Thursday, May 15, 2014

Book Review: Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn


Pages: 352
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: May 13, 2014
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Summer, boys, and friendships gone sour. This new series has everything that perfect beach reads are made of! 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?"

Gemma's on cloud nine planning her summer vacation with her perfect, do-gooder boyfriend, that is until he breaks up with her in Target of all places.  Gemma's world is turned upside down and she decides to spend the summer with her dad in the Hamptons. Although this sounds ideal, she is actually pretty nervous about it, because the last time she was there (five years ago), she pretty much ruined her good friend's life, all for what she thought was a good reason at the time.  On the train to the Hamptoms, Gemma runs into a cute boy, who happens to be Hallie's brother, Josh. He is headed to the Hamptons as well and Gemma finds Hallie waiting to pick him up at the station.  Thankfully, no one recognizes Gemma (thanks to her best friend, Sophie, giving her a post-breakup makeover) and Gemma decides to make things right with Hallie, except there's one small problem.  Hallie and Josh both think her name is Sophie due to a small mixup that Gemma didn't rush to correct, obviously.  To top it off, a series of unfortunate events occurs to Gemma that she assumes is just bad luck, or is it?  Katie Finn's Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend  has many moments of summertime fun at its best, but it also possesses a dark story of revenge.

Gemma is one of those characters that you can really get frustrated with since she makes one poor decision after another, especially the flashbacks to the summer when she was eleven years old. Yikes! I couldn't relate to her or justify her actions at all in Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things To Mend. She was pretty cunning and sly for an eleven year old and I really wasn't a fan.  Once Gemma realizes the error of her ways and tries to make it up to Hallie (posing as Sophie), I enjoyed her a bit more since her heart was in the right spot.  The fact that she has a crush on Hallie's brother, Josh, makes things a bit complicated though.  

Also, Finn's (a.k.a. Morgan Matson) writing is well done and everything I would expect from an author on my auto-buy list. She writes some fun dialogue and puts Gemma into some laugh-out-loud and compromising situations.  Speaking of compromising situations…...

Gemma gets herself into many embarrassing positions in Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend, which was when I realized what was really going on in the story. I mean, I was able to predict what was happening from the get-go, but that didn't deter my overall enjoyment of the book.  

My only issue with Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend is the fact that it went from a lighthearted summer read to a pretty dark story of revenge.  And whoa, cue the mean girls. Wow!  I normally don't enjoy stories based on revenge, at least when it comes to mean girls that are out for blood, but there was something about this story that kept me reading.  I think it was the idea that it's summertime in the Hamptons, which is pretty much cat-nip for me.  The parties, the beach, shopping, pools, a new romance…everything you would expect from a summer of fun. However, you've been forewarned: there are mean girls galore and things turn dark towards the end of Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend.

So, despite the surprising dark undertones towards the last portion of the novel, I think I am going to stick with this series.  Book two, Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold, comes out in 2015.  

12 comments:

  1. I have this one for review but I am not sure I will like it as much as her other books. I am not a fan of "mean girls" or "frustrating characters". I am glad you liked this book even with its flaws. That gives me some hope that maybe I will too. Nice review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really didn't turn too "mean girlish" until closer to the end. It sort of took me by surprise, because before that moment it was pretty light-hearted and fluffy. I still really liked it, because some part of me loves the whole mean girl story. I am definitely going to read the next book in the series. Thanks for visiting, Christina!

      Delete
  2. Oh and I really liked Since You've Been Gone though it lacks the emotional punch of Second Chance Summer. It reminded me quite a bit of Sarah Dessen. I think you will enjoy it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! I am definitely going to pick up a copy!

      Delete
  3. Thanks for the heads-up on this one Christina! I never would have guessed it gets dark toward the end, and I'm not a huge fan of revenge stories with mean girls, so I'm think I'll take a pass on this one. I do like that Gemma gets into all sorts of embarrassing situations though, that always instantly connects me to a character because I can more than sympathize:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too…the embarrassing situations were pretty hilarious and the physical comedy had me laughing out loud. It definitely was a fun summer read despite the mean girl vibe. Thanks for visiting, Jenny!

      Delete
  4. I am so excited for this one, it seems like a great summer read (despite the fact that it gets into some dark revenge plot). It sounds like a great friendship story in some ways, and I can say that I have been waiting for this book for some time. Your review has me wanting to read this book to get to the story of what happened, even though the MC seems like someone I may not like too much. Thanks for the review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Andrea! I hope you get to read it soon….let me know your thoughts! It is a fun summertime story…so I hope you like it! Thanks for dropping by!

      Delete
  5. Sounds like this one takes a dark turn somewhere along the way - I never would have guessed that! Still, I will check this one out as I will pretty much read anything Katie Finn/Morgan Matson writes! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't see it coming, but I was able to predict the twists…you'd be proud. Me too. Morgan Matson/Katie Finn is definitely on auto-buy for me! Thanks for visiting, Leanna!

      Delete
  6. To be honest, this book sounds like something that I will get frustrated with easily. I am not sure if I have it in me to be patient with Gemma. You are definitely more generous than me!

    Great review, Christina!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gemma takes sometime to warm up to, but I enjoyed her overall since she was so entertaining! :) Thanks for visiting!

      Delete

I really appreciate your comments. Thank you!

Related Posts with Thumbnails
 
Design by: Designer Blogs