Friday, July 31, 2015

The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak

Title: The Heartbreakers
Author: Ali Novak
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
“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?

Light and fun contemporaries make for the best summer reads. They provide the perfect escape for a few hours and I’m always on the look out for more. With Ali Novak’s The Heartbreakers, that’s exactly what I got.

Stella Samuel is the last person who would ever go to a signing for The Heartbreakers, the hottest boy band around. But for her sister, Stella is ready to do anything, even wait in line for hours just to get a CD signed. The one upside to a day spent in boy band hell is the cute guy she met at Starbucks that morning, even though the chances of seeing him again are pretty slim. But when she finally gets to the front of the signing line, Stella is shocked to see that the boy from that morning is none other than Oliver Perry, front man of The Heartbreakers.  Before she knows what’s happening, Stella is hanging out with Oliver and the rest of the band. And at the end of the night, he gives her his number. But as much as Stella would like to think about being with Oliver, she can’t help but think that she should be spending time with her sister instead, because who knows how much time she has left with her?

Last year, I read Ali Novak’s debut My Life With the Walter Boys and really enjoyed the story. It was light, it was fun and it sucked me in. When I heard about her sophomore novel, The Heartbreakers, I knew right away that I wanted to read it. Not only was it from an author who’s previous work I had enjoyed, but it was also about a girl and a boy band and I would have been sold on the book for that reason alone. And The Heartbreakers was just as fun as I had hoped it would be. And it was also just adorable as I expected it to be. And it was addicting. When I was reading, I couldn’t put the book down. I was drawn into the story, wanting to see what would happen with Stella and Oliver, what the deal was with the Heartbreakers and what would happen to Stella’s sister. But as fun and adorable as the story was, it was also surprisingly emotional. The Heartbreakers was about more than just Stella falling in love with Oliver, who happened to be in a boy band. It was also about a family affected by cancer, about the fear of losing someone you care about, the fear of missing out on opportunities, and it was about finding yourself and your place in the world. So all that to say that in many respects, The Heartbreakers took me by surprise by how much it played with my emotions. But all in a very good way.

I loved reading this story from Stella’s perspectives because there was so much more to her than I thought there was going to be. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect her to be a flat character, but I didn’t necessarily expect her to be as layered as she was. Stella was someone who cared deeply about her family, who was passionate about what she believed in, and who wasn’t afraid to share her opinion. And it made for some hilarious moments, especially when she first meets all of the Heartbreakers and insults them. And caring about her family made for some rally touching moments between her and her siblings. Because I absolutely loved the sibling relationship in this story. There were plenty of touching moments between Stella, Cara and Drew, and I would have been happy to read an entire book about the dynamics between the triplets. And then there were the Heartbreakers. And they were hilarious. I was pretty much laughing anytime they were all together doing something ridiculous. Of course most of the focus was on Oliver and much like Stella, it didn’t take long at all for me to be charmed by him. But I still loved reading about the other boys in the band. They were all so charming in their own way and I’m seriously hoping I get to read more stories about these boys.

Ali Novak’s The Heartbreakers was an undeniably fun read. It completely sucked me in and I enjoyed every moment of this story. But don’t let the yourself be fooled by how adorable the story sounds, it also packs a bit of an emotional punch. 

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