Review: The Importance of Being Wilde at Heart by R. Zamora Linmark

I really wanted to like The Importance of Being Wilde at Heart, but I feel like I got a very different book than I expected. That made this book really disappointing to me.

The Importance of Being Wilde at Heart CoverWords have always been more than enough for Ken Z, but when he meets Ran at the mall food court, everything changes. Beautiful, mysterious Ran opens the door to a number of firsts for Ken: first kiss, first love. But as quickly as he enters Ken’s life, Ran disappears, and Ken Z is left wondering: Why love at all, if this is where it leads?

Letting it end there would be tragic. So, with the help of his best friends, the comfort of his haikus and lists, and even strange, surreal appearances by his hero, Oscar Wilde, Ken will find that love is worth more than the price of heartbreak. (Goodreads)Goodreads

I received an eARC of The Importance of Being Wilde at Heart from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was recommended for readers of Adam Silvera and Elizabeth Acevedo, so I expected beautiful, heartfelt prose in a contemporary fiction story.  With that being said, I did get these things. Sort of.

I did not finish this book because I got two-thirds of the way through it and still was wildly confused about whether this was taking place in our world or not. Our characters live in North and South Kristol, which felt like Korea analogues, but where the only class we really saw was English literature.

It dealt with a lot of heavy topics, but never really brought them anywhere close to a full circle for me. The prose was absolutely stunning and there was a sweet romance at the heart of it, but it just didn’t work for me at all.

Overall, I can’t recommend The Importance of Being Wilde at Heart because it just didn’t make sense.


Title: The Importance of Being Wilde at Heart

Author: R. Zamora Linmark

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Length: 352 Pages

Release Date: August 13, 2019

Rating: Not Recommended

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Representation: Filipino author, queer man main character, queer man love interest


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