December 26, 2014

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler 
Source: bought hardcover
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 21st 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
When all signs point to heartbreak, can love still be a rule of the road? A poignant and romantic novel from the author ofBittersweet 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.
I'm going to admit something: I decided I wanted this book purely because of the cover. The fact the synopsis sounded appealing... well, that was just a bonus. But I am not ashamed of this. I am not ashamed of it at all, because it made me read this book. and this book... THIS BOOK, you guys.

This book is hella emotional, and it deals with the hard, painful subject of early onset Alzheimer's, which is on itself a subject not discussed enough in literature, in my opinion. But it's not a tearjerker, even though it will make you cry. Why? Because you don't feel like this book is trying to make you cry. You don't feel like the whole purpose of it is to wrangle your emotions and make you an emotional mess. And that makes it all the more powerful, to me.

It shows you the truth, reality, in such an honest and upfront way, and that reality is painful, and it is hard, yes. But it balances the hard. It balances it with the good, and the romantic, and the familial. This book, it doesn't try to bring you down with it. It tries to push you up. To give hope, where a situation is hopeless. To show us it's not the end.

It does so through Jude, and her journey dealing with this Demon that's eating through her father.

She's just finished high school, and instead of enjoying her last summer, she is home taking care of her father. I loved this girl, and her voice. She was funny, emotional, real and very much her age - she still had that naivety and awkwardness we all have at her age. She feel like I did two years ago (and I still feel like this sometimes).

But she also grew tremendously throughout the story. She learned a lot about life, about human nature, about love and independence. About family and standing up to them. I loved watching her evolve and grow.

Than we had Emilio Vargas. Naturally, he's the love interest, and I think he is definitely worth some swooning. He is not a bad boy, despite what the synopsis might hint. He is actually just a kind, nice, motorcycle loving guy, which I loved. You get the nice hot guy with an edge. And Jude sees that, which makes the whole swore-not-to-get-involved-with-a-Vargas deal extremely difficult.

Though, I did think the whole 'I betrayed my family' deal was a bit over-the-top. Her sisters are grown women - they should know better, and act better. I would've liked to hear more, too, about what happened in the past. It's never fully explained - and I was interested. This is really the only reason I didn't give the book a full 5 stars.

However, this really doesn't matter. The synopsis doesn't lie when it tells you this is a "poignant and romantic novel", and if that sort of thing is anywhere near your thing, you should read this book ASAP.

Ps. even if this isn't your thing, you should read this book just for the pleasure of meeting Pancake the dog and his obsession with bunnies. Just saying.


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  1. I haven't actually read any series about the same couple (I don't think...) I've read companion contemporary series but in my personal opinion, the stories are never as good as the first one. I can imagine that I would feel the same way as you. The only series I think I came close to continuing was The Summer I Turned Pretty, however because I didn't really like that book and it was full of love triangles I've put off reading the next because there is only so much you can squeeze out of a contemporary novel sometimes.

    Great discussion hun, and great use of a Buffy GIF ;)

  2. I wrote a long comment earlier and my computer froze and turned its self of. Basically this book is without a doubt my favourite contemporary of last year and one of my favourites ever, it is so heartbreaking but like you said, the goad behind everything isn't to make you cry, they aren't going out of their way to make you feel deep deep emotion, it's real and that’s what makes it upsetting.

    The characters.... dear god the characters. I was obsessed with her day, he was the sweetest thing. And I loveeeed pancake.

    I'm so glad you liked his book hun, I've been desperately trying to get Amanda to read it haha.

    Great review :)

  3. I've read a few same-couple based series and made my mind to shy away from them afterwards. It was, like, just heaps upon heaps of drama, two thirds of which I found unnecessary.
    There are a few companion contemporary series where I find the later installments better than the first. But I'm really not picky - as long as the characters and the plot are good, I don't compare too much with other installments. I
    I've made an executive decision not to read the Summer I Turned Pretty. I hate love triangles, and love triangles that stretch over multiple books are my mortal enemy. Chose one guy and be done with it, but stop stringing both of them along please!

    Thank you and thank you so much for commenting!
    (Buffy just understands me. I love the Buffy GIFs!)

  4. I hate when computers do that :( My computer has been crushing constantly the last couple of weeks and by now I am paranoid for everything I write...

    This book is definitely one my favorite contemporaries too! :D

    True. It hurts more when you don't feel like someone is trying to manipulate emotion out of you, but rather gives you plain reality.

