Tag Archives: The Book of Broken Hearts

Redesign Reactions [2]: The Book of Broken Hearts

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Welcome to Redesign Reactions, where we talk about books, covers, and what happens when new cover designs take over a series!

On this edition of Redesign Reactions, let’s talk about
THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS by Sarah Ockler!

THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS is actually the first Sarah Ockler book I read and so far, it’s still my favorite. Something I find so difficult is NOT judging a book by its cover. I actually read this for a group feature so I trusted my friends who had selected it and I’m so glad that the book was just absolutely fantastic for me… but I feel like it’s suffered some real cover struggles. Before I get into discussing, let’s take a look at old and new and see what you think:

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OLD COVER: Would I have picked this book up based off of the cover if I hadn’t been reading it with my friends? Truthfully, probably not. Not having read Ockler before, I had no incentive to pick up this book. A stock photo plus a boring purple background… it doesn’t tell me anything about the book and it’s not representative of the story in any way at all. Honestly, this is one of my least favorite covers EVER because it’s just such an obvious stock photo (I’ve seen it elsewhere before) and I feel like it’s such a misrepresentation of this beautiful book.

NEW COVER: So do I like the new cover better? Well… I think it’s better than the original. It was obviously selected to represent specific elements of the book (the motorcycle, the couple) but I’m DEFINITELY still not sold. Why does this couple look like they’re at least thirty years old when this is a YA book? And considering I can’t see a stitch of clothing on them, it almost feels like they’re some sort of stock romance cover models. The image in the rearview is still pretty cheesy too because you can tell they just fit the image into the mirror and it’s not like it’s really a reflection. (Okay, I’m being picky, but you get it.) And to get REALLY picky, I don’t like that motorcycle either. It was something I really loved about the book because my husband (who was only my boyfriend at the time that I read it) loves vintage bikes (he has one that he restored) and it just don’t look anything like a vintage motorcycle, or at least not what I was picturing. (I’ll be honest… I don’t know everything there is to know about vintage bikes so hey, it could be. But I don’t think it is.)

Which do I like better? I guess the redesign since they took the time to pick out things from the book to put on the new paperback cover… But I still feel like it was just kind of thrown together. Maybe it’s a budget thing? I have no idea how cover designs work, but I think this one could have been just a bit nicer and really been a much better cover!

So tell me! Which design do you like better? Take the poll below and let me know in the comments which you prefer and why! I’d love to hear your reactions!

[bctt tweet=”Which cover for The Book of Broken Hearts do you like better: Original or redesign? Take the poll at @bookaddictguide!” via=”no”]

 

The Book of Broken Hearts – Sarah Ockler

The Book of Broken Hearts – Sarah OcklerTitle: The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
Publishing Info: May 21, 2013 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Contemporary, Psych/Mental Health, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 18, 2013
Related Posts: The Selective Collective features The Book of Broken Hearts, #scandal, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

    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.

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Oh my gosh, you guys. THIS BOOK. Of course I expected to like this book, but I seriously had a book hangover when I finished. THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS was the perfect read for me. It was so beautifully written, had a perfect romance, a great family aspect, and also some serious issues that came together to create a masterpiece.

I say that this was the perfect read for me because there were just so many ways in which the book just totally drew me in and I was able to make a personal connection.
ONE: The motorcycles. My boyfriend (at the time — now husband!) Shane is car/motorcycle guy and I’ve spent countless hours in the garage with him reading/watching/helping/learning. To watch Jude go through the same thing with Emilio as he works on her father’s motorcycle, it kind of brought all those memories back to when my own personal relationship was blossoming and it brought all those little butterflies back!
TWO. The language. The culture is in this book is a big part of the story from the family dynamic to the food to the customs. Emilio is Puerto Rican and Jude is Argentinean so both of them (and their families) tend to slip into Spanish from time to time when speaking to each other. I’m not Hispanic in any way, but I was a Spanish major in college so I just always feel my own little personal connection when characters speak Spanish, even if it isn’t my own heritage. I feel like it’s a little secret that I’m able to know what they’re saying when they slip into a different language while the general audience might not.
THREE. The setting. The book takes place in Blackfeather, Colorado which appears to be a fictional town (I looked it up), but these past couple of years, we’ve taken a few different trips to Colorado & Wyoming so that general area of the country, although not home, holds a special place in my heart.

