The Heart of It All – Entered in the 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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Weston Mitchel

In Weston Mitchel’s The Heart of It All, Austin Kyle longs to be nothing more than a normal college student. However, after a series of blood transfusions following a car accident, his blood now contains a mysterious, promising cure for cancer. Now, he is extraordinary beyond his wildest imagination, and Dr. Greer knows it. She has been trying to find a cure for cancer, and Austin can help her do just that. Their mission soon becomes a race against the clock, though, as Austin’s girlfriend, Mia, succumbs to her leukemia – which only Austin has the power to save her from. 

The Heart of It All holds a ton of promise, but unfortunately, it falls short in execution. For starters, there is a significant lack of editing to blame; run-on sentences and various other grammatical errors run rampant, distracting from the story itself. Also, The Heart of It All is poorly organized, jumping between time periods, locations, and characters’ perspectives often. A simple prologue about the car accident, then following one character (Austin) throughout the present-day events for the rest of the novel would have served it far better. 

Despite all this, The Heart of It All is still quite an enjoyable read. Its greatest strength is its use of description; Weston Mitchel’s writing style and use of descriptive language was simply wonderful. His characters were intriguing and complex, and the story itself seemed believable and inspiring. The Heart of It All requires extensive improvement to accentuate the great ideas and solid writing, but the incredible potential is already there.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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