Book Review: ‘The Heartbreakers’ by Ali Novak

May 6, 2016     Holly     Reviews

Book Review: ‘The Heartbreakers’ by Ali NovakThe Heartbreakers by Ali Novak
Series: The Heartbreaker Chronicles #1
Published by Sourcebooks on August 4, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
4 Stars

"When I met Oliver Perry, I had no clue he was the lead singer for The Heartbreakers. Unbeknownst to him, I was the only girl in the world who hated his music."

Stella will do anything for her sister—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD... for three hours. At least she met a cute boy at the Starbucks beforehand. A blue-eyed boy who looks an awful lot like...

Oliver Perry. Of course Starbucks guy is the lead singer for her least favorite band. Thanks, universe. But there may be more to Oliver than his world-famous charm, because even after she insults his music—to his face—he still gives her his number. Seriously, what is her life?

But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver—dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band—when her sister could be dying of cancer?

Sometimes, like any other book lover, I just need a read like Ali Novak’s The Heartbreakers. It’s fluffy, fun, sappy, and just kind of perfect.

Basically, The Heartbreakers is the kind of fun dream that everyone has, whether they admit it or not. Girl meets cute guy out of nowhere. Cute guy turns out to be a megastar. Girl and guy fall in love and a song gets written and everyone lives happily ever after. And obviously I’m totally okay with all of that. But Novak’s The Heartbreakers also has a lot more to it than that.

While Novak obviously got the romance part of her novel right, what she really does beautifully is write Stella’s relationship with her siblings. Not only could I as a reader feel how close Stella was with her brother Drew and sister Cara, but I could feel the tension surrounding their family over Cara’s illness. And I liked that both Stella’s brother and sister encourage her to find and develop an independence and confidence that she lacks after always being a part of “The Triplets.”

The relationship between the band members in The Heartbreakers was also fun, and you can see the different personalities that Novak worked to develop in her novel with each boy. It was very easy to define each personality right from the very beginning, which is something that I really admire from a writer. Sometimes it’s easy to let characters who aren’t part of the main romance or heavy players in the story to fade into the background, but Novak just doesn’t let that happen.

And there’s almost nothing better than witnessing a genuine friendship between Stella, her siblings, and the members of the band grow. It’s a genuine affection that reminds readers that the characters in The Heartbreakers are still just teenagers who like to do goofy things like ketchup eating contests and playing chicken in a hotel pool. They’re young. Not without worries or cares, of course, but also not too weighed down to remember that this should be the best time of their lives. I genuinely liked that about The Heartbreakers.

Now, I’ve read a lot of reviews complaining that The Heartbreakers was an unrealistic novel. I have to stand on a soapbox for just a minute and ask…so? Don’t we read fiction because it’s an escape from all of our very realistic problems in life? Don’t we want to be able to pretend that someday, we could meet our own Oliver Perry? I think the “unrealistic” aspect makes the book maybe just a little more enjoyable.

Okay, speech over. Soapbox put away. I’ll leave this review by saying that I absolutely cannot wait for the next novel in The Heartbreak Chronicles, The Queen of Hearts, and will be chomping at the bit for more of Novak’s work.

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