The Brokenhearted [NOOK Book]


Some kinds of Heartbreak aren't temporary.

High in her tower above Bedlam City, prima ballerina Anthem Fleet has lived her whole life by her parents' strict rules, never leaving the sparkling, pristine North Side. Until she meets Gavin. An artist from the dangerous South Side of town, Gavin is like no one Anthem has ever met—and she falls for him suddenly and completely.

But Gavin's world is as dangerous as it is intoxicating, and their romance...

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The Brokenhearted

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Some kinds of Heartbreak aren't temporary.

High in her tower above Bedlam City, prima ballerina Anthem Fleet has lived her whole life by her parents' strict rules, never leaving the sparkling, pristine North Side. Until she meets Gavin. An artist from the dangerous South Side of town, Gavin is like no one Anthem has ever met—and she falls for him suddenly and completely.

But Gavin's world is as dangerous as it is intoxicating, and their romance crashes down around them one terrible night when they are attacked on the South Side and Gavin is kidnapped. When she wakes in a dark, blood-soaked lab, Anthem has a jagged scar down her chest . . . and an experimental bionic heart ticking inside her.

As Anthem will soon realize, her new mechanical heart didn't just save her life—it left her with a strange and terrifying new strength. A strength that she's going to need if she has any chance of rescuing Gavin and mending the scattered pieces of her broken heart.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In an atmospheric, adventure-laced debut, Kahaney launches a series in which a wealthy ballerina becomes a superhuman vigilante in the corrupt, crime-ridden city of Bedlam. Seventeen-year-old Anthem Fleet falls in love with a boy from the wrong side of town, but he's soon kidnapped and held for ransom. After Anthem suffers an accident that results in a mad scientist replacing her heart with a bionic one, she uses her newfound superhuman speed, strength, and stamina to track down and fight the criminals who have disrupted her life. The further she takes her crusade, the more she becomes a symbol of hope, even as she discovers some uncomfortable truths about Bedlam's secret history. Kahaney's graceful world-building allows the setting to emerge as a character in its own right, while hinting at intriguing developments to come. Strong characterizations and an enveloping plot are only mildly undermined by some light soap operatics and logistical implausibility, with the majority of the narrative fueled by Anthem's steady development as an action heroine. An Alloy Entertainment property. Ages 13–up. (Oct.)
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Anthem, with her unwillingness to be just another brokenhearted girl, will likely inspire legions of teenage girls to forget the guys and go kick some butt.”
NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Aimee Friedman
“Gorgeously written and richly imagined, this heart–pounding, high–octane novel of suspense, romance, and revenge introduces a stunning new voice in YA fiction as well as a new kind of superhero. You won’t be able to put this one down.”
Adele Griffin
“An urgent dare–ya through a darkly, wildly imagined future. Go ahead and try to predict the hairpin turns and steep reverses as you race through this sharply–conceived urban odyssey.”
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Anthem Fleet, 17, has everything going for her: a wealthy family, a dreamy boyfriend, and a budding ballet career. But just like the dystopian society in which she lives, the teen isn't as perfect as she seems. One night, she and her friend leave their pristine neighborhood and head to the dangerous South Side. There, at a nightclub, Anthem meets Gavin. After an intense, brief romance, they sleep together. In the morning, though, her world changes forever. Gavin is kidnapped and Anthem wakes up in a filthy, blood-soaked laboratory with a jagged scar down her chest and a bionic heart that gives her special powers. But will her new abilities be enough to confront Gavin's kidnappers and save herself? Kahaney has created an uneven package here. On one hand, there are clichés and plot contrivances at regular intervals. For example, Anthem discovers she can float/fly and yet she only uses the talent when it's convenient to the plot. There is also a melodramatic moment when the heroine declares, "I would gladly die here and enter the next world with Gavin." It's rather silly. On the other hand, there are many excellent moments in the writing. For instance, when she is pathetically pining over Gavin, Anthem's friend bluntly tells her, "The world doesn't need another brokenhearted girl." The scenes of Anthem's mother dealing with the grief of losing a child are also particularly moving. Faults aside, with the dystopian angle, the fast-paced action, and the stellar cover, this novel is bound to float/fly off the shelves.—Laura Lutz, Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
In a futuristic society solidly divided into the haves and have-nots, a ballerina from a wealthy family finds romance, danger and deception when she crosses class lines. Seventeen-year old Anthem Fleet lives in Upper Bedlam, on the right side of the tracks. The wrong side is the South Side, where poverty is the norm, along with widespread crime sponsored and supported by the Syndicate. Coaxed by her best friend, Zahra, a fun-loving bad girl, she slips out of her family's high-rise penthouse to crash a South Side warehouse party. Here, Anthem meets a tall, chisel-cheeked South Sider named Gavin, and soon, the entranced Anthem is skipping her ballet practices to see him--and drawing the attention of the Syndicate, which kidnaps him from the bed where they lie sleeping. Distraught, Anthem runs through the perilous streets, only to fall off a bridge, suffering fatal injuries. But death is not her end: An underground doctor brings her back to life, illegally implanting Anthem with a mechanical heart that endows her with superhuman powers and enables her to begin a dangerous quest to save Gavin. No matter that no heartstrings will be tugged here; the action and subplots provide a strong and steady force to push readers forward. Some stunning revelations coming out of left field will cause jaws to drop. A ripping if unsubtle page-turner. (Science fiction. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062230942
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/8/2013
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 496,374
  • Age range: 13 years
  • File size: 514 KB

