abby thinks it's nothing. The doctor, a friend of her mother's, tells her bad news-- she has Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, or HCM. The good news is that it's not fatal if treated, and it's treatable. The bad news is that she has to take drugs that slow down her heart, and she can't swim competitively. Since the first knowledge that a teen has HCM ususally comes at their death, Abby's mother is relieved, but both Abby and her father refuse to believe it. Abby keeps training, lies, sneaks around, and replaces her medication with baby aspirin. Her boyfriend doesn't deal well with the news, and she starts a relationship with bad boy Alec. Determined to get a spot on the Olympic team, Abby endangers herself and everything that is really important.Strengths: This felt a bit like Tiffany Schmidt's Send Me A Sign which is oddly popular with my girls, PLUS it has a girl passionately devoted to a sport. Perfect. A romance as well. Definitely purchasing. Weaknesses: Hard to read as a parent. Teenagers really can be colossal idiots.What I really think: This should have had a swimmer on the cover! Why does it not?

  • Karen
    2018-11-26 23:20

    Sixteen-year-old swimmer, Abby Lipman is living the dream life--she's on the brink of qualifying for the Olympics, she's dating the fastest boy swimmer on the team, and aside from her dad's misplaced uber-focus on her swimming, life is good. Bit by bit, the center of her identity comes undone. What will happen to Abby if she can no longer compete? Will her boyfriend stick around to pick up the pieces? Hint: It's all about the heart.Disclaimer: I lucked out at TLA2015 to hear the author speak about A Matter of Heart. Right away, I knew I wanted to read and review it--I teach 7th graders, and I was certain it would speak to my students from a new point of view. I felt it filled a gap in my library, with an athletic, competitive female protagonist. (And as a mom who has spent more hours than I can count scorekeeping poolside while my own three kids competed, I was eager to read it, too!) I snagged an ARC, and read it before leaving the conference, but book-talked it so well that I am just now able to get it back from my students to write a review! They liked it as much as I did.

  • Jillian Heise
    2018-11-26 04:01

    I really enjoy reading Amy Fellner Dominy's books, and this one was no different. In A Matter of Heart Dominy heads from middle school into high school with her characters, and does so successfully. As a former swimmer, I connected even more with some of the elements of this book, and I think any competitive athlete will relate to many aspects. But ultimately, it's a story of one girl and a dream, and what happens when she discovers a condition that means her body prevents her from being able to continue to reach for that dream. What happens when she can no longer do what she has always wanted to do? What happens when she can't live up to what she thinks her parents dream for her? What happens when her best friend and boyfriend can't look at her the same anymore? What happens when she faces the reality that she could die or give up swimming? These questions propel a story that had me turning pages anxiously wanting to see how it would all turn out. I enjoyed spending time with these characters. A good story that I am sure my students will also enjoy.

  • Amy's Book Reviews
    2018-12-07 05:26

    Abby is one swim meet away from making the Olympic Trials. Swimming is everything, that and her perfect boyfriend. When a newly diagnosed heart condition ends her competitive career, Abby will risk everything to make her dreams come true.A MATTER OF HEART is a compulsively readable tale of a girl and her dreams, her values and resilience. Abby is a great character, because of her imperfections, she's at times selfish, dishonest, shallow and unkind, yet I never stopped rooting for her to be okay emotionally and physically.Amy Dominy's writing engaged me from start to finish. I loved the subplot of the kids Abby coached. I wished the story had focused a bit less on her insta-love with Alec, though I loved his character. Plot wise, I wish Dominy hadn't left Conner's possible doping unaddressed and unresolved and I felt like the ending was a bit clichéd and predictable.A MATTER OF HEART is an engaging story of sports, dreams, friendship and love.

  • Samantha
    2018-12-03 02:18

    It went a little slowly, and wasn't as emotionally charged as it could have been, but I still really appreciate this book. It covered a subject that isn't very typical (heart conditions in young athletes), and that really made it worthwhile. I also did enjoy the characters, even if they didn't reach their peak potential. Still I give it four stars for it's research and efforts, and I hope to read more from Amy Fellner Dominy!

  • Claire
    2018-12-07 04:01

    I really loved this book! I read it twice I loved it so much. Yes, I suppose it is like many other realistic fiction books, but I think this one accurately captured how Abby (the main character) was feeling. Abby was announced with HCM, a condition that effects her heart, and as a competitive swimmer looking to get to the Olympics, the news is hard for her to hear. Overall, I loved this book, and would definitely read it again.

  • Bella
    2018-12-10 01:17

    I enjoyed the idea of the book, however I found it too hard to like the main character to properly enjoy it. She was facing life-altering news, yet wouldn't accept it and made so many poor choices. I was honestly shaking my head a few times as I read. I was also slightly disappointed in the ending, as it left a few unanswered questions about a couple other characters. Overall though, it's an easy read with an interesting premise.

  • Jennifer
    2018-12-11 04:20

    This is the first book I've read by Amy Fellner Dominy. But it won't be my last. I truly enjoyed reading this story and admire Amy's writing style.I found this book easy to read and I flew through it. I definitely want my teenage daughters to read this book. I feel they will enjoy it and find good messages in the story. Overall - highly recommend, for both teens and adults who like reading YA books.

  • Terry Johnson
    2018-12-09 23:19

    Loved this story! What a heart wrenching problem for an athlete to face. I loved how realistic the characters reactions were. I loved all the swimming details - the fact this was a great sports book about a girl athlete. Great banter between the characters, and the girl friendship was wonderful. And I especially loved all the kissing scenes. Those scenes sizzled! Five hearts!

  • Amy
    2018-11-20 21:23

    The adult reader in me rated this a "Meh" for character development but my student readers will fall for a girl who can no longer chase after her dreams due to a heart condition.Rated 7th grade + -- one alcohol scene and references to having sex, with at least one grounded character who abstains from both.