From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia comes a red-hot romance audiobook that will break your heart and put it back together again.
Her heart has to break before it can open.
When star soccer player Peyton Rios receives an offer from her first-choice college, senior year starts off exactly as planned. But when Peyton uncovers her boyfriend’s dark secret, she confronts himand finds herself falling down a flight of stairs. Peyton’s kneeand maybe her dream of going prois shattered. Everyone is talking: Was she pushed, or did she fall? Peyton knows the truth, even if no one believes her.
He has to let someone in before it’s too late.
With her future on the line, Peyton goes to stay with her uncle in a small Tennessee town to focus on her recovery. Dating is the last thing on her minduntil she meets sweet, sexy Owen Law.
But Peyton doesn’t trust her heart, especially when she senses that Owen is hiding something. When their secrets are finally exposed, Peyton has to decide if love is worth fighting for.
This unforgettable audiobook perfectly captures the pain and joy of being young and in love.
*An Imprint Book*
Praise for Broken Beautiful Hearts
“Something wonderful happened to me as I read thisI fell in love. Genuine, shattering, deep, heart-pounding love. Thank you, Kami Garcia, for Peyton and Owen. We need their story." Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places and Holding Up the Universe
“A slow burn that squeezes your heart so tightly you can’t breathe . . . until it explodes, and you’re left with a beautiful story that will draw you back again and again.”Abbi Glines, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Field Party series and the Rosemary Beach novels
“Kami Garcia knows the anatomy of the teenage heartwhat makes it race, what makes it break, and what makes it mend. Sexy, gritty, and romanticBroken Beautiful Hearts is a must-read for anyone whose heart has been broken and dared to love again.”Danielle Paige, New York Times bestselling author of the Dorothy Must Die and Stealing Snow series
“A heartbreaking novel of shattered dreams, broken hearts, and finding new paths forward. Broken Beautiful Hearts is deliciously sexy, dangerous, and heartfelt. You’ll root for Peyton to open her heart, despite the risk, and try to get all the things she wants. Kami Garcia has weaved a story that lingers in your heart long after it’s done.” Dhonielle Clayton, coauthor of the Tiny Pretty Things series and author of The Belles
“Kami Garcia never fails to impress with her amazing characters and captivating romance!" Cora Carmack, New York Times bestselling author of Losing It
|Product dimensions:||1.00(w) x 1.00(h) x 1.00(d)|
|Age Range:||15 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Kami Garcia is a #1 New York Times–bestselling and Bram Stoker–nominated author and the coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures and Dangerous Creatures novels. Her solo series, the Legion, includes the instant New York Times bestseller Unbreakable and its sequel, Unmarked. Kami is also the author of The X-Files Origins: Agent of Chaos and The Lovely Reckless.
Kami was a teacher for seventeen years and coauthored her first novel on a dare from seven of her students. If she isn’t busy watching Supernatural, Kami can teach you how to escape from a pair of handcuffs or bake a Coca-Cola cake. Kami lives in Maryland with her family and their dogs, Spike and Oz.
Read an Excerpt
When the Stars Align
I BELIEVE EVERYTHING happens for a reason and usually the reason sucks. I also believe the laces from my eighth-grade soccer cleats are good luck, Adele is the most talented singer to ever walk the earth, and popcorn without butter is just corn.
But more than any of those things, I believe that if you're lucky — at least once in your life — you might have a perfect day. A day when all the stars in your personal universe align and your dreams seem possible.
The crazy part?
I think today might be mine.
Except Dad isn't here.
The thought bears down on me, but I push back against it.
Today might be the only perfect day I'll ever get. Dad wouldn't want me to waste it.
I pick up the letter on my desk and reread it for the tenth time since it arrived yesterday.
Dear Miss Rios,
After careful consideration, the women's soccer staff at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill believes that you have the qualities we are looking for in a student-athlete. As the head women's soccer coach at this university, I want to formally offer you early acceptance and an opportunity to play soccer for the team that has won 21 out of 35 NCAA national championships.
Please understand that this acceptance is contingent upon you:
maintaining the recommendation of your high school coach
remaining in good academic standing
continuing to demonstrate strong leadership and soccer skills
playing in your current position, center forward, next fall.
I've wanted this for as long as I can remember, but now that it's actually happening, it doesn't feel real.
"Peyton?" Mom calls from downstairs.
"Coming." I fold the letter and tuck it in my bag.
I gather my dark, wavy hair into a ponytail, pull it through an elastic, and take a quick look in the mirror. My wardrobe consists of a steady rotation of skinny jeans and cargos that show off my long legs, layered tanks and fitted henleys, and ankle boots. Today is no exception.
I do my standard two-minute make-up application — concealer under my eyes and berry-tinted lip balm that doubles as blush.
Now I just have to find my black boots.
"You're going to be late," Mom yells.
