Wuthering Hearts by Kay Woodward
|Wuthering Hearts by Kay Woodward|
|Genre: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: One for younger teens and tweens, this is a pleasant enough romance with lots of allusions to the classic Wuthering Heights, but doesn't really stand out from the pack.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 224||Date: July 2011|
|External links: Author's website|
Emily is studying the utterly boring Wuthering Heights in drama. Despite finding the book a real pain, she still wants to be Cathy in the school production - who wouldn't, especially with the utterly gorgeous new boy Robert as leading man? Robert, though, resembles Wuthering Heights' moody Heathcliff in more ways than just being good-looking, and Emily finds it very hard to get to know him properly, even after a development which means they're spending much more time together. Can two people find romance on the Yorkshire moors?
This is an easy and relatively enjoyable read, but I have to admit I didn't find it particularly gripping. Part of the problem was that it's written for younger readers but featuring characters in Year 10, 4 and 15 years old. Unfortunately, I thought they were acting like 11 or 12 year olds a lot of the time and the contrast between their ages and their maturity level put me off a bit. The adult characters, on the other hand - Emily's dad and her great aunt - were really nicely described and believable.
That said, there's a fair bit to like about the book as well. Woodward skilfully blends enough of the original Wuthering Heights into the story to let the reader play a fun game of spotting the reference, although this is certainly a book that's been inspired by the earlier work rather than being anywhere near a retelling. I found the reason for Robert's surliness to be fairly easy to guess, but think it would be much more of a surprise to readers in the target age range, and the reason itself is handled well once it's revealed.
All in all this is a mild recommendation to readers of ages 9 - 13 or so, but I doubt it has enough substance to attract anyone much older than that.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
Further reading suggestion: Young teens and tweens who enjoy the drama theme here should definitely check out the Star Makers Clubs books, including Phoebe Finds Her Voice and Polly Plays Her Part, by Anne-Marie Conway.
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