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Jasprit

Jasprit

The Book of Broken Hearts - Sarah Ockler This is the third book which I have devoured by Ockler and I have to say her books just keep getting better and better. The Book of Broken Hearts was everything I’d expected and so much more. It was a novel which seemed to focus on one story, but incorporated so many different aspects that could appeal to every reader.Jude and her sisters Mari and Celi and Lourdes had taken on an oath to stay away from the Vargas brothers. After two of Jude’s sisters had been left heartbroken, it was agreed that no good would come by spending time with them. Five years later Jude is pushed to decide what’s important to her; she and her dad hire a mechanic to fix her dad’s motorcycle, it’s been his dream for 30 years to ride his beloved Valentina one more time. But the only mechanic with the time to get her fixed up by the summer is none other than Emilio Vargas. Jude knows she must stay away from him; she has a promise to keep to her sisters. But those cute dimples and rugged smile is slowly sneaking its way to her heart and every time Emilio gets closer to finishing the Valentina it’s the happiest she’s seen her dad in a long time. What’s a girl like Jude to do?Staying away from Emilio Vargas wasn’t as straight forward as everyone expected it to be. Jude’s dad was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, it was a tough time on the entire Hernandez family, but most of all on Jude, who had spent her last summer before she went off to college looking after him. Her dad could quickly go from knowing who he was to losing his cool over a supposed wrong order of ice-cream. It could take a lot to calm him back, and so Jude was quick to realise that the only thing which could keep him happy and content was focusing on the end goal of fixing the Valentina.I absolutely loved The Book of Broken Hearts; it was a story full with underlying themes of heartache, loyalty and about making the right choice. Jude wanted to remain loyal to her sisters, she wanted to take care of her dad and not send him to a home, and she also wanted to be with Emilio. The sweet build up of the relationship between Emilio and Jude was one of the best ones that I have come across in a long time. Emilio was quick to show that he was in no way like his brothers; he was honest, caring and completely understanding of Jude’s situation. He wasn’t quick to judge like Jude’s friends, but gave Jude the time and space she needed. I eagerly anticipated their scenes in the barn when he was fixing Valentina; they were full of banter, charm and pulse racing scenes. Ockler had the romance nailed, never have I wanted a couple to be together than I did with Jude and Emilio. But there were so many hurdles in the way. Jude was a character I admired; at 17 she had so much responsibility on her shoulders. By looking after her dad she had no time for friends (which I didn’t like by the way) and no time to enjoy her summer. I hated how if anything did go wrong she felt she had to shoulder the entire guilt, because of this I felt she totally deserved time to have fun with Emilio. But I liked how it had been ingrained within her not to trust a Vargas, but she decided to make her own judgements, which at the end of the day helped her tons, as she could always share the burden of what she had to go through with Emilio, who was always around to lend a sympathetic shoulder.Family played an integral part to The Book of Broken Hearts and I enjoyed how Ockler was able to bring both the individual family members of the Hernandez family out so strongly but also show how well they worked together as a family. Each of the Hernandez sisters had their own individual voice, which was good as I dislike it when a story focuses in on a family, but it becomes hugely difficult to distinguish between the characters. This was not a problem in The Book of Broken Hearts, each sister had their own defining characteristics and we were able to differentiate them as they had their own story. Jude’s sisters and parents made solid secondary characters with each bringing something unique and special to the story. My only minor gripe is that we got to find out about why Miguel Vargas broke Lourdes heart, but no proper detail about what happened with Celi and Johnny Vargas. I think I was really keen to know as their relationship had progressed further than anyone else and it was the final straw which led to the oath being suggested amongst the sisters.The Book of Broken Hearts is full with deep beautiful passages representing just how important family can be. It was also littered with some really heartbreaking scenes, and some which had me melting into a pile of mush. I also liked how Ockler incorporated a couple of references which poked fun at how readers fall for paranormal beings such as vampires and the overwhelming love triangles. These cute references were quick to bring a smile to my face.I honestly can’t praise The Book of Broken Hearts enough; it has so much to offer with Ockler managing to pack so much awesomeness into a 368 page book. I’m not usually one of those readers who recommend books, but if I could recommend just one book that you should read this year, it would be The Book of Broken Hearts.