The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
The Skinny: Jude’s older sisters have instilled one main rule in her: stay away from the Vargas brothers. They’ll lead to nothing but a broken heart. Jude is the youngest of the four sisters and is the only one remaining at home as her father is dealing with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. In an attempt to help hold onto his memories, she decides that they’ll fix up his old motorcycle Valentina. And what mechanic do they hire to help? Emilio… the youngest of the Vargas brothers. She swears it’s just business and she won’t break her word to her sisters, but as she gets to know Emilio… well, her sisters will never find out she’s falling for him, will they?
BFF?: YES!!!!! Jude was flippin fantastic! She was funny – seriously, I laughed so hard at some of her little one liners – she was caring and concerned and confused. I loved her oh so much! Look, I can’t really write much more because otherwise I’m going to be fangirling over just how great of a character she was. Trust me when I say that Jude is awesome and has become one of my top favorite characters!
Readability: Jude’s narration was spot on. I never felt like her voice was fake or forced. It flowed naturally, just like the story did. I felt all the pain she did, all the happiness she did and all the confusion. Beautiful, wonderful writing that sucked me in!
Crush Level: 8
Alright… so if you said to me “Hispanic mechanic (ha) who drives a motorcycle” and asked if I would fall for him, I’d probably say no. Because I think I’d probably picture like Cheech and Chong. Well, not Chong because isn’t he Asian? Anyway. So let me tell you right now just how PLEASANTLY surprised I was that I fell super hard for Emilio Vargas. But physical characteristics aside (even though they were smoking hot), I’d be remiss if I didn’t discuss his personality. I feel a little lame saying he was caring, but he really was! I loved how he took in stride Jude’s father, how he genuinely cared about the man (and it didn’t feel fake!). He was a good person to his family, and his mom! And finally… I LOVED how he cared for Jude. Not just in a romantic way, but in a genuinely “you are going through a rough time let me be there for you” kind of way. And I just swooned!
Not really a culture I know much about – and I admit there’s a lot of prejudices around here about this culture – but I loved this aspect. I loved finding similarities to my own family also, proving that despite culture differences, we’re all the same. We all have family problems. We all have squabbles, friend issues, parent issues, romantic issues.
The sister dynamics in this book were SO good. While normally I feel like sister books focus on the oldest sister, I adored seeing a story from the youngest’s POV. It made me rethink my own little sister.
Commencement Speech: Okay, down to serious business here. As the oldest in my family I’ll admit that I take my siblings for granted. Clearly they are not old enough to make intelligent decisions. So, needless to say, seeing Jude, as the youngest (by many years) was a real eye opener. Especially seeing how older siblings shape the younger ones and their constant struggle to become their own person. Jude’s development as she found herself was really beautiful and strong.
Also, another highlight for me was Jude’s father’s illness. My grandmother is going through the same thing, so I often had to put this book down because the reality of our situation was too true in the book. The scenes were honest, and raw and heartbreaking. But this book isn’t about broken hearts, not really. I think it’s more about hope that even though hearts can break, they can be healed. Really, this has been one of the best contemps I’ve read in a really long time. I loved every aspect of it, even the ones that were hard to read. This book is definitely winning a place on my special shelf!
Yearbook Quote: Okay I forgot to find a quote from this book. Just read it, okay?
Superlatives – Most likely to make you want to hug your daddy!
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