Meet the Author

Amelia Kahaney is the author of The Brokenhearted. She grew up in San Diego, California, and Hilo, Hawaii. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, she moved to New York City and received her MFA in fiction writing at Brooklyn College. Her short fiction has been anthologized in The Best American Nonrequired Reading and appears in several literary magazines. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and son.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2014


    This book is the best romance novel of all time. You cant stop reading it even if you try. There is such a twist.

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  • Posted November 26, 2013

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        I was pretty confused at the beginning, because I totally wa

        I was pretty confused at the beginning, because I totally wasn't sure if this was supposed to be in the US or if it is a completely new place, if so, I would want more world building. 
        I did like Anthem, she sees herself as ordinary and not living up to (rich) parent's expectations, and while I was never privileged, I have always dealt with the feelings of not being enough and self esteem, so I was able to connect with her on that level. 
        Admittedly, I skipped over a lot of her partying in the beginning, and I did feel like things with Gavin were insta-lovish, but I love the theme of dancers and of superheros, especially female ones. 
        It kinda went downhill from there because their romance escalated way too fast for me, there didn't seem to be any sort of build up it went from hello, you're cute, I'm scared of your part of town, let's dance, to I love you, here's my virginity. 
        But the atmosphere was cool, even if I wanted to know even more about the world itself. The action was good, and the plot kept going at a pretty good pace. 
        I loved the idea, liked Anthem well enough, but didn't feel the romance or the world building. I had hoped that the heart would have had more than a mention because it seems so crucial to the plot. 
    Bottom Line:  The premise was amazing, but I didn't completely love the execution and the romance didn't work for me. 

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  • Posted October 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I was interested in reading The Brokenhearted by author Amelia K

    I was interested in reading The Brokenhearted by author Amelia Kahaney for one reason: superheroes. I love them. Can’t get enough and when I saw that The Brokenhearted was supposed to be The Dark Knight meets Cinder I imagined that it would have to be something great (because The Dark Knight as in Batman and Batman’s awesome). I really enjoyed this read.

    When Anthem Fleet, a rich man’s daughter and a Prima ballerina, ends up meeting Gavin she falls in love with him. After a week of being with Gavin the unexpected happens: he’s kidnapped and held for ransom, his kidnappers telling Anthem that if she doesn’t get them their money on time they’ll kill him. Things go from bad to worse when Anthem falls to her death in a terrible accident. But she isn’t dead for long when Anthem wakes up in an illegal underground lab.

    She finds out that she has been given another shot at life by a scientist who has given Anthem a bionic heart. But with this heart comes unexpected powers and a new life that she must learn to lead. Now Anthem believes that she can use the superhuman powers that come with her new heart to save Gavin. Anthem delves deeper into her city’s criminal underworld she finds herself going head to head with Gavin’s kidnappers and playing the role of a vigilante, giving her city hope just when the citizens thought that all hope was lost.

    While the hero in The Brokenhearted wasn’t Batman and more Iron Man meets Cyborg (one of those names might have to be googled) I personally enjoyed Anthem’s abilities that are given to her form her bionic heart. Do I know if the science to it adds up? No but Kahaney gives a good enough explanation that I could easily see it as being realistic to a point. The powers that Anthem ends up having are insane and badass. Do I wish that I could have speed like the Flash and strength that a teenage girl should not have? Yes. The only real issue I had with what Anthem could do was when she was learning how to do kickboxing. As a person who actually does kickboxing and has been doing it for a while I found it unbelievable to think that after a few weeks Anthem could suddenly strike with spot-on precision and be at an advanced skill level so early into her training.

