Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading … The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Just Finished Reading … The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

Review of: The Book of Broken Hearts
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.

17 comments:

  1. This sounds fabulous! I love it when a book has a sweet romance in it, but is more in the background of the bigger story. I also love that she is having a vintage motorcycle fixed up. :) I really want to read this one. The family sounds really great!

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    1. I definitely felt that the romance was not as compelling as the family drama, but that was okay with me. It was a great family story.

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  2. I actually really hated Jude in this book-she made me think of the character in Bittersweet who also annoyed me. I do agree that a recipe index would been nice though because the food made me hungry.

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    1. I can't say I had a big connection with either Jude or Emilio. Both of them were just easy going, go with the flow kind of people. But I didn't dislike them, and I thought they made a cute couple :)

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  3. So basically I should read this on a full stomach? lol I'm really excited. I think I was initially attracted to the romance mentioned in the synopsis but I like how you describe it too. Can't wait for my turn on the arc tour. :)

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    1. OMG -- yes. Bittersweet was filled with yummy cupcakes, and this book has tortas and empanadas and all kinds of other delicious-sounding food… I was dying of hunger when I read it.

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  4. I looooooved Twenty Boy Summer and I'm really looking forward to reading this one. I'm totally in the mood to have a good cry over a book.

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    1. I have that on my pile to read this summer :)

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  5. OOH! Great review Jen! I still can't believe I haven't picked up one of her books yet! And I'm back to blogging also! :)

    Happy Reading

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  6. Awww I love the cover for this book. I'm happy to hear the story is just as good. Honestly though you had me at food!

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    1. Full of delicious food. You'll love that aspect of it!

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  7. Awesome review! I think you and I are on the same page here. So, did you prefer Bittersweet to this one in the end?

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  8. I didn't really enjoy Bittersweet but The Book of Broken Hearts sounds like something I would love. I love that the focus is on her family and the characters sound really sweet.

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  9. I haven't read Bittersweet yet, but it's on my shelf. As for The Book of Broken Hearts, I'll be reading it very soon, so I just skimmed your review. Maybe after Golden? Idk...I forgot to forward my spreadsheet to my work email...I feel so lost today. :P

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  10. I haven't read Bittersweet either, though I've heard great things. I have read Fixing Delilah though, which I enjoyed. I agree that the cover didn't seem to match with the theme of the book. Though I ended up really loving the family story in this one, I thought it was going to be a very different kind of story at first. I agree Jude's Argentinian culture is written so well. I also fell in love with the Colorado landscape she describes.

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  11. I totally need to read this. I have read other reviews where they loved the story. Thanks for sharing.

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