Heart's Desire

Heart's Desire by Laura Pedersen
Laura Pedersen
Random House
Release Date:

Age Level
young adult

Flamingnet Content Rating
Content Rating

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Flamingnet Student Book Reviewer  PS

Hallie Palmer, now a college student, has had one crazy year. She has already begun to reform her former gambler ways by concentrating on other problems, as finding the tuition money she desperately needs, dealing with her legal guardian Bernard, and trying to figure out her own relationships. As the 2nd oldest in a family of 8 children, it's up to her to find the money to go to college. Bernard employs her as the gardener and doing yard work. Hallie also has to come up with a plan to get Bernard reunited with his ex-boyfriend, Gil. But Hallie has romantic problems of her own and can't seem to keep any guy interested. Hallie's freshman year is surely full of surprises.

When I first started reading Heart's Desire, I wasn't sure if I would like it or not. The crazy characters, including a chimp named Rocky, were entertaining and the dialogue was funny. The story got better during the middle and once I got to that point, I couldn't put the book down. As the character is a college student, older readers will relate to Hallie more. I didn't read the prequel, Beginner's Luck, but I think it would be more helpful in understanding the story and the characters. I think that if you stick with the book, you'll be glad to read it. I'm looking forward to reading more about Hallie Palmer.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7

Reviewer Age: 19

Reviewer City, State and Country: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

About Laura Pedersen

Laura Pedersen was born in Buffalo, New York (one of "God's frozen people") in 1965, at the height of The Folk Music Scare. (For details of misspent youth see essay at 'Is there a Nurse in the Church?'). After finishing high school in 1983 she moved to Manhattan and began working on The American Stock Exchange, a time when showing up combined with basic computation skills could be parlayed into a career. She chronicled these years in her first book, Play Money.

Having vowed to become anything but a journalist and with no conception of what a semicolon does, Laura spent the better part of the 1990s writing for The New York Times.

In 1994 President Clinton honored her as one of Ten Outstanding Young Americans. She has appeared on TV shows including Oprah, Good Morning America, Primetime Live, and David Letterman.

In 2001, her first novel, Going Away Party, won the Three Oaks Prize for Fiction and was published by Storyline Press. Beginner's Luck was published by Ballantine Books in 2003 and subsequently chosen for the Barnes & Noble "Discover Great New Writers" program, Borders "Original Voices," and as a featured alternate for The Literary Guild.

Pedersen's other novels include Last Call and Heart's Desire (the sequel to Beginner's Luck). The third book in the Beginner's Luck/Hallie Palmer series is The Big Shuffle.

Laura lives in New York City, teaches reading and trades Yu-Gi-Oh! cards at the Booker T. Washington Learning Center in East Harlem, and is a member of the national literary association P.E.N. (poets, essayists and novelists).

Interviews with Laura Pedersen

Laura Pedersen's official website


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