The Faint of Heart (Paperback)
July/August 2023 Kids Indie Next List
“In this world, June is the only person left with a heart; when she finds an abandoned one, she starts a quest to put hearts back into others. A metaphorical story about the importance of feeling and connection, with absolutely gorgeous art.”
— Melissa Fox, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, KS
“Beautiful, tender, and relevant. Full of mystery, and not surprisingly, full of heart.”—Tillie Walden, award-winning author of Spinning
What would you do if you were the only person left with a heart? The only person left who felt anything at all? Would you give in to the pressure to conform? Or would you protect your heart at all costs? Part Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and part Severance, this debut teen graphic novel is a vivid and haunting read for fans of Nimona and This One Summer.
Not that long ago, the Scientist discovered that all sadness, anxiety, and anger disappeared when you removed your heart. And that's all it took. Soon enough, the hospital had lines out the door—even though the procedure numbed the good feelings, too.
Everyone did it. Everyone except high school student June. But now the pressure, loneliness, and heartache are mounting, and it’s becoming harder and harder to be the only one with a heart.
One day, June comes across an abandoned heart in a jar. The heart in the jar intrigues her, it baffles her, and it brings her hope. But the heart also brings her Max, a classmate with a secret of his own.
And it may rip June’s own heart in two.
Part speculative fiction and part cautionary tale, The Faint of Heart is a moving and ethereal debut that questions morality and the feelings that seem too big to contain.
“Beautiful, tender, and relevant. Full of mystery, and not surprisingly, full of heart.” — Tillie Walden, award-winning author of Spinning
“June lives in a future in which a reclusive Scientist has pioneered a procedure to remove hearts, thus eliminating all ‘sadness, anxiety, and anger.’ The downside is that it numbs pleasurable feelings, too. . . . The artwork effectively sets the scene, with bursts of color popping throughout an otherwise black-and-white landscape, reflecting the monochromatic, heartless reality of June’s world. . . . A fast-paced dip into the possibility of a world without human emotions.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Wilson cultivates a gripping tale in which teenage June is the last person on earth with a heart in this speculative graphic novel debut. After an enigmatic figure known only as the Scientist pioneers a heart-removal surgery that promises to free patients from negative emotions, what’s left behind is a world populated by emotionless drones. . . . This introspective read tackles issues surrounding the experience of navigating difficult emotions.” — Publishers Weekly
“In this dystopian world, society is upended by a scientist’s discovery that every difficult emotion humans experience could be immediately wiped out by simply removing a person’s heart. . . . . Wilson is an exceptional artist, and this striking graphic novel progresses through her detailed, angular drawings as much as it does through the trim text. The precise use of color is effective, highlighting June’s isolation that is also her most precious held truth about herself—her heart sparks color, and the swirling mix of negative feelings is worth it for the radiance of the good ones.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Sisters June and Maya bond over art and enjoy each other’s company until Maya has her heart removed, a routine procedure in their society. After that, she can no longer feel emotions and concentrates only on her other studies. . . . The graphic novel’s art is outstanding. . . . Wilson makes a strong statement about the importance of art and emotions in society.” — School Library Journal