The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 21, 2013
Rating: 5 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
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.
What I Liked:
Oh my gosh, this book is so sweet! I absolutely LOVED this book - hence the 5 star-rating! Contemporary novels have been really good this year, but this one blew me away. The romance was sweet, the plot was up and down, and the characters were so well-written! I wanted to hug this book several times, especially after finishing it. And the writing in general was superb! Ms. Ockler has a firm control of her writing style, and it is near flawless. Not once was there language or dialogue that seemed out of place.
I love how well Ms. Ockler writes her characters. Jude is such a nice and lovable heroine. I knew I would like her right from the start. She does not take a lot of risks, or lives outside of the box, but she has good reason not to. I suppose that was her development throughout the book - to progressively learn to take chances. Especially in the form of Emilio Vargas.
Emilio is so well-written as well. He is the love interest, but he is also the mechanic who is fixing Jude's father's old motorcycle. Emilio is patient and kind, nonjudgmental and eager to help. He is nothing like his older male family members. All of the prejudices that Jude's older sisters held against the Vargas men did not apply to Emilio Vargas, something that took the entire book for those sisters to realize.
Jude's father is one of the primary characters in the story, even though he is a static character. He is the reason behind many of Jude's decisions, especially the decision to hire Emilio to fix the motorcycle. I wish that Jude could have let go a little, and let her father be, but Jude's stubbornness made her who she is.
The plot is based around Jude's father and his condition, and loosely around the motorcycle. I loved discovering more about Jude, Emilio, the Vargas family, and Jude's father. Sometimes the story was so sad, and other times, I couldn't stop laughing.
The romance in this book is so sweet. I feel like I can't stop using that word - sweet. But the romance is especially so! It's a slow romance, building quietly but surely as the book, and Jude, progresses. When Emilio and Jude finally kiss, I feel like the scene was slightly rushed, because the romance was slow, so the kiss should have been slow. But I loved that scene, and the aftermath.
The ending is bittersweet AND amazing at the same time. It feels like a good ending in terms of closure for Jude, as well as a fitting ending for Jude and her fence around life. It's a happy ending, with several sad twists. I'm satisfied with the ending though.
What I Did Not Like:
Erm... there wasn't much that I didn't like. The first kiss scene that I mentioned above - about it being rushed, in comparison to the slow-build romance. That was probably the only thing that really stuck out to me.
Would I Recommend It:
TOTALLY! If I give a book five stars... then, in my opinion, it HAS to be good. I don't just hand out five stars! But seriously, this book is great. A wonderful contemporary romance novel that I think anyone can and will enjoy!
5 stars. I am really impressed by Ms. Ockler! This was my first novel that I have read by her, so I will definitely be looking up her other ones!
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