Friday, October 12, 2012

Review: Break My Heart 1,000 Times

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Break My Heart 1,000 Times
Daniel Waters
Publication date: October 16th 2012
by Hyperion Book CH


Living in the aftermath of the Event means that seeing the dead is now a part of life, but Veronica wishes that the ghosts would just move on. Instead, the ghosts aren’t disappearing–they’re gaining power. 

When Veronica and her friend, Kirk, decide to investigate why, they stumble upon a more sinister plot than they ever could have imagined. One of Veronica’s high school teachers is crippled by the fact that his dead daughter has never returned as a ghost, and he’s haunted by the possibility that she’s waiting to reappear within a fresh body. Veronica seems like the perfect host. And even if he’s wrong, what’s the harm in creating one more ghost?

*A copy was provided by Disney Hyperion for review purposes*

When you open a book, usually within 40-50 pages in you start getting a good perception of the plot and what direction it will lead you; this was the downfall of Break My Heart, 1000 Times. It began on a very high note, the premise is incredibly unique and interesting. I love ghost stories and this one was particularly different, cool even. I was expecting the plot to bring us into the story of this post-Event world, to explain how the ghosts are there, and become a little like a post apocalyptic novel where ghosts are the villain. This was not the case. Not only do we not find out anything about this Event whatsoever, the story is more of a serial killer novel – one where we know the identity of the killer from the start, which is not nearly as fun.

I will say, creativity is definitely apparent in the plot. We have a world where something caused ghosts to suddenly become a daily occurrence, a normality even. Plus, one of the POVs in the book is one of the ghosts – one of the few who is conscious of it, not just a recurring image or memory like most seem to be. This is the part that I enjoyed the most. It’s a fascinating new way of life: to have ghosts appear in your classroom and not be phased by it very much. I was clearly hoping for a lot more backstory. What was this Event exactly? This question is brought up during the first few pages, without ever getting an answer.

Up until halfway through, I can say I was really enjoying it, being kept enchanted by the neat story. However, when a certain romance begins and our main character turns incredibly moody, it went downhill fast for me. I realized I was not particularly impressed with any of the characters. The protagonist, Veronica, never made me understand her. She’s very one dimensional and I did not like her attitude at all. She gets incredibly pissed–to the point of slapping her boyfriend–because he did not pick her up after work. Fits like this annoy me, teenager or not. Their romance gave me a very weird vibe from the beginning, as well. It’s hard to even pinpoint why, I just found them really awkward together. Then there’s the inclusion of two strange not-really-love-triangles, where it seems one was only included to add in a fight between the two guys, then to never hear of the first guy again except for a random scene near the end, and the other was just… bizarre.

No backstory? Fine. I can absolutely get with a great serial killer story. It has a good plot overall; I found the motive especially intriguing. Told in several perspectives, we have the ghost, Veronica, and the killer, which is her English teacher (and this is not a spoiler). Since we get these POVs, we already know who the killer is from the get go, and we’re simply along for the ride while the characters are blind to the danger that they’re in. Preferring my killer mysteries to be, well, mysteries, I didn’t find this one especially captivating. It made it highly predictable as well.

Clearly, I was expecting something much different than what I got. Still, it’s unique with a really interesting premise, so I would not go and say it’s terrible. It was mostly the characters that did not compel me. My heart wasn’t into it, turning what could have been a very good book into a mediocre read.

2 Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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24 Responses to “Review: Break My Heart 1,000 Times”

  1. Christina

    That’s so sad! I hate when there’s an awesome premise, but I don’t feel anything because the characters are not compelling. I’m really glad I didn’t know what this was about or I’m sure it would be in my NG pile of abandonment.

    That love triangle stuff sounds awful. There are plenty of reasons to fight. Like if second guy stole first guys oreos or vice versa.

  2. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    I freaking hate it when there is a potentially awesome explanation for what’s happening in a book but we are just left high and dry. I don’t deal with that well and it definitely ruins my enjoyment of the book. The MC sounds crazy, I’ll be staying away from this one!

  3. Amy

    This one sounded really interesting, but I don’t think that I would enjoy it. Ugh! I hate when we know who the killer is from the start. I think it’s cool to get the POV of the killer, but it would be better if the identity was still kept secret. Also Veronica doesn’t sound like a character I would like at all. Fab review chicky!!

  4. Jenn Renee

    I had such high hopes for this book too. I have not read any of his books but I have heard some pretty good things from his zombie series. I am torn if I should give it a go or plan for other books. The plot and setting sound really unique but I am a little burnt out on the moody love sick puppy for main characters. Great review.

  5. Renae

    Sorry you didn’t like this one, Giselle! I do find that, a lot of times, its the romance that turns me off of a book, since it has such a big influence on how the protagonist acts and prioritizes. Though, I do think a ghostly serial killer novel does sound pretty cool!

  6. Kindlemom

    I have heard some mixed reviews on this one and couldn’t decide it I wanted to pick it up or not. I think after reading your review I will pass. I just don’t think it will be the read for me.

    Great review!

  7. Mel - Thedailyprophecy.

    Knowing the killer from the beginning.. Hmm. The POV from a ghost is a great addition and I love the unique sound of the story. A not-so-great main heroin doesn’t sound to great.

    I can honestly say that I’m so disappointed right now 🙁 This book was on the list of the ones I can’t wait for, so damn. Such a shame when a book can’t live up to the high expectations. I was really hoping that this would be a great book.

    I will keep these points in my, because I will try this one out. The blurb and cover are still great, but I will set my standard lower. Thanks for your honesty. It’s always a pleasure to read your informative reviews 🙂

  8. Aman

    I hate it when the cover and synopsis indicates the story to be brilliant, but then when you actually read it, it is a fail 🙁

  9. Alexa

    The title was what drew me in, really. And the story does sound like it could have been really interesting! BUT I would have preferred it really be a mystery.

  10. Candace

    I hadn’t heard of this one yet. It sounds very interesting but the issues you had sound like issues I would have as well so I suppose this is one I will skip unless I see a review that convinces me otherwise.

  11. whatsontheshelf

    Aw, that is disappointing since the synopsis sounds so interesting. I don’t like it when questions are not answered and I don’t get all the information I want, plus the predictability? I don’t think this will be one for me to read anytime soon. Great honest review!

    Vyki @ On The Shelf
    Check out my new meme Cover Crush!

  12. Rhiannon Frater

    I’m really bothered by the domestic violence aspect of the story. If a man slapped a woman for picking him up late from work, people would freak out. If a petulant teenage girl does the same thing, it’s still abuse. That right there is enough for me to give this wide berth.


  13. Megan K.

    Aw, too bad this didn’t work out for you. It sounds like it has a REALLY good premise. But yes, characters that don’t make impressions on me make me enjoy the book less, and this sounds like what you experienced in here!

    Creativity or no, I think I’ll be staying away from this one. I can’t stand it when a book has sucky romance! Lovely review as usual, Giselle! 🙂

  14. erlessard

    Hm, I really hate predictable books…but I love ghost stories, so I’m not sure if I’ll check it out. Maybe, I’ll save this for the library. Thanks for your honest review.

  15. BecAlora Walker

    I love how honest your review is. If there is one thing I can always count on you for it is honesty. I can’t wait for your next review. I don’t know if I’ll check this book out, your descriptions have, frankly, scared me.