Series: Broken Hearts & Revenge #1
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Source/Format: Publisher (Thanks!) || ARC
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects my review.]
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?
Sometimes, I simply enjoy a book because it is purely entertainment. This is how I felt about the Gossip Girl series, and The Clique series. And now, after reading Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend, the Broken Hearts & Revenge series has been added to that list.
Seriously, it was no hardship to read Broken Hearts. It was fun, it was easy and it was really compelling because it was so over-the-top. The situations that Gemma found herself in, both as a child and as a teen, were definitely dramatic. Emotions were heightened, choices were made that weren’t always the sanest or best, and everything just served as a source of amusement. The story played out the way a TV drama or a made-for-TV movie might, with plenty of exaggeration, humiliation and deception (that only the reader knew of).
The thing is, I’m not overly fond of either Gemma or Hallie. Gemma lacked personality to me, and it really bugged me that she would adapt to become whatever she needed to be in any of her relationships. In retrospect, I suppose it’s fair to conclude that she’s still in an exploration stage, and figuring out who she might really be, but still, her lack of qualities that were uniquely her really got to me.
Hallie, on the other hand, is practically a stranger. Gemma feels guilty about hurting Hallie when they were kids, so she’s painted as a victim and as someone Gemma really wants to make things right with. I had my own opinions about her, but a part of me does wish that we knew what was really going on in her mind. Honestly, the only character I even remotely liked was Josh. He was sweet, and thoughtful, and just a wonderful boy. It was totally easy to see why Gemma would have a crush on him!
But yes, the shenanigans that ensue during Gemma’s summer in the Hamptons are really fun (and funny) to read about. She jumps through all these hoops in an effort to befriend Hallie and make up for what she did. Let’s just say that some of those hoops involve embarrassing situations or moments that test Gemma’s patience and pride! There were definitely moments that made me cringe, and others that made me giggle, and still others that had me shaking my head. It was all around chaos, but really engaging too!
While I wasn’t completely taken with Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend, I can’t say that I didn’t have fun reading it. In the end, that’s probably my biggest takeaway. Even though things got a little crazy and dramatic, even though I totally called most of the plot twists, sometimes, you just want to read something fun – and that’s precisely what this novel has got to offer.
If I remember correctly, Gemma was always drinking iced soy vanilla lattes, which is how this question came to be. Personally, I prefer drinking iced chai tea lattes! They've always been a favorite for me. I drink it nearly every single day during summertime (and get the hot version a ton during colder seasons).