Instructions for a Second-Hand Heart

Jonny isn’t like normal teenagers. Every day he wakes up in a hospital, kept alive by a machine. Every day he wonders if this is the day they’ll find a donor match for his heart. Every day he wonders if this is the day he’ll die. 

Everyday Niamh fights with her perfect brother, Leo. Every single day, Leo wins. Everyday Niamh dreams of a life without Leo but all that changes on the day of the accident. 

The day everything falls apart. 

I found Jonny’s character to be very adorable and it only adds a bonus point to his cuteness when I discovered that he was also into X-men and comic books.

The characters are realistic and I enjoyed seeing things from Niamh’s perspective. (I’m still a bit unsure as to how you pronounce her name.)

Her conflicting thoughts and emotions regarding her brother are relatable, especially if you grew up in a house full of sisters. Siblings are almost always are each other’s throats. 

The author, Tamsyn Murray, did her best to make the book as real and medically authentic as possible and I applaud her for all her research and hard work.
The story moves at a comfortable pace and I don’t think I’ve found anything worth nit-picking. I will admit that there were times when Niamh’s character would annoy me a little and I thought that she was acting a bit immature.

I had to keep reminding myself that she was a fifteen-year-old girl and that fifteen-year-olds are not the most mature people in the world. I mean, I tried doing a karate kick in a long, tight skirt when I was fifteen and that wasn’t my smartest decision. My back still slightly hurts every now and then…

I did get emotional at the end because the book reminded me of my little brother who had passed away and I missed him while reading Instructions for a Second-Hand Heart. The book reminded me of hospitals and anxious hours and nights where the seconds would seem to drag on.

I really appreciate the research that the author put into all this just so she wanted to get it right so that she could get the feelings and the emotions of the people involved right. 

This book is a good read and I urge you guys to check it out too. If you want to get yourself a copy, you can do so at Liberty Books website or even better, if you live in Pakistan, you get free nationwide shipping.

Thank you so much for reading my review and I hope that you enjoyed it.


This Blog has been sent to us by Sarah Wazir. She blogs at


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