The Selective Collective reads THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS by SARAH OCKLER
The Selective Collective features THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS by SARAH OCKLER, provided to us by Simon Pulse for review and book club discussion. For my part in this Selective Collective post, I had the “freebie” which means I get to talk about whatever I want! The only problem was, I was SO involved and invested in this book that I literally couldn’t think clearly so I turned to my fellow SC members for help. Sandie suggested talking about father-daughter relationships in YA and it was just such the perfect topic for this book.
Before I jump into that, here’s a little background on THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS to bring you into our discussion today:
Completed: May 18, 2013
Publishing Info: May 21st 2013 by Simon Pulse
Source: Hardcover copies provided to us by Simon Teen for review and use for the Selective Collective feature
“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.” — From Goodreads
What you don’t get from this synopsis is that Jude’s father is suffering from Early Onset Alzheimer’s. This is a HUGE part of the book and one that totally wrecked my heart. All of the characters in this book felt so real to me that it was absolutely heartbreaking to watch Jude and her family deal with the trials and tribulations of Alzheimer’s and how it really can bring your family closer and tear it apart all at the same time.
Since Jude knows she has very little time left with a lucid father, she willingly spends her summer before college taking care of him, keeping an eye on him, and helping him restore his old motorcycle. I absolutely loved the relationship that they had in this book and I really love when such touching father-daughter relationships are present in YA books.
I gathered up some of my favorite father-daughter relationships in YA and a couple other members of the Selective Collective weighed in as well and here’s what we came up with!
The TWILIGHT Saga by Stephenie Meyer: YES, I am starting off with Twilight and DON’T RUN AWAY, you Twilight haters! Hear me out: Bella’s father Charlie was honestly one of my favorite characters in this entire series. He had no idea how to raise a teenage girl and I loved the awkward relationship that he and Bella had throughout the first book. I loved watching that relationship turn from awkward to a loving, caring father who became really invested in his daughter’s life. He was funny, sincere, and I kind of loved his essentially “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about all of the paranormal that was going on.
SWEET EVIL and SWEET PERIL by Wendy Higgins: Anna grew up without her parents, so when she finally gets in contact with her father, it’s a bit terrifying that he’s a Duke, meaning a full-fledged demon. What I love about this relationship is that he’s actually a good demon (oxymoron?) and really cares about Anna when all of the rules and natural instincts towards Neph say to use her merely as a worker for his cause. I’ve loved seeing the relationship between Anna and her father grown throughout these past two books and their relationship has become a much bigger part of this overall story than I first anticipated!
THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT by Jennifer E. Smith: Hadley has a really tough time with her dad in this book. He moved to London and is marrying another woman and isn’t really involved in Hadley’s life. When she’s asked to be a bridesmaid for his new fiance, she can’t really say no and ends up spending an awkward time with the two of them. Of course there’s the adorable romance in this book, but that relationship that started to evolve between Hadley and her father was a really touching part of the book for me! Not everything is mended and totally resolved, but this could have easily been a book about a horrible father and an evil stepmother and things start to take a turn for the better at the end of the book, leaving off on a promising note for Hadley and her father.
Here’s what my fellow SC members chose and I can say that I 100% agree!
Sandie’s picks: “I know he’s dead, but I found Katniss’ relationship with her father to be pretty powerful, as well as Mia’s and her dad’s in IF I STAY.”
I couldn’t agree more! Even though Katniss’ father is never physically present in the series, his memory and his impression at Katniss really shapes the books. She makes a lot of decisions based on what her father taught her and who he raised her to be.
I also love Mia’s dad in IF I STAY. He was such a lovable character for me and I loved that he was kind of a hip dad! I really can’t wait to re-read this book too.
Kristina’s pick: “I really liked Violet with her father (well I guess both her parents) in the Body Finder Series. He is so understanding of her and her abilities.”
Agreed again! I’ve only read the first book of this series so far, but I really love how her dad (and her mom and her uncle) are so supportive. I feel like it’s always nice to see supportive parents and a solid family when so many YA books have parents who are divorced/are splitting up, or the kids are orphans. I really love the solid family dynamic!
Hope you enjoyed this feature for THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS! And please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS so please go visit their take on the book as well!