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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Review: Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn

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Title: Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to                      Mend
Author: Katie Finn
Publisher: Macmillan
Pub. Date: May 13, 2014
Genre: YA
Rec. Age Level: 14+

Gemma has spent years trying to bury and atone for a summer spent in the Hamptons when she was 11-years old. The year she horribly betrayed her friend and sabotaged a woman's career. When Gemma's boyfriend unceremoniously dumps her before they head to South America for a mission trip, Gemma is forced to return to the Hamptons, where her father is spending the summer. When Gemma comes face-to-face with Hallie, the girl she so badly hurt five years before, she's sure she'll never get a chance to make up for what she did. Luckily a mislabeled cup of coffee and the fact that 16-year-old Gemma looks nothing like 11-year-old Gemma offer her another option... Gemma becomes "Sophie" and hatches a plan to win back Hallie's friendship, prove she's a good person, and then reveal the truth of her identity. Things get complicated when Gemma and Jason, Hallie's older brother, become friends. Things aren't going at all according to plan and Gemma has to wonder: Is it karma... or does someone know her secrets?

I was motivated to pick up BROKEN HEARTS, FENCES AND OTHER THINGS TO MEND because of the premise, but also because I'd heard it compared to the television show Revenge, which I love. I definitely understand the comparison, but I feel the need to clarify that this book is nowhere near as dark (or deadly) as the show its being compared to. After hearing the comparison, I was worried that the bright blue cover and bubbly lettering was sitting atop a story of murder and mayhem, which would have felt totally inappropriate. But, never fear, there is plenty of scheming, secrets, and lies within these pages.

I loved that, sometimes, I felt sure I knew what was going on, but then something would happen and I'd suddenly have doubts. While this isn't one of those novels that's going to keep you up late into the night puzzling through clues and word choices, it might keep you up wondering what new misfortune will befall Gemma. I was constantly wondering what so-called solution Gemma would cook up next. This girl knows how to make a mess... seriously.

I'll definitely pick up the next two books in this trilogy, REVENGE, ICE CREAM, AND OTHER THINGS BEST SERVED COLD and HEARTS, FINGERS, AND OTHER THINGS TO CROSS. I have a feeling things are only going to get more twisted and crazy for Gemma after the end of book one!


  1. That sounds like a wonderful read! Great review!

  2. This one definitely sounds fun! Love the titles! So creative. And the cover is very eye-catching!

  3. This does sound heavy and surprisingly hopeful in spite of itself. Excellent review, Sara!

  4. Ohh, this sounds fab and I adore the cover. Must put it on my TBR. >.>

  5. Dunbar's first novel is beautifully written and drenched with emotion, and she somehow manages to perfectly capture the voice of a fifteen-year-old boy. A longtime journalist, she has obviously done her homework regarding PTSD, and her portrayal of Gordie rings absolutely true. This is a highly accomplished debut.

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