Ella, Lou, Issey, Liane and Paige are determined to make the most of this second year at uni. They want to have fun, but they want to focus on work. There’s no time for relationships. Except with each other. And even that’s not guaranteed. Ella and Lou have always been close, but there’s tension between Issey and Liane, and none of them even knows Paige all that well.
But when Ella finds a magazine article with a list of men they should date before they’re 21 (someone who’s been on telly? Check; someone who’s got tattoos? Check;) they vow to complete the list before finishing university and set about it with a lot more enthusiasm than they do their studies … but will any of them end up with a full house? And when a secret from their first year comes out, it looks as if some of them might not be completing university, never mind the list …
MY HEART GOES BANG is about lectures, essays, hangovers, and flatmates; it’s about found families, finding yourself, and falling in love with people you never expected to fall in love with.
I picked this book up after hearing Keris talk at the diversity panel at YALC this year as it sounded like something I’d really enjoy. She spoke very eloquently about writing a romance which focused on f/f and how even though it was an important part of their identity, it was not their only identity and how it should not differ from any other romance. Hearing her speak about this and how much I agreed with her, I couldn’t pick this up to read as I knew I was going to love it – and I was right!
This book is set as the 5 girls – Ella, Lou, Issey, Liane and Paige – move into a house together for second year of university and it follows their year as they become closer friends, whilst dealing with their own personal battles and secrets, friendships, relationships and just general uni life.
This book was a great lighthearted read that was super cute and fun to read. Not only is there LGBTQ+ rep, but the book is very sex positive and all 5 girls the book focuses on are fantastic and talk openly about sexuality and sex which is great. The book focuses particularly on a “fuck it list” – a list of people someone should sleep with – someone with tattoos, someone who can’t speak the same language as you, someone twice your age, etc. This makes the book quite a lighthearted and funny book, but also in places deals with more serious issues. I particularly liked how I related to so many parts of their story – struggling financially at uni, family and friendship problems, but also the general experience of uni I thought was captured so accurately. I can’t say I have a famous brother though like Ella, eh?!
I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for a quick read which has fantastic characters and just a fun plot. This was my first Keris Stainton book I’ve read and I can’t wait to read more!