You saw my review for Blackhearts a few months ago. There was a twitter giveaway in November and you guys basically flipped when you saw it (my inbox was filled with hundreds of emails because of it). We’re closing in on Blackhearts‘s release. It’s just two months until it hits the shelves (February 9th, 2016) and I couldn’t be more excited for y’all to read it. After stumbling upon it last year, I kept an eye on it until finally I met Miss Castroman is person. She’s extremely kind and it’s been a pleasure to meet and speak with her.
So what is Blackhearts? When speaking with Miss Castroman, one of the first things she’ll probably say (when describing the novel) is that it’s Blackbeard pre-pirate. So what can you expect from pre-pirate Blackbeard?
Let me tell you one thing: Blackhearts isn’t anything you’ll expect. And that’s okay. As a book blogger though, I’m here to help you guys determine whether or not a book is for you. I’ve been wanting to draw more attention to Blackhearts and (after watching some youtube videos) decided that I could help accomplish both tasks by compiling a list.
1. You enjoy a novel inspired by other tales.
This is probably a given but let’s just take a moment to talk about this because this is probably the crux of Blackhearts. I don’t know much about Blackbeard except that he’s supposed to be a pretty fierce pirate. That’s about it. But I’m pretty sure that this novel is 100% opposite of every tale you’ve ever heard of Blackbeard. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I think this is going to catch any Blackbeard-lovers out there off guard. Some will love it. Some… not so much. That’s how these things roll.
Personally, I loved it because Blackhearts leaves a lot of room left for character development. Hopefully we get to see the rest of Teach and Anne’s story. (Please, Simon & Schuster, we need this.) Blackhearts isn’t really about a pirate, but not every pirate started life as a pirate. What better way to attribute his fall from society than to a tragic love story? We’ve seen it in enough stories that have lasted the test of time.
2. Nicole Castroman’s writing is delicious.
I’ll admit that I was actually somewhat hesitant to describe Blackhearts this way when the thought first occurred to me. I foolishly worried about the people who would disagree, but you know what? Who freaking cares? Blackhearts is the first book I’ve ever read that was completely wonderful to just read not necessarily because I couldn’t stop (although that’s also true) but because I truly enjoyed every word. To this day, I’m not certain what it is about Castroman’s novel that made me react this way, but about half way through I didn’t want the book to end. I was enjoying just reading the words too much to care what else was going to happen.
3. Teach and Anne are as lovable as Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett.
Again, I hesitated to utter this opinion aloud, especially to the blogging community, but then I figured, who freaking cares? Why do we love Darcy and Elizabeth? Who knows? The reasons are endless. The love story is timeless. Well, if you enjoyed watching those two fall hopelessly in love, then I feel that it is no spoiler in saying that watching Teach and Anne will be just as enjoyable and amusing. And this isn’t a spoiler because the official synopsis freaking says this:
From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.
If you can’t draw that conclusion from those sentences, then you haven’t read enough YA novels. I honestly can’t think of any love stories currently floating about the YA market that are quite like Teach and Anne’s.
Now, I can hear someone about to complain, saying that every YA book has to have a love story, and why do the male and female leads always have to fall in love, and blah blah blah. While I feel that claim is somewhat legitimate, I also feel that it also isn’t. There are definitely some novels that could benefit from a little less of it, and sometimes the love story is just there for the sake of having one. I don’t usually have a problem with that, but I know others do.
Lets take a step back now though and think about history and some of the greatest tales of our time. Love is a powerful emotion and can be found at the heart of many stories. Used correctly, a love story is the basis of a fantastic novel in any genre for any age group. Whether or not the actions are right or wrong, people have done and still do crazy things in the name of love. When this type of love story is the basis of your novel, executed correctly, it is the best motive you can give your characters. Teach and Anne fall into this latter category and I applaud Miss Castroman for it.