Book Review: The Book of Broken Hearts

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

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

‘That was love’s unspoken promise — blind and hopeful, some kind of beautiful forever.’

It always amazes me how Sarah Ockler turns ordinary moments to extraordinary ones with her writing. The Book of Broken Hearts is a novel full of everything that makes it amazingly good – a realistic plot, a profound and touching story and dynamic characters.

The Hernandez sisters, no matter how different they are from each other, are bound by an oath they took a long time ago. They are to never under any circumstances get involved with a Vargas boy. The Vargas boys will bring you nothing but heartbreak and that is one experience they’d rather not go through again.
I honestly found their dedication to never break the vow quite absurd in the beginning. I don’t understand how they can hold on to such promise even after all the years that passed. But after further reading, I understood how much it really mattered to them. It was meant as a reminder to protect themselves and each other against any more despair where relationships are concerned.
I admit I liked the idea of ‘the book of broken hearts’. I myself love keeping mementos of the different experiences I’ve had and the memories I’d rather not forget. Some of them may be sad and hurtful but you’d still keep them ‘cause at least then you’d know that you learned from them and that you took a chance not knowing where it would take you. And sometimes it’s the risks you take that make life more exciting.

I love reading The Book of Broken Hearts. It was very relatable and full of moments that would make you smile and feel like crying. I can see myself in Jude – being the youngest in the family. I have two older sisters and I know that sometimes it kinda feels like I’m standing in their shadows. I know that it is inevitable that some of your decisions always have something to do with what they think or say. I admire the relationship of the Hernandez sisters. It may not be obvious all the time but they care so much for each other and they’d do anything to protect the other. Jude and her dad’s relationship is for me the highlight of the story. I am a daddy’s girl ever since I was little and up until now my dad is my biggest idol. Jude and her dad have an understanding, honest relationship. I love how they went through everything together and how they never lost each other no matter how difficult the times were. Jude’s dad is a great dad I can tell you that much. He’s the kind of dad who would be there when you scrape your knee, who would make you laugh when no one else can, who says the most absurd things just to make you feel better and someone who would wholeheartedly love you no matter how you dress.

Jude has a tough, strong personality. She often finds herself questioning her choices but she knows how to stand up for herself. She’s very spirited and full of determination. Her relationship and Emilio’s took its time to develop. Their romance had a sweet, dreamy buildup. I can’t help but fall for Emilio. He’s very compassionate with a genuine heart. He’ll make your heart race with a simple touch and a passing look. He has his own demons to contend with but he never falters to be there when someone needs a friend. He’s kind of my dream man.

The Book of Broken Hearts brings with it an emotional, sweet, moving story of family and love. How life is made of fleeting moments – here one second, gone the next. How someone should live life as fully and as exhilarating as they can. And what it means to value the things and the people around you while you still can.
It is a breathtaking read of how a family’s bond stays intact despite all the hard turns and challenges life offers. A book full of life lessons that will captivate you from the very beginning. A must-read!

“You two have fun with your lovers’ quarrel." “We’re not quarreling,” I said. 
Emilio laced his fingers through my hair, right on the back of my neck, and leaned in close. His breath tickled my ear, soft and sharp, all at once comforting and dangerous. “Does that mean we’re lovers?” 

I pulled the cell from my pocket and snapped a picture. Emilio looked up. 
“It’s for my father,” I said. 
“Lots of girls want my picture.”

An eARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher through Edelweiss. Quotes I sited therein may change in the final print.

Keep the books coming - 

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