Monday, October 7, 2013

Review: The Book of Broken Hearts

The Book of Broken Hearts, by Sarah Ockler. The Goodreads summary:
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.
Here’s the thing. For a book I liked fairly well, I have surprisingly little to say about it. It has all the elements I usually like in contemporary YAs: a charismatic main character, a hot love interest with a bit of a bad boy vibe, witty banter, and enough serious issues to give the book some emotional heft. But I don’t know—something prevented it from clicking with me all the way, and I can’t put my finger on what exactly it is. I think it has something to do with the relationships in the book—between Jude and Emilio, between Jude and her family, and between Jude and her friends—and how I didn’t quite feel like these relationships ever really had the full depth I needed. And so at the end of the book, I was left wanting there to be more development and exploration in those areas than there was.

I realize this is coming off as more negative than I intended. I really did enjoy the book for the most part, and there are a couple of people I’ll be recommending it to because I know they’ll like it. It just didn’t quite give me everything I wanted.

Rating: 3.5 / 5


  1. Agreed. Though I may have been more disenchanted by the end . . . ah well.

  2. I didn't really like this book at all. In particular Jude grated on me and I was confused by her seeming insistence that she could fix her father's Alzheimer's by fixing up the bike-it wasn't going to happen!


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