Reviewed by Jasmine Sov, age 17

A Thousand Heartbeats by Kiera Cass

Princess Annika has always longed for true love. But within the bounds of Meckonah Castle, she knows that isn’t possible for her. Since her mother’s disappearance, her once-loving father has grown distant, and the needs of the kingdom require that she enter a political marriage with a man she doesn’t love. Meanwhile, Lennox swore to never let love get in the way of his duty: to help his people reclaim the kingdom that was stolen from them by another clan. From the harsh lessons he’s learned at a young age, he believes being feared is the only way to be accepted. But when their worlds unexpectedly collide, Annika and Lennox find that love may be possible for them after all.

“A Thousand Heartbeats” tries to show strong emotions and character development, but fails to execute them properly. The beginning of the story takes far too long to set up Annika and Lennox’s first meeting, while the end rushes to compensate. Despite the slow beginning, the enemies-to-lovers romance moved far too fast—perhaps because the buildup from enemies to tentative friends to lovers was condensed into just a few days. I couldn’t understand how Annika could set down some of her grievances about Lennox in such a short time, nor how they could have bonded so quickly just from sharing their traumas. Most of the side characters function only as obstacles or supporting tools with a name and a description of their hair. The world also lacks depth aside from the names of lands and characters, plus a description of one holiday.

1.5 stars of 5 stars

Find this book in our catalog: A Thousand Heartbeats

Catalog Number: YA FIC CASS,K

565 pages