April 29, 2013

Hearts on Fire by Jill Iscol and Peter W. Cookson Jr.

**This review is part of the Amazon Vine Program**

I love the idea of this book but wasn't as fond of the execution. Any book about people out there doing good is sure to draw me in, and it doesn't take much to keep me hooked, but this one I had some trouble with.

Hearts on Fire takes the stories of fourteen different people (three are combined into one story) and tells what they are doing to change the world. It ranges from working in the medical field, helping provide education in the prison system, to many other acts of charity and volunteerism and organizations that the people interviewed are either in or have founded. It starts with an overview of what the person is doing, and then allows the person to tell you what their inspiration is in their own words.

I didn't really feel connected to any of the people in this book. They are all doing amazing things but it was kind of lost in translation. Some of the people weren't native speakers of English so their narratives were rambling and hard to see the real person in them. Still, they are all doing wonderful things and are very inspirational in that they want to help people. It was the total theme across the book and all of these people must be wonderful and caring to do what they do. I'm sure it was tough to just pick out the few that were in this book with all the other people doing amazing things in the world.

The format of the book is what made it tough. As said before, the visionaries parts, in their own words, were rambling and hard to follow and at times I was confused as to what they were actually doing to help people. If it weren't for the short introduction at the beginning of each chapter I would have been completely lost. The introductions were extremely well written and a pleasure to read. And each chapter was so short. This is a brief book to begin with, but I would have loved to learn more about each charity and each person and more on their goal in general. I did appreciate the links to the different charities and sites related to the person's goals at the end of each chapter. It was a way to do more research and I learned about some charities I'd never even heard of before. And there were plenty of nice pictures so you could see the people they were talking about and maps of the different regions they worked in.

This was an interesting book and it had a lot of good points, but I wish it was more reader friendly. It could do a lot more for the causes if it were a more engaging book. But for those that love to read about people making a difference, it will still be a good read.

Hearts on Fire
Copyright 2012
137 pages

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