I don’t know about you, but
I’m feeling twenty-two sometimes I need a fun, lighthearted read to balance out all the Shakespeare and Faulkner I read in class. Ali Novak’s “The Heartbreakers” is perfect for those times. It may not be a groundbreaking or innovative novel, but it’s cute and fun enough to fill the chick lit void in your heart. Basically, reading about rock stars and romance makes for a great time, even if the book is wildly unrealistic and wildly predictable.
Stella will do anything for her sick sister, Cara—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD…for four hours. She’s totally winning best birthday gift this year. At least she met a cute boy with soft brown hair and gorgeous blue eyes while getting her caffeine fix. Too bad she’ll never see him again. Except, Stella’s life has suddenly turned into a cheesy love song. Because Starbucks Boy is Oliver Perry – lead singer for the Heartbreakers. And even after she calls his music crap, Oliver still gives Stella his phone number. And whispers quotes from her favorite Disney movie in her ear. OMG, 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?
The problem with using an overused plot is that it’s so hard to create a memorable novel. “The Heartbreakers” relies on too many cliches and tropes to truly be memorable. Like other young adult rock star romances, Stella initially has an unreasonable, often unexplained, hatred of the Oliver’s music. Then they meet, and thus begins the whirlwind of insta-love. Like I said, nothing groundbreaking, but Novak’s characters are endearing enough to keep the reader intrigued.
Stella tries too hard to be sassy, but other than that, she’s a great protagonist. I found her incessant reminder that she hates Oliver’s music quite immature and annoying, but her other qualities make up for that aspect. She truly cares for her sister, and her love shows through beyond just getting an autographed Heartbreakers CD. Additionally, though the story centers on the romance, Stella has interests besides nurturing her hatred for the Heartbreakers. She loves photography, and it’s such a pleasure to see her passion develop throughout the novel.
Ali Novak’s “The Heartbreakers” may not be a novel novel (excuse the pun), but it sure gives you a reason to smile.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (August 4th, 2015)
Length: 336 pages (Kindle)