Review HEARTSTRINGS by Heather Gunter

Everyone thinks of me as this happy and upbeat person. What they don't know is that I carry a deep, dark secret. Something horrible happened to me a year ago, and I have kept it quiet all this time. I was fine for a while, but somehow it’s chosen this time to come back, and it's eating at me--like a cancer.

I need to tell someone about it, I just don't know how. I'm pushing everyone I love away, including my mom and my best friend Charlie.

Then there is Will. Handsome, sweet Will. We went out on a date a while back, but then the incident happened leaving me crushed and him confused.

How do you tell someone you care about all of your secrets, and will they still want you when the truth comes out?


Heartstrings is the sequel to Love Notes.  Since Love Notes was Charlie’s story, Heartstrings is Tori’s, Charlie’s best friend.   I want to advise that this story involves rape and what it takes for someone to deal with the consequences.  This is based on true events experienced by Heather with changes made to protect her privacy.

Tori is in high school, trying to finish up her senior year.  She suffers nightmares and when she tries to get close to Will, a guy she’s had feelings for, for a long time, the awful memories come back to haunt her.  A year ago, she was raped.  She’s done her best to keep it quiet and knows she can’t do it anymore.  She realizes she has to get help and has to deal with everything that happened to her.  Charlie and her mom are her constant support.  She’s not sure how Will can handle what happened to her and if he will even want her. 

“I’m damaged beyond repair and I will never be whole.” - Tori

She finally decides to tell Will and it’s not the reaction she is expecting. Or, the reaction I was expecting. Will is unlike any guy I have ever seen.  I could feel his emotions with how he dealt with it all and what he thinks he needs to do really shows how much love he has for her. After finding out what happened, he is devastated but feels responsible by his reaction that night.  His love for Tori is so touching for a high school boy and shows how much of a man he really is. 

“I’ve never stopped caring about you, not even from a distance.” - Will

Tori’s attacker was never found and she never went to the police when it happened.  She just wanted to forget it happened.  Will feels he has to do the only thing he can do to help her.  He wants find the guy, and believe me, he is persistent.  With the help Maverick, who is Charlie’s boyfriend and his best friend, he goes looking for the guy who destroyed his girl.  He amazes me at how strong he is during all this too. 

“You are the bravest girl I know.” - Will

By attending counseling, she knows it wasn’t her fault.  Will is her always there for her and she knows she can’t deal with it without him. 

“He is my haven, my place of safety; when I’m with him I feel protected and loved.” - Tori 

This is a very tender subject and I became emotionally attached to Tori, not just from the rape but for the feelings she was dealing with by the aftermath and for Will.  I can’t imagine anyone having to deal with this and knowing Heather put it all out there on the line shows how strong of a woman she is.  I loved this story and I hope after reading it, that it will help someone else to get through their struggles and to seek help.  I definitely think this deserves 5 stars and encourage anyone who has had this happen to them or knows of someone who has to please read this and know you are not alone.  It definitely pulled at my heartstrings!!


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