Book Review: THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS by Sarah Ockler

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Released on: May 20th, 2014 by Simon Pulse (first published May 21st, 2013)

Pages: 384


Buy the book:


Barnes & Noble


Goodreads Summary:

When all signs point to heartbreak, can love still be a rule of the road? A poignant and romantic novel from the author ofBittersweet and Twenty Boy Summer.

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.

Opening Sentence: 

The law of probability dictates that with three older sisters, a girl shall inherit at least one pair of cute shorts that actually fit. Agreed?

My Review: 

I knew from reading that first sentence that I was going to like this book. If not the book, then at least the main character Jude Hernandez. But that was no problem! I loved the book.

I’ll start by saying that writing a book where one of the characters has Alzheimers is difficult. It’s a delicate and touchy subject that, like most books where disease is mentioned, should be treaded lightly. But I felt that Ockler executed it perfectly. I felt the pain and heartache that Jude felt. I felt the confliction of doing what’s best for her daughters to helping her husband that Mama felt. I even felt the sense of protection that Jude’s sisters had when it came to telling Jude the truth of the situation.

But I think the one factor of this book that won be completely over was the sense of culture. Ockler got it DOWN. I could smell the empanadas in the kitchen. I could hear the spanish tongue whenever it was spoken. The sense of family was so, so strong. As a hispanic female, I thought it was all accurate.

I love Ockler’s writing style in this book. It was so character driven and her character of Jude has a very strong voice that carries weight as the story progresses. Jude’s quick wit, her snark – all characteristics I got from her voice and loved about her. Even when she felt embarrased about something I could feel that embarrasment through her voice. It was very compelling.

The chemistry between Emilio and Jude is hot hot hoooot. It’s definitely not an insta-love, thank god. But you can see the parts where it becomes more than just Emilio’s flirty banter, more than Jude staying away because of an oath. You can see the parts where it started to become love and that was beautiful.

The ending left me so incredibly satisfied. I love Jude’s dad – HE ROCKS! But it was also heartwrenching to see her dad become self aware, meaning he understands just how much pain he’s bringing to his family and the heavy burden he’s become. Even if his family doesn’t see him that way, that’s how he feels. So the end was definitely a moment where Jude’s dad put his foot down on what needed to be done, and it gives Jude the strength to do the same. With that said, their father-daughter relationship was my favorite in the book (with Emilio and Jude a close second). Their dynamic was so touching and reverent.

Simply beautiful.



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