Finding Hero by Diana L. Sharples

The Synopsis:

Daniella Cooper just wants to audition for a lead role in her new school’s production of Much Ado About Nothing—not because she has something to prove, but because she wants to remember who she is. She doesn’t expect much competition from these small-town students in the Appalachian town of Quincy, North Carolina. She also doesn’t expect that performing alongside gorgeous Ethan Hardwick could get her into so much trouble.

Devon Jones just wants to play high school baseball and graduate next year, and get his life back on track after running with some of the wrong people. But when his cousin is arrested along with one of the Hardwick boys, and his Cherokee grandmother confesses that there’s blood on her hands, it seems his own family may be holding him back.

A severe storm washes out land on the Cooper farm to reveal human remains, and Devon and Daniella are thrust together, rather unwillingly, to discover details of a fifty-year-old murder case—details that could send loved ones to jail, as well as uncover the secrets to Devon’s heritage.

I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.


Finding HeroIntriguing and mysterious from the beginning, Finding Hero is YA story to remember!

There are so many dynamic aspects to the story of Dani and Devon. We have a mystery to solve involving an old murder, family feuds, high school drama, history and information on the Cherokees, and a Shakespeare play. I love the hints of how Devon and Dani’s stories are tied together from the beginning and the suspense was well placed to build the tension. Though some of the plot was predictable, there were other aspects that were surprising.

I really liked the characters as well. Dani, a misfit in the Cherokee community, is known as the “rich, city girl” and hates being there just as much as everyone seems to hate having her there, though she’s not really sure why. Devon is a sweetheart who got in with the wrong crowd and is desperately trying to “clean up his act” since he’s become a believer in Jesus, but a reputation like that is hard to shake, especially when his family only tells him to “be realistic”. They both have flawed, broken pasts, but the way the “grow up” and learn from their mistakes makes them excellent characters.

The only thing that threw the story off a little bit for me was the similarities in both Dani and Devon’s home life. Even though they come from different backgrounds, both of their mom’s had very similar personalities, there was some tension with father figures (or a lack of), and both had difficulties in their houses as main obstacles. The similarities, though minor, made it difficult for me to remember which parts of the story belonged to which character, until I finally got the hang of it after several chapters.

But overall, I really enjoyed Finding Hero. It was clean, encouraging, and a good mystery. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and look forward to more books from this author.

Goodreads | Amazon


4 stars

About Diana L. Sharples

Diana SharplesWith a degree in art, combined with a love for storytelling, Diana Sharples has won numerous awards for both her art and her writing. She writes clean, contemporary young adult fiction. Her first novel, Running Lean, was published in 2013 by Harper Collins. In 2015, her publishing was temporarily derailed by a battle against cancer, but she’s back in 2018 with five new books, including the long-awaited sequel to Running Lean.
Diana’s writing is inspired by the people and landscape of the south, especially North Carolina and Georgia. She is a wife and mom, a follower of Jesus Christ, a lover of many pets, and an avid motorcycle rider. Her happy place is the teal and burgundy she-shed that she finished and decorated by herself to become her office and art studio. And one of her greatest joys in life is watching her daughter-a recent college graduate–dance on stage.

Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

Rayleigh is a Sophomore in college with a major in Accounting and long-term goal of being a CPA. She is an avid reader of all genres, and just as much of her time is spent writing as it is reading. She is the Associate Editor and Web Manager for PURSUE Magazine, in addition to posting her monthly articles on their blog. Rayleigh interns for Hartline Literary Agency where she advises authors in the best way to market their books. She is also a Social Media Manager for various businesses.

Her writing pseudonym is Rae Leigh and she is in the process of seeking publication for her Dystopian novella, Program MIRA.