Listen to your heart… read this book!
Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West follows Kate Bailey, a lake-loving introvert whose life takes a dramatic turn when she’s forced to become a host on her school’s advice podcast. When an anonymous guy calls in for relationship advice, Kate is convinced it is her best friend Alana’s crush Diego looking for scoop on how to win her heart. Kate is excited to help out her friend… until she starts to develop feelings for Diego herself.
When it comes to Kasie West’s books, her books fall into two categories for me. There are books that I absolutely love and others that I consider fairly average. While I did enjoy Listen to Your Heart, it definitely fell more into the average category for me. That being said, this is still a cute YA book that was perfect to read during the summertime despite its beginning of the school year setting.
Like many of Kasie West’s other characters, the characters in this book aren’t something new or original for YA contemporary. To me, all of her characters are like ones you would see straight out of a high school teen movie. The characters in Listen to Your Heart are no different. Bailey is the shy, sarcastic main character. Her best friend is girly and outgoing. Diego is a sweet and likable love interest. While nothing too out of the box, I think readers of Kasie West will expect typical characters that make her books easy and light reads.
One aspect of the book that I think West did a nice job of putting a twist on is the YA love triangle. In this book, both Bailey and her best friend Alana develop feelings for the same guy. In most YA books, this would completely destroy their friendships, lead to cat fights in the school hallway, and mean posts online. However, Bailey and Alana showed a lot a maturity towards the situation and made sure not to throw away their strong friendship for a crush. I really appreciated this aspect of the book and think it would give a good message to younger readers who find themselves in the same situation.
Another aspect of this book that I really appreciated was how large a role the podcast not only played in the story, but it’s larger theme. Bailey has always stated that the lake is her life and she will run her family’s lake rental business when she grows older. While it is amazing to have a female character who has such an unwavering outlook on her goals, it was nice to see the message that it’s also okay to branch out and find other ventures in your life that you life. I think it’s great that this book shows a balance of being confident in who you are and what you want to do in life, but that is also important open yourself up to new experiences.
Overall, Listen to Your Heart is a cute and easy-to-read YA contemporary. Although not my favorite Kasie West book, this book still provided an enjoyable reading experience. I give this book three out of five stars.