Monday, March 3, 2014

Don't Judge a Man by His Name

"Don't settle, okay? Not for anything. I mean it. 
You only get this one chance at life, far as I know. Take it."
--Sarah Ockler, The Book of Broken Hearts

Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Simon Pulse, 352 pages
Publication Date: May 21st, 2013
Source: Gifted ARC from Hannah at So Obsessed-->Thanks, girl!
Goodreads Description

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 Belle
Jude. Jude and her voice and her internal dialogue drives the entire book. Her father is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's and as a way to get him back she wants to restore his vintage motorcycle. Her interactions--both good and bad--with her father break my heart. Her voice felt so honest and it was so heartfelt that I was tearing up at multiple points. I have never watched a family member suffer from this disease, and I pray to God I never have to, but I felt myself picturing my own father as she was watching her deteriorate. I can't begin to imagine how horrible this is for somebody to go through and my heart went out to her every step of the way. I felt that this topic was written beautifully and honestly and addressed it in a way that was respectful and probably very representative of what it is like watching a family member suffer like that.

The romance. This was another aspect that I liked. Emilio comes from a family that Jude swore to never go near, but life has a funny way about it, doesn't it? Their courtship and relationship was founded in understanding and acceptance. Jude needed somebody to be there for her and she found it with Emilio. This is what I loved best about them. It wasn't his dimples or that bandanna or *swoon* the way he worked on the motorcycle; it was that he didn't run when things got weird or rough.

The Sister Dynamic. Jude has 3 older sisters and while there are some things that didn't work, the overall feeling of bonding and closeness between the sisters I loved! I have two younger sisters so I loved reading about sisters and how close they all were. I also LOVED the theme of going after your dreams even after tragedy. Emilio is right, you only get one life and you need to take chances when you can. I try to do this with my life so reading about gives me the warm and fuzzies.

The Beast

The Loyalty Above All Else. I get it. Two of the sisters go their hearts broken by Vargas boys. One very much has reason to be heartbroken and upset. BUT, the one sister--Mari--who never had her heart broken was the one the most psychotic about it. I understand the sympathy hate of somebody who wronged your sister but the extent Mari went to to put Emilio down or warn Jude away from him was beyond extreme. They call her Wrecking Ball but I didn't find this amusing. She was completely out of line, melodramatic, and downright rude. I couldn't take her and how she swept in like a tornado and started bossing everyone around. Irritated the absolute hell out of me.

The Feud. I felt like this old feud was used as a crutch as to part of the reason their dad was getting worse. Jude can't get involved with him because their father is deteriorating...soooo, she should never date anyone or live her life at all because her dad is sick? Makes no sense. I just didn't like how much emphasis they put on this Book of Broken Hearts. These are grown women and they were all acting a fool.

Should You RSVP to this Ball? 
Yes. It was a very fun read but also heartfelt and emotional. It dealt with real life issues while balancing fun/swoon really well. If you're in the mood for a lighter book but still has substance, this is for you.


  1. I don't know if I could handle this one. My grandmother died from Alzheimer's and since it is a genetic disease, the fear of getting it is very real as well as the fear of my dad getting it. I would probably be a blubbering mess (and not in a good way). But it sounds like a great book and I do like hearing about the sister relationship. I have two sisters myself and we are all very close so I would enjoy that aspect. Great review!

  2. I really enjoyed THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS! It's such a well-written contemporary, and I love that it focuses heavily on Jude's relationship with her father and her sisters. It is also pretty darn awesome that there's romance thrown in there. Plus, we definitely can't forget Pancake!

  3. Great review added the book to my to-read pile :)
    P.S. followed you :)
    Rimsha@Ramblings of a Bookworm


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