Heartsickby Caitlin Sinead (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Published by Carina Press on February 16, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Diseases, Illnesses & Injuries, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Social Issues, Suspense
Source: Borrowed From Library
Amazon • Goodreads
Quinn is looking forward to her senior year at Poe University. She has big plans to hang out with her best friend, flirt with a certain boy genius, party at her favorite dive bar and figure out what she's going to do after graduation with her not-so-useful art major. But that's before she meets Luke, a hot townie who's moved back home to help take care of his dying sister. And it's before a weird epidemic sweeps across campus, mysteriously turning people's eyes purple.
Is it an odd side effect from a new party drug?
Is it a rogue virus developed in a campus lab?
Is it the mark of the devil?
Soon the town starts blaming the university and the student religious group becomes frighteningly aggressive in their on-campus accusations. Quinn and Luke are caught in the middle—until a tragic accident forces Luke to reveal the one part of himself he's kept carefully hidden. That he's so much more than the happy-go-lucky boy next door Quinn had believed him to be isn't a surprise…but this truth might be too dangerous for her to handle.
Heartsick focuses on how a town deals with an epidemic that sweeps through a college campus, looking through the eyes of college senior and art major Quinn. When her roommate Mandy develops lavender colored eyes after the two girls attend a frat party, the hopes of this strange occurrence being an isolated incidence are quickly dashed as this strange affliction quickly spreads throughout campus.
A small university inside a town that holds some resentful people
Poe University is your typical small university, and Quinn is trying to finish up her senior year. She goes to class, practices her dancing and painting, and hangs out at her favorite town bar with her best friend Mandy and Mandy’s grad student boyfriend and his friend Rashid. But Quinn doesn’t take the verbal abuse of a grieving townie sister who lost a sibling when a college sister accidentally killed them a year earlier lightly, and she tries to get along with everyone. But then a new guy comes into the bar, and he shows interest in Quinn despite the fact that she’s a college student.
A relationship between a commitment-phobe and one who only wants a commitment?
Quinn has a lot of mystery about her that she just doesn’t share with anyone, especially the hot new townie, Luke, that is interested in her. But Luke has a few things of his own that he won’t divulge since he doesn’t want to scare Quinn off. Quinn is laid back and friendly, but she’s fiercely loyal to her friends. She’s not looking to be tied down when she’s going to be graduating and moving on from Poe University soon.
Luke escaped the small town life and left for college as soon as he could, but a family crisis has brought him back. He doesn’t do anything by half measures and he’s very protective of his family and those he chooses to bring inside his circle. Quinn’s non-committal way about things drives him crazy, and it has him working overtime to keep her safe from the religious zealots and the rambunctious townsfolk that threaten Quinn once she’s caught the purple-eyed plaque.
A disease that gives you purple eyes…and something else…
While the sickness spread through the college population, a quarantine was placed on the town. This angered the citizens of the town while the doctors and scientists could find how this disease spreads, and more importantly, what effects it has on the hosts. Mandy and Quinn don’t show any effects of sickness except for purple eyes, and accelerated healing. This is one of the weaknesses of Heartsick, and the lack of exploration of the disease was a little disappointing. Maybe the author is leaving this for another book.
I give Heartsick a 3.5 out of 5. While the writing is overall enjoyable, nicely written, and flows nicely, there were a lot of things that just weren’t fleshed out enough–like Quinn’s aversion to guns and her lack of an explanation to Luke about it, for example. The narrative is more character driven than plot driven, which made the book fast-paced and suspenseful.