The Book of Broken Hearts

Another Sarah Ockler for you all!

Book Stats: 

  • The Book of Broken Hearts
  • Sarah Ockler
  • Simon Pulse
  • May 20, 2014
  • 3 stars



“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 last Sarah Ockler book I read (and reviewed)– The Summer of Chasing Mermaids– was excellent. And although I found this one a bit weaker, it was nevertheless a satisfying read, as well as a chance for me to notice some patterns in Ockler’s writing.

The writing style, once again, did not disappoint. As I tried to articulate in my previous review, Ockler’s writing is beautiful in a non-showy way. It’s so addictive, you hardly notice, you just keep turning the pages until you reach the end. However, I did not feel as if this book carried the same inkish magic as The Summer of Chasing Mermaids did. It wasn’t that I was disappointed exactly, just not as taken with the prose, if that makes sense. This was my primary reason for giving The Book of Broken Hearts 3 stars rather than 4.

In addition, Ockler has a way of building a romance without making it the all-consuming aspect of the book. Both The Summer of Chasing Mermaids and The Book of Broken Hearts dealt with trust and taking charge of one’s own life, but I think this book especially focused on additional issues. In fact, I dare say that while the romance between Jude and Emilio is central to the plot, the theme of family takes center stage. I loved how important Jude’s family was to her, and was pleasantly surprised to see that she was prepared to put her family above all else, even love.

Speaking of love… as with The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, the chemistry between the characters was great. I loved the easy banter between Emilio and Jude, and the build up was relatively good. However, once again, there was not enough foundation (commonalities, etc.) for the relationship to be completely believable.

One last quick FYI before I wrap up: the incorporation of Spanish was slightly awkward. I know it was to build the scene, but it just seemed a little off– just beware.

Other those couple flaws, this book a cute, fluffy read.

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