A Matter of Heart by Amy Fellner Dominy | Review

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A Matter of Heart by Amy Fellner Dominy | ReviewA Matter of Heart by Amy Fellner Dominy
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers on May 12, 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 306
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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Readers will happily sink into this emotionally grounded, contemporary young adult novel about the sudden end of one girl's Olympic swimming dreams and the struggles she endures before realizing there are many things that define who we are.

Sixteen-year-old Abby Lipman is on track to win the state swim championships and qualify for the Olympic trials when a fainting incident at a swim meet leads to the diagnosis of a deadly heart condition. Now Abby is forced to discover who she is without the one thing that's defined her entire life.

(Last Updated On: June 1, 2022)

Today I am lucky enough to be part of the A Matter of Heart by Amy Fellner Dominy blog tour brought to you by the Fantastic Flying Book Club!

A Matter of Heart by Amy Fellner Dominy Summary

A Matter of Heart by Amy Fellner Dominy is a whirlwind of a story. Abby Lipman has spent her entire life focusing on swimming. Every day she wakes up really early to get to the pool and then she swims again later at night.

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She’s the fastest swimmer on her school’s swim team, and this year, she knows that she could qualify for the Olympic trials. Her times keep getting better and better until she gets diagnosed with a heart condition.

Now she can’t swim competitively or work herself as much as she used to because she needs to use beta-blockers. How could she live her life without swimming every day?

My Thoughts

As an athlete myself, this book really tugged at my heartstrings. I couldn’t imagine having to live my life without the one thing that I rely on to keep me happy, and for me, sports is one of those things.

Abby had to learn to live without her crutch (swimming). I felt so bad for her at times, because no matter how many times she was told that she shouldn’t swim competitively, she kept saying that she still wanted to. It was heartbreaking to read when she said things like that.

One thing I loved about this book was the relationship between Abby and her father. Her father had been a super-fast swimmer who wanted to hopefully end up at the Olympics one day as well, though he was injured and hurt his collarbone so his dream got passed on to his daughter.

I love how Abby was always talking about how she and her father always talked about their dream as well. Relationships like the one that Abby and her father have are important and I love seeing them represented in books.

Abby’s boyfriend, Connor, absolutely got on my nerves from page one. He was so annoying!

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My favorite character was definitely Alec. He was training hard to hopefully end up at Stanford with a scholarship for his swimming abilities. Alec was also way nicer than Connor was, especially to Abby. I just wish that Abby hadn’t hated Alec so much!

Final Thoughts

A Matter of Heart by Amy Fellner Dominy was an eye-opener. It’s heartbreaking to know that the diagnosis that Abby received actually does affect tons of athletes in today’s society, even causing some deaths.

Amy Fellner Dominy definitely did her research on this topic, and I think it’s great that she’s getting the word out about it. This book is worth a read if you’re looking for something different!

Notable Quotes from A Matter of Heart by Amy Fellner Dominy

“I’ve never seen you move so fast except when class is over.”

“Right before he sends us off, you flip down your goggles like you’re putting on a helmet and going off into battle.”

“Swimming wasn’t always about winning. When I was a kid, I swam because it was fun and not because I was trying to get somewhere.”

“‘You’re wrong about a lot of things.’ He shoots me one last intense gaze. ‘For one thing, I’ve been staring at you for a lot longer than a month.'”

“I want to leave me behind and I want to fly to where the pain can’t reach me at all.”

“Death is what happens when your dream ends.”

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  1. Great review! This book sounds so good! The relationship between Abby and her father sounds great. There aren't enough father-daughter, or even just strong relationships with parents in YA. I'll definitely be adding this one to my TBR.

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