Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend

Book Information
Rating: Dependable
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Katie Finn
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends  
Year: 2014
ISBN: 9781250045249
Pages: 339

Gemma’s summer plans are turned upside-down when her boyfriend unexpectedly dumps her and she has to spend the summer with her father in the Hamptons. On the train, she meets a cute boy named Josh, but she finds out that he is the brother of Hallie Bridges, the girl whose life Gemma purposely tried to ruin five years ago. When Josh thinks her name is something else, Gemma goes along with it, telling them that her name is Sophie instead. Gemma wants to use this opportunity to repair her friendship with Hallie, but Gemma's growing feelings for Josh make things more complicated. She keeps telling them lies about who she is, and unfortunate things keep happening that make it difficult for her to rebuild her lost friendship with Hallie. In the end, her lies catch up with her and the Bridges finds out who she is, ending the book with losing the friendships of both Josh and Hallie.

In many ways this is a light, fun book that feels just right for summer. However, in other ways it has unfortunate flaws. The entire plot is based around Gemma’s previous mistake and the lies she tells to cover up what she’s done. The "mean girl" aspect also doesn’t feel quite believable in that they pretend to be such good friends without discovering the truth behind the intentions of one of the characters. The book doesn’t end with much of a resolution, just the truth coming out about the lies that Gemma has told all summer, leaving room for the next books in the series but not quite ending the first one in a good way. It’s predictable and the characters are sometimes hard to like or to root for because of how they can be terrible people sometimes. It’s still a fun, entertaining read for those looking for a little bit of romance and a light read.

*Contains mild language.