The Vargas brothers share one disorder: commitment phobia.
They will make you fall in love with them, then leave you heartbroken whether is on prom night or at the altair. No wonder Jude's sisters made her swear to never breathe near one. But ever since the youngest Vargas brother, Emilio, was hired by her dad to fix his beloved bike, Jude is entranced. Emilio seems so caring, so loving toward his family, so reasonable to her father's alzheimer's condition... Maybe it is time to break that oath?
Although the romance in The Book of Broken Hearts is sweet and romantic in a non-cheesy way, the story's background overshadows it. As Jude tries to hold the family together -- whether by ignoring the signs that her dad's condition is deteriorating, or trying to keep peace between her sisters by forbidding her heart to speak of love -- she makes us remember the importance of family.
The ending might feel a little rush, but all in all, Ockler gives us a realistic interpretation of growing up with an alzheimer parent.