Review: The Book of Broken Hearts


Title: The Book of Broken Hearts
Author: Sarah Ockler


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.

As with Sarah Ockler’s novel, Twenty Boy Summer, I fell in love with The Book of Broken Hearts almost instantly.

Jude is determined to spend the summer fixing up her father’s old motorcycle, in hopes that it’ll bring her father back, ’cause whenever he talks about his old biker days he remembers everything with crystalline clarity. But when she realizes that the only mechanic who’s willing to work for the money they’re providing is a Vargas boy, she begins to worry. Why? ‘Cause she, and her three older sisters, swore them off years ago after a failed prom date and a broken engagement. When they start to get to know each other though, she begins to wonder if her sisters were wrong. Maybe not all the Vargas boys totally suck…

Throughout the novel, we see Jude’s close relationship with her father, and the impact his memory loss has on her, her mother, and her friendships. Ockler’s character development is truly amazing. Jude grows throughout the book as she learns what important in life and love, but also what is right. I really enjoyed seeing her move away from her sisters’ rules and looming shadows. Jude truly found herself in this book, and Emilio went from arrogant Vargas trash to someone who everyone would want in their life. I also loved seeing the two of them bond with Jude’s father. No matter what happened, they both took everything in stride, and it was amazing to read about.

Although I loved the book, sometimes, the flashbacks were a little out of place and sometime unnecessary. Often times, I found myself slightly confused. In the end, I still had numerous questions when it came to Jude’s sisters, Jude’s friends, and even her father.

Overall, this book was heart breaking and yet also enlightening. Emilio and Jude prove that it often doesn’t matter where you come from or what your last name is. What matters is your own values, your own opinions, and gaining the respect and trust of those around you and forging your own relationships.

Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Writing: 4/5
Cover: 5/5
Overall: 4.5/5
GoodReads Rating: 3.92/5

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