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

Title: Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mind
Author: Katie Finne
Genre(s): Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult
Series: Broken Hearts and Revenge (#1)
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Hot sun. Blue waves. New romances. Old secrets.

Gemma had her summer all planned out, but it takes a sharp turn when she gets dumped and finds herself back in the Hamptons after a five-year absence.

Being there puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friends (that is, before Gemma ruined her life). But people don't hold grudges forever. Do they?

Gemma intends on making amends, but a small case of mistaken identity causes the people she knew years ago—including Hallie and her dreamy brother, Josh—to believe she's someone else. As though the summer wasn't complicated enough already.

Filled with summer sun, boys, and friendships gone sour, Katie Finn's first novel in the Broken Hearts and Revenge series sizzles and delights.

Looking for a light and fun romantic read, I picked up Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend which revolves around friendship, romance, a disastrous incident that happened in the past between past best friends, Gemma and Hallie. 

When Gemma is shipped off to the Hamptons for the summer after being dumped by her boyfriend, is at risk at bumping into Hallie, a previous friend who's life Gemma destroyed, and it was not by accident. Using a fake identity, Gemma strives to mend the mistakes of the past. While there were some things I enjoyed, there were other things that frustrated me, and unfortunate events that we are all waiting for to happen.

I found Broken Hearts predictable, and I predicted the "plot twist" at the end. Josh, Gemma's new love interest, was cliché. The romance was not the type I was looking for, it was not a slow-burning relationship development but a sudden, insta-love between characters that lacked depth. Gemma was not very bright, and in addition, boring. I did not like the choices she made, and it feels like every time she makes a choice, she chooses the wrong one. I don't know where she got the idea that she could pretend to be someone else, but if she hadn't, the Hallie Gemma conflict wouldn't have become an even more serious conflict. However, the plot would probably get nowhere if she just showed up in the Hamptons being herself...

This book is precisely a time-ticking bomb. How long did Gemma think she could pull off the fake identity? And what did she actually expect, that she'd be able to "mend" her mistakes? Gemma ruined a girl's life in the past and how she did it was not something that she could have gotten away with the "young and dumb" card. Even an eleven-year-old would know things that Gemma did was wrong. With the huge impact she'd left on Hallie's life, even after an abundance of acts of kindness while revealing her true self with a "Sorry, Hallie" at the end would never be able to mend the things she's done.

Regardless of the things state above, this book did keep me reading. All the individual events that happened were fun to read, and there is some suspense that kept me enticed, such as the huge question: What did Gemma do to Hallie five years ago? So many events ended up in a disaster, which was entertaining although a little frustrating when you look at the entire plot as one picture. This was not the lighthearted romantic read I wanted, but instead, it gave me a more complicated plot with a problem that would be interesting to find out how it would be solved. 

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Olivia is a fangirl from Canada with too many book boyfriends who also adores sweets, drawing, and watching anime. She started off trying to write a full length novel, but some things are just easier said than done, so Olivia spends her days writing blog posts instead. That is, when she's not spending her free nights playing League.

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  1. Aww it sounds like a so-so book. I have the book on my shelf and I think katie finn is the pen name for Morgan Matson and I absolutely loved her book Since You've Been Gone. I really want to pick this one up soon!

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

    1. I think I've heard something about Katie Finn being Morgan Matson's pen name but I haven't read her other series yet. Perhaps I'll try her other books in the near future :D

  2. Eh, so sorry to hear there were so many frustrating aspects to this one! I have seen the cover around but I haven't seen too many reviews for this one. It seems like it is a bit too slow paced and then when a book is predictable it kind of ruins everything for me so... :/ I don't think I will be trying this one.

    1. Good idea haha ;) Although it's definitely an okay book to pick up if you don't really mind the time-ticking bomb aspect of. Some individual parts of the story were alright, but the plot as a whole isn't very interesting.

  3. Hmm, seems like this is the weakest of Morgan Matson's novels. I do have a copy of it sitting on my shelf looking all pretty, but I think it'll be a while until I pick it up because I guess this is one of those books where you just gotta be in the right mood to enjoy it.

    Great review, Olivia <33

    1. Thanks Mel <3 I've heard about Morgan Matson's other books being more liked than this one too, such as Since You've Been Gone (and it definitely seems a lot more lighthearted!). Perhaps you should wait until the third book to come out before you start the series haha, I finished the second one and as much as I don't want to, I'm dying to find out what happens in the end even though the storyline isn't the greatest.

  4. I'm sorry to hear this book was only so-so I hate when that happens :( However great review still and I know what to expect if I ever pick up this book in the future!

    Sinead @ Less Reality More Books

    1. Thanks for stopping by :) If you ever pick up this book, I hope it'll be your cup of tea!

  5. Filled with summer sun, boys.... what could go wrong!
    Why does insta-love ruin everything?! This sounded like it could have been great.
    I adore a slow burning romance or just hot fae warriors (it's not hard to impress me haha)
    Such a shame you didn't love it :(

    1. OUR ROWAN WHITETHORN SET EXPECTATIONS SO HIGH!! Now it's like no typical "the cute boy next door" kind of boy will ever satisfy us...I guess because of this I probably won't be enjoying lighthearted romances as much anymore :P

  6. Oh my dear, I hope this book cost you a buck.

    I've seen this book around in stores for like, $12 or so and was like, oh should I get it, should i? So glade I didn't.

    I think I would of had to - only because I had spent money on it- (A) force myself to read it to the end, or (B) gulped through a lot of the pages and chapters. I find myself doing that so much when I get a book I regret.

    Thanks for the review, this book will not be on my TBL.

    1. Fortunately it was really cheap! I picked it up on for $5, but I kept on seeing this book to be really cheap everywhere else too for some reason...


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