REVIEW of Heart Grow Fonder by Cristy Rey

The story's blurb is definitely what catches readers' attention. It's complex and unusual, with a number of things and issues made into one book. What is Heart Grow Fonder about? We have unconditional friendship, a battle with chronic depression, sexual discrimination, and the Hollywood life. These are a bunch of words you wouldn't usually find constructed into one sentence, but is exactly what this novel from author Cristy Rey offers. Let's delve deeper into this.
Title: Heart Grow Fonder
Author: Cristy Rey
Genre: Romance, Women's Fiction
Publication Date: November 25, 2014
Published by: CMW Press
Source: Copy Received through Netgalley

Wrong place. Wrong time. Right people.

Jessie Bravo knows what’s wrong with her life; she just doesn’t know what to do about it. Eleven years ago, she saved Tyler Cantrell from getting his ass kicked by gay-bashing high school jocks. Since, they’ve been the closest of friends. Years later, Jessie circled the drain of chronic depression, spiraling out of control, and it was Tyler’s turn to save her. Who knew her best friend would become a Hollywood A-lister? Though Jessie credits Tyler for keeping her together, living in the shadow of her best friend’s celebrity isn’t all it’s cut out to be. It’s up to Jessie to figure out what she has to do to be happy: get better or get lost.

Stardom is on the horizon for British television actor Boyd Kerrington. He’s starring opposite Tyler Cantrell in an American feature film sure to blow his career out the water. For all the years he’s focused on his career, however, he’s settled in his personal life. That is, until he meets Tyler’s best friend, Jessie. Jessie is refreshingly cool, passionate, and compelling…but she’s also complicated. Worse yet, she’s not interested in remaining in the celebrity stratosphere, even for her lifelong friend.

***Perfect Standalone Novel for Readers Who Enjoy: Strong female protagonists and independent women; contemporary women's fiction; realistic romance; books about adult friendships, family, and self-discovery; second chances; and emotional stories with happy endings (HEA). *** 

Jessie Bravo had a great childhood, a wonderfully supportive mother, and a reliable and loving best friend. Yet, she suffers from chronic depression. She now finds it unusual if she gets the urge or strength to care about anything, and no matter how much she gets pushed to the right direction, she just can't find it in her to help herself. But inside, hiding very deep, is a brave, strong, and passionate woman. If she can only be set free.
Boyd Kerrington loves his freedom, career, and almost everything that goes along with it. He has high dreams, and reaching them is his number one priority. He's not really looking for someone to spend the rest of his life with, especially since he just had a few years of his life wasted on an undeserving woman. But all that changed when a certain woman on a video tilted his world on its axis.

I've always expressed my love for books with real depth. Novels that have the ability to open the reader's eyes to an important issue that is happening in the world around us, whether we know it or not. In Heart Grow Fonder, we are shown what depression is like from the point-of-view of the person experiencing it. Again, I loved how there are very important messages in this book. I also have to take note of how much I adored Tyler. He's a wonderful friend, a talented actor, and just a wonderful person all in all. He's like the silver lining of the otherwise dark grey cloud, also known as Jessie. Okay, let's talk about Jessie; in a nutshell, I hated her. Seriously. I know depression is a hard battle to fight, but it can be fought and won. But it seems as though this woman doesn't want to battle this illness, and that pisses me of! She has the perfect best friend, a wonderful mother, a colorful career, and this amazing specimen of a man named Boyd pining for her attention and affection, yet she acts like she's alone and there's no saving her. She knows what she needs to do to help herself by the way, she just "doesn't care". 

The book is really good, the story powerful and quite unique, but what held me back from loving it is Jessie. I think Cristy Rey went too overboard wih making her character dark and depressing. With that said, I give Heart Grow Fonder 3.5 stars.
Cristy Rey is the author of the urban fantasy Incarnate series. She also writes and publishesunconventional romantic women’s fiction. She’d say she writes the books Jane Austen would have written if Jane had been a riot grrrl. Cristy lives in Miami, FL where she spends most of her days in a library and most of her nights surrounded by cats.

Twitter: @cristyreywrites



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