"Coming!" I bend down and check under the bed — a pair of balled- up soccer socks; my elementary school yearbooks; a bottle of nail polish; old issues of Soccer 360; a Luna Bar that's hard enough to use as a hammer; and ... my boots. I drag them out by the laces and put them on.
Dad's dog tags slide back and forth on the silver chain hanging around my neck. I never take them off. When I insisted on wearing them to the Spring Fling with my strapless dress, Mom figured out how to pin the tags inside the dress so they wouldn't be as noticeable. I would've worn them either way.
On the way out, I grab the black leather jacket draped over the chair next to my door, under a poster of my soccer idol, Alex Morgan. The jacket belonged to my dad. I slip it on. The sleeves hang past my fingertips and the leather is cracked, but I love it anyway.
I jog down the steps and walk into the kitchen.
Mom holds up a brown muffin. "Do you want one to take with you?"
"Not if it has oats, nuts, dried fruit, or seeds in it."
She breaks the muffin in half, which takes some effort because it's as dense as a hunk of fruitcake. Dad used to do all the cooking. He was Cuban and every morning started with café con leché — strong Cuban coffee with steamed milk — and thick toast with butter. After he died I took over the cooking, but I couldn't bring myself to keep eating the same breakfast Dad used to make me. Now Mom is determined to learn to cook, too. Muffins are her latest experiment.
I rummage through the pantry. "Do we have any doughnuts?"
"Doughnuts are pure sugar. They don't qualify as breakfast." She pours a cup of coffee and hands it to me.
I add milk and sugar. "Then why do doughnut shops open at five o'clock in the morning?"
"It's one of life's great mysteries." Mom takes a bite of the muffin and scrunches up her nose when she thinks I'm not looking. "Have you told Tess yet?"
"I'm surprised you held out this long."
"I want to see the look on her face when I tell her."
"What about Reed?" she asks.
I haven't heard from my boyfriend yet this morning. "He worked late. He's probably still asleep. And it will be more fun to tell people in person."
I down the rest of my coffee and put the cup in the sink. "I'm taking off."
"Drive carefully," Mom says as I walk out the door.
I toss my bag in the back seat of my red Honda HR-V and slide behind the wheel. The road is carpeted with colorful fall leaves from the oaks and maples on my street. My neighborhood is only twenty minutes from downtown Washington, DC, and ten minutes from the outdated mid-rise apartment buildings in Tess' complex. But you'd never know it.
My street looks like it belongs in a small town — the huge trees arching over the road, the Cape Cod–style homes, and the "tiny library" on the corner that reminds me of a pink dollhouse.
On the drive to Tess', I try to come up with a cool way to tell her about UNC. But I've got nothing. We both know that colleges mailed out early admission and athletic scholarship letters this week. If I show up at her door holding a folded piece of paper, it's too obvious. Not that it matters. Even if I don't manage to surprise Tess, she'll still make a big deal about my news. That's what best friends do when something amazing happens to you.
I park next to Tess' building and I start to get out with the letter in my hand. But at the last minute, I drop it onto the passenger seat for her to find when she gets in. I jog up the concrete steps, avoiding the crumbling stair the city was supposed to repair two years ago. I punch in the security code for the front door.
I'm dying to tell Reed my news. A benefit of dating my best friend's brother is that when I come over to hang out with one of them, I get to see them both.
Seven months ago, Reed was just Tess' hot older brother — until a party, four games of beer pong, and a car ride changed everything. Tess and I weren't the only juniors who showed up at the epic spring break party at Chicken Johnson's house. But we were the only juniors stupid enough to play beer pong with Chicken and the wrestling team. The guys were all seniors like Reed, and they outweighed and outdrank us.
After I spent an hour in the bathroom holding Tess' hair while she puked, Reed carried her out to his car. He looked hotter than usual, in a pair of jeans that hung low on his hips and a gray 18TH STREET MIXED MARTIAL ARTS T-shirt that outlined his muscular chest. He wasn't over-the-top gorgeous. The combination of Reed's blue eyes, crooked nose, buzzed black hair, and brooding expression was more gladiator than pretty-boy.
But he had sexy nailed.
Tess passed out in the back seat, and I ended up riding shotgun. It was a first. Tess always sat in the front, and I preferred it that way. I'd harbored a monster crush on Reed for years, but I didn't really know him — or do things like sit next to him in the car ... or talk to him.
I didn't say a word until we got back to the apartment, except for the occasional "uh-huh" to make it seem as if I was participating in the conversation. Reed carried Tess to her room and deposited her on the bed as I stood in the doorway.
"Make sure she takes Advil when she wakes up," he said as he walked toward the door — and me.
I froze and Reed had to squeeze by me to get through the door. He moved to his left and I moved to my right, and I ended up with my back against the doorjamb and my face inches from his collarbone.
He wrapped his arm around my waist and looked down at me. "You have really pretty eyes. They're sort of gold."
