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

August 14, 2014 Book Review, Young Adult 3 ★½

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn | Book ReviewBroken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn
Series: Broken Hearts & Revenge #1
Published by Feiwel and Friends on May 13, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 339
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
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1.5 Stars
Hot sun. Blue waves. New romances. Old secrets.

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.

I was very excited to read Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend, because I was expecting a fun summer romance in the Hamptons. I knew Katie Finn was a pen name for Morgan Matson, and since I had not read any of Morgan’s books I was looking forward to seeing what kind of an author she is. Sadly, this book was not at all what I was hoping for. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. We’ve got Gemma, a 16-year-old girl who has been haunted by the fact that she literally ruined the life of her best friend, Hallie, and Hallie’s family when she was 11 years old. Oh. My. Gosh. When I say ruined, I mean RUINED. When I heard the story of what Gemma selfishly did this poor family, I lost all respect for her and never gained it back. Some might argue that she was just a kid, but she was not 5 or 6. She was 11. She totally knew what she was doing and the ramifications behind it.

She runs into Hallie and Hallie’s brother, Josh (who she had no idea was Hallie’s brother–seriously?), during a return trip to the Hamptons and decides to lie about who she is in order to “make amends”. I’m sorry, but in what universe does lying about who you are and lulling your friends into a false sense of security before dropping the bomb on them that you’re the life ruiner equal making amends and living happily ever after? How can anyone in their right mind think this is going to work? So, Gemma becomes Sophie for the summer and becomes besties with Hallie and a love interest for the romantically scarred Josh. My mind is screaming at this point.

2. I can’t like a book character who continually lies. Sophie’s (Gemma’s) cover is almost blown multiple times, and I kept wishing it would be. I wanted her to be caught in her lies because I just could not stand how she was manipulating and lying to two people she claimed to care about. I kept hoping she would grow up, buck up, and fess up. But she kept weaving this hugely tangled web of lies that became way too much.

3. I kept thinking that the entire story was extremely childish and immature. I felt too old for the story. I rarely feel this way with YA books because I can almost always find something to relate to, either from my younger years or my current life situations. I just could not this time, and that was disappointing.

4. Obviously, I did not connect with Gemma/Sophie, but I did not connect with anyone. I liked Josh and thought he was way too good to be mixed up in all this. But I was never privy to what he was feeling or thinking. I liked Hallie ok, but never trusted her. Maybe all the lies prevented connections, but that’s not a good thing.

5. The only redeeming part of the book was Gemma’s dad’s boss, Bruce. Bruce is hilarious. He’s trying to lose weight in really weird ways, yet sneaks junk food when his helpful assistant is not paying attention. I really, really liked him, and he brought a lot of humor to the story that needed to be there.

6. I had the ending pegged from the beginning. I’m very surprised that Gemma didn’t.

7. The ending was one of the worst, most frustrating endings I’ve read and left me mad at every character.

8. There was NO resolution whatsoever. I have no problems with trilogies, but when the first book ends having given me absolutely nothing, it leaves me with very little motivation to continue on to book 2.

All in all, the shenanigans that ensued as a result of Gemma’s lies were funny, but only because they were so absurd and a touch infuriating that I had to laugh. I was hoping for so much more from this book, with its cute cover and a synopsis that screamed summer fun. I’m come away with the realization that I like reading about nice characters, not characters who lie, plot revenge, and hurt other people. If you’re looking for a light summer read, I would suggest looking in to some other titles. I’m still very interested in Morgan Matson’s books, but will most likely pass on other Katie Finn books.

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3 Responses to “Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn | Book Review”

  1. Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide

    With all of the frustrated reviews for this one… I think I’m just going to skip it. I read about 15 pages of it and already hated the tone (I felt like it was VERY young… and I read MG sometimes too and it doesn’t feel that juvenile) so it was just a pass for me. If I’m already that frustrated in the beginning, it’s not a good sign!
    Brittany @ The Book Addict’s Guide recently posted…If You Liked… If I Stay

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