Henry Hamlet’s Heart

Charlesbridge. Oct. 2022. 336p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781623543693.
Gr 9 Up–Henry Hamlet, senior at Northolm Grammar School for Boys, is the school captain and a force on the debate team but does not know what the future holds for him after high school. Sometimes, the only thing he feels good at is making any social situation awkward. His best friend, Len, is the opposite: bold, athletic, and an enigma in the relationship department. When a game of truth or dare leads to Len and Henry kissing, Henry realizes he may have feelings deeper than friendship. When Len, who struggles with commitment, reciprocates some of those feelings, Henry is faced with the fear of losing his best friend forever. A nice debut that starts slowly but picks up momentum in Part 2 as Henry and Len’s relationship is explored more deeply. The protagonist, Henry, is easy to sympathize with as he navigates his feelings throughout. However, the real standout character is Len, whose complexity equals or surpasses Henry’s. The side characters added some humor to the story, but not a lot of dimension, although Henry’s grandma is charming as she prepares for her wedding to her girlfriend. Overall, Henry is the character that readers will want to see come out on top. Characters are cued white.
VERDICT This sweet queer best friends fall in love story is perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli.

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