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Friday, May 17, 2013

The Twins on Thursday: The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

"The Twins on Thursday" is reserved for the Twins' joint reviews. It is a special feature of our blog that discusses books that we either both like, dislike, or have mixed feelings about. This is also the day where we post reviews for books (and ARCs/Galleys) that have been sent to us by authors/galley sites/publishing houses. And because we don't believe much in uniformity, we'll be trying to mix things up a bit by adding random stuff in relation to our review (well, mostly for books we purchased anyway).

Title: The Book of Broken Hearts
Author: Sarah Ockler
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: May 21, 2013
Publishing House: Simon Pulse
ISBN: 9781442430389
Source of Copy: Requested from publisher via Edelweiss


Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notiorious 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 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.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


The Book of Broken Hearts, despite initially coming off as a cute and fluffy read, is actually a story about heartbreak, love and loss and family, told in the voice of our smart and sassy protagonist, Jude. 

Jude lives alone with her parents - her sisters have all left to pursue different paths - and it's her last summer before college starts. It's not exactly easy knowing that her father suffers from Alzheimer's and she thinks that they can fight the disease by restoring Valentina, her father's vintage Harley. Her father has so many memories revolving his motorcycle and it's not hard to miss the sparkle in his eyes when he speaks of it and all his times spent on the road. But restoring the Harley means hiring a mechanic and, as fate would have it, that mechanic turns out to be a Vargas. Jude can't help but think that Emilio isn't like his brothers, and maybe, just maybe he's one risk she's willing to take, and do away with a promise that she's truly tempted to break .

Jude is a little sister, the youngest of four, overshadowed by her older siblings. Don't get us wrong, they've always been close. It's just that she's been so used to having her sisters dictate her decisions that she's not exactly sure if the choices she makes are hers and hers alone. It was a treat for us to watch Jude grow as a character. She's a great daughter and is quite close to her dad, who is one of those sweetie biker dads. It was a definite bonus that Jude's a smart and pretty funny girl. The dialogue she makes up in her head for her dog Pancake is quite hilarious and highly entertaining.

Emilio is definitely swoon worthy - he's your typical YA male love interest archetype. He's a bad boy, he's hot, he's got a killer smile and he's a Vargas, known for notorious heartbreakers. But what actually set him apart from other YA male characters is that while he is definitely macho and all, he's got a vulnerable side to him. He's not judgmental, he's not domineering and he seems to really care for Jude which endeared him to us. Yes, his interaction with Jude and her family in general was really sweet and we couldn't help but giggle and root for the couple to quickly get together. Instead of telling you that Emilio cares for Jude, Ockler would rather show you, and this is one of the reasons why The Book of Broken Hearts is such an enjoyable read. It's in the little things, the little details, and we couldn't help but swoon a little every time Emilio made Jude's heart race. 

Sure, it wasn't the summer Jude really had in mind, what with her father having been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and her falling for off-limits Emilio Vargas, but it has definitely proved to be a summer where she finally grows into herself. More than a love story, The Book of Broken Hearts is about a girl who has finally learned to make her own decisions instead of letting others influence her way of thinking. Jude finally learns how to do away with all the biases, and just truly be the person she knew she was all along. 

The abruptness of the end led us to shave 0.5 stars of the rating. The book may have rushed things a bit toward the end, and had us flipping the eBook pages back and forth, going all, "That's it?", probably because we were a little bit invested in the characters and the storyline. 

Recommended for fans of Simone Elkeles' Perfect Chemistry series, Sarah Ockler's The Book of Broken Hearts is filled with swoon-worthy romance, real life issues, perfect for the reader who wants to settle down with a summer read.

The Book of Broken Hearts is expected to hit bookstands on May 21, 2013.


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