    The prologue that the novel had was one that I personally really enjoyed. It gave the story a strong voice and made it sound very promising. I know a lot of readers haven’t been happy with the novel and didn’t enjoy it mostly for the world building (which I will get to). Personally, I thought that the way she wrote the character’s inner thoughts was really good. The descriptions used were ones that I found helped me get into Anthem’s head better. Despite her on a whim choices, Anthem was a character that I really liked.

    As for the topic of world building I will have to agree with most of the reviews that I have read and say that the world building in this novel isn’t what I was expecting it to be. There were a lot of times where new places and settings would be introduced without explanations and there would be info dumps about the city that were never really expanded on and plot holes. Despite all of that I didn’t have many problems with this read and still enjoyed the plot twists and unexpected turns that the novel took on.

    I would recommend The Brokenhearted to readers who are looking for a superhero novel and to fans of sci-fi and romance. Readers who are interested in a read with a surprising ending should definitely check out The Brokenhearted.

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  • Posted October 9, 2013

    When I first read the synopsis to this and saw the "Dark K

    When I first read the synopsis to this and saw the "Dark Knight meets Cinder" line, I was all like, 'Oh, yeah. I've GOT to read this one!' Unfortunately, as exciting as the blurb makes this book sound, it really fell flat for me and didn't do the blurb justice. I think this book had a lot of potential, but it really didn't deliver with its execution.

    Kahaney does a good job of setting up her futuristic, crime-laden world- and I was really intrigued in the beginning. However, I found it wasn't very consistent. I needed more world-building- I wanted to know so much more about how Bedlam City became what it was. How did there come to be a Crime Line that divided the rich and powerful from the South Side, full of criminals and people less fortunate? How did The Hope (a famous vigilante) come to be? We are introduced to a lot of ideas but never received any kind of resolution for them. The biggest issue I had was the end. It was pretty predictable as to who 'The Boss' was, but how that all worked out is a mystery. There are no details as to how its possible for this person to be 'The Boss' and it was really a 'it is what it is' moment and you have to move on. I wanted details! Tell me how this came to be! I also felt there was more to Regina's story (her dead sister) than was given to us. Maybe I was reading too much into it, but the way she was alluded to made me think that before her death she was part of something big (a potential rebellion?)

    Anthem Fleet, is our main character, and I felt no real attachment to her. She is the daughter of Harris and Helene Fleet, and lives in Fleet Tower. They attend charity balls and care about appearances. They believe Anthem and her boyfriend Will are the perfect match (probably because Will's dad is the D.A.) and are focused on their daughter being the epitome of perfection. Anthem feigns illness and gets out of attending a social gala, opting to head to a party with her wild friend Zahra instead. It is here she meets Gavin, a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. I honestly didn't expect this story to take such a turn in the romance department, but it did. Gavin and Anthem's relationship is very West Side Story and even though Anthem knows she shouldn't be playing with this kind of fire, she can't help herself. She falls for Gavin WAY too fast and the night she gives herself to him, he ends up being kidnapped by the deadly Syndicate- a well known criminal organization. I couldn't really get on board with Anthem and Gavin's relationship. It was underdeveloped and short-lived and after only knowing this boy for a short amount of time- the lengths she will go to in order to save him seemed really extreme. I get that she feels responsible since his kidnappers demanded ransom before they would release him, but still.

    The book takes a sudden turn when Anthem ends up falling to her 'death'. However, she doesn't die- instead she receives a bionic heart and discovers she is faster than ever, has sharper hearing, and has all of these abilities she can do. I don't know- I suppose this was a cool twist? It seemed a bit strange is all. We go from seeing the rich, prima ballerina to a girl with a bionic heart who is determined to get Gavin back. She enlists the help of Ford, the man she was running from when she ended up falling into the river, but who also saved her life by getting her help. Ford is a former boxer, who got tangled up with the higher ups in the Syndicate. I never expected Kahaney to take Ford's character where she did. It seemed kind of sudden and I didn't see the development of the situation coming at all. Ford ends up becoming Anthem's go-to person (aside from Serge, their family's driver). He is the one who convinces her to keep going, even though Anthem's world has fallen apart around her. He is also the person whose help Anthem enlists to train her how to use her newfound gifts. Her goal is to find Rosie, the lead woman who took Gavin, and make her pay for what she's done.

