Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Best Paige In The Book Review: The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

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When I looked up An American Marriage by Tayari Jones on Amazon, The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin was listed as a book that readers also read. Since I loved An American Marriage so much (read my review here), I figured The Queen of Hearts would be a good one to check out as well. It seemed like a lighter read after such a heavy topic in An American Marriage, so I dove right in. Overall, it was a good read that didn't take too long to get through.

This book focuses on the friendship between Emma and Zadie, both of whom are doctors, and a secret from their past that threatens to upend their friendship and possibly their medical careers. Zadie works as a pediatric cardiologist, and Emma is a trauma surgeon. They met at a summer camp for science in their youth and became fast friends. Emma and Zadie went to medical school together where they expanded their friend group and started relationships while working to become doctors. During their third year of medical school, Zadie falls for chief resident Nick Xenokostas, and they start seeing each other. The charming and charismatic Nick is only more attractive because Zadie's relationship with him has to be kept secret. However, tragedy from that year causes an unexpected end to the relationship. Zadie and Emma have since moved on from that year in medical school and settled down in Charlotte, North Carolina where their lives revolve around medical careers, their friendship, their husbands, and their children. The friends are happy with where they are in life- that is, until Nick reappears and takes a job working alongside Emma during a plight in her career. Nick's reappearance causes the friends to re-examine what really happened during their third year of medical school, threatens to unearth old secrets, and puts Emma and Zadie's friendship in jeopardy. Will the secrets come out and ruin an age-old friendship?

This book was very well thought-out. If you're a fan of Grey's Anatomy, then this is definitely something you'll enjoy. Martin tells the story from the perspectives of both Zadie and Emma, and she also jumps around in time to tell her characters' stories as the past weaves itself into the present. Martin, who is a doctor herself, utilizes her education and experience to create a very believable environment for her characters and their lives.  There was a lot of medical terminology that I was thankful Martin took the time to spell out for those of us who try to avoid hospitals at all costs. The writing came off as intellectual and at times almost pretentious. Overall, I felt this added to the credibility of Martin's characters as doctors.

I enjoyed reading this book. I wanted something that was more fictional and removed from my problems or the problems of the world, and this book hit the mark. Reading about Zadie's relationship with Nick made me reminisce on my own choices that maybe weren't the best, but felt so exhilarating in the moment that I didn't care. The friendship between Zadie and Emma was also heartwarming. Watching all the emotions the characters experienced play out proved to be an entertaining read.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Favorite Quotes:
  • "With him, I was a more vivid version of myself."
  • "All you need to do to believe anything is surround yourself with a herd of like-minded reinforcers, and there’s no need for objective reality at all."
  • "How often in life did you meet someone whose presence caused you to blaze into an immediate erotic meltdown every single time you saw them? Every glance between us was charged; every utterance, every physical contact, no matter how slight, seemed to rearrange the very molecules of the air around us into incandescent conductors of longing. No wonder people used heat metaphors to describe passion."
  • "This feeling was why people got addicted to heroin, why people risked everything for affairs, why people jumped from airplanes . . . this rush of being as completely alive as it is possible to be, a honey-thick ecstasy coursing through your veins."
  • "It left me so vulnerable, this perception of myself as an impostor. I was brittle and rude sometimes, trying to overcome the ache of pretending."
  • "I was older; my life had irrevocably changed. My younger self had thrived on intensity, but now I knew the bottomless, elementary pull of love for my husband and children. I should no longer want to be consumed by the sun when I could bask safely in the glow of the moon."
  • "The way he looked at me was unsettling: a rapacious gaze, too familiar, still somehow electrifying after the passage of years."
  • “Your past is set, but your future is wide open,”

I recommend this book. The plot is engaging and plays out like a medical drama. I was eagerly page turning until the end. You can get this book here on Amazon. Let me know what you think!

Make today the best page yet,

(All images and text reprinted with permission from Penguin Random House LLC)


  1. I have never tried a medical drama before, so I might give this a shot!

    1. It was a new one for me too! Definitely worth a read!

  2. I really like the sound of the Queen of Hearts. I love dramatic books full of twists and turns that make me want to continue reading. Thank you for the review x

  3. Interesting and informative review. Just one question really, is the 3 stars out of 5 or 10?


  4. I haven't read The Queen of Hearts before but wow! The story sounds crazy! Wow, a man really did come between them. It is great that you enjoyed it overall. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the book!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  5. Ooh this sounds good. Normally I'd be unsure if the writing comes across as pretentious but it sounds like it works this time. Great review!

    Lindsey | https://aramblingreviewer.wordpress.com/

    1. Normally that kind of writing isn't my thing either, but it definitely worked here!