Review: The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

Posted July 3, 2013 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah OcklerReviewer: Rowena
The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 21st 2013
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 352
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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.

It’s been a long time since the last time that I’ve read anything by this author.  The last book that I read was Twenty Boy Summer and I remember really enjoying that one.  I’ve been reading on different blogs and on Goodreads that people are really liking this book.  Those reviews are what really pushed me to request this on Edelweiss.  Now that I’m finished reading the book, I’m so glad that I did because I really liked this one.  A lot.

Jude Hernandez just graduated from high school and she due to start college in the fall out in Denver.  She’s spending the summer rebuilding an old motorcycle with her father who was diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimers and when she came across an old motorcycle in the garage, it brought a happiness to her father that she hopes will help him through what he’s going through right now.  The only problem with that summer plan?  The guy that her father hires to help with the rebuild is a freaking Vargas.

The Hernandez sisters (Araceli, Lourdes, Mariposa and Jude) made a pact when Jude was 12 years old that they were completely done with everything Vargas.  Reading back on it, I thought it was kind of silly but I understood why they did it.  I mean, they went all official and swapped blood, lit candles and everything.  Their blood ritual was legit and all these years later, Jude was scared of what her sisters would say when they found out that the youngest Vargas brother was working on their father’s motorcycle and Jude was getting really close to him.

Jude didn’t really understand the whole pact or the book of broken hearts that was passed down from sister to sister, a book that documented their broken hearts.  Those older Hernandez sisters were a fierce and loyal lot.  They hated the guys that broke their sisters hearts and two of those guys are Emilio’s brothers.  So because Johnny and Miguel Vargas broke Celi and Lourdes’ hearts, the Vargas brothers were off limits.  That whole family was off limits, to be exact.

But over the course of that summer, Jude and Emilio grow close.  Emilio is helping Jude’s father come back to life.  He’s bringing a smile to his face and joy to his life again which is rare these days.  Jude will do whatever it takes to keep that smile on her Dad’s face for as long as she can.  So Emilio stays.  The closer they get, the deeper she falls and seeing her struggle with her loyalty to her sisters and her feelings for this Vargas brothers made for a really great story.  As my daughter is fond of saying, “The struggle is real.”  And it really was, for Jude.

Jude was dealing with what was happening with her father, the strain she can see her mother dealing with and dealing with her friends slipping away from her.  On top of that, was her thing with Emilio.

I really liked Jude.  I really, really liked Emilio.  Emilio was so flirty spice and he was so carefree but you knew that there was more to him than what he put out for everyone to see.  I really liked the emotional journey that we go through right along with Jude and I thought that Ockler did a fantastic job of writing Jude’s story.  She wasn’t a perfect character but she was likable.  And I was able to connect with what she was going through and how she was feeling.

I really liked getting to know her family and I liked Emilio, his friends and his mother.  I loved getting to know each and every single character that we came across in this book and I’m so very glad that I read this book.  It was entertaining, it was emotional and it took me to my happy place so overall, I loved it.  I highly recommend this to lovers of contemporary YA, new adult and contemporary stories in general.  It’s a good one.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

This book is available from Simon Pulse.  You can buy it here or here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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