Book Review: The Brokenhearted
By: Amelia Kahaney
Published By: HarperTeen
Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Page Count: 336
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Science Fiction
I think this novel needs a certain kind of reader. While I think there is merit to this novel, I wasn't the right sort of reader. I was pulled in by the mention of Batman in the novel summary. I haven't read a ton of YA novels that have a super hero slant to them so I jumped at the chance to read this one. I adore comic book movies and was so excited to see it come to life in print. I didn't stop to think about how dark super hero stories often are and I wasn't in a place emotionally this week that allowed me to enjoy a darker story. I truly believe a reader's mind and emotions can make or break a novel. I hope to reread this one in the future when the dark nature of the story won't be a deterrent.
In spite of my meh response to the novel, I was shocked and excited by some of the twists. Kahaney did a nice job of keeping things hidden from the reader so the reveal was all the more shocking. The ending was a fast paced thrill; if the entire novel had affected me the way the end did, then I would have adored it.
I also really enjoyed how Anthem becomes more than human. It's a tragic story, but I found the medical experiment part to be intriguing. As modern technology continues to advance medicine, I am constantly amazed by what scientists and doctors are able to accomplish. It seems like anything is possible. I found the mechanics behind Anthem's heart to be awe inspiring.
In addition, Kahaney does a nice job of creating a tense, gothic atmosphere. The town of Bedlam is reminiscent of Gotham. In fact, the town seemed so real that at times the events kind of freaked me out. I had some pretty wicked dreams while reading this one.
So, if I loved the twists, technology, and setting, why was this just an average read for me? I kept pondering that as I read. I wanted to love this one, but something kept holding me back. I know a book is not going to make it onto my favorites shelf when I'd rather do something other than read. After a lot of thought, I have decided that I have two main issues with The Brokenhearted. Number one - the pacing was a bit odd. Some moments rushed by while other seemed to drag. The beginning was difficult for me; it takes awhile to set up this society and introduce the characters. I understand the necessity of the opening chapters, but that didn't make it any less tedious. Number two - I never really got to a point where I liked the main character, Anthem. Her actions don't always make sense. I also felt that in many ways she was selfish. She knew she was putting herself in danger over and over, but she did it anyway because she felt like an infatuation with a guy she hardly knew was more important than her safety and the feelings of her family.
All in all, I felt like this was a fun read, but I am not sure it will appeal to everyone. I do feel like there is a reader out there for every novel and I know there will be many who love this one. I would just prepare yourself for Anthem. She isn't a heroine that is easy to love.
One Last Gripe: Anthem's parents irked me.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: I really liked the concept of a female super hero.
First Sentence: Here's the choreography: school, ballet, homework, sleep.
Favorite Character: Jax
Least Favorite Character: Will
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. From Alloy Entertainment, this inventive new superhero story is sure to captivate any reader.