Wednesday, March 6, 2013

You Break It, You Buy It

Expected Publication:  May 21st, 2013
The Book of Broken Hearts
By: Sarah Ockler
Simon Pulse
ISBN-13:  9781442430389
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

     Jude is the youngest of four sisters and after watching two of the others get their hearts broken by Vargas boys, she swears an oath that she will never date a Vargas boy!  Now in the summer before her freshman year of college, romance is the farthest thing from her mind when she crosses paths with Emilio Vargas at the motorcycle shop.  Jude knows it's probably not a smart idea to hire him to fix her ailing Father's vintage bike.  But as she gets to know him better, Jude begins to think that maybe he's different from his brothers and cousins - maybe a romance with a Vargas can last.  Jude's Father steadily declines and when a particularly bad episode brings home her sisters to help make a tough decision, will Jude fall in line and let them decide her heart or will she start making her own choices for once in her life?  I think when I went into this book I expected the normal 60/40 balance of family/romance that is present in Ockler's last two books.  But honestly, I kind of wanted her to just drop the romance and focus on the family story unfolding!  I really loved the relationship between Jude and Papi.  They had something special and I understood Jude's need to have that with her Dad, especially since his mind was detriorating and her older sisters had way more time with him to make memories.  Early onset Alzheimer's is a sad and horrific disease to witness, and even more heartbreaking through the eyes of a family member being affected.  The romantic will-they/won't-they between Jude and Emilio did serve as a tension release I suppose, but it unfolded in a very cliched and predictable way.  The personality of her sister Mari (short for Mariposa) was the most present in the actual plot, other than brief mentions.  And she was least hurt by the Vargas boys, so maybe that's why I couldn't get behind the vague family feud.  Also, Emilio's semi-tragic history gave him some depth, but I never felt like I had enough of an idea about who he was to root for him to get the girl.  The way he treated Papi was bautiful though and that alone would make him my dream guy.  By the time Jude finally decided that her sisters couldn't make all her decisions and decided to be with him, I just didn't care anymore.  But I cried when Jude and Papi were talking during one of his lucid moments about why she needed to let the family put him in a care facility.  Also the scene with Papi's motorcycle ride smashed my heart to pieces.  Jude's loyalty to her family, mixed with the desire to be her own person is extremely relatable and I enjoyed this book a lot.  However, it would have been even better without the lukewarm romantic encounters.  I'd recommend this to fans of Ockler's previous books for sure, but expect something slightly different than usual.
VERDICT:  4/5  Stars
**I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via Edelweiss. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is May 21st, 2013.**

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