A Matter of Heart

Finished A Matter of Heart by Amy Fellner Dominy.  I received a copy for review from the author.

Summary (from Goodreads):

High school swimmer Abby Lipman is on track to qualify for the Olympic trials when she’s diagnosed with a deadly heart condition. Will she give up her dream or risk everything–including her life?

I am a huge, huge fan o f Amy Fellner Dominy’s and I have been since I read OyMG a few years ago.  This is her third book and I think it’s easily her best yet.

I think everyone has something that they consider “their thing,” something that they’re incredibly passionate about and something that makes their life worth living.  For Abby, it’s swimming.  And it’s not just a hobby for her; she’s really good.  In fact, there’s a decent chance that she’ll be able to make the Olympics.

And then she learns that she has a heart condition and that if she over-exerts herself, she could die.

But here’s the thing.  While her parents hear that sentence as “Abby could DIE,” Abby hears it as the fact that she COULD die.  And she COULD be absolutely fine.  But being an Olympic swimmer is something that she’s been working toward for pretty much literally her entire life.  Swimming IS her life; even when she’s not swimming, her life is structured around it.  As she points out, it dictates her diet, her schedule and even when she goes to sleep and wakes up.  And she refuses to give that up for something that may not even happen.  (Because most of the time, she feels absolutely fine—so how could her favorite thing actually, LITERALLY kill her?)

Because I’m 34, I feel like I understood the risks a little more and sometimes it was frightening to read Abby completely ignore the doctors…but then I thought, well, would I be able to completely stop doing something I love? And not even that, but could I stop doing something that I was really good at (as in literally one of the best people in the country at something)?  Probably not.

Highly recommended.

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