Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend (Broken Hearts #1) by Katie Finn

brokenhearts

Gemma had her summer all planned out, but it takes a sharp turn when she gets dumped and finds herself back in the Hamptons after a five-year absence.

Being there puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friends (that is, before Gemma ruined her life). But people don’t hold grudges forever. Do they?

Gemma intends on making amends, but a small case of mistaken identity causes the people she knew years ago—including Hallie and her dreamy brother, Josh—to believe she’s someone else. As though the summer wasn’t complicated enough already.

Filled with summer sun, boys, and friendships gone sour, Katie Finn’s first novel in the Broken Hearts and Revenge series sizzles and delights.

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn
Published May 13, 2014 by Feiwel & Friends
Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Format: Hardcover; 339 pages
Also By This Author: Top 8Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold
Goodreads Amazon Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Thoughts:

If I could summarize this book in one sentence it would say: LYING IS BAD!

Gemma Tucker is a big liar. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t go into too much detail, but when Gemma was 11 she did some really horrible things to a friend she made while vacationing in the Hamptons for the summer. I say horrible without explaining what she did exactly, but trust me, some of these things she did were cruel and had serious, long-term affects. I remember feeling really sad after we finally find out what happened.

Anyway, this book is actually fun, despite some of the sadder/darker backstory. Fast-forward 7 years and now Gemma, recently dumped and back in the Hamptons for the summer, is presented with a chance to “mend” all the wrongs she did…by lying.

Yeah, because that’s not going to end badly.

This book was well-written and the characters weren’t flat or boring. The only reason I didn’t rate this book a little higher is because of the lying. Lie after lie built up to the point that I was stressing out and feeling like was the one lying. (Side note: I have a problem, when it comes to appropriating fictional characters’ feelings as my own, especially guilt or embarrassment. It’s a big problem of mine) But by the time I reached the end of the novel and things took a huge twist, I was ready to read the sequel (which I just received for Christmas!).

Read This Book If…

…you enjoy books about second chances.
…you’re looking for a light but suspenseful read (that may stress you out like it did me!).
…you need a beach book even if it’s not beach season yet!
…you want to start a new series (the final book will be published in May so you wouldn’t have to wait years to read them all!).

Final Musings

If you didn’t know this, Katie Finn is also Morgan Matson, author of some of my favorite Young Adult books, Since You’ve Been Gone and Second Chance SummerBroken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend is a lot different from Matson’s books, but the writing styles and character developments are similar. I enjoyed this book even if 3-stars doesn’t seem like a great rating (it would have been 4-stars if I hadn’t experienced so much second-hand embarrassment).

Advertisements

Amelia Elkins Elkins by A. M. Blair

Amelia Elkins

“It’s more than it appears. Don’t step on it, and definitely don’t eat it. It’s called skunk cabbage for a reason.”

“What’s so special about it?” she said, mostly to herself.

“It’s exciting! It’s the harbinger of spring. Don’t hold its foul odor and toxins against it. It’s only doing what it needs to do to survive.”

“Aren’t we all,” Amelia concluded, suddenly feeling a certain affinity for the smelly plant her mother had loved so much.

Amelia Elkins Elkins by A. M. Blair
Published June 19, 2015
Adult Fiction/Adaptation
Format: e-book; 318 pages
Goodreads | Amazon | Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Synopsis:

In 1817, if childbirth didn’t kill a woman, then there were good odds that a “miasma” would. Now, thanks to modern medicine, a woman’s demise at the prime of her life is uncommon enough to deserve an investigation. That is what two lawyers at the Harville Firm promise to do when Amelia Elkins Elkins, a member of a prominent family with more baggage than money, contacts them in the wake of her mother’s untimely death.

In this retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Amelia and her sisters turn to the American court system to seek justice for their mother’s death. It’s too bad that their conceited, silly father is doing everything he can — inadvertently, of course — to hinder their success.

Thoughts:

One of my online friends who blogs over at The Misfortune of Knowing recently published this novel, which is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, one of her favorite novels (and mine as well!), and I saved it for Austen in August this month! Amelia Elkins Elkins follows Amelia, an emergency room doctor who comes from a historically prominent family, as she seeks the aide of a former boyfriend in her late mother’s wrongful death lawsuit.

Blair does a fantastic job at preserving the spirit of Austen’s Persuasion in her modern adaptation. Amelia is a sympathetic character who, like Anne Elliot, is tragically undervalued by her family. While Amelia is left to salvage her family’s estate and seek justice for her mother’s death, her family is more concerned with their own self-centered affairs. At times I felt that Amelia’s elder sister and father were even worse than their Persuasion counterparts! But rest assured, everyone gets what they deserve in the end :)

One of my favorite parts about this novel is how the romance, although thrilling and sweet, was not the main focus of the story. I loved diving into the legal world, which I know little about, and I appreciate how Blair clearly described all of the technical terms and documents. Being an attorney herself, I imagine that she’s had plenty of practice explaining legal practices to clients! If you’ve ever had any interest in the legal field, you’ll definitely enjoy following this fictional lawsuit as it envelops readers in mystery and intrigue.

Read This Book If:

…you’re a fan of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.
…you enjoy reading novels with lawsuits and legal plots (especially when all of the jargon is easy to understand).
…you love stories that involve second chances.
…you long for a story with a bit of mystery and romance!

Final Musings:

If you are looking for a contemporary novel that is so much more than just an adaptation of a classic, Amelia Elkins Elkins should be on your To-Read list! A. M. Blair’s book evokes feelings of sympathy, anger, intrigue, and of course happiness as a former couple reunites in a quest for justice.

Jane Austen Book Tag

I was tagged by Deanna at Deanna Writes to do the Jane Austen Book Tag! I know I’m seriously behind in my Jane Austen posts for this month, but I’m back now with something fun and festive for Austen in August :)

Sense and Sensibility
A book with a dynamic sibling relationship

littlewomen

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – I love the complex relationship between the March daughters :)

Pride and Prejudice
A book that didn’t seem interesting at first

MTLGTM

The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link (part of My True Love Gave to Me) – This short story took me a  few pages to get into, but by the end it had become my favorite addition in this book!

Emma
A book in which two close friends fall in love

Little Dorrit

Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens – I’ve only seen the miniseries adaptation of this book, and I know there is much, much more to the story than the romance, but I still enjoyed that aspect of the novel :)

Mansfield Park
A book with a ‘rags to riches’ storyline

janeeyre

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – I feel like the theme of “rags to riches” can be applied multiple ways in this story. Obviously Jane goes from having nothing besides her good conscience and kind heart to having everything that could make her happy and more, but Mr. Rochester also has a bit of this story line himself, he just has to lose all of his material possessions in order to realize it.

Persuasion
A book involving second chances

thetimekeeper

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom – most of Albom’s novels revolve around the theme of second chances, but this one also shows us the importance of each person’s life in the grand scheme of things.

Northanger Abbey
A book with an imaginative character

AoGG

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery – Let’s be honest…Anne Shirley’s Haunted Woods fiasco is right up Catherine Morland’s lane (and mine, too!).

And now I tag anyone else who wants to make their own Jane Austen Book Tag post :) Enjoy!