People had complimented the color of my eyes before. From certain angles, the contrast between my light brown skin and dark hair made the hazel flecks in my brown eyes look gold. But this was the first time a hot guy was saying it.
"They're just brown."
"Golden brown." Reed brushed my hair over my shoulder and his fingers grazed the back of my neck. I bit my bottom lip and held my breath.
His eyes lingered on my mouth. "Do you know how sexy that is?"
At that moment, with my heart racing and Reed touching me and staring at my mouth, the only thing I knew was that I wanted him to kiss me. He ran his thumb across my bottom lip, and I gasped.
Reed tightened his hold on my waist and backed me out of Tess' room, pulling the door closed behind him. His hand slid down to my ass and he leaned into me. "I should've done this a long time ago."
I had to remind myself to breathe.
When Reed finally kissed me his lips were rough from years of fighting. But I didn't care. His mouth kept finding mine — over and over.
"I want to kiss you again," Reed whispered. "Tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that. How does that sound?" He kissed me again.
Then he pulled back and flashed a cocky smile. "You want to get something to eat tomorrow night? I have a fight, but that won't take long."
It took a moment for me to realize he was asking me out. With his battered good looks and scraped knuckles, Reed wasn't homecoming-king material, but that didn't have a negative effect on his social life. He had a reputation for being protective, wild, cocky, and fun — something that had been seriously lacking in my life.
Girls stopped Tess in the halls at school to dig for information. Did her brother have a girlfriend? Where did he hang out? Would Tess put in a good word for them?
Reed Michaels — the object of their affection — had spent the last ten minutes kissing me, and now he was asking me out on a real date? How could I say no?
Why would I?
It's hard to believe that night was seven months ago.
I was stumbling through my life back then, trying to figure out how to keep going without my dad, and Reed helped me through some of the low points.
On the other side of the apartment door, something heavy hits the floor with a thud.
I knock and Tess yells, "Just a sec."
She opens the door, holding her braids together behind her head with one hand. "I'm almost ready."
"That's what you say every day." I follow her inside, dodging the binders and textbooks spilling out of her backpack onto the floor.
"I dropped it." She kicks the bag and another book slides out. Tess huffs and finishes braiding her pale blond hair. It reaches past her shoulder blades, but she never wears it down. Right now she's in a braiding phase. She secures the braids behind her head and rolls the rest of her hair around them to form what looks like a crown. I have no idea how she does it. I can barely make a neat ponytail.
I gesture at her hair. "This is new."
"What do you think?" She tucks a few uncooperative strands behind her ears. "It's kind of warrior-princess. Right?"
"I have no idea what that means, but it looks cool." I glance down the hallway behind her. "Is Reed sleeping?"
Reed knows how much I wanted to get into UNC. Maybe I should wake him up and tell him? Then he could go right back to sleep.
Or he could end up in an awful mood for the rest of the day.
I'll let him sleep.
A few months ago I wouldn't have thought twice about waking him, and I probably would've jumped on his bed to do it.
"Did he get home late last night?" I ask.
"Super late. And he looked like crap." Tess looks away with a hint of guilt in her eyes. She bends down and collects the mountain of crumpled paper, pens, and textbooks. She tries to shove it all back into her bag, but it won't fit the way she's jamming it in there.
"Was he at an underground fight?" I ask.
"He didn't say. But his hands were banged up when he came home, and he was walking around holding a bag of frozen peas against his jaw."
Reed got involved in the underground fight scene two months ago. He figured out that he could make more money in one night's worth of street fights than he could earn in two weeks training other fighters at the gym.
He dragged me along one night to watch him battle it out in a parking structure while people placed bets. Bloody and brutal, with no rules or referees, the fights barely resembled MMA — or any sport. And Reed loved every minute of it.
"I'm worried about him, Tess. He could get hurt." She's never seen an underground fight firsthand. "Whenever I try to talk to him about it, we end up arguing."
She tugs on the zipper of her backpack, but it still won't close. "Please don't be mad at him. I don't want him in those fights any more than you do. But my mom can't cover the bills on her own."
I take the bag from her and reorganize it so everything fits. "I'm not mad. Just worried. If he gets caught, he'll get kicked out of the league." And that will be the end of his dream of competing in the UFC.
When we first started dating, Reed and I used to talk on the phone at night, dreaming out loud. He would climb the MMA ranks until a sponsor, or a high profile trainer, recognized his potential. I'd play soccer for a Division I college and get recruited to play professionally after I graduated.
"He's doing it for me," Tess says softly.
"You can't blame yourself." I work the zipper of her backpack until it closes. "Reed makes his own choices. No one tells him what to do."
She smiles a little. "Like someone else I know."
"I'll take that as a compliment."
Tess laughs and her blue eyes light up. She and Reed look nothing alike, but they have the same amazing blue eyes. Ocean blue — like the water in the photos of my grandparents on the beach in Cuba, before they immigrated to the US. I've never seen water that blue in real life.
