Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review: The Book of Broken Hearts

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

Publication Date: May 21st, 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary
Amazon/Barnes and Noble
When all signs point to heartbreak, can love still be a rule of the road? A poignant and romantic novel from the author of Bittersweet and Twenty Boy Summer.

Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notorious heartbreakers. She’s seen the tears and disasters that dating a Vargas boy can cause, and she swore an oath—with candles and a contract and everything—to never have anything to do with one.

Now Jude is the only sister still living at home, and she’s spending the summer helping her ailing father restore his vintage motorcycle—which means hiring a mechanic to help out. Is it Jude’s fault he happens to be cute? And surprisingly sweet? And a Vargas?

Jude tells herself it’s strictly bike business with Emilio. Her sisters will never find out, and Jude can spot those flirty little Vargas tricks a mile away—no way would she fall for them. But Jude’s defenses are crumbling, and if history is destined to repeat itself, she’s speeding toward some serious heartbreak…unless her sisters were wrong?

Jude may have taken an oath, but she’s beginning to think that when it comes to love, some promises might be worth breaking. 


This novel was powerful and well-written, however, the book didn't stand out from all the other contemporaries. I will try some more Sarah Ockler, as this book did have some good parts and I have heard so much praise.

 The tragic part was the father's case of Alzheimer's. This frequently left me in tears. We see how the illness effects the family. I felt like the reactions from family and friends Papi's condition were very realistic, and the father's episodes were heartbreaking and real. Please note that, in my opinion, the disease was the most impressive part of The Book of Broken Hearts, along with the diversity of the characters!

The romance aspect was sweet, but not very developed in my opinion. Emilio was a sweet, flirty love interest, yet he just didn't do it for me. Most of the time he felt... bland, there was only one scene where I felt connected to him. I loved the feeling! However, Emilio Vargas will never stand out in the crowd of young adult love interests. Then again, I felt like this book wasn't about the romance. It is about family and overcoming great obstacles.

Also, I had very conflicting feelings about Jude.  I enjoyed the characters and middle mostly, however, the ending just didn't do it for me. It seemed a little too... macho I guess. Kind of overdone.  Don't get me wrong, it is a beautifully written ending, just not realistic for me. Also, there was a lot of other things I wanted to know that weren't mentioned or concluded well.

I really don't know what my problem was besides those little complaints, the book just plain didn't leave an impression on me. At all, really. Do you know that read that you know a lot of people will like, and that something is wrong with you because your mind keeps straying? Yeah, that was The Book of Broken Hearts to me.

Overall, this book had factors I liked... and factors I didn't. The Papi's Alzheimer's tore at my heart, and I loved the character diversity yet the romance and ending were very "meh". I would recommend this novel to big-time contemporary fans. There were strengths and flaws.

3.5/5 Stars

Also, please note that the synopsis is misleading. I feel that this book is about so much more than just a pact to ignore the Vargas brothers.

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. I've been wanting to read this for a while now. Well written contemporaries are some of my favorite books to read. But, they HAVE to be well written or else I'm unable to get through them! It really sucks that the ending didn't deliver for you though. I hate it when that happens!