Thursday, 5 October 2017

Review - Heartshire High by Charlotte Leonetti


Heartshire High by Charlotte Leonetti 
Published 11th August 2017 by Createspace Independent Publishing 
Star Rating - **
Goodreads Challenge - 66/50

I received this a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 Synopsis from Goodreads 

Alice in Wonderland goes to a new high school.....
Heartshire High is a modern-day retelling of Alice in Wonderland, and debut novel by up-and-coming young author Charlotte Leonetti.
Heartshire High takes the reader through Celia's move to a new town in her senior year, living with a less than caring dad, dealing a new school and having to make new friends. While Celia is focused on just surviving her last school year, and counting down the days until graduation, Bunni befriends her and leads her into the woods, and into a world of drugs, parties, and death.
Once Celia discovers the mysterious death of Tim, she can't help but dig into what happened. While the whole town tries to ignore what happened, Celia starts to ask questions which lead to her having even more questions. What really happened to Tim? Was it murder? Is somebody not telling the truth? Or is she prying into something she shouldn't be?

My Thoughts

In this story we follow Celia who has moved to a new town with her dad, leaving her mum behind. She has to attend her last year of school at Heartshire High and she doesn't get off to a great start. She struggles to fit in, make friends and she ends up putting her foot in it with the dead kids girlfriend. She eventually makes friends with Bunni, Dutch and some others and is determined to help out her friends and solve the mystery of the boys death along with it.

Now I did like this story, it definitely had potential and I found myself wanting to pick it up I just really wanted more from it. I really wanted some more character exploration. Everything felt quite surface level and I really wanted more emotion and feelings as well as some more back story to the characters. I needed to know more about where Celia came from and her relationship with her mother. There were times when I really felt for Celia but I really just needed more. I also wanted to know more about Pilar and Tim's relationship and what Bunni, Dutch and Red's stories were. I found lots of characters often popped up with little explanation of where they came from and this meant I found them quite difficult to relate too at times.

I also really wanted more from the plot. The general premise and story idea was good and enjoyable to read about but again it was quite surface level. Things often happened very quickly and I wanted some more depth. This may be due to the length of the book, it's only approximately 170 pages long and it really could of benefited from being 100 pages longer. I did really enjoy the Alice and Wonderland aspect of the story however, and you could definitely see where the author got her inspiration from. Most of the links were well intertwined with the story and you could see which characters represented the originals. Celia as Alice, Bunni as the White Rabbit, Red as the Mad Hatter and Pilar as the Caterpillar. Like I said most aspects worked well with the story, there were a couple that had me rolling my eyes a bit but on the whole the retelling aspect was good. There were also some great themes covered in this book and I liked that the author tackled things such as drug abuse and teenage pregnancy. I also appreciated the inclusion of a gay character.

Overall I thought the ideas and the premise of this story were interesting and I did find myself wanting to continue with the story as I read. I just wished it were longer so we could of explored both the characters and the plot a bit more. I really do feel that this author has potential and I hope she writes longer novels in the future to remedy these things. 

Overall Rating 



  1. I don't think I've seen a retelling of Alice. Interesting.

  2. I'm not really a great lover of re-tellings. When they are written they need to be superb. Unfortunately most that I've seen are just not up to the task