Henry Hamlet’s Heart

Rhiannon Wilde

Henry Hamlet's Heart
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Henry Hamlet’s Heart

Rhiannon Wilde

I’m losing it because I kissed you / Because I kissed you I might lose you.

Henry Hamlet doesn’t know what he wants after school ends. It’s his last semester of year twelve and all he’s sure of is his uncanny ability to make situations awkward. Luckily, he can always hide behind his enigmatic best friend, Len. They’ve been friends since forever, but where Len is mysterious, Henry is clumsy; where Len is a heart-throb, Henry is a neurotic mess. Somehow it’s always worked.

That is, until Henry falls. Hard. For the last person he imagined.

From an exciting debut author comes this passionate story of growing up, letting go, and learning how to love.

Review

A drunken game of truth or dare. Secret wishes tossed into a campfire. The last days of Year 12. A kiss.

Rhiannon Wilde’s YA debut, Henry Hamlet’s Heart, is a gorgeous queer love story set amidst the sun-soaked streets of Brisbane. It’s a story about two childhood best friends falling into feelings they didn’t know they had – and falling hard. One of the boys is the awkward, introspective, basically-just-a-mess Henry Hamlet and the other is Len, effortlessly cool, charmingly aloof, everything Henry isn’t. They’ve been friends for as long as they can remember, but things are different during their last year of high school. The air is charged with something new.

Wilde’s writing immediately drew me in with its deft combination of humour, heart and lyrical dialogue. The story is tinged with a persistent haze of warm nostalgia, as if every moment is a faded polaroid hidden away in the attic. Some moments are joyful, others are heartbreaking, some are just hilarious, but each one perfectly captures the peaks and valleys of teenage romance.

I fell in love with Wilde’s world of richly drawn characters, especially the achingly complex Henry and Len. I desperately wanted the best for both of them, hanging on to every word; half of me itching to know what happened next, the other half copying out yet another stunningly beautiful sentence to put on my wall. If you’re looking for something new to warm your heart this winter, look no further than this brilliant summer romance. For ages 14+.


Joe Murray works as a bookseller at Readings Kids.

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