Expected publication: May 29th 2018 by Point
Format read: ARC via publisher
But to Kate's surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend ... until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.
Kate Bailey has struggled with pushing her boundaries, and has often turned to isolating herself on her family's marina, because it's easier that way. However, when Kate is convinced to join their high school podcast class, and is - shock! - assigned to be the podcast host, Kate discovers she has the talent to help people with her advice. Now, the only question is if she'll heed her own recommendations...
What's notable about Listen to Your Heart, as with so many of West's books, is that Kate's struggles aren't necessarily the things of great drama. They're straightforward problems in her day-to-day life, and they're the type of problems that many people like Kate, experience daily. By showing the evolution of Kate's struggles, from feeling comfortably isolated in her marina life, to pushing through her fears with the podcast, West is validating the importance of those struggles and that growth.
And that growth isn't without its pitfalls. Kate clearly isn't a fan of podcasting at first, but West is careful to show Kate gradually realizing the importance of sticking with something and giving it a fair try, before even considering quitting. It's an important lesson, which readers will likely feel inspired by, and appreciate. While working through her concerns with podcasting, Kate also has to learn how directly confront her fears in a proactive manner, which is motivating as well.
As this is a West book, there's a cute sub-plot involving a guy. West ups the ante with an unexpected twist to the relationship, and Kate's ability to work through that conflict, is genuine and a sign of what friendship and relationships should be.
All in all, a breezy spring read. Recommended for any West fans.
Ends 4/14, US ONLY.
About the author:
Kasie West is the author of several YA novels, including The Distance Between Us, On the Fence, The Fill-in Boyfriend, P.S. I Like You, Lucky in Love, and By Your Side. Her books have been named as ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers and as YALSA Best Books for Young Adults. Kasie lives in Fresno, California, with her family, and you can visit her online at kasiewest.com.