I have been a fan of Kami Garcia ever since I read her Beautiful Creatures series and I've been meaning to pick up one of her contemporary books for a while now. I am very, very happy that I ended up loving this book. A lot.
Broken Beautiful Hearts is the story of Peyton and her journey of healing and finding strength, courage, and the true meaning of friendship. Peyton is a girl that went through a lot of things. Her father died in an explosion when he was deployed, her boyfriend turns out to not be the perfect guy but instead pushes her down the stairs, causing her to have a torn knee ligament that puts her future in danger, her friends abandon her, and she has a stalker. She has moments when she's scared that history will repeat itself with another boy, she has moments when she feels like she needs to hide what happened to hear for fear of being judged or be seen as that girl, the victim, but I also think she hides what happened because she's ashamed; like she should have seen it coming and prevent it in some way. I was very happy when her new friends show her that Reed was the one who should be ashamed, not Peyton. I also loved how Peyton learns to be strong, whether that means finding out what truly happened with her dad, or learning to accept and move on from what Reed did. She goes through a transformation. All of that is secondary to one important lesson: asking for help. I feel like that is the main theme of this book, learning how to ask for help when you need it, how not to be ashamed of something someone did to you, and it's an important lesson to learn.
Owen is a great guy, that has some secrets of his own. I liked Owen, mostly because he represented the courage that Peyton learns to have. He also has a reckless side, probably due to his childhood and his family situation, of which you learn more about as the story moves on. I liked how he doesn't push Peyton beyond what she's comfortable with, in their relationship, but he does challenge her to learn how to trust again.
This was a great story, just as great as I expected from Kami Garcia. I only wish Peyton had found that courage to trust again in herself and in others by herself. The pacing was great and there were a few surprises along the way that I didn't see coming. I just wish there was a book for Peyton's twin cousins, because I loved them.
All in all, I loved this book, and it showed me exactly why I love Garcia's books.