Guys, I have to get one thing off my chest before starting this review: the summary is completely deceiving. I was expecting a cute summery book and this book is just so much more.
There's this little sentence in the summary about Jude's ailing father. Which is what this book is actually about, it's about a girl and her family dealing with this horrible thing that's happening to her father and about the summer she spends with him and the boy who supports her through it. Of course there's romance, but that's not the centre of this story. At least, to me it's not.
The Book of Broken Hearts tells us about the impact of early onset Alzheimer's on a man and his family. This is something that actually scares me. I know there are a lot of diseases I wouldn't ever want anyone I love to have, but to me there aren't a lot of things that are scarier than dementia I mean, my grandmother struggled with her health, but I'm so incredibly thankful she never had to deal with this. I've seen the destructiveness of this disease in patients and it's beyond awful.
We meet Jude, the youngest daughter of four, she's the only one living at home and looking after her father while her mom is at work. I couldn't help but immediately connect to this wonderful girl, willing to put her own life on hold to take care of others. She's working so hard and sometimes I just wanted to slap one of her sisters for not appreciating all she'd been doing.
I loved this family. Even though there's bickering and bossing around, you can feel the love. There are so many dysfunctional families in YA that this was just such a good change. They band together when things get rough and are really there for each other. I loved Jude's father for being strong, even in the face of this scary disease. You don't get to see how strong till the end of the novel, but it's amazing.
Of course there's Emilio. The Boy. Emilio is smooth and sweet and just someone Jude can count on. I totally respected him for how he was with Jude's father. There aren't many guys his age who would know how to deal with stuff like this and well, there's just all of these hidden depths with this boy and yeah, I guess I'm a fan. Though I thought they moved kinda fast from the 'oh we're kissing' to 'come with me on this epic trip' in about 5 minutes. That kinda threw me off.
It was sorta hard for me to read this book because it deals with something that terrifies me, but Sarah Ockler completely drew me in with her writing and I just couldn't put it down long (I needed small breaks sometimes). She captured all of the things I've seen families dealing with and touched my heart. Like I said at the beginning: this is so much more than a summer romance!
My rating: 4,5 stars