Review: The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

Title: The Book of Broken Hearts
Author: Sarah Ockler
Rating: ★★
 (3/5 Stars)
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 2013

"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."

This was the first Ockler book that I've ever read, and it's safe to say that I was satisfied with it. It wasn't the greatest romance novel that I've ever read (When Everyone Thinks You're Gone by Amelia Faith still takes the cake), I can't really say that I disliked this book at all.

Then again, I wasn't blown away by it. I was satisfied, but not wowed. Basically, the part that gave me a bit of a bad taste in my mouth was the fact that the ending was so predictable. I mean, come on. Girl meets boy, girl isn't supposed to like boy, girl falls in love with boy anyway, boy loves girl back, yadayadayada. Stuff like that.

So it was kind of disappointing to realize that this book was just like the others. But as for the quality of the writing, I was happy with it. It was sad to read about how Jude's father is slowly deteriorating with his early Alzheimers, and my heart broke for her and her family, even though she isn't a real person. (Yes, I tend to do this a lot. Feel huge amounts of sympathy for people who are no more than words on a page. It's a huge problem. Really, it is.)

As for Emilio and the whole The-Vargas-Boys-Are-Evil deal...well, they did mention that one of his older brothers "cheated' (sort of?) on his girlfriend/prom date, who happened to be Jude's sister.

However, I know another one of Jude's sisters was engaged to another one of Emilio's older brothers, and the wedding was called off the night before the engagement party. My question is: Why?! They never specify on why Johnny (Emilio's brother) called off the wedding with Celi (Jude's sister). I had so many questions in my head throughout the whole novel: Cold feet? Cheating? Found someone else? A bad fight? Family issues? Ockler never tells me, and that just frustrated me so much.

Ugh. The nerve of some people.

(Note to Ockler: Don't take that last sentence too seriously. I get easily frustrated when writers leave crucial pieces of information out.)

My parting remark would be like I liked The Book of Broken Hearts. It's not the best, most tearful and romantic and sappy and heart wrenching novel around, but I still liked it. :)

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