Sunday, October 11, 2015

Review: The Broken Hearts Book Club

Title: The Broken Hearts Book Club
Author: Lynsey James
Publisher: 12 October 2015 by Carina UK
Pages: 242 pages
How I Read It: ARC ebook
Genre: contemporary, chick lit
My Rating: 2 cups
Lucy Harper has always been good at one thing: running from her past. But when her beloved Nana Lily passes away she has no choice except to return to the one place in the world she most wants to avoid...
Luna Bay hasn't changed much in the eight years she has spent in London. The little Yorkshire village is still just as beautiful, but the new pub landlord is a gorgeous addition to the scenery!
Lucy only intended to stay for a day, yet when she discovers that Nana Lily has not only left her a cottage but also 'The Broken Hearts Book Club', Lucy is intrigued. Her Nana never mentioned the club and Lucy can't wait to get started, but walking into her first meeting she is more aware than ever that her past is finally catching up with her. 
One way or another, Lucy must finally face the secret she's kept buried for so long - or spend the rest of her life on the run...
My Thoughts
"I had the chance to live in the house I'd loved so much growing do that, I'd have to confront everything that made me leave Luna Bay behind. I wasn't sure I was ready to do that just yet."
As ratings go for chick lit genre, this book fell a little short. I felt all of the ingredients were there, but were not mixed together correctly for a satisfying read. I love the cover of the book and the title is what drew me in.  There were some positives: there is romance, great location and of course, the compulsory happy ending. I particularly liked the use of well read favourites such as, 'The Book Thief' or 'The Rosie Project', and how the author attempted to tie to lessons/morals from the book club read to the issues they were dealing with:
"It had become a source of comfort and support when they'd needed it most. I loved the thought of ... finding strength in books and using them to escape from troubled times."
Unfortunately, however, as easy as the book is to read, it is predictable and often repetitive. Lucy's narration throughout grew rather tiresome. I particularly found issue with the 'the terrible tragedy of eight years ago' that coloured Lucy's outlook since high school and made her a supposed outcast of the town. The big reveal of that event was too long in coming and in the end I just didn't care that much for it. The suspense was well and truly worn out and you just knew it wouldn't be 'that' big to begin with. 
You also have to be up for some good ol' fashioned British writing. By this I mean the 'snogging' and the use of language that it most circumstances would be unacceptable. I also found Lucy to be somewhat of a drama queen and would be high maintenance to have a relationship with. Her narration, at times, could only really be described as juvenile.
"Not that he deserved any of my help or experience, especially after being so rude to me."
I was also not comfortable with the character of Jake. I doubted his maturity as well. His actions, particularly in regard to his ex partner, left me in doubt as to his sincerity. Likewise, when together with Lucy, things were trivialised: 
"What have we got to lose?" Jake squeezed me tight and kissed me on the lips. "Absolutely everything, but who gives a stuff."
So, as stated at the outset, there was potential, that was just not fulfilled. Lucy started with: 
"I'd gone from being a lost soul floating round London to someone with roots and connections and a chance at a future in a beautiful place."
But deteriorated to:
"its been nothing but complications from the start."

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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