by Sarah Ockler
To be published on May 21, 2013
by Simon Pulse
Source: borrowed an ARC through Around the World ARC tours.
Connect with the author: website | Twitter | Tumblr | Facebook.
Summary (from Goodreads:) 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 take: I really enjoyed Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler. And I found The Book of Broken Hearts to be another sweet story about family and love. And food! Both of those books should have a recipe appendix.
Jude is the youngest child in her tight-knit family and the only one still living at home. Her father has just received a devastating medical diagnosis and the family is still reeling. Jude thinks she has the perfect solution -- she'll find someone to help restore an artifact from her father's glory days: a 1961 Harley DuoGlide motorcycle. But the only mechanic she can afford is a Vargas -- one of the family of boys she and her sisters swore off when she was twelve. So Jude hires Emilio Vargas and tries to keep it a secret from her nosy, bossy older siblings.
The blurb of this book makes it sound like a light-hearted comic contemporary romance, but I think The Book of Broken Hearts is more a story about love and family. In fact, it seemed to me that Jude's romance takes a back seat to the story of Jude's father and her family's struggle to accept and manage his illness. But that made perfect sense to me. Emilio was sweet and patient in the face of what Jude's family was going through. If he'd been indifferent to their pain and too aggressively pursuing Jude, that would have felt all wrong.
The Book of Broken Hearts deftly blends comedy with sorrow. The book's title refers not only to the funny homemade book in which the Hernandez sisters chronicle their hatred for the Vargas boys, but also the heartbreak that Jude's family is suffering. Speaking of family, I loved the way The Book of Broken Hearts wove in each family's culture -- the Hernandez family is from Argentina, while the Vargas family hails from Puerto Rico -- with Spanish phrases and stories about "Bear" Hernandez and his motorcycle. Those little details also helped elevate this story into something unique and memorable.