Instructions for a Second Hand Heart by Tamsyn Murray [Book Review]

 Instructions for a Second Hand Heart by Tamsyn Murray

Released Date: November 1, 2016

Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary

Jonny isn’t like “normal” teenagers. Every day he wakes up in hospital, kept alive by a machine. Every day he wonders if this is the day they’ll find a donor match for his heart. Every day he wonders if this is the day he’ll die.

Every day, Niamh fights with her “perfect” brother Leo. Every single day, Leo wins. Every day, Niamh dreams of a life without Leo. But all that changes on the day of the accident: the day EVERYTHING falls apart.

This is a story about facing the future no matter how frightening. This is a story about healing your heart, no matter how much it hurts.

*ARC is provided by Usbourne publishing. Thank you so much!


Siblings with a love – hate relationship.

Niamh wants to be out of Leo’s life until everything went wrong.

Jonny who’s been ill all his life, wanting for a heart that could finally take him out of his hospital bed.

I got teary eyes in Leo’s passing. How could parents bear the weight of letting go someone when they still feel so alive? I have read plenty of deaths in books but this is one of the few that tugs thw strings of my heart.

Niamh feeling so down at Leo’s death found someone she can lean to – Jonny. it was always natural to fall in love to the person who held you during your darkest times.

Her parents both showing off they’re past through it but in seems like only one is holding it off. Father’s would naturally feel the need to become the source of strength during those times. It’s hard for them to show that they’re being torn apart on the inside. My father used to be liked that too. I feel so broken every time I see him break down. But after that i feel him feeling light from his burden. As his child, i would gladly accept their burden. Because no matter what happens we’re a family. Families always stick together.

Jonny having a new heart means a new life. But questions like who is your donor, am i worth it? is common to people like him. I could feel but not as much as the feelings of those who really experienced it. There is one thing I could say for people like Jonny – “You’re always worth it.”

This book tackles around different and sensitive issues in life. Some scenes are very common and you could relate to it because Niamh and Jonny are millenials. The feels in there and it had a good ending btw. But i think there’s more to it. There’s something missing and I don’t know what.


I have nothing to say, no words of comfort to offer her. It feels like all I can do to keep breathing.

I feel as though i passed some kind of test, like I’m part of the group now. And I’ve got to admit it feels good to belong.

But have you ever taken a long hard look at yourself and realized you’re seeing a stranger, someone you don’t know at all?

It’s a risk. But that’s the thing about taking risk — you’re only half alive without them.

Love isn’t a tap you turn off when you don’t want to care anymore. It seeps into your soul, wears a path to your heart and leaves an unbearable emptiness when it’s gone.

I think it really taps into the belief that our hearts are more than just the pump that keeps us alive. They are the place our soul lives, the part of our body that decides  who we love and who we really are. If you get someone else’s heart, would you absorb some of their identity — their hopes and dreams and emotions? Might you even start to become them a little?

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