Thursday, November 20, 2014

Blog Tour (Review & Giveaway): The Heart Does Not Grow Back by Fred Venturini

Title: The Heart Does Not Grow Back
Fred Venturini
Publisher: Picador (Macmillan)
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Acquired Via: TLC Book Tours


Dale Sampson is used to being a nonperson at his small-town Midwestern high school, picking up the scraps of his charismatic lothario of a best friend, Mack. He comforts himself with the certainty that his stellar academic record and brains will bring him the adulation that has evaded him in high school. But when an unthinkable catastrophe tears away the one girl he ever had a chance with, his life takes a bizarre turn as he discovers an inexplicable power: He can regenerate his organs and limbs.

When a chance encounter brings him face to face with a girl from his past, he decides that he must use his gift to save her from a violent husband and dismal future. His quest takes him to the glitz and greed of Hollywood, and into the crosshairs of shadowy forces bent on using and abusing his gift. Can Dale use his power to redeem himself and those he loves, or will the one thing that finally makes him special be his demise? The Heart Does Not Grow Back is a darkly comic, starkly original take on the superhero tale, introducing an exceptional new literary voice in Fred Venturini.

My Review

I don't read too many "superhero" books, but I have always liked the idea of those that are not really traditional. The Heart Does Not Grow Back sounded like Spider-man, but more realistic, so I jumped at the chance to read it.

I jumped way too quickly.

That's not to say that The Heart Does Not Grow Back isn't a good book. I only read the first part, but it definitely read like a contemporary novel that just got darker and darker. Unfortunately, there's a pretty brutal rape scene, and that is one of my automatic "kill cards" for a book. I don't care how brief a scene is, I just have to step away from the book.

I did skip some pages and finish the chapter. I read the next one, too, for good measure. However, I just couldn't keep going. I'm sure The Heart Does Not Grow Back goes on to be a lovely book, but it's just not for me.

If you like superhero stories and can grit your teeth and get through a teenage girl getting savaged with a .44 Magnum, give The Heart Does Not Grow Back a try. It certainly shows the human element of the man behind the super powers.

- DNF -

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million

About the Author

Fred Venturini grew up in Patoka, Illinois. 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.

Find Fred Online
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Follow the Tour

The Heart Does Not Grow Back Tour Schedule

Monday, October 13th
Benni’s Bookbiters

Tuesday, October 14th
Books a la Mode
– author guest post

Wednesday, October 15th
Read a Latte

Thursday, October 16th
Benni’s Bookbiters
- an unofficial soundtrack

Monday, October 20th
Bell, Book & Candle

Wednesday, October 22nd
My Shelf Confessions
– Wonderfully Wicked Read-A-Thon Giveaway

Thursday, October 23rd
Saints and Sinners

Monday, October 27th
A Fantastical Librarian

Wednesday, October 29th
In Bed with Books

Tuesday, November 4th

Thursday, November 6th
Sweet Southern Home

Friday, November 7th
The Steadfast Reader

Monday, November 10th
Fourth Street Review

Monday, November 10th
Guiltless Reading

Tuesday, November 11th

Wednesday, November 12th
From the TBR Pile

Thursday, November 13th
More Than Just Magic

Friday, November 14th
The Feminist Texican [Reads]

Monday, November 17th
A Book Geek

Thursday, November 20th
Bibliophilia, Please

Monday, November 24th
Tiffany’s Bookshelf

Book Marks the Spot


Thanks to our wonderful friends behind the tour, I have a copy of The Heart Does Not Grow Back up for grabs. To enter to win, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

US & Canada ONLY
Ends at 12:01am EST on December 1st

a Rafflecopter giveaway
To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a copy of the novel from the publisher through TLC Book Tours in exchange for an unbiased review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.


  1. I can't wait to read this book! I have heard wonderful things about it, and the premise is really intriguing. Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. This story sounds intense. Good luck in the giveaway!

  2. I'm sorry that you weren't able to finish this book but thanks for being a part of the tour.


You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!