Title: Broken Beautiful Hearts
Author: Kami Garcia
Published: 06 February 2018 | Imprint
Date Read: 04 February 2018
Before, Peyton was a star soccer player with the perfect boyfriend, Reed. Now, she has a torn knee ligament, a scholarship on the line, and a shattered sense of self. No one believes Reed pushed her, causing her injury, and Peyton just wants to leave the trauma behind. Living with her uncle and twin cousins in their small, football-obsessed town seems like a great escape plan.
There, Peyton meets Owen—high school classmate and local MMA fighter. Though Owen is charming and gentle, Peyton is determined to repress her growing attraction. But when her old and new life collide, Peyton must reclaim the truth of her past in order to save her future.
*ARC Kindly provided by Macmillan | Clarion & Inkslinger PR thru Netgalley for Review*
I’ve heard and read about Kami Garcia and her works for a couple of years now since I started blogging but its just now that I finally picked up one of her works.
“I believe everything happens for a reason and usually the reason sucks”
Peyton’s senior life is shaping up nicely. She has great friends, a perfect boyfriend and is on the way to becoming an athlete to her dream school – UNC – for soccer. On the day she dubbed as “One Perfect Day” everything seemed to shatter right before her eyes. She caught the reason why her boyfriend seems to be changing and keeping secrets lately. They broke up, argument ensues, and terrible things happened that forces her to move with her uncle in Tennessee. It is there that she meets her twin cousins, Christian and Cameron, the friendly cheerleader and the twins’ friend Grace and the aspiring kick-boxer, Owen.
The story started good and high for me. I’m craving to read a YA Romance lately and I’m so happy that I pick this one up. Though I have a hunch that certain parts of the book might be too deep and/or emotional, I felt excited. Broken Beautiful Hearts is one of those books that will give you an emotional roller coaster kind of ride. You’ll feel happy, sad, angry, tormented and just all over the place. Kami Garcia puts a lot of secrets, revelations, twists and turns in the story that others may find somewhat predictable, but I find myself enjoying every chapter and its predictability. The plot is entertaining.
The lead characters Peyton and Owen were written with depth and reality. These two might be your typical high-school seniors, but at such a youthful age it seems life they’ve been through a lot.
I didn’t immediately loved Peyton but as the story goes, she grew on me. I find her a bit sarcastic and petulant at the beginning. But as her story progress, she became a stronger and more independent version of herself. Despite being accused as a liar by people who are once close to her, she sticks with her story of truth and didn’t back down; she stood up for herself despite the consequences it might cause her. She didn’t back down from all the stones that were thrown on her way. I appreciate how the author gave Peyton a great support system – her mom, uncle and cousins.
“Any girl with a heartbeat would have trouble ignoring the pull of his sexy smile and beautiful brown eyes.”
Even after reading the story, Owen still seems like a stranger to me. Don’t take me wrong, I liked his character and appreciate his great parts in it and I know what we learned about him on the story was already an important thing, but I could’ve wished we get to know more about him and his life. I feel like we were only introduced to it on a surface level. But anyway, his character played a very vital role in the story. Just like Peyton, he didn’t back down from all the stones that life threw at him.
The chemistry between these two was very well written. I find myself enjoying their sweet banters and flirting. I’m also glad that the “love story” part of the story didn’t overly occupy the entirety of it.
A major part of the book focuses on two types of abuse – relationship and substance abuse. Kami Garcia was able to handle this sensitive topic with care and in a very realistic way. She didn’t only give us the surface level on how the abuse happen and how it affects the person abused but also how it affects the people around that person. This part of the plot was so important, and I think Kami Garcia handled it greatly.
The writing style also worked well for me. It was somewhat intense, emotion-filled, catchy and strong. There wasn’t a page or chapter that I wasn’t invested in. The ending was quite predictable. But as mentioned on the blurb (which is what I was also holding too as I was reading), this book will break our hearts and eventually put it back together again.
Overall, I really love reading Beautiful Broken Hearts. It was a story of fighting, healing, and letting go of things you have no control over.
“We don’t get one perfect day. We get a lifetime of imperfect days and its up to us to decide what we want to do with them.”
This is not how I envisioned celebrating my big news. I reach for my phone to check the time, wondering if it’s too early to head home. But it isn’t in my pocket. Nothing but lip balm, house keys, and Reed’s car keys. God forbid he carry anything except his phone. I pat down my coat. “I lost my phone.”
“It’s probably in the car, like the last three times you lost it. I need to run to the bathroom and then I’ll help you find it,” Tess says.
The line for the bathroom is six people deep. I can’t wait that long. “All my voice mails are on it.”
Tess knows that by all I really mean one—the last message from my dad. It’s the reason I’ve had the same phone for a year and a half, even though it barely holds a charge.
“I bet it’s in the car,” she says. “Don’t worry.”
“I’m just going to run out and check.” I leave through the back door.
Outside, a stone retaining wall snakes down the hill beside the house. The wall separates a paved footpath from the long driveway. My arm scrapes against the rock as I rush toward the steps at the end of the walk- way that lead down to the street.
Reed parked his car across from the steps, and I can’t get it unlocked fast enough. I search for my phone in the front seat and between the crevices of the center console.
Think. Retrace your steps.
When we got in Reed’s car I tossed my jacket in the back seat. My phone could’ve fallen out of the pocket. I lean between the front seats and grope around.
Come on. Please be here.
What if it’s not?
My chest tightens. I can’t lose Dad’s message.
Reed’s car is full of junk—hand wraps, sparring pads, sweaty T-shirts, and empty energy drinks. His smelly gym bag is open on the floor. I dig through it until my fingers hit something rectangular and smooth.
I take it out of the bag, expecting a cheap plastic box like one Reed uses as a first aid kit. But this box is glossy black cardboard, like a gift box.
Reed doesn’t do surprises, and he thinks presents are a waste of money. The only gift he has given me in the seven months we’ve been together was for my birthday. And Tess and Mrs. Michaels don’t have birthdays anytime soon.
My stomach bottoms out.
All the time he’s been spending at the gym . . . What if Reed hasn’t been there every night?
Things have been off between us for a while and I’m not a fan of his recent mood swings, but I’d never cheat on him. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t.
The box doesn’t have a store name or logo printed on it, and it’s a weird size—too big for a bracelet and too deep for a necklace. A watch, maybe?
I open the lid.
Kami Garcia is the #1 New York Times, USA Today & international bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures and Dangerous Creatures novels. BEAUTIFUL CREATURES has been published in 50 countries and translated in 39 languages, and the film Beautiful Creatures released in theaters in 2013, from Warner Brothers. Kami’s solo series, The Legion, includes the instant New York Times bestseller UNBREAKABLE, and the sequel UNMARKED, both of which were nominated for Bram Stoker Awards. Her other works include THE X-FILES ORIGINS: AGENT OF CHAOS and the YA contemporary novels THE LOVELY RECKLESS and the forthcoming BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS (February 2018).
Kami was a teacher for seventeen years before co-authoring her first novel on a dare from seven of her students. If she isn’t busy watching Supernatural, Kami can teach you how to escape from a pair of handcuffs or bake a Coca-Cola cake. She lives in Maryland with her family, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Visit Kami at http://www.KamiGarcia.com.