Blog Tour: Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills

Rating: 5 stars
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: ARC, from the publisher
Status: standalone
Links: First & Then review

A contemporary novel about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream leads her to new friends—and maybe even new love.

The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn't supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn't know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they're both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia's ever seen. As Claudia's world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.

Emma Mills vs Shakespeare: a gif'ed character analysis
When I was asked to take part in this tour for this spectacular book, I got to pick what I wanted, and since Foolish Hearts centers around a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream and since I adore both Emma's work and Shakespeare, I thought, what the heck! Let's do some character comparisons! And since I'm in major love with all of Emma's books and binge read all three in two weeks, I thought I'd throw in some for This Adventure Ends and First & Then because I'm extra like that. And then I added gifs because Shakespeare adaptations are my fave.

PS If this winds up in a paper someone writes in school, y'all better credit me, by golly. And if you need me to check your MLA citation formatting, let me know. ;)

Foolish Hearts
Claudia: Claudia is my Viola (Twelfth Night). But wait, Mary. Claudia doesn't dress up as her brother? Maybe not. But I think Claudia does have two different sides to her character. There's the side her family and bff Zoe see, and then there's the side she presents at school. She's also forced to participate in an activity she's not a fan of but learns to see (some) of the value of it and makes new friends along the way. Also, her ex is a complete tool who really hurt her, and it's made her not really want to open herself up. Plus there's an awkward bathroom scene at a fancy to-do.

me, every time I read an Emma Mills book

Gideon: Oh, Gideon. My sweet little cinnamon roll. It was tough to pick a character for Gideon, but in the end, I have chosen Orlando from As You Like It as the closest match. He is a noble character who everybody loves. He's brave, generous, witty, and kind. He's willing to make an idiot of himself when it's called for, and he'd risk his own life to save his brother. Gideon is not quite as lovesick as Orlando and definitely has a better education, but these two are two of my favorites.

Live look at Gideon flirting

Iris: Iris is the scorned lover Helena from A Midsummer Night's Dream. She's desperately in love with her ex, with whom she had an absolutely BRUTAL breakup. Like... BRUTAL. She's kind of a pain in the ass, but you grow to love her over time as she becomes more sure of herself and matures into a better person. She's also a pretty good friend.

This Adventure Ends
Sloane: Sloane is definitely saucy-tongued Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing. As we see from the very first scene, Sloane can absolutely eviscerate someone just using words and her wit, and that continues throughout the book. But just because she’s got a sharp wit and a quick tongue doesn’t mean she’s all hard. She’s actually got a soft interior and, when she opens herself up, is capable of being vulnerable, as demonstrated by her quest to find Gabe and Vera’s mother’s painting and taking care of Vera when she has a depressive episode.


Gabe: Like Gideon, Gabe was REALLY FREAKING HARD to figure out for me. Then I realized because Emma Mills's books are all romantic comedies, I was pretty much just using characters from Shakespeare's comedies. But Gideon is NOT a comedic character, and Shakespeare's comedies are not full of somewhat stoic broody boys. So I was looking in the wrong place. Once I knew where I'd gone wrong, it was absurdly easy to match him: Gabe is Hamlet, minus the tragic descent into insanity. Gabe is somewhat tortured by one parent's death and the other parent's betrayal of a hasty marriage. Also, Hamlet is prince of brooding, and Gabe is a champion brooder.

Hamlet & Gabe: totally over people

Vera: In the same vein as Gabe, Vera is my Ophelia. She's a lovely girl with great potential. She loves her family, especially her brother, and is a complete darling. However, sometimes she and Hamlet (Gabe) fight (although obviously they're siblings so it's not romantic like Hamlet & Ophelia) and Vera sometimes succumbs to her depression (but she handles it so much more healthily than Ophelia).

Sloane's dad: Sloane’s dad, the prolific Everett (aka Mike) Finch, is Nicholas Sparks meets Duke Senior (As You Like It) meets Puck (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and maybe a hint of King Lear. He’s been banished from his kingdom (New York) but is making the most of it.  He’s a bit of a prankster, but he also has a bit of a darker side as he battles mental illness and tries to regain his throne (aka writing).

This isn't really relevant here, but I love this line in the movie.
And I'm pretty sure it's accurate for a great deal of Emma's characters.