On our way out, I notice a hole in the drywall behind the front door. "What happened? It looks like someone punched a hole in it."
Her eyes dart to the damage. "Close. Reed and TJ were messing around in the hallway when Reed was opening the door. TJ slammed into him, and they hit the door so hard that it swung around and the knob went through the wall. My mom wasn't happy. She's making Reed fix it."
There's something weird about the hole, but I can't figure it out.
Tess opens the door, and her mom is standing in the hallway, fumbling with her house keys.
Mrs. Michaels gasps. "I didn't hear you coming out."
The shadows around her eyes are darker than usual. She's probably coming off a double shift at the café. Tess holds the door open for her mother.
"Thanks, sweetheart." Her mom wanders inside like she's sleepwalking. She tries to hang her keys on the wall hook, but she misses and they drop on the floor.
I rush to pick them up.
"I'm sorry. I don't know what's wrong with me." Mrs. Michaels yawns.
"You worked eighteen hours straight and you're exhausted," Tess says, rushing to the kitchen.
Her mom smiles at me. "How's everything going with you, Peyton?"
"Good." Better than good. And suddenly, I feel guilty about it.
Tess returns with a coffee mug and hands it her mom.
"Thank you." Mrs. Michaels eases herself onto the sofa, takes a few sips of her coffee, and sets the mug on the end table.
"Do you need anything before I leave?" Tess asks.
"No, I'm fine." Tess' mom unties her apron and tosses it on the chair. "Go ahead to school." She rests her head on the arm of the sofa and closes her eyes.
We tiptoe out of the apartment and Tess locks the door behind us. On the way to my car, she walks along the edge of the curb putting one scuffed brown boot directly in front of the other as if she's on a tightrope. It's obvious she hasn't heard from any colleges yet.
Now I wish I hadn't left the letter on the passenger seat.
When we get to my car, I try to hop in first and grab it, but Tess is faster. She picks up the letter and flips it open.
"Wait —" I reach for it, but she's already reading.
"Holy shit." She looks over at me. "You got in! Why didn't you say anything?"
"I wanted to tell you in person, but it didn't seem like the right time."
She closes the letter and places it on the dashboard. "Why? Because I'm feeling sorry for myself?"
"Stop. This is the biggest thing ever." She grabs me by the shoulders and shakes me. "You got into UNC! You're going to be the next Alex Morgan!"
I break into a huge smile. "Doubtful, but don't jinx it."
"You can't jinx the inevitable." She looks away. "Before you ask, nothing came for me and I'm fine."
"It's okay to be worried."
Tess leans her head against her window. "What if I don't get a scholarship anywhere?"
"Letters only went out two days ago. Lots of people are still waiting," I remind her. "And this is only the first round of academic scholarships. With your GPA and test scores, you'll get one." We both know a soccer scholarship is a long shot for her. Tess is a great player, but she doesn't stand out on the field the way she does in the classroom.
She starts to say something, but I add, "And I'm not saying that just because you're my best friend."
"Grades and test scores might not be enough."
Excerpted from "Broken Beautiful Hearts"
Copyright © 2018 Kami Garcia, LLC.
Excerpted by permission of Imprint.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: When the Stars Align,
Chapter 2: Perfect Day,
Chapter 3: Striker,
Chapter 4: Little Black Box,
Chapter 5: Shattered,
Chapter 6: Robo-Girl,
Chapter 7: Burning Bridges,
Chapter 8: Black Water,
Chapter 9: Friday Night Lights,
Chapter 10: Treading Water,
Chapter 11: Bitches and Barn Parties,
Chapter 12: Sky Full of Stars,
Chapter 13: Tennessee Dreaming,
Chapter 14: High School and Hardcore Crushes,
Chapter 15: Warriors,
Chapter 16: Sucker Punch,
Chapter 17: Against the Ropes,
Chapter 18: Nobody Left to Run with Anymore,
Chapter 19: A Girl Like You,
Chapter 20: Wishing, Wondering, and What Ifs,
Chapter 21: Breaking My Fall,
Chapter 22: Things We Can't Forget,
Chapter 23: Killer Smiles and Almost Kisses,
Chapter 24: Powdered Cheese and Power Trips,
Chapter 25: Caught Up,
Chapter 26: Fight Club,
Chapter 27: Just Friends,
Chapter 28: Secrets,
Chapter 29: Lie to Me,
Chapter 30: Roadkill,
Chapter 31: Handsprings and Happiness,
Chapter 32: Urban Explorers,
Chapter 33: Quicksand,
Chapter 34: Battle Scars,
Chapter 35: Unraveling,
Chapter 36: A Tiny Crack,
Chapter 37: Heartache,
Chapter 38: The Machine,
Chapter 39: A Different Kind of Heartbreak,
Chapter 40: Broken and Battered,
Chapter 41: Street Fighter,
Chapter 42: Losing Faith,
Chapter 43: The Things I Carry,
Chapter 44: Happily Even After,
Excerpt: The Lovely Reckless,
Also by Kami Garcia,
Praise for Broken Beautiful Hearts,
About the Author,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
(3.75 STARS) BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS was an enjoyable read. Owen and Peyton have so much on their plates for kids so young and come into each other’s lives at the perfect time. I think the similarities between her life before and after her injury were necessary to prove not only to her but to the readers that two people in the same situation can make two very different choices. When Owen’s secret was revealed, my first that was that there’s no way that was the whole story and OH BOY! Was I correct. At 80% the other shoe dropped and that was the moment the meaning behind the title clicked. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.
