by Amelia Kahaney
Original Publishing Date: October 8, 2013
Length: 336 pages
Obtained Via: Won Advanced Reader’s Copy from EpicReads
Format Read In: ARC
View at the Traffic light:
A teenage girl is transformed into a reluctant superhero and must balance her old life with the dark secret of who she has become.
Prima ballerina Anthem Fleet is closely guarded by her parents in their penthouse apartment. But when she meets the handsome Gavin at a party on the wrong side of town, she is immediately drawn into his dangerous world. Then, in a tragic accident, Anthem falls to her death. She awakes in an underground lab, with a bionic heart ticking in her chest. As she navigates her new life, she uncovers the sinister truth behind those she trusted the most, and the chilling secret of her family lineage…and her duty to uphold it.
The Dark Knight meets Cinder in this gripping and cinematic story of heartbreak and revenge.
When I first read the summary for this book, I was so excited. Superhero stories have never really been my thing(I’ve STILL never seen The Dark Night, Spiderman, the Avengers, etc.), but I did like the sound of this one and the comparison to Cinder, which is one of my all time favorite books. Then the early reviews started rolling in, and they were low, lots of 1 stars and DNF’s, so it was with trepidation that I picked up this book. And you know what? It wasn’t perfect, and it had a lot of problems as well as things I hate, but at the same time. . . I enjoyed it. I can see why others disliked it, and I won’t say it’s the best written story ever, but it entertained me.
So let’s start with the problems, and then I’ll talk about why, despite those things, I liked this book anyway. The world-building in The Brokenhearted left a lot to be desired. Basically, the world is this: Athem Fleet belongs to a rich family from the good side of town, and the bad side of town–well, let’s just say it’s not someplace you want to ever find yourself alone. There’s a large crime syndicate that controls most of that side of town, and you can’t walk almost a step with something being stolen. Fair enough. But even though I read this entire novel, the world-building pretty much NEVER goes past that. How did the town become so split? I don’t know. Where’s the rest of the world? I don’t know. So yeah, the world-building, not so great.
The second problem I had was with the secondary characters. Anthem was an interesting enough main character. She wasn’t the most intriguing person ever and she was definitely playing the part of annoying main character at times, but I did like her character development as she comes to term with what her new heart means and the power it gives her(though, I have to admit parts of this were sketchy too. There were certain things Anthem could do with her new heart that she couldn’t before, and a lot of them required suspension of disbelief). But most of the other characters were written as stock characters. I didn’t find it awful, I just didn’t think they were well-rounded. They were all just there to fulfill a purpose in the story and then move on.
And finally, the last major problem in The Brokenhearted was the insta-love, which I think is by far the biggest turn-off for many people. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say The Brokenhearted has the BIGGEST case of insta-love in any book I’ve read, ever, and it almost made me DNF in the beginning. Fortunately, the plot later on kind of deals with that and it became less of a problem, but it’s by far my least favorite thing about this book and the first quarter was hard to get through for that alone.
After all those flaws, I know it’s amazing that I didn’t hate this book, but I really didn’t, because I still found the plot really engaging. Well written? Not necessarily. But fun. Some things were cliche and made me roll my eyes in disbelief, but I still enjoyed it because I just found the concept of a bionic heart so intriguing and watching Anthem turn into this girl who really knows NOTHING about the world around her to being the girl going around handing out justice because she has the means to do so now. And while sometimes reading The Brokenhearted was like reading a B movie, cliche and stilted dialogue in all, it was still fun.
I actually really enjoyed the ending of The Brokenhearted as well. I’m normally so good at predicting plot twist that few books give me a jaw-dropping moment, but this one TOTALLY did, even if later I thought I should have seen it coming. So that surprise factor was enough for me alone! And the ending was a bit vague and seemed to be leading to another story, so I’m intrigued. I felt that Anthem had gone on a journey in The Brokenhearted, and I liked it.
Final Impression: The Brokenhearted was one of those books that had SO many flaws that could have made it a terrible read, but I did enjoy it anyway! It’s not going on my favorites list anytime soon, don’t get me wrong, but I did like the plot and Anthem’s character, even if so much of it was cliche. Major problems, of course–lack of world-building, not the best character development, and perhaps the worst, insta-love, but it was a fun read for the month. I can’t say I’d recommend buying this one, but I found it better than I expected. 3/5 cupcakes.