Heartwood Box by Ann Aguirre

Hi Everyone!  I had a full-blown nerdy fangirl moment when I read the description of Heartwood Box and it was compared to one of my favorite movies from college. It sounded perfect unfortunately it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

47172146._SX318_.jpgTitle: Heartwood Box
Author: Ann Aguirre
Note: I listened to the audiobook.

Summary: Araceli Flores Harper’s parents sent her away from the danger zone of their latest journalistic assignment.  However, their plans didn’t work out as planned.  Araceli finds herself in the middle of town where people routinely disappear.  The only bright spot in Araceli’s new hometown is the box she finds among the junk in her great-aunt’s spare room.  Araceli puts a letter in the box and gets a response from a WWI soldier named Oliver.  Araceli continues to share letters with Oliver and the two form a deep connection that Araceli knows can go nowhere but she can’t resist him.  Can Araceli keep her feeling for Oliver in check and solve the local disappearances?

Review:  When I was in college I absolutely loved the movie Lake House.  It was cheesy but it was also a time travel romance that had a little bit of a Victorian feel because of all the letter writing.  This (slightly embarrassing) confession is to explain why I had to try a book that was being compared to that movie.  In some ways, Aguirre did write a book that hit on some of the charms of the movie.  There is a romance that crosses time and I liked that part.  I enjoyed Araceli’s romance with Oliver and the letters they exchanged.  That aspect of the book felt very sweet and romantic.  However, the sci-fi aspect of the book didn’t quite mesh with the sweet romantic parts.  The book felt very much like two stories that were stitched together and while both parts were fine it didn’t quite work. Araceli is a fine main character but the secondary characters including Oliver weren’t formed enough for me to care.  Plus, the time travel part wasn’t quite fleshed out enough to make it great.  Heartwood Box is perfectly fine but it just wasn’t all that I hoped for.

Final Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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