Monday, October 22, 2012
Just Finished Reading ... Break My Heart 1,000 Times
By Daniel Waters
Published by Hyperion
On October 16, 2012
My summary: Since the Event six years ago, ghosts have roamed freely in the suburbs around Manhattan. In Jewell City, Connecticut, Veronica sees them everywhere. The ghost of a teenage boy lurks in her bathroom, and other ghosts roam their school, leaving Veronica's best friend Janine jumpy and petrified. HIgh school teacher Mr. Bittner is looking for a particular ghost -- he can't understand why his dead daughter hasn't also returned as a sprit. He'll do anything to see Eva again -- even kill another girl so that Eva will have a body to inhabit. Veronica and her friend Kirk are convinced that Mr. Bittner is up to no good. Can they get proof before Veronica becomes his next victim?
My take: I haven't read any of Daniel Waters' Generation Dead books, but I really enjoyed this one. The whole Event/ghost thing reminded me a little of the Shade series by Jeri Smith-Ready. But Break My Heart isn't paranormal romance, it's a thriller in which the reader knows the identity of the bad guy right off. Multiple POVs -- from Veronica's bathroom ghost, from Veronica, from Kirk, from Mr. Bittner -- give this story a fun cat-and-mouse feel as Mr. Bittner creeps closer and closer to Veronica and she tries to decide if he's just harmless and weird or actually dangerous.
Veronica was an interesting character -- she's smart and good-looking and she owns it. Some readers might find her arrogant, but I welcomed the change from the plain-Jane-with-two-hot-guys-in-love-with-her heroine that YA books often serve up. The relationship between Veronica and Kirk reminded me a little bit of the one between Velvet and Nick in Velveteen. In both of these pairings, the guy is the lovesick one in the relationship and the girl is aloof and standoffish.
While there's plenty of suspense and creepiness in this book, it also looks at loss and mourning. We're not given many details about the Event, just told that it killed millions. As a result of the Event, many of the characters in the book have experienced the death of a loved one and each reacts differently, from anger to depression to denial to complete psychosis.
Break My Heart 1,000 Times is a quirky, creepy book that has some unique characters and very unexpected twists. Recommended to readers who enjoy thrillers, tough girl characters, multiple points of view and ghost stories!