Title: The Heartbreakers
Author: Ali Novak
Genre: YA Romance, Family Relationships, Fiction
Rating: /5 (Ramen)
Blurb: “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?”
Review: Heartbreakers eerily reminded me of that Disney movie called Starstruck where the girl accidentally runs into the insanely famous teen popstar, whom she hates, only to go on a romantic tour of LA with him and fall in love. Well, this book is similar, if not a little more cheesy and romantic. And I really liked it.
Stella is one of three triplets -her, her brother Drew, and her sister Cara; who is diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Stella has put her life on hold since her sister has gotten cancer, she’s deferred school, withdrew from her friends, and just spends her days taking pictures. When the triplets birthday comes up, Stella and Drew plan to go to a signing of Cara’s favorite boy band. Along the way, the two siblings make a pit stop, where Stella first encounter’s the lead singer of the Heartbreakers, Oliver Perry. And since she loathes his band entirely, she doesn’t know who he is when he flirts with her, and while she flirts back.
Come the meet and greet, Stella recognizes Oliver as the guy from the coffee shop, but before she can go up to him to get the poster signed -it’s time for the boys to go. However, as fate would have it Stella and Drew are staying in the same hotel as the Heartbreakers (duh!). So naturally, Stella just happens to be stuffed in the same elevator as the band members, where Oliver finally recognizes her. But instead of being polite, Stella goes in like, full bitch mode -insulting the band, their music, and their style -and they are in shock, but Oliver is angry. Anyways, they all eventually hang out, and there is a spark between Stella and Oliver, who gives her his number.
Weeks go by, and after seeing her photographs the boys hanging out in the hotel, Stella gets an offer from the Heartbreakers publicist to work with them while their on tour as their personal photographer. Initially, Stella declines, but after encouragement from Cara, Stella decides to join the boys on their three month tour. And that is where the love story begins.
Let’s start with Stella. Her development throughout the book is kinda amazing. She goes from this dark emo, hard metal music lover, stay home kind of girl -to someone who actually begins going out, being rebellious, enjoying life to he fullest. Now, don’t get me wrong, Stella’s attitude, at times, were not permissible. She was actually a little bitchy at times. At first, she tells Oliver that she’s not into him, and that they should be friends (to protect her heart), then she decides to take a gamble on her heart and date Olive. Stella is a character that took getting used to. Like okay. I understand her sister is possible terminally ill, but this whole angsty teen-adult attitude is kind of annoying. Her relationship with not only Oliver, but all the the boys in the band really help he grow into a likable person.
First, there’s Xander, the one Stella probably has the least, how shall I say it… intimate? friendship with. He has glasses, dorky, but hilarious and he’s really nice to Stella. Always includes her, and jokes around. And even when something happens **SPOILER, he comforts Stella. He’s hardly says much to Stella, but when he does, it’s always pleasant.
Next, there’s JJ. He’s a large, burley, guy. He often flirts with Stella, but it’s all jokes. He really makes Stella a part of the band family. Always includes her, but mostly he’s the jokester in the book. I think between all the band members, aside from Oliver, JJ was my favorite. He brought a lot of light, and airy-ness to the book. He’d always crack some kind of joke, and for the most part, they were mostly funny. JJ also was the most outspoken one. He advocated for a change amongst the band, which caused a lot of conflict between him and Oliver.
Lastly, there’s Alec. The quiet one. He’s I guess, the odd ball out, because -Xander, JJ, and Oliver first started their own band. Alec, an aspiring musician, sought an opportunity to convince his dad to sign the boys, along with him, in order to pursue his music career. Throughout the book he was mostly quiet. But when he did speak, it meant a lot. I think he was the one that Stella was most comfortable with. Alec kept to himself, whilst making sure Stella was okay. He was the first of the boys to learn of Cara’s condition and kept it to himself until Stella was ready to share. He was the most … respectful? of the boys– knew his boundaries, but could also joke at the same time. I liked Alec a lot. He was like a breath of relief amongst his testosterone filled band mates. His calmness, and genuine sweetness was really refreshing.
And finally, Oliver. The stereotypical, lead singer, playboy of the hottest pop boy band. His ego is huge, his attitude isn’t that great, and he’s in love with Stella. Although, he’s really bad at showing it. He’ll do things, to indicate he’s interested **SPOILER. And other times he’ll treat her like a total ass **SPOILER. I had mixed feelings about Oliver. I liked him when he did sweet things, but I think he was overall kind of… selfish? And scared. He was super scared. He wasn’t able to take risks at first, and it costs him greatly **SPOILER. He was overall.. an okay, love interest. He definitely had a lot of flaws that outweighed is swoon-ness.
The story itself though was great, these characters put together, created a great development. Each one brought something out of the other providing a funny angle (JJ), a angsty teen angle (Stella), a sigh of relief that all the characters aren’t assholes angle (Alec), and a romance/ swoon angle (Oliver and Stella). There relationship aren’t really “goals”, but it was definitely fun to read about them.
That being said, I do recommend this book -even though I barely talked about it, the family dynamic is sweet. Cara is an absolute sweetheart, always encouraging and never asks for sympathy. Her and Stella’s relationship is one that ever sister should have, they truly cared to the ends of the Earth for each other’s well-being. I gave this book 4/ 5 noodles. It’s a story that’ll squeeze your heart, and satisfy your romance/drama needs. It’s light, airy, and kind of cheesy, but that’s what makes romance books so great!
Ramen: Seriously awesome, a must read
Chow mein: It was great, def add to reading list
Udon: It was satisfying, nice little way to pass the time
Lo mein: It was ok, better books out there
Soggy noodles: Not that good, do not recommend