Okay, enough with the personal connections. But you can see why this book was so special to me based on those elements alone! Of course, any book can have those elements, but it was the way the book was written as well as the combination of topics just made it so special. These characters all felt like extremely real people. The story was so genuine. My heart just went out to each and everyone, especially throughout Jude’s father’s Alzheimer’s struggle. Jude spends her last summer before college with her father, watching over him, taking care of him, and enjoying what could possibly be his last lucid moments before the Alzheimer’s takes over. This whole part of the book just ripped my heart apart. It was so sad to see him disappearing before the family’s eyes, but it was also so touching to see how the family came together, especially Jude’s attempts to do one last epic thing for her father by helping him restore his old motorcycle.

I absolutely loved the romance in this book. Emilio Vargas is the boy who ends up getting hired to restore Jude’s father’s motorcycle, but he comes with a catch — Jude’s older sisters have been wronged by many a Vargas boy in the past and all four Hernandez sisters have a pact to avoid all Vargas boys at all times. At first, Jude rationalizes that Emilio is just there to help with the bike and she won’t have a problem resisting his charms. Of course we know that’s not going to happen and at some point in time, she’ll have to answer to her sisters about crushing on a Vargas.
Besides the “forbidden romance” I just love how this relationship came to be. The “forbidden” aspect really is half of the fun because we watch Jude’s internal battle between sticking to the pact she made with her sisters and what her heart really wants. Not to mention that Emilio is adorable and he and Jude have a great back and forth throughout the whole book that made me laugh and made my heart flutter all at the same time.

The family dynamic in this book was honestly one of my favorite. I feel like too often, a family member is villainized and naturally, all of the characters in the book are right to hate that person. Both the Hernandez family and the Vargas family were just real people with real problems and real reactions. I saw the humanity in each one, and yes, there were definitely some really flawed characters, but they also had such redeeming qualities as well. It made matters so much more complicated because I wanted to feel for each and every one of them and I couldn’t possible hate any of them!
I loved the sisterly relationship in this book and how even despite the age difference between Jude and her sisters, they all start coming together for their father and for each other. It was exciting to see Jude really making a connection with her sisters in a different and more mature way. Now that she’s older, she gets to talk with them in a totally different way and she’s more respected than when she was just a kid and they were all teenagers and adults.

THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS was extremely beautiful and touching. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I cried. Several times. And ugly crying. Like, uncontrollably sobbing at the end of this book. It was just so, so touching and so incredibly realistic. Like I said earlier, I had a book hangover after this book. I tried to start two new books after I finished and I couldn’t. I had to take a day to let this marinate in my head and let my mind cool off. This is a book that will stick with me for a long, long time.

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Jude: God, I loved Jude. She was such a joy to get to know throughout this book. She matured, she fell in love, she learned so many things. I loved her dedication to her family and at the same time, her desire to be true to herself, even when it went against her family’s wishes. I just really loved her all around.
Emilio: Ohhh, Emilio. I can just picture him with that killer smile and flirty charm and he totally just got me. I loved the romance that developed between him and Jude. Jude has been told that all of the Vargas boys are poison, bad news but she begins to doubt that Emilio can really be that bad. Emilio has quite a story of his own and I really loved hearing everything from his side when all of those details finally come out.

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BUY IT NOW!

I MUST go pick up some more Sarah Ockler books after reading THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS. I can’t believe this is the first of her books that I’ve read. It was just that good for me.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS

     Nantucket Blue           Eleanor & Park

The Selective Collective features The Book of Broken Hearts: Favorite Father-Daughter Relationships in YA

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:

The Book of Broken Hearts - Sarah OcklerCompleted: 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!

Tee @ YA Crush  Interview with Sarah Ockler & Giveaway!
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA  Round Table: The Book of Broken Hearts
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks  Review: The Book of Broken Hearts
Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan  Casting Call