Fred Venturini’s sci-fi meets superhero debut novel The Heart Does Not Grow Back tells the story of Dale Sampson, a regular high school guy who has become pretty used to being in the shadow of his best friend, Mack. Dale is sure that his intelligence and brain power will make up for what he lacks in charisma in high school. One day, though, tragedy strikes and Dale loses the girl he might have had a shot with, but discovers something that can just not be possible: he can re-grow his body parts. (I’m picturing skele-gro without the potion).
Dale begins to push his abilities to the limit when he encounters a girl from the past, and the reader goes on a whirlwind journey with Dale in what is all at once a coming-of-age story, a superhero story, a sci-fi story and, maybe most importantly, a story of friendship. Though it wasn’t my usual type of book, I enjoyed this from start to finish. I couldn’t wait to see what would become of Dale and his mysteriously re-appearing body parts, his struggle to make with peace with his “gift,” and of course, his discovery of whether or not the heart can grow back (spoiler alert, it’s in the title 😉 )
If you’re into sci-fi or not, I definitely recommend checking out The Heart Does Not Grow Back, it’s a genre-bending novel that was like nothing else I’ve ever read, with a story and characters that stick in your head long after the book ends!
Win a copy of The Heart Does Not Grow Back! Thanks to Picador and TLC Book Tours!
About the author:
Fred Venturini grew up in Patoka, Illinois. The Heart Does Not Grow Back is his first novel. His short fiction has been published in the Booked Anthology, Noir at the Bar 2, and Surreal South ’13. In 2014, his story “Gasoline” will be featured in Chuck Palahniuk’s Burnt Tongues collection. He lives in Southern Illinois with his wife and daughter.
If you could have any super power, what would it be? Would you ever want to be able to re-grow a limb?