Since I didn't read The Lovely Reckless, I went into this with an open mind. The only other things I've read by Garcia have all been paranormal, so I was kind of iffy about this one. But after reading it, I'm not sure why I ever had any doubts. Peyton has it all; a spot on the varsity soccer team, a great boyfriend, and great friends. But all that comes crashing down when she finds out a terrible secret about her "great boyfriend." A fight breaks out and she takes a tumble down the stairs and lands on her knee, smashing her kneecap. Peyton moves away to escape threatening phone calls and whispers from her classmates. She wants to focus on rehabing her knee, but what she doesn't count on is meeting Owen Law. The main thing I liked about this was the writing style and plot. I was listening to this at work and I found myself hating to have to go to the desk because I wanted to listen to it non-stop! The plot is pretty contemporary romance troupey, but it was written in a way that I didn't worry about that. I also really liked the characters. They all had their own personality and I thought they all played their part in the story. Garcia also did a great job in portraying all the different characters as well. It was definitely something that I could see really happening. Lasltly, I reallyliked the narrator. I haven't read too many audiobooks, but Brittany Pressley is a new narrator that I will look for. I think she made the book for me. A contemporary romance is normally very troupey and very predictable. But apparently, with the right narrator I will still get sucked into the story and want to listen to it day in and day out. The fact that I liked this so much was a bit of a shock to me. I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. Especially since the only other things I've read by her have been so different. But now that I hope her other works are just the same as this one!
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Beautiful Broken Hearts by Kami Garcia Publisher: Imprint Reads Publication Date: February 6, 2018 Rating: 4 stars Source: Review copy from the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): Before, Peyton was a star soccer player with the perfect boyfriend, Reed. Now, she has a torn knee ligament, a scholarship on the line, and a shattered sense of self. No one believes Reed pushed her, causing her injury, and Peyton just wants to leave the trauma behind. Living with her uncle and twin cousins in their small, football-obsessed town seems like a great escape plan. There, Peyton meets Owen—high school classmate and local MMA fighter. Though Owen is charming and gentle, Peyton is determined to repress her growing attraction. But when her old and new life collide, Peyton must reclaim the truth of her past in order to save her future. What I Liked: I really enjoyed Kami Garcia's previous YA contemporary novel, The Lovely Reckless, and I had been really excited about Beautiful Broken Hearts. It's a standalone (completely unrelated to The Lovely Reckless). Once I started reading this book, I couldn't stop. Peyton and Owen's story was heartbreaking and sweet and I couldn't get enough. The story starts with Peyton getting accepted to UNC to play soccer for the team. She is so excited to tell her best friend and her boyfriend. Things have been off between her and Reed; later that evening, at a party, everything changes. They get into an argument, he pushes her, she falls down a set of stairs, and just like that, her senior spring season is over before it begins. Her knee is badly injured and needs months of rehab. But no one - not even her best friend - believes her when she tells them that Reed pushed her. Peyton's mother decides to send Peyton to live with Peyton's uncle and his twin sons, in a small town far from home, to escape the threats that Peyton started to receive. There, Peyton can do rehab with no distractions... except for the very distracting boy who is helping her with the physical therapy. Owen Law is the best local MMA fighter and a classmate of Peyton's, and Peyton can't stop thinking about him. But she can't get tangled up with another MMA fighter - right? YA contemporary isn't really my thing, but Garcia won me over with her previous YA contemporary novel. It had a Katie McGarry feeling to it, and Broken Beautiful Hearts did too. I love McGarry's books so the comparison works for me. I love YA contemporary stories that dig deep into two characters and forges a strong, intense bond between them. From the get-go, I was a huge fan of Peyton. She and I are a lot alike: she is very blunt and stubborn, and she doesn't have time for BS. She isn't mean but she doesn't mince words. She can take care of herself and she isn't afraid to stand up for herself, or others. Peyton has such a strong mentality, morals, character, attitude. What happened to her didn't break her down, and everything that came after didn't send her hiding. This story is told entirely from Peyton's POV but Owen is a very central primary character. I loved his sweet yet tough self from his first interaction with Peyton. He is so selfless and fights everyone's battles, and sticks up for bullied classmates. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
*CW: Abuse I'm gonna start off by saying that I really enjoyed this book. If I was able to, I would have read it in one sitting, it's a page-turner. I loved Peyton and the relationship she has with her family. Her cousins were kind of idiots, but I loved them and how much they cared about Peyton. I loved how the relationship between Peyton and Owen developed. This book was definitely a heartbreaker.
