Title: Listen to Your Heart
Author: Kasie West
Release Date: May 29th 2018
Talking to other people isn’t Kate Bailey’s favourite activity. She’d much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school’s podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she’ll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.
But to Kate’s surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend…until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.
Kasie West’s adorable story of secrets, love, and friendship is sure to win over hearts everywhere.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
My Thoughts On…
Kate’s interests can be summed up in one word and that word is the lake she lives besides. The lake is where she grew up and where her family built their business, a business Kate hopes to take over one day, but when her best friend convinces her to take part in the school’s podcast and when Kate comes up with the winning idea for the year’s theme she suddenly finds herself behind a mike preparing to give advice to the whole school.
Listen to Your Heart is another winner from Kasie West for me; it had the feel of a rom-com movie with an adorable love interest and so many misunderstandings which could have possibly been solved so much earlier if the characters had sat down and spoke to one another (but where would the fun, and the story, be in that). I loved the idea of the podcast in Listen to Your Heart, and unlike in By Your Side it was a concept which was fully explored as well.
When the podcast gets an anonymous caller dial in asking for help with his crush Kate is sure she’s speaking to Diego, the boy her best friend is crushing on. The good news for Alana is that it sounds like Diego has a crush on her too, but the bad news for Kate is that the more he calls in, and the more time she spends with Diego outside of the podcast, the more she starts falling for him herself as well.
I’m not a fan of love triangles, and this book could have easily turned into one with both Kate and Alana fighting over the same guy, but Kasie West managed to steer clear of that trope and kept the story a cute contemporary with a solid female friendship, which of course is one of the things I love to see in any book I’m reading. It’s no secret that I wasn’t a massive fan of Lucky in Love or By Your Side but I’m hoping with the release of this book and Love, Life and the List we’ll be getting better Kasie West books going forwards.
Kate is kind of coasting through life everything that isn’t the lake is just something in the way of the lake, and she doesn’t really see the point in the podcast when she knows what she’s going to do with her life. However her podcast teacher and her parents are determined to challenge her, and eventually Kate actually finds herself enjoying the podcast. She has a good camaraderie with her co-host and there’s the calls from Diego to look forwards to as well.
Diego is one of my favourite love interests in any Kasie West book, full stop. He was so adorable and I loved how he called into Kate’s advice podcast to get advice on his crush. He seemed so open, both when he called into the podcast and when Kate ran into him outside of his anonymous phone calls, and I enjoyed seeing the friendship and relationship develop between the two of them. At the beginning Kate doesn’t know who Diego is (he isn’t one of the ‘lake people’) but she soon sees there’s so much more to him than where he lives.
The friendship between Alana and Kate was again another of my favourite parts of this book. Like I said earlier the whole Kate/Diego/Alana situation could have turned into another love triangle, but Kate and Alana have been friends for too long to let any guy come between them. I loved that Alana encouraged Kate to move out of her comfort zone when it comes to the podcast, and I loved how even when Kate realised she had feelings for Diego she was still trying to do whatever she could to get him and Alana together.
There’s a huge family dynamic in Listen to Your Heart too. As well as Kate, her parents and her younger brother living on the lake it’s her aunts, uncles and all of her cousins. There’s a massive extended family and as that’s something we don’t see a lot in YA books I love seeing it in this one. Kate is incredibly close to her family and the subplots with her brother and her younger cousin were amazing, though emotional at times, to read.
For me Listen to Your Heart is one of those feel-good reads I will come back to when I’m feeling kind of slump-y. It’s a book I can pick up no matter what mood I’m in and I know I’ll enjoy it. There are so many amazing characters, a big-chaotic-loving family dynamic, and plenty of misunderstandings which just serve to make the ending that much more satisfying.
What did you think of Listen to Your Heart? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.