Author: Amelia Kahaney
Publication Date: October 8, 2013
I have seen a slew of negative reviews for The Brokenhearted and for the first time in a while I am happily in the minority because I liked this novel.
Anthem is a prima ballerina; she is the dutiful daughter her rich, absentee parents always wanted. Anthem’s life changes completely when she meets Gavin at a party on the South Side. She is caught up in a whirlwind romance that culminates in Gavin being kidnapped, Anthem dying, and then her waking up with a new bionic heart.
I liked Anthem, at times she was a bit whiney but given her upbringing as the richest girl in town I’m surprised she wasn’t constantly crying and falling all over herself. We all know YA heroines that do this even if they don’t come from a privileged upbringing. Actually when you look at Anthem’s surroundings I’m surprised she is as well adjusted as she comes off in the novel.
The romance between Anthem and Gavin was totally instant love, if their love was a food it would be minute rice, done in a minute and it tastes terrible the next day. I didn’t hate it though because from the outset you know that is how the relationship is going to be. Anthem has to fall for Gavin quick so that we can get to the heart (pun completely intended) of the story. It was actually the relationship Anthem develops with another character, Ford, that I really enjoyed. It’s not necessarily romantic but Ford becomes something like a mentor to Anthem as she tries to figure out what exactly her new heart can do.
I will admit that there were some problems I had with the story. There wasn’t much world building, or really any to be honest. We are tossed in to this crumbling city with a huge dichotomy between rich and poor and not really given any reason for the collapse. I was able to get over this lack of world building by just assuming the city is Gotham. My other problem was that the whole bionic heart thing was never adequately explained. I expected some fancy pseudo-scientific explanation instead it’s like here’s a new heart. I also overcame this by making up my own scientific explanation. In my head the scientist was able to synthesize the heart with a hummingbird’s because aliens taught her how. Hey, that’s how it works on Ancient Aliens on History Channel why can’t it work here to?
Overall, even though I had some problems with the story it was a quick, enjoyable read, just don’t over think the story too much. It was predictable, but I kind of enjoyed it for that reason. The ending leaves a lot of different plot lines open and I’m looking forward to seeing if Kahaney continues because there was definitely a lot of potential here.
An Advanced Readers copy of this novel was provided by HarperTeen via Edelweiss for review purposes.