**Received an e-arc copy for which I am voluntarily providing an honest review, originally posted on My Fangirl Chronicles.** Trigger warnings: Drug abuse, physical abuse Okay, Broken Beautiful Hearts is now officially my favorite Kami Garcia book. I had a little trouble really getting into the story in the beginning (but that tends to happen to me with most books), but after a few chapters I was so captivated by Peyton's story that I could not put it down. Once I even unintentionally stayed up until 3am! I absolutely adored Peyton's strength and resilience throughout the entire ordeal. No matter what, Peyton stuck to her principles and her resolve did not waver one bit. She was very independent and stubborn which made her feel more genuine to me. Hands down, she was my favorite throughout the entire novel. Her twin cousins were annoyingly endearing with how overprotective they were towards her, and made me wish they were my cousins. In the beginning, it seemed as if Reed was like the typical YA "Bad Boy" type of character that I usually swoon over, but as the story progressed he became worse and worse - his feelings for Peyton morphing into a dangerous obsession. I became increasingly worried for her because Reed was becoming more and more unpredictable. Thankfully, Peyton had some great people who genuinely cared for her, believed in her, and wanted to keep her safe. Owen becomes one of those people - one of the most important ones, actually - and I absolutely loved him. The perfect foil to Peyton's ex-boyfriend, Reed, Owan was also an MMA fighter but had the qualities Reed severely lacked. He was so swoon-worthy - sweet, charming, smart, and selfless (sometimes a little too much). I really liked Peyton and Owen's dynamic, they complemented each other really well. Be warned, however, there is one sex scene, but I thought it was written really well and didn't feel cheesy or too perfect. I adore Kami's writing when she does contemporaries. She knows exactly how to write interesting and in-depth characters that feel real, and weave them into a plot that will have you captivated from the start. Discovering that the premise of this story is based off Kami's own experience was shocking but made me understand why it felt so raw and emotional. I felt so sympathetic and protective over Peyton after everyone she knew - and even people she didn't - turned their backs on her. I also applaud Kami for addressing the issue of drug abuse because it is not something I see often in YA. Probably the only criticism I have for this book is the use of the typical popular mean girls troupe. There never really was an explanation for their attitudes and why they're the way they are, so these girls felt very hallow and stereotypical and were just there to cause drama. Overall, I loved, loved, loved Broken Beautiful Hearts and cannot recommend it enough! Although the main plot can be predictable at times, there are definitely a lot of twists and turns that catch you by surprise, and honestly had me at the edge of my seat!
I have long been a fan of Kami Garcia, and when I saw the synopsis of this book, I had to read it. It’s not your typical YA contemporary romance, it has a great deal of substance and depth. Peyton is a smart, intelligent, and strong girl. She lost her father in the Middle East, but she doesn’t let that stop her ambitions. She is so excited when she gets her acceptance to the school she has dreamed of going and playing soccer. She is eager to share the news with her best friend, Tess, and her boyfriend, Reed (who happens to be Tess’s brother). A night at a party turns dark when she discovers Reed’s secret. She finds herself at the bottom of a set of stairs with not only her knee shattered but possibly her dreams of playing soccer. When she tells people, Reed did it, no one believes her. When threats become too dangerous, her mother sends her to Tennessee to stay with her uncle and her twin cousins. This decision will change her life. As I wrote earlier, Peyton is so strong. Instead of backing down, she stood up for herself despite the consequences both mentally and physically. She has a wonderful support system in her mother, uncle, and cousins. When she becomes friends with Owen, she has an even bigger supporter. There are feelings there between the two of them, but of course, she is hesitant to get into any kind of relationship because of Reed. I loved that because it made the book more realistic. Owen was a sweetheart. He was a lot like Peyton. He didn’t back down from anything, no matter what it was or the obstacles he had to overcome. That is what made them so perfect for one another. He showed her not all guys were like Reed. This book dealt with something that unfortunately I think a lot of girls encounter…abuse. What was so heartbreaking was Reed wasn’t that guy at the beginning. I don’t want to spoil anything, but something made him grow into the monster that wouldn’t let Peyton go, and that something is an issue our society deals with as well. I thought Kami Garcia did a fantastic job of illustrating how those two issues go hand-in-hand. I think that this book will give girls courage to speak up and get the help that they need, and maybe offer help to young men like Reed. He was a villain in the book, but he didn’t start out that way. Garcia did a rare thing…she gave some humanity to the villain. Great informative read! ***Read and Reviewed by Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews***
A compelling and poignant story Note: This review contains NO spoilers I loved this story. Broken Beautiful Hearts is a poignant and riveting story of heartbreak, betrayal, and second chances. Secrets has a way of coming out and hurting people. This story also tackles very real issues. I would also suggest reading the Author Note at the end of the story. This read kept me turning the pages as I followed these characters to the end of their emotional and troubling journey. Kami Garcia has created a story that others can relate to. Her character development and world building created this emotionally compelling story of young adults dealing trauma(s) in their lives and how they deal with it. Kami created strong characters, yet they also have their faults/weaknesses. Each having unique personalities. The character dialogues and setting itself also created somewhat of a mysterious atmosphere. All in all, Broken Beautiful Hearts is an emotionally heartbreaking and heartwarming story that touches real issues. This story is a definite must-read.
