Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

When Jude was 12, she made a pact with her 3 older sisters. They cut their hands, burned their hair in a church candle, and said an oath. They were never to be involved with one of the Vargas boys in order to prevent themselves from a broken heart. Now, it is the summer after Jude's senior year and all of her sisters have already moved out. Her father has Alzheimer's and in a desperate attempt to "cure" him, Jude decides to help him restore the motorcycle from his glory days. Everything is fine, until Jude realizes that Emilio, the boy hired to fix the bike, is a Vargas. She has to figure out what is right for her father, her family, and herself.

Twenty Boy Summer was a completely amazing book. Bittersweet was good, but not great, and The Book of Broken Hearts falls after Bittersweet. Let's talk about the romance. I liked Emilio, but he was no Sam. He was sweet, and I liked him, but the relationship with him and Jude just didn't seem as REAL as it could have been. The chemistry was good but not great unfortunately. 

I liked how this story was more than just a romance, and it was also about a family who is trying to hold everything together. I really felt Jude's pain about Papi and how she is trying to be strong and make everything okay. 

The characters were all very likable and realistic. There was Papi, who was funny and awesome. I liked Jude, I think at first she isn't totally comfortable with herself but she's really sharp. Her friends are slightly annoying, but that's how they're supposed to be and I can understand their reactions. Emilio is great and Jude's sisters are not perfect, but you can still see why they act the way they act. 

Another thing I really liked was the incorporation of Spanish (or Puerto Rican, etc but they are close enough) because I've taken 3 years of Spanish and I liked learning a few new words!

I liked the ending, I thought it was really sweet and a good way to end it. If you had to choose a book to read by Sarah Ockler, choose Twenty Boy Summer, but this one was pretty good too. Good, not great. 5 out of 5 stars.

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