An Insubstantial Love Story | Review of ‘The Mortal Heart’ (Beautiful Creatures: The Untold Stories)

By Cynthia Ayala

The Mortal Heart by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Image Credit: Goodreads

Long before Lila Jane Evers met Mitchell Wate and gave birth to Ethan Wate, Lila was just a student at Duke University, a student with a penchant for rare books. Then one night, she stumbled upon some Latin and a young man named Macon Ravenwood. Here is the love story everyone knew about but knew nothing of…

Published March 10, 2015, by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers The Mortal Heart by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl is the first in their Beautiful Creatures: Untold Stories collection that fills in the gaps and backstory of some of the series’ more minor characters.

So I’m going to break a some rules here by using first person because I think that’s the only way that I’m going to properly express my opinion of this novella.

Much like with Dream Dark, this was another novella that was just too short. This story is all about the tale of Lila and Macon and their romance that apparently was like fireworks. Except you wouldn’t know that when reading this novel. It’s too short and the romance, well it’s something that was supposed to be something so impactful and taboo at the same time. Except the story, told by Marian, is very much that, a third person tale. It doesn’t capitalize on the romance. There is a barrier between the romance and the reader, and their relationship. There’s so much that could be explored between Macon and Lila and their relationship. Readers see how they met, what sparked between them. In fact, the reader only sees those big moments but those small moments, the notice of a dimple, the feeling that special someone sparks in an individual, those aren’t explored, they are pushed aside to tell to tell the story in a rushed fashion.

This is just a story that took all those pivotal moments, those powerful moments that meant life or death for their relationship. Those are the moments that have no substance without the real backstory, without those moments of them being stuck to each other like glue because they love each other despite their fates going in such different directions.

What this novel really needed was emotion, it needed longer scenes, needed more depth to it. It needed more substance to make this novella more impactful. Yes, that means it would have been longer, but that would have been a good thing, it would have created this new spin on Romeo and Juliet, in a sense. It was just, well, bleh, which is unfortunate because this could have really been something impactful. (★★★☆☆ | C)

Product Details:

Pub Date: Mar 10, 2015

Page count: 54pp

Age Range: 15 & Over


Publisher:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

List Price:  $1.99

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