First & Then
Devon: Devon, like Sloane, is quite cheeky. I think she’s a lot like Katherine from Taming of the Shrew. I mean, she’s not exactly a shrew, but her over-it-ness does bring to mind Kat from one of the two great modern Shakespearean adaptations of our time: 10 Things I Hate About You. Like Katherine, she’s jealous of a younger relative (Foster) and is somewhat of a loner who feels out of place. Also like Katherine, by the end of the play, she has a future that she’s working toward, she has happiness, she has her family, and she even has the boy.

Ezra: I can’t say that Ezra is Petruchio from Taming of the Shrew because he is kind of a sexist douche, BUT I will say he has a lot in common with Petruchio’s 10 Things counterpart: Heath Leger’s swoony Patrick Verona. He’s cocky about his own abilities but he’s definitely a broody loner, and he’s hounded by rumors of his transfer to a new school. Did he sell his liver on the black market? Did he eat an entire duck for a dare? Did he transfer to school just to make his stats look more impressive? The real reason will warm your heart! Ezra might not be one for grand, romantic gestures like singing a song to you in front of the whole school, but he’ll give you dry clothes when you jump into his pool fully-clothed, and he’ll read a book you love just because he wants to know you better.

Ezra to Foster *crying forever*

I really really wanted to find a character to fit Foster, but nobody was a great fit. He's a bit derpy like Cameron from 10 Things (aka Lucentio from Taming), but that's about all they had in common. I determined that Foster is one of a kind. So instead, I found a match for Cas.

Cas: Cas, the somewhat fickle best guy friend, is absolutely Demetrius from Midsummer. He never really is interested in Devon until it looks like Devon might have feelings for someone else, and then Cas gets jealous and stupid when clearly HELENA (aka Lindsay) IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE YOU IDIOT. And he likes Helena, but he keeps getting distracted because he's kind of a dum dum like that. But then he gets his shit together in the end.

I leave you with these two gifs:

Purchase Links:

Tour Schedule:
December 5
Fire and Ice Reads – Author Guest Post

December 6

December 7
Ex Libris – Playlist

December 8
Fiction Fare – Mood Board

December 9
Mary Had a Little Book Blog – Shakespeare Theme

December 10
Brittany’s Book Rambles – Author Interview

December 11
The Fox’s Hideaway – Shakespeare Theme

December 12
Alexa Loves Books – Gift Guides for Gideon and Claudia

December 13
Lisa Lost In Lit – Bookish Inspiration Post

About the Author:
Emma Mills is the author of First & Then, This Adventure Ends, and Foolish Hearts known to her subscribers as vlogger Elmify. She is also cocreator and cohost of the "life skills" channel How to Adult, which ended in 2016.. She lives in Indianapolis, where she is currently pursuing a PhD in cell biology.

Author Links:

I'm giving away a copy of Foolish Hearts to one lucky reader for my 5 year blogiversary! Details here


  1. I adored Gideon so much! I wanted to shake Claudia and tell her to open her eyes!!! Fun review!

    1. Gideon is so sweet and precious! I know it's easy to say that about Claudia, at times I wanted to shake her too, but I also totally understand how the hurt that her ex placed on her made her feel cautious and want to avoid the vulnerability of giving Gideon a chance at first.

  2. MARY. I LOVE THIS POST! I haven't read all the stories referenced (like First and Then and Midsummer), but I totally agree about the ones I do know. Gideon as Orlando? YES YES. Gabe and Vera are also really great comparisons. This was fun!

    1. THANK YOU, HOLLY! It was so much work to figure all these out but totally worth it. I'm so glad you like it! Shakespeare buffs ftw!

  3. Ooh, I hate mandatory participation--and with a mean girl! It sounds good!

  4. Hi!!! I want to read it!! I hope I don't have to wait much to be able to read it.

  5. This wasn't even on my radar until reading your review. So cute.

  6. This sounds so great. I've yet to read anything by Emma Mills yet, but want to after your review of This Adventure Ends. Fun post, thanks for sharing.

  7. Oooh these are such good matches! I wish I knew Shakespeare a bit better but I can tell from your descriptions that you're spot on. And Ezra as Patrick Verona, yessss! Totally!

  8. Such a fun entry on the blog tour! I didn't know this book until I saw people getting it on the December Owlcrate, and I was like... THAT COVER! But then I read it's a contemporary romance, and I live for those books, so I'll probably pick Foolish hearts up very soon! Also, I'll probably come back here once I finish it, because your comparisons were so fun, and I want to get to know the characters to see and judge ahaha