I Hate Piñatas Surviving Life’s Unexpected Surprises Review


Surviving Life’s Unexpected Surprises

A Memoir


Heather Maloy

Heart surgery doesn’t happen in a vacuum. This is what Heather Maloy learned first-hand when her son, Colman, was diagnosed in utero with a combination of congenital heart defects which are fatal without surgical intervention. I Hate Piñatas is a compelling story of hope and strength that vacillates between heartbreaking and outrageously funny as Maloy takes you through what three heart surgeries in three years looked like for one family.

Author’s Note: I Hate Piñatas is not an inspirational book, but rather a true and honest account of what we went through as a family. In my quest to keep it real, there are curse words contained within the story. However, it’s my hope that this book will leave you feeling inspired.


Awards won by I HATE PINATAS
  • 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards’ Gold Medalist – Best Adult Non-Fiction E-Book
  • Honorable Mention in the 2015 San Francisco Book Festival
  • 2015 Indie Excellence Awards’ Finalist – Memoir.

Kirkus Review

Maloy bares her heart (and sometimes her teeth) in an honest debut that’s both snarky and sweet.

It’s hard to imagine that a memoir about a baby with a rare heart defect could make readers laugh. But that’s what “Crazy Heart Mama” Maloy’s blunt South Texas voice does. Sometimes her irreverent humor feels more like whistling in the dark; e.g., when first finding out that something could be wrong with her baby, she sadly wonders if he’ll be a “bobblehead.” Other times, her gritty humor is a pressure valve releasing stress, albeit in a juvenile way, such as when she felt like telling her mother-in-law to “go eat a giant bag of dicks.” And there are a few startling admissions; for example, when sick baby Colman wouldn’t sleep, she almost called him a “little fucker.” But honesty is the beauty of Maloy’s to-the-point voice. What sleep-deprived mom hasn’t fantasized—even with a healthy baby—about handing her screaming bundle of poop to somebody else for eight hours? The fact is that when Colman was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and a leaky valve, Maloy rolled up her sleeves and became his biggest advocate. Describing Colman’s condition as being born with “half a heart,” Maloy adroitly details the excruciating choices she and her husband had to make. None of the options were good. The author’s brusque voice may make some readers flinch—at times, even her family thought she was cold—but there’s no doubt that she dearly loves her son. Whether it was caring for Colman’s bloody hernia, being covered in projectile vomit, or waiting through surgery during which her baby would be clinically dead, Maloy’s well-written, heart-rending story spares no detail.

A heartbreaking, inspirational account.

Heather Maloy works full-time as a court reporter in district court and writes sporadically on her blog, Crazy Heart Mama.

She lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband, three boys, and their dog Buster, who doesn’t seem to mind that none of his people are dog people.

When the opportunity came up to review I Hate Piñatas: Surviving Life’s Unexpected Surprises, I knew that I had to jump on it. I spent a good portion of my life dealing with heart issues, especially when I was younger, and was eager to see how my story and Maloy’s story were similar. I have to say, the thing I loved most about this book is how honest Maloy was with her emotions. Maloy didn’t try to sugar coat any of it and wasn’t afraid to use curse words when needed. I remember being younger and my parents worrying about me and my condition and it truly takes a lot of a parent. I can vaguely remember the tears during doctor appointments or on days when I just wasn’t do the best. As I got older, my parents would later tell me of how they felt during these times and it was heartbreaking to hear that they felt that way, but it was interesting to see how Maloy had felt the same way in her situation. Now, don’t go thinking that this memoir is just going to make you sad and cry. Yes, you will feel sad and probably cry at parts, but Maloy finds a way to add humor to it, which despite the awful circumstances Maloy and her family faced, one can always find humor.

I am giving I Hate Piñatas: Surviving Life’s Unexpected Surprises 5/5 starrs, for being a beautifully done memoir of what it is like for a parent and a family to struggle with a child facing heart issues. I’ve tried reading other memoirs or short stories on this subject, but I Hate  Piñatas to be my favorite and most relatable.

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