Monday, August 10, 2015

The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak - Review

"When I met Oliver Perry, I had no clue he was the lead singer for The Heartbreakers. And he had no idea that I was the only girl in the world who hated his music."
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? 
Ali Novak wrote her debut novel My Life with the Walter Boys when she was just 15 years old, and has since penned her next book, The Heartbreakers. First a hit on the online community Wattpad, her second novel has over 38 million reads and is loved by readers around the world.
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The Heartbreakers is filled with pranks, music, and heart. Strong characters and a plot made to rip at the heartstrings, Novak has written a hilarious, touching story of a girl, her sick sister, and the fear of letting go and growing up.
I loved Stella's voice. Much like Novak's other leading lady in My Life With the Walter Boys, sometimes she gets a little too stubborn and aggressive with encountering things she doesn't like. However, I think that the environment and driving worries/motivation makes for developed, complex characters. Stella is headstrong and her narrative is a wonderful balance of her present worry about her sister's health and her memories of what life was like before. I loved the triplets (triplets! Such a little touch that makes the story so different!) and thought their relationship was wonderful. 
The story was well-paced and was chalk full of eccentric characters. I loved the boys in the band and how they are family - family as close as they are different, much like Stella and her siblings. I thought that Stella and Oliver's relationship was well developed, if not a little love-at-first-sight-y, and their banter and growth is wonderful to read. Likewise, I thought that the growing friendship between Stella and the rest of the Heartbreakers, as well as her coming to terms with her (necessary) separation from her sister, Cara, were artfully placed and written. I wished that we got a little more tension between Cara and Stella, face to face. I loved the complexity of their situation, and I wanted just a little more from Stella's fear of letting go and Cara's fragility. 
A Cinderella-esque story, The Heartbreakers has all kinds of struggles of the heart - struggling to do what you love and follow your own heart while being mindful of those you love and being faced with someone who could possibly romantically love you. This story has a lot of heart and I can't wait to read the next installment.
*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Check out her Wattpad (where this all began!) here:
Ali Novak is a twenty-three-year-old Wisconsin native and recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s creative writing program. She started writing her debut novel My Life with the Walter Boys when she was only fifteen, and since then, her work has received more than 100 million hits online. When she isn’t writing, Ali enjoys Netflix marathons and traveling with her husband Jared. You can follow Ali on Twitter @Fallzswimmer and Instagram @alinovak.
Happy Reading! 

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