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Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia

“I want a happily even after. The kind of happiness you have to earn. The kind you find after a broken heart or an injured knee. After a mistake that feels impossible to fix. It’s the even after part that matters. I already have the happy part.”

Kami Garcia brings us an inspired true story of her own life in this sad and gripping tale about a girls dream and her abusive boyfriend.

After her father's death in Afghanistan, Peyton Rios is devastated and feels utterly alone. However, she pushes herself to be the best soccer player in her team and have a stable relationship with her boyfriend and best friend's brother, Reed. As she received her acceptance letter to the soccer team and college of her dreams she starts to notice something is really off about her boyfriend. One night she finally discovers what her fighter boyfriend has been doing to get stronger, doping. With his lies and her discovery she confronts him only for him to enter his rage stage and push her down the stairs. Breaking her PCL along with her heart and her dreams.

Peyton tries to out Reed only to have the whole school and her friends out her for a liar. People start sending her treats and Reed doesn't stop coming to her door to apologize, that leaves her with the only option of moving with her uncle to Tennessee.

Tennessee is where the story actually takes place and develops. She is struck with a whole different setting and she still remembers and is haunted by the events that occurred with Reed. This leaves her in a very fragile state when she goes to live her uncle and Twin cousins. However, her heart can be stopped from loving when she meets Owen Law. A boy that seems trouble with something and Peyton is dying to find out. He actually is the one that does many therapeutic work for her broken PCL and therefore they start spending lots of time with each other, falling in love but keeping many secrets. Owen is a fighter like Reed, but unlike Reed he suffers from a condition where his heart could stop at any moment, fighting puts him in a higher risk. Reed then comes to taunt Peyton and her new boyfriend leaving them in a dangerously rocky situation.

The plot is good, the writing is even better. The main character has her moments but I didn't love her. She was way too stubborn for me at time and a little repetitive too. If you didn't have the good plot twists, you would see a whole bunch of repetitive dialogue.

I loved the Twins, however they were depicted as kind of dumb always fighting with each other and pushing each other which is something I didn't enjoy. It seemed like they could have been developed better.

As for Owen, I loved him and his character. I loved how he changed and developed in many ways as a person as the book progressed. If there is one character Garcia got right it was Owen.

The petty fights with cheerleaders and snippy comments on feminism seemed a little too much for me. In many ways the main story of abuse was excellent, however I feel Garcia wanted to add many other sub stories and sub social issues and she failed at doing so because they had to be developed even further.

The book and the characters are powerful with a few scenes and dialogue I would take off, but overall a good read.

--- 3.5 stars ---