Another YA book that I loved!!! Again, I don’t really do the YA books, but between this book and another YA Book, I’m might be a convert... at least for Kami Garcia’s Books!!! I really like a book where one of the characters has some sort of injury or malady. So this as perfect! This story had a little bit of everything. There was romance, suspense and sweetness. Definitely a YA author I will read again!
Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for the opportunity to read and review Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia! Peyton and her mom have lived alone since her father was killed during a military mission. Peyton’s boyfriend, Reed, has been acting differently and seems to have a quick temper and mood swings often when he used to never be that way. Reed’s sister Tess is also Peyton’s best friend and when Peyton tries to discuss the changes in Reed with Tess, she becomes defensive. When Peyton finds out Reed’s secret and confronts him, Reed loses his temper and pushes Peyton. She falls down cement stairs and hurts her leg. Now she’s mourning the possibility of losing her soccer scholarship and her ruined relationships with Reed and Tess. She moves to Tennessee and stays with her uncle and his two teenage twin boys so she can recuperate, attend physical therapy and hopefully repair her leg. She gains new friends and works hard to recover the strength in her leg while learning to deal with Reed and the difficulties he’s caused. I don’t want to give anything away from the rest of the story but I devoured Broken Beautiful Hearts and I highly recommend it for any reader that enjoys young adult realistic fiction, 5 stars! *I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary review consideration.
Oh, goodness. Broken Beautiful Hearts has much of the emotional writing of the Beautiful Creatures series, but with real-life, non-paranormal-inspired drama for a change. (I know I'm behind on my Kami Garcia books--that's going to have to change!) Peyton and Owen are a great couple, once they finally get all of their secrets out of the way--and OMG, do these two have secrets. Each of them nearly let them destroy themselves and each other, but in the end are (thank goodness!) strong enough to rise above their fears and what they think is most important to them to reach for the things that really are important. I've got to say, the last two chapters of this book nearly slayed me--and then I got to the author's note at the end. Excellent work, Ms. Garcia. A fantastic story, and a strong message. A must-read! Rating: 4 stars / A- I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
I've loved Kami Garcia's two series Beautiful Creatures and The Legion, but I hadn't tried any of her straight contemporary books yet. Now I know I have to go back and read them. Because this book, holy cow, I loved it so much! Another emotional read. Dealing with very tough topics just like the first two I reviewed in this post. This time we had an abusive ex-boyfriend. You had life or death health issues for a teen, there was just so much. And I loved the characters. Especially Peyton's cousins. And there was a line that I hope makes the final edit of the book, because it was one of the best lines I remember reading, it is so true: "It’s impossible to understand how much you need someone until that person isn’t around." And what is so great about this line, is that it is in reference to a friendship, not a romance. And that is exactly the way it hit me as well. With the friendships I've lost over the past few years, and how much I notice it when I need that person to be around, but they're not. This is one I'm definitely buying for my high school library. Highly recommended!
Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia is contemporary young adult novel about picking yourself back up after being broke and battered, and finding your happiness afterwards. Peyton Rios' life is coming together. The stars are aligning and all is good in the world. However, that all changes in the blink of an eye when her MMA boyfriend, Reed, pushes her down the stairs in a fit of rage and she breaks up with him for using steroids. However, when she tells people what happened, no one believes her. Soon she's dealing with threats and Reed hounding her to be reunited. To keep her safe, Peyton's mom sends her to her brother's home in Black Water. Once in Black Water, Peyton lives with her uncle Hawk and her twin cousins, Christian and Cam. She also slowly begins to make new friends like Grace, but especially with Owen, a local MMA fighter and fellow classmate. Their attraction is palatable even as Peyton tries to fight it and say they're just friends. As for Owen, he has his own backstory and would love to get deeper into his character, but he was a strong and steady support to Peyton, as well as a contrast to Reed. Broken Beautiful Hearts is an enjoyable story about finding yourself after feeling like you've lost your way or purpose in life. Peyton as a character is strong and though she struggles at first at Black Water with trusting people and her own decision-making, she begins to find her way. Ms. Garcia writes a well-paced and compelling story, and adds an element of mystery into the story as well. Overall, Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia is both entertaining and thought-provoking with topics like abuse (physical and substance) and grief, as well as what happens when something as life-changing as an injury or illness effect your life or future (as seen with Peyton and Owen). I would recommend this novel and can't wait to read more by Ms. Garcia. (I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book I received for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my open and honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.)