    Anthem makes such a transformation in this book. We watch her go from the rich, prima ballerina girl with the 'perfect' boyfriend, to a girl who, after getting tangled up with a boy from the South Side, ends up becoming a machine bent on taking down the people who destroyed Gavin. She becomes relentless, exposing Syndicate thugs working for Rosie and 'The Boss', earning her vigilante status.

    Unfortunately, this book just wasn't for me due to the inconsistencies and endless questions I still had. I also feel this kind of novel needed more world building behind it to make it more believable.

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  • Posted October 8, 2013

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    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** The Brokenhe

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

    The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney
    Publisher: HarperTeen
    Publication Date: October 8, 2013
    Rating: 2 stars
    Source: eARC from Edelweiss

    Summary (from Goodreads):

    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.

    What I Liked:

    Oh, how I wanted to like this book. I was excited to start it! Gorgeous cover, debut author, Harper title, science fiction genre... it sounded perfect for me! I tagged this novel under "dystopia" as well, but I think futuristic is a better word. This novel had the potential to be awesome, but for me, it fell a bit flat.

    Anthem gets into the wrong kind of trouble really quickly in this novel. Right away, we can tell that she doesn't like her life as much as she would like to. She is no longer enamored with her boyfriend. She doesn't like the rich life - she feels disconnected from her parents. Things are perfect on the surface, but below the surface is a sad, lonely girl.

    Then Anthem meets Gavin, and everything changes. She falls head over heels in love with him... and drama. Weeks pass, and they continue seeing each other. They get hot and heavy, and that same night, Gavin gets captured. And Anthem? Anthem falls to her death in a freezing cold river, but wakes up, alive.

    With a new start and a bionic heart that beats ten beats per second, Anthem has a different purpose with her life. All she wants is revenge. Never mind the upcoming ballet, Giselle, and not getting the prima role. Never mind faking a relationship with her recent ex-boyfriend, who is blackmailing. Never mind losing her best friend. Everything, to Anthem, is about revenge. Kill Rose and her gang.

    The story is unique, especially with the bionic heart aspect. I wasn't totally drawn into the plot, or the characters, but the story went by pretty quickly. Or maybe I was reading really quickly. But I wasn't all that impressed by the story.

    What I Did Not Like:

    I already said this, but I wasn't impressed by the plot or the story or whatever. It seemed kind of boring and superficial, and weird how all of that happened to Anthem. I mean, did that guy (if you read the book, you'll know what I mean) set her up? HOW? The author never explained, at the end, how that guy set up Anthem, and survived everything, and fabricated everything.

    And by the way, I totally expected that. I totally expected that one person to come back and screw over everyone. That was sooo predictable. In fact, most of the plot was predictable, once you got past the part about her getting a bionic heart. After the major characters were introduced, then everything seemed easy to follow... and predict.

    The characters are kind of blah, as well. I don't really care for Anthem. Her logic is pretty poor. I mean, you go out with a guy for a few weeks, and you're TOTALLY in love with him? He is SOOOO worth all that work? Really? NO. Irrational, illogical... stupid. Her decisions are just STUPID.

    Oh, and the romance in general? Weird. There is a love triangle of a sort, but it's not an obvious one, with the two males bot actively trying to win over the female. But I didn't really like the romance. The one guy, I really like, but he seemed more of the friend-type. The other guy was on fire, and then, ice-cold. And the heroine was totally set on one guy, but she liked the other guy as well, even though she knew that the guy she really liked wasn't coming back to her.

    Blehh, the romance.

    I already said the plot was predictable, but seriously, the climax was anticlimactic, because you know it's coming, and you know what comes after that. And the ending. It's an ending, but it's not. I don't know if there will be more books to follow, but it seems like there should be more to it.

    I just don't think this was the most impressive debut, or book, in general. Maybe I'm not being specific enough, but I really just didn't enjoy this book as much as I hoped I might have.

    Would I Recommend It:

    Not really, no. I'm actually impressed that I finished this one, given all the negative things. It seems heavy on the science fiction, but it really wasn't, which made me sad, because I love science fiction. I think the premise of this book was great, but the execution was not so great. But this could just be me!


    2 stars. Definitely not one of Harper's best titles, but I suppose I'm glad I got the chance to read this novel!

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