Review: The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

January 3, 2015 | Posted by Genesis in Book Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah OcklerThe Book of Broken Hearts
by Sarah Ockler
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publication Date: May 21, 2013 by Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse
Format: Paperback
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
4.5 Stars
Source: Purchased

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 father-daughter relationship in this book was awe-inspiring. Jude is the youngest of four sisters and living at home. She is spending her last summer at home to take care of her ill father. Jude’s father used to ride Valentina, his motorcycle and his memories of the times he would ride are crystal clear in his mind, unlike most things of his life. Jude thinks that buy fixing Valentina, her father will go back to the way he was. Jude and her father end up hiring Emilio Vargas, a very good-looking, Puerto Rican boy who works with motorcycles and is willing to help for a cheap price. There is one problem. Jude’s sisters may have moved out but an oath remains: Never get involved with a Vargas.

Let me start by saying that not many teens would stay at home on a summer to take care of their parents, blowing off friends and going out. Jude is one of those that decides to stay and spend time with her viejo. Out of the whole family, she is the one that understands him more. I believe Sarah Ockler really portrayed how difficult it is to deal with a person that has Early Onset Alzheimer (EOA). Sarah portrayed it so well, I felt Jude’s pain throughout the entire story, of seeing her viejito deteriorating before her eyes, confusing her with one of her other sisters, causing scenes in public when he was confused, doing things and not remembering later…it was hard to read. And Sarah also showed a good technique for families that have a family member with EOA: label everything with specifics: OVEN AND STOVE FOR COOKING ONLY. DO NOT USE ALONE, RIGHT FOR COLD/LEFT FOR HOT, PRESS DOWN TO TURN OFF WHEN DONE. These were some of the many that were mentioned in the book and I must say it is creative.

Jude is such a witty character! Here are two of the many phrases she says that had me loving her and laughing:

The law of probability dictates that with three older sisters, a girl shall inherit at least one pair of cute shorts that actually fit. Agreed? Bzzz! Thank you for playing! Please try again.


Yes, Hell? This is Jude Hernandez. Just phoning in my reservation. Table for one, near the fireplace if you’ve got it.

I really love Jude’s personality. She is not only witty and creative, but she truly loves her Papi and cares for him like no other. I admire her strength. I did get frustrated a bit because she wouldn’t talk back to Mari until half of the book but I still enjoyed reading her perspective on what was happening.

Now let’s go with Emilio Vargas (Points for the last name. My fiance’s last name is Vargas). I really thought he was a bad boy, but once I got to know the guy, he is a very down-to-earth, caring, funny teenage guy. His family and him are Puerto Rican (This gets major points because I am Puerto Rican and damn proud of it) and I was so happy to finally find a book that featured a Puerto Rican guy. What I would have loved was more mention on our culture and the delicious food we have but that’s okay.

I really love how he never judged Jude’s father. He would always go with the flow with Jude’s dad, not questioning him about what he would be talking about. Emilio started caring a lot for Jude’s dad and always looked out for him or asking about him.

The Book of Broken Hearts is a funny and emotional story that I love and is going on my favorites for 2015. I found it so different from many other YA Contemporary Romances, the reason being it focuses more on the father-daughter relationship—Jude and Emilio’s romance is purely a bonus for the story. I highly recommend it to all of you. You won’t regret it. It definitely makes you put things into perspective and to cherish the moments we have with our family.

If you liked my review, would you mind liking it on Goodreads and marking it as helpful on Amazon? Thank you!

About Sarah Ockler

Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of young adult novels, including #scandal, The Book of Broken Hearts, Bittersweet, Fixing Delilah, and the critically acclaimed Twenty Boy Summer, a YALSA Teens' Top Ten nominee and IndieNext List pick. Her latest, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, hits the shelves in June 2015.

Sarah is a champion cupcake eater, coffee drinker, night person, and bookworm. When she's not writing or reading at home in Washington, she enjoys taking pictures, hugging trees, and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex.

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