May 22, 2014

Latest Read: Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn

Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things To Mend by Katie Finn
Publication date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Received ARC from publisher (Thanks!)
Summary: Gemma just got dumped and is devastated. She finds herself back in the Hamptons for the summer—which puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friend that she wronged five years earlier. Do people hold grudges that long? When a small case of mistaken identity causes everyone, including Hallie and her dreamy brother Josh, to think she’s someone else, Gemma decides to go along with it. Gemma's plan is working (she's finding it hard to resist Josh), but she's finding herself in embarrassing situations (how could a bathing suit fall apart like that!?). Is it coincidence or is someone trying to expose her true identity? And how will Josh react if he finds out who she is? (Adapted goodreads.com)

The good
Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend was part silliness, part Mean Girls and part sweet friendship/romance moments. I think the book shined during the latter and the rest.. well, I’ll let you know in a minute.

Gemma had a plan for summer which mostly revolved around her boyfriend. When he unexpectedly dumps her, she’s crushed and to make matters worse, she finds out that she’ll be headed to the Hamptons with her dad. She hasn’t been back in years and the memories from her last time there still haunt her. It sounds pretty ominous and while we don’t find out right away what exactly happened, we do know it has to do with her former best friend Hallie. She doesn’t know what she’ll do if she sees her again, but lo and behold she sees Hallie and her older, cute brother Josh on her first day back. Here’s the twist! Hallie doesn’t recognize her thanks to a post break-up makeover Gemma’s best friend Sophie insisted she get before the trip.

Gemma is super likable and young with a good heart. Even when we find out what happened years ago with Hallie, it didn’t affect my perception of her. If anything, I felt for her even more. As she spends the book trying to make amends with Hallie, we know just how remorseful she feels before we find out the details of their fallout. And her actions were that of a scared young girl who didn’t know what she was doing or what the ripple affect would be. She is not a vindictive person (at least not in this book!) and it was important we saw that. Gemma’s character definitely shined most when we see her going out with Josh or having BFF time with Sophie.

(Major) reservations
While I couldn’t predict what happened between Gemma and Hallie five years ago, everything happening between them in the present? Absolutely predictable. I had it figured it out from the moment they crossed paths again in the Hamptons and I’m fairly certain every reader will have the same experience. Maybe this was done intentionally? I don’t know. But I wish it has been less obvious because it was just frustrating to watch Gemma not see what’s right in front of her. Also, I get Hallie is angry and upset. I would be too. But her actions and anger felt over the top and instead of feeling sympathy for her, I wanted to reach into the book and give her a hard shake.

When I first began reading, I wasn’t aware that it would be a series. I’m not a fan of that idea or the idea of watching girls formulate revenge plans against the other. I personally was hoping for a different direction where after all the hijinks, they would talk about what happened. Even if they yelled it out, at least it would be some kind of communication. (And I wanted more moments between Gemma with Sophie or Josh but that’s besides the point). Again, this is my own preference.

Do I recommend?
For all my reservations, it was a quick read and I breezed right through it in a day. But while there were moments I really enjoyed, the things I wasn’t crazy about outweighed what I did like.

Collaborative feature with Alexa! 

What's your favorite summer drink?
Soda and coffee (and lately, wine) are my favorite drinks all year round. But during the summer, there's just something about a Dunkin Donuts french vanilla coffee coolatta that is so refreshing. Of course it's like a million calories and super unhealthy but whatever. I love it! 

3 comments:

  1. I've had a coffee coolatta before, but NOT a French vanilla version. I'm thinking that might turn into my new favorite thing this summer, especially because there's a DD right next to (well, a few doors down) from my new office!

    Also, YES to everything you've said about Broken Hearts. It's seriously such a fun read! I can see it being a great TV movie too. I really enjoyed the story, even though it was certainly predictable.

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  2. I don't know if it's a blessing or a curse that there's a Starbucks right next door to where I work. Between my coworkers & the baristas, we're something of an extended family by now! As much as I love a good hot drink (and wine oh my I love me some wine) you really can't beat something cold and refreshing during the hot summer days. Because I'm super lazy and uncreative, I've started telling the baristas to surprise me - and I've gotten some seriously incredible drinks! Two recent favorites were s'mores-esque and snickers fraps! SO tasty.

    I'm glad this book was a quick read, but it's a shame the bad outweighed the good! :( It seemed super cute!

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  3. Hmmmm I've been very iffy about whether I will read this one. Thank you so much for the review! I'm a little worried about the predictability. That tends to be a huge pet peeve of mine.

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