The Book of Broken Hearts - Sarah Ockler

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
Genre: YA Romance/Realistic Fiction

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Blurb (on back of book)When all signs point to heartbreak, can love still be a rule of the road? A poignant and romantic novel from the author of Bittersweet and Twenty Boy Summer.
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.


This book was written quite well in my opinion. The plot was consistent, there wasn't too much description or dialogue, and the characters were real to life and very easy to relate to.

This book is about a girl named Jude who is the youngest of four girls by a considerable amount of time (she was kind of a "mistake"). The blurb doesn't talk about one of the most important parts of this book, which might have been good to include: her dad has pre-Alzheimer's.

Papi was slowly retreating in on himself and his memories were fading and his mind was leaving him. Jude didn't want to believe it so she tried her best to do things for him that would help him to come back. Wishful thinking on her part in my opinion, but she really hoped...

So she unearths a motorcycle from her dad's YOUNGER days and he remembers it. She wants to fix it up and make it run again in order to have him ride it and have his memories come back. Again, wishful thinking, but she knew it. She still hoped though.

She goes to a bike shop so that she can find a mechanic to fix the bike up, but everyone is too busy except for a younger guy, who isn't an expert. His name is Emilio Vargas.

She is hesitant to hire him. The Vargas family has a very long history with her family. Her sisters made her sign an oath against any of the Vargas family, mainly the boys, when she was twelve. It was a big deal, candles, blood, knives, the works.

Jude hires Emilio though, seeing as he is the only one available. She tries to hide it from her sisters, but her heart is telling her that he isn't what they thought. Just because his brothers were 'evil' doesn't mean that he was. She starts to fall in love with him and he starts to fall in love with her...

Jude's dad gets worse. He starts to do worse things, such as accidentally burning the kitchen, etc. It was very realistic and I liked reading about his incidents, insane as that sounds. Jude tries to ignore her feelings in order to just focus on her father.

She comes across a pamphlet that is for patients like her father that her mother wants to bring Papi. Jude is astonished and scared. Personally, I thought that Transitions sounded really awesome for patients, but she definitely didn't agree.

This book was very complicated, what with so many elements and characters. It was relatively easy to follow, though, but you had to learn to read between the lines and think deeper than usual when reading romance.

Jude was slightly annoying at times. She refused to let her father go. If you love him, you learn to let him go where he could be in a better place. Ok? I'm sorry, but that's the whole truth. Jude also was just annoying in general. I didn't really like her as a character. Her personality was hard to understand. She acted differently in front of different people. Meek and obeying to her sisters, sassy and weird to guys, lovey-dovey to Emilio, and caring and overprotective of her dad. She was hard to follow.

Emilio was fun to read about. He was sweet, nice, and cool. I didn't like how he lied about his cousin though. Emilio was definitely my favorite character.

I didn't get the character of Rosette. Who was she to Emilio? Why bring her up? She really wasn't any competition towards Jude, so there wasn't a point in creating her as a new character that was barely in the book.

I hated Jude's sisters, especially Mari. She is drawn up to be kind, but really she was annoying and rude. She had anger-management and Celi and Lourdes were also annoying people as well. Her sisters were very well-drawn, but they were annoying.

I like how the author portrayed Alzheimer's as a demon.

I know that there was other stuff I wanted to talk about, but this is super long, so I'm going to cut it short. I would recommend this book to young adult readers who like to read about conflicted romances and disabilities.

Main Character: Jude
Sidekick(s): Emilio, Mari, Celi, Lourdes, Papi, etc
Villain(s): Alzheimer's, El Demonio, etc
Romance/Realistic Fiction Elements: This book featured a romantic relationship and the elements were all real to life.