This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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I’m used to Lauren Blakely’s emotional rom-coms, but Unbreak My Heart is not it! I wasn’t expecting the all the emotions and I did not expect that this would be about pain, loss, and moving on.
Unbreak My Heart starts a few weeks after Ian, Andrews brother passes away due to cancer. In this part, Andrew is trying to deal with the loss and moving on since he is the only one in the family left. It was also revealed that his parents passed away tragically in a helicopter accident a few years before and it was him and his brother.
I really felt for Andrew and I love that this book deals with death and grieving in a different way, especially since Ian was the only one in his family left. The first half of the book is him dealing with the immediate death while the second half deals with him and his acceptance of his brother’s death.
Then there’s the romance. Andrew and Holland had one summer together but decided to separate because school took them into two different parts of the world. Holland and Andrew’s relationship is different because it is quite clear that both still have feelings for each other and yet, they knew they couldn’t be together.
I honestly have to say that I did not connect with Andrew and Holland’s relationship. I didn’t feel that their relationship was the same as the others that Lauren Blakely has written, and it felt off for me. While I love a good second-chance romance, I was not rooting for Holland and Andrew during the first half of the book. Fortunately, it changed a little in the end and I was able to say that they deserved their HEA.
As with all of Lauren Blakely’s books, I love how she manages to take me to the actual place where the book is set. This time, it’s Japan and while I haven’t been there, I felt like her descriptions transported me to Japan.
I may be the minority here, but I honestly struggled to finish the audio. Both Erin Mallon and Joe Arden are fantastic narrators, and if not for them, I would have DNF’d the book. Pacing and tone were on point and both narrators really enhanced the story for me.
I do recommend Unbreak My Heart but note that it is not the signature Lauren Blakely rom-com. In fact, I read Wanderlust that also deals with the death of a sibling, but it wasn’t as angsty as this one. And yes, the romance in Unbreak My Heart just wasn’t for me.
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Do you love reading books that deal with death and grief? What are your favorites?