Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

The Book of Broken Hearts
Good Reads Summary
The Book of Broken Hearts by 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.

My Thoughts
My rating: 3.5-4 of 5 stars

Two sides. There are two sides to this girl’s story: one more real in emotion than the other. I will be honest though, one side was more emotionally real than the other, but it's that less real part that had me smiling because the aspect driven by questions of loyalty and what now’s, that sad part? Well, it did what it was supposed to and had me feeling for all the sisters then wanting a bit of what they had for their parents, specifically for their father.

Fathers, daughters then sisters. The heart of this book lies in the family, and how Jude copes with changes her father’s going through, then her setting certain goals because him/ for him. It’s sweet the genuine connection she has for him. There’s a true affection that I felt it. I also felt all those other emotions: scared, sad, lost… and even angry. There’s truth to what she was feeling because all those things were understandable reactions to what they were all going through with him.  Then there’s the glimpses glimpse into sisters and promises, and age gaps or no, there’s also a connection among them, beyond hand me downs and shared journals. The roles Jude sees them have I could picture it all. (The oldest is the wise one, the youngest is the strong one; then there’s the emotional one etcetera.) You’d think it an oversimplification, and maybe it was, because later some of them do prove to be more. But really here there’ are sisters, aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

The girl. In her we've a protagonist so used to following the lead of her sisters that she doesn’t blink at the years-old promise. It’s this bit that has me nitpicking yet again: her even considering the odd oath at all had me feeling her younger than the eighteen that actually she was. It sounded slightly beyond realistic what’s promised by her then more unrealistic what’s expected of her, stretching what’s plausible too almost too much. I really did have a moment wondering over the predicament she found herself in, one where she was weighing falling for cute confident boy versus proper places and loyalty.

The boy, Emilio. I liked him. I mean I really, really liked him (even the too confident aspect of him) because with him that way, there’s unexpected back and forth between them, and that had me wanting more of the two of them together on a page! Because with him she’s   more than what I’d initially pegged as good little sister following along. With him, there’s another of her giving as good as he dished out. She’s equally sure of herself even if sometimes he’d say something that had her tongue tied. The point is: Chemistry. They had it.

Thank you Edelweiss!

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