I have been a fan of Kami Garcia ever since I read her Beautiful Creatures series and I've been meaning to pick up one of her contemporary books for a while now. I am very, very happy that I ended up loving this book. A lot. Broken Beautiful Hearts is the story of Peyton and her journey of healing and finding strength, courage, and the true meaning of friendship. Peyton is a girl that went through a lot of things. Her father died in an explosion when he was deployed, her boyfriend turns out to not be the perfect guy but instead pushes her down the stairs, causing her to have a torn knee ligament that puts her future in danger, her friends abandon her, and she has a stalker. She has moments when she's scared that history will repeat itself with another boy, she has moments when she feels like she needs to hide what happened to hear for fear of being judged or be seen as that girl, the victim, but I also think she hides what happened because she's ashamed; like she should have seen it coming and prevent it in some way. I was very happy when her new friends show her that Reed was the one who should be ashamed, not Peyton. I also loved how Peyton learns to be strong, whether that means finding out what truly happened with her dad, or learning to accept and move on from what Reed did. She goes through a transformation. All of that is secondary to one important lesson: asking for help. I feel like that is the main theme of this book, learning how to ask for help when you need it, how not to be ashamed of something someone did to you, and it's an important lesson to learn. Owen is a great guy, that has some secrets of his own. I liked Owen, mostly because he represented the courage that Peyton learns to have. He also has a reckless side, probably due to his childhood and his family situation, of which you learn more about as the story moves on. I liked how he doesn't push Peyton beyond what she's comfortable with, in their relationship, but he does challenge her to learn how to trust again. This was a great story, just as great as I expected from Kami Garcia. I only wish Peyton had found that courage to trust again in herself and in others by herself. The pacing was great and there were a few surprises along the way that I didn't see coming. I just wish there was a book for Peyton's twin cousins, because I loved them. All in all, I loved this book, and it showed me exactly why I love Garcia's books.
Broken Beautiful Hearts is a brilliantly woven love story. That has this underlying meaning. Sometimes in life, we choose the wrong people. For whatever the reason, you believe them, you trust them. Then something huge happens. That just turns your whole life upside down. But trying to move past it, and having to figure out, that the relationship doesn’t define you. Peyton has had it a bit rough, after losing her father. She finds solace in a boy (so not going to call him a man) She truly loves him. But he has a breaking point, one that almost ruins her life. Through it all, she struggles with the loss of her father, struggles with the loss of something else, and then trying to regain some normalcy. And she finds that in Owen. Owen is this fantastic character; he’s so full of love. That you just can deny their connection. I loved the other characters as well; they bring this lightheartedness to a story that is so heavy. You just needed them. I know that this story hits close to Garcia. I just want to say that I've been a similar situation. Some of the things "the boy" would do, would remind me of someone. And that sickening feeling would creep it's way back. Even after so many years. But Peyton's character shined. She was very strong willed and wasn't going to let someone just walk all over her. Overall, of course Five Boundless Stars
Broken Beautiful Hearts is an incredibly well written and captivating YA read. The story-line is compelling and the writing is 100% addictive. With lots of drama, heartache, intense and shocking moments, this book will be sure to keep you on your toes and leave you unable to put it down. I forgot how much addicting the YA genre can be. I was hooked from the very first page and got completely lost in the story that unfolded. I was shocked and couldn’t look away. I had to keep reading. I had to see what would happen next. And this book totally kept me coming back for more. I fell in love with the characters instantly and found them easy to connect with. Their story was spellbinding, yet gritty. Filled with lost dreams and broken hearts. I even fell in love with the secondary characters and wanted to more about them. And let me tell you, there are quite a few characters that I wouldn’t mind seeing more of in the future. Owen had my heart from the moment I met him. He was tough, yet adorable at the same time. He was an amazing friend and never pushed for more. He was protective of those he let get close and was 100% swoon worthy. And Peyton…She could have let her injury consume her, but she was so incredibly strong. It may have turned her world turned upside down and force change, but if there was anyone up to the challenge, it was Peyton. Fresh start. Owen & Peyton were adorable together. I loved seeing their friendship grow and enjoyed witnessing their slow building romance. I’m usually not a big fan of the slow burn, but with these two, it was totally satisfying. Overall, I thought this book was an enjoyable read. It kept me on my toes right until the very end. Beautiful Broken Hearts is a terrific YA novel that has just the right amount of drama, intrigue and romance. I loved getting lost in this story and look forward to checking out more contemporary works from this author in the future.
I highly recommend this book to any one who loves a steamy romance. I also highly recommend this book to anyone who wants more than just a romance in their books. This story has such a good positive message about overcoming what holds you back in life and to choose to be a survivor. If you're like me and you've never read a Kami Garcia book before, I demand you try this one. There aren't enough great things I can say about this book. Absolutely stunning!