    Haha, he sure was! Which made it all the sadder :( Pancake and his bunnies deserve the "Cutest Literary Dog" award!!! I love that dog!

    Maybe between you and me we can convince her to pick it up!!!

  5. Same, I'm not picky because I get to see the characters that I loved through out the books anyway because they always make an entrance..

    Love triangles do suck, unless done right. Say if the main girl or guy has made up their mind about who they want to be with and the one that wasn't picked still has feelings for them, that’s not so bad because its not a bouncing from one person to the next. You know?

    The Summer I Turned Pretty was just a let down for me because I wanted to read it for a long long time and it wasn’t anything like I was expecting, I do however think that Jenny Han has really grown as an author and I really liked Burn for Burn and To All The Boys I've Loved Before, so I would recommend them :)

    You are welcome :). And she understands me to, I still can't believe the show has been off the air for nearly 12 years. I'm still as obsessed and heartbroken about it as I was then haha

  6. That's definitely one of my favorite parts about companion series! It's like, I don't want another book for the couple (because that would sign trouble on the horizon, and I want them happy together forever and ever) but I love seeing little snippets, like their wedding, or them as a secured couple after everything, and especially kids! Love it when an author gives me a peek of them starting a family through the companions. Makes me all fuzzy inside! haha

    I agree. What pisses me off about love triangles is the indecisiveness. If the main character can't decide who she/he loves throughout three books, than all I want to do is bash her/his head into a wall. So as long as they chose - I'm okay with it. But more often than not, they can't make up their minds because "both guys are just soooo hot and sooo different, and he's sooo sweet but he makes my blood race and oh, what am I to do?" *pissed off face*

    I really want to read Burn for Burn just because I think the cover is so pretty. Does that make me a bad person? lol

    My obsession was actually Charmed :) I loved Buffy too, but the Power of Three was my thing! :D

  7. I am actually quite surprised to hear that this is an emotional read and a tearjerker.When I checked it out in Goodreads,I guessed that it is a cute,contemporary romance.Guess the blurb is a bit misleading.
    I really need a good romance story right now,after being consumed by textbooks for some time.Maybe I should give this one a try.
    Lovely review,Nitz.

  8. I’ve wanted to read this book for a long time.I am a huge fan of these type of love stories-forbidden and socially unacceptable romances that bloom under difficult circumstances.And I haven’t read a book with the ‘stranded in an island’concept before,so maybe I should give this one a try.

  9. I agree with you wholeheartedly.I never go for the sequel of a contemporary romance book even when I loved the first one. I've seen a lot of sequels which kinda actually ruined the couple and the wonderful first book for me.
    Just like you mentioned above new problems,new villains,new traumas-namely miscarriages,character deaths- and most of all the entry of exes always re surface in this type of sequels,and they are tiring.
    I personally think that contemporary romance stories should always be left alone,and leave the future of the couple to the reader's imagination.

  10. I thought the same. The blurb really focuses on the romance of the book, and not about the hard subjects it deals with. And while, yes, the romance is a big part of it, it's not really what hits you in the face with this book.
    But, the book is definitely adorable! :)
    You totally should, Mish! :D

    This book is just aasdfggkhjlkdjaljhb perfection!
    Mish, you just described the book in a sentence. If that's what you like, this book is IT!

  12. It's not the I never go into those kind of series, because if I enjoyed the characters enough and I'm left with a cliffhanger, I just might be forced to continue, but as you said - I find the sequels tiring. There is more than just one such series unfinished on my shelves.
    Well, I actually really like catching up with the characters, but almost never in the form of another book focused on them. I love cameo appearances of past couples in the companion books - love seeing them secure in their happiness, getting married, starting a family, stuff like that. It makes my day lol

  13. This book is actually pretty well-received, generally, so I'm not surprised to see such a high rating from you for this one :) I have yet to read it but I really need to because it's just one of those must-read Contemporaries, you know? Although I'm quite bummed that their background histories weren't explored deep enough to satisfy the curioisity built in the reader. Those usually interest me, too!

    Faye at The Social Potato

  14. I really hope you'll read it soon, Faye! I'd love hearing your opinion on it (and hopefully you'll love it!)
    The background stories of the main characters are explained fairly well, but it's their sibling's history that isn't fully explained, and as said siblings have a huge impact on the story, it was kind of a bummer, yes. I kept waiting for everything to clear. But, it